Website redirects can be annoying and disrupt your browsing experience. Thankfully, Google Chrome has some useful features to help you stop and block unwanted redirects. This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to leverage these tools to prevent redirects.
Table of Contents
- Use Chrome’s Built-In Pop-up Blocker
- Leverage Chrome Extensions That Block Redirects
- Leverage Chrome’s “Blocked Sites” Feature
- Reset Chrome Settings to Default
- Fully Reinstall the Chrome Browser
- Use an Alternate Browser Like Firefox
- Run an Antivirus Scan for Malware
Use Chrome’s Built-In Pop-up Blocker
Many redirects happen through pop-up windows. Chrome has a handy pop-up blocker you can enable:
- Click the three vertical dots in the top-right Chrome menu
- Hover over “Settings”
- Click “Privacy and security”
- Scroll down and toggle “Blocked” under “Pop-ups and redirects”
This will stop most pop-up redirects before they appear. Note that some redirects don’t use pop-ups though, so other steps might still be needed.
Leverage Chrome Extensions That Block Redirects
There are various Chrome extensions designed specifically to deal with redirect issues. Two top options are:
- Redirect Control: This blocks malicious redirects and lets you whitelist safe domains. You can customize exactly which sites get blocked.
- NoRedirect: Automatically stops pages from redirecting you away. It’s lightweight, fast, and blocks most unwanted redirects.
These extensions work nicely together with Chrome’s built-in tools for comprehensive redirect protection.
- Click the lock icon left of the URL bar
- Click “Site Settings”
Leverage Chrome’s “Blocked Sites” Feature
You can manually block specific sites from working in Chrome using the “Blocked sites” tool:
- Go to Chrome settings
- Click “Security and privacy”
- Scroll down to “Security” and click “Blocked sites”
- Enter the redirect domain you want to block
Now Chrome will refuse to load the site. This is useful for known malicious pages. But it requires you to identify each redirect domain yourself.
Reset Chrome Settings to Default
If all else fails, resetting Chrome’s settings may help. This clears out any bugs, bad extensions, or misconfigurations causing redirects:
- Click the three dot Chrome menu
- Hover over “Settings”
- Scroll down and click “Reset settings”
This resets Chrome to factory default settings, removing any problematic changes you’ve made over time. It’s worth trying before more drastic steps like reinstalling Chrome.
Fully Reinstall the Chrome Browser
As a last resort, completely uninstalling and reinstalling Chrome can eliminate stubborn redirect issues:
- Windows: Open “Apps & Features” and uninstall Chrome
- Mac: Drag Chrome from Applications to Trash
- Linux: Use your package manager to remove Chrome
Then head to Google.com to download and install the latest Chrome version clean. This removes any corrupt files or settings causing the redirects.
Use an Alternate Browser Like Firefox
If the redirect persists even after reinstalling Chrome, try switching to an alternate browser like Firefox. If Firefox doesn’t have the same redirect problems, you know something is specifically misconfigured with Chrome on your machine.
You can keep using Firefox while troubleshooting Chrome, or make Firefox your new default if you prefer its interface and feature set.
Run an Antivirus Scan for Malware
Persistent browser redirects can sometimes indicate malware, spyware, or a virus on your computer. These programs often inject shady redirects to earn money.
Run a full antivirus scan to check for infections that may be manipulating Chrome:
- Windows: Use Windows Defender or install free software like Malwarebytes
- Mac: Leverage built-in tools like XProtect and Gatekeeper
- Linux: Use ClamAV, open source antivirus software
Removing infections may fix Chrome redirect problems stemming from malware.
If issues continue even after reinstalling Chrome completely, the problem may lie with your operating system instead of the browser itself. Switching to an alternate browser like Firefox helps determine if that’s the case. And running an antivirus scan checks for underlying malware possibly causing the redirects.