My installation of Google Chrome had a virus. It did not go away when I uninstalled Chrome; it did not go away when I attempted the recommended solutions of running various antivirus and antimalware programs (e.g., Malwarebytes Anti-Malware; AdwCleaner; HitmanPro); it did not appear at various registry locations cited in various fix-it websites; it was not listed in my Windows 7 Programs & Features list, where I might have uninstalled it.
If anything, it seemed that many of the websites that came up, when I searched for fixes, were scams and possible sources of crapware themselves, with their links to various additional programs. I should install these programs, they said, to fix the problem. I was not yet getting good solutions from reputable sources.
This particular virus was lp.ilividnewtab.com (a/k/a newtabcontent.com). But I had previously had other Chrome viruses (e.g., Recommended that you update Java; Teebik – Many Queens). Those viruses seemed to go away at some point; I was not sure that was because of my own efforts. More likely, various updates to Windows and to my antivirus and antimalware programs had finally caught up with them.
Pending some similar solution to the lp.ilividnewtab.com virus, I decided to look for workarounds. These fixes would not eliminate the virus. But they would at least stop it from opening tabs that I could not close. Eventually, I found several different temporary solutions, as follows:
- Instead of using the mouse to close unwanted tabs as soon as the virus tried to open them, I used Ctrl-W. This was much faster. If I was paying attention, I was usually able to close the tabs before they became uncloseable.
I added the Block Site extension to Chrome, and listed ilividnewtab.com and newtabcontent.com as URLs to be blocked. At least sometimes, when the virus tried to open a new tab, Block Site stopped it, giving me instead a tab that said, “The newtabcontent.com [or whatever] is blocked by BlockSite.” The virus could still open other tabs, but I was able to close them.
I was not sure whether Chrome’s default behavior was to keep running even when I thought I had closed it. That’s what it was doing now, perhaps with the aid of the virus. If I completely closed Chrome, the virus would not suddenly bring it back to life by opening unwanted new tabs at random moments. To completely close Chrome, I added a button to my taskbar. Another post provides the details on creating that KillChrome button.
The KillChrome button would run a batch file that would kill all Chrome processes, including those that kept running after I thought I had closed Chrome. (I could see what processes were running by using Windows Task Manager or a program like Process Hacker. Task Manager was available via Run > taskmgr.msc and also via Ctrl-Alt-Del > Start Task Manager. Those programs would also allow me to close all Chrome processes, albeit through a slower manual effort.)
Instead of a kill button on the taskbar, I might ordinarily have used Daphne. Daphne was like Process Hacker, but it had a convenient little target icon that I could drag onto whatever program I wanted to close — in this case, Chrome — and that would identify the process in question. Then a right-click in Daphne would let me shut down all Chrome processes at once. The problem was that, for some reason, Daphne went into hiding when that Chrome virus was active, so I could not get it to work for this purpose.