We all know what a web browser is and most of us know that there are different browsers to choose from such as Internet Explorer, Edge, Firefox, and Chrome to name the most popular browsers. Each of these browsers has its own features, and once you try a few of them, you’ll usually stick to the one that works best for you.
If this web browser is Google Chrome, then you might know that you can add what they call extensions to it to enable additional functions or features. Some of these plugins were created by Google and others were created by third-party developers Some of the things that these extensions can do is allow screen capture or act as a PowerPoint file viewer etc.
Often times, these extensions will be installed and you don’t even know them because programs like Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office will install them without telling you. Most of the time this is fine but other times these additions are looking to harm you and you’ll want to get rid of them.
To see extensions in Chrome, go to the three dots on top of each other (or the vertical ellipsis) to access the menu items. From there click on More Tools then Extensions.
Now you will see browser extensions installed on your computer. As you can see, you have the option to disable it by unchecking the box next to Enabled or deleting it by clicking on the trash can icon. But if you look at the icon at the bottom, the icon is different, and if you hover your mouse over it, you will find that it is installed by enterprise policy and you cannot disable or delete it. The install feature was created by enterprise policy by Google for developers but it turns out that others use this type of policy to install malicious extensions in Chrome. They do this because these types of extensions are managed and cannot be removed or disabled from the extensions page.
The first thing that you should do when you have one of these add-ons that you can’t get rid of from the add-ons page is to go to Programs and Features and try to uninstall it assuming it’s listed there. If not, you can try to remove the extension by deleting its entry from the registry. Bear in mind now that playing with the registry can be dangerous and if you delete the wrong thing, you might render your computer useless. Before entering the registry, you will need to enable developer mode by checking the box that says Developer mode on the top right of the Plugins page. Then you will find the identifier associated with the extension and you must then select the identifier and copy it to the clipboard. Then you will need to close Google Chrome.
Open the Window’s Registry Editor by clicking on Start, typing into regedit and hitting enter. You can do the same via Cortana in Windows 10. Then go to the Edit menu and click Find. In the box that appears, paste the extension ID and click “Find Next”.
Then after the search is complete, you should be taken to the string value containing the same ID text. You can now right-click on this value and choose Delete and then say yes to the warning that pops up next.
Now that you delete the registry entry, you will need to go to the Chrome Extensions folder on your computer and delete the corresponding folder from there. Open Windows \ File Explorer and browse to C: \ Users \ USERNAME \ AppData \ Local \ Google \ Chrome \ User Data \ Default \ Extensions and find the folder with the same name as the extension ID, then delete it. Just be sure to replace USERNAME with the name you’re logging into your computer with.
Another thing we need to do is delete the Registry.pol file from the computer. This will be located at C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\Machine. If not present, check the folder C:\Windows\System32\GroupPolicy\User. The Registy.pol file is used to store registry-based configuration settings and registry keys that were created during the creation of the administrative group policy template. Deleting this file will remove all Group Policy settings for the computer so keep that in mind if you have created Group Policy settings on your computer. If you are in a network / domain environment this file and policy should be recreated at next login but hopefully without the extension you are trying to get rid of!
After completing this step, open Google Chrome again and go to the extensions page and make sure that the extension you want to get rid of is now gone.