A fake Chromium browser has been released and got installed on many computers with ulterior motives or purposes. Its name is same to the real Chromium browser, but it would do something that harms your PC & privacy.
Is Chromium installed on your PC without knowledge? Can’t stop it from running on your PC via the Task Manager? Many annoying problems are generated after this unwanted browser showed up? Don’t know how to remove it completely? Now you can download and use a remover for the browser to fix your problems with ease!
You May Have Installed a Fake Chromium Browser
Chromium is a type of web browser that fully opens its source code on Internet. Google Chrome is a much improved and more sophisticated web browser base on it. There is no much difference between Chromium and Chrome except for some subtle distinctions like the icon and auto-update feature, so the Chromium web browser is harmless itself, and it will not install on your computer system without your permission.
However, some bad guys can utilize the open source code to create fake Chromium browser and mislead Internet users into installing it on their PCs. See its basic information in the table below.
|Type||Web browser; PUP (potentially unwanted program)|
|Operating System||BSD, Linux, OS X, Windows, Android|
|Distribution Methods||Through freeware & shareware; via fake download buttons|
|Potential Risks||Make modifications to browser settings and change Windows registry settings, which povides convenient conditions for evil hackers to do malicious activities like monitoring your browsing activity and stealing users’ confidential information to get revenue (find more information below).|
about:credits: different appearance
about:network: different functions
about:terms: only exists in Chrome
|Removal Guides||1. Automatic removal guide (download an effective removal tool) 2. Manual removal guide (follow the steps here)|
Research has found that the fake Chromium browser and the real one are highly similar – their icons, interfaces, settings and more are almost the same, just as the Figure 1 below shows. Hence, general users cannot distinguish them. This is the reason why so many users have been tricked into installing the fake one on their machines.
When this fake browser gets installed on your PC, your default browser may be set as “Chromium” without your operation. See the Figure 2.
This fake browser often bundles with some freeware or shareware available on some download sites or other places on the Internet. Once you download and install the desirable software, the fake browser can be installed together. For example, the fake Chromium browser can come together with Flash Player Pro. As you can see in Figure 3, when you click the Accept button, you will install the fake browser on your computer.
Another case where you could download the fake Chromium is that you mistakenly click the download button that won’t connect to your wanted software. As Figure 4 shows, download buttons are probably all over the webpage so that it takes time for you to find the right button. Even though the text beside download buttons has made it clear, you may still fall into a trap inevitably. In order to prevent this situation, you should read carefully information page related to your wanted software before you download it. Even the downloading process is ongoing, you can stop it.
Most users download the fake Chromium by accident but don’t remove it timely, which may lead to many annoying problems. Computer performance begins to degrade and then the number of malicious programs, add-ons, plug-ins and toolbar will increase. Some important files will be lost or modified without your knowledge. The worst result is blue screen & black screen. Hence, it is not recommend to keep the fake browser on your computer. Of course, if you don’t want the legitimate Chromium, just uninstall it from the PC
The Fake Chromium Browser Is Harmful
Once the fake browser comes into your computer by pretending as the real one, it will bring much harm to the system beyond your imagination. Some computer users may think they can enjoy an easier and quicker browsing experience after installing this browser. But actually they throw themselves into trouble because they are not aware of that they are using a fake browser which would bring a series of problems to their computers and themselves. Using an unreliable browser means that you may get a lot of annoying commercial ads and be redirected to dangerous websites during browsing sessions. Even worse, you may encounter identity theft, as shown in the chart. Fraud is everywhere, you should be more careful when surfing the Internet.
Besides, here are the problems you may experience when you are getting the fake browser:
As the fake browser uses the source code of Chromium, it is difficult for the user to tell the true and the false. The possible issues listed above would help you know if you have the fake browsing product. Although the fake Chromium browser is not considered to be a highly dangerous malware, it is not suggested that you keep it on your PC. Unbeknownst to many computer users, some programs hide themselves and keep running in the background, which occupy CPU usage and slow down running speed. If things go on like this, computer performance will degrade so that more malware easily slip into your computer. Therefore, it is highly recommended to get rid of the fake browser from your PC as soon as possible.
The Fake Chromium Browser Seems Hard to Remove
Since the fake Chromium browser always installs in users’ computers without their consent, it is considered as a potentially unwanted program or even malware. And most users who have installed it want to get rid of it completely. Generally, a legitimate web browser can be easily removed from your PC. But the uninstallation of the fake browser seems not easy. Below are what we have found on several different computer security related forums. Not a few users reflect that they can’t uninstall this fake browser completely because it doesn’t appear in Control Panel.
- As we can seen from the image, many users like jerrybbaker have difficulty in uninstalling Chromium. Even though the browser is not dangerous, you will find it is a headache when you want to uninstall it. That’s why people think it is not a virus but it acts like a virus.
- Another user jacrien specifically describes that how difficult it is to remove Chromium browser. Numerous attempts like using the control panel or putting the browser in quarantine end up with failure. It is clear that this browser running in the background means the browser has been not removed.
- The reason why using the control panel will fail is described in the image below. As krisbond1956 says, Chromium is not listed in the control panel so that users can’t uninstall it by the normal way. Unlike Google Chrome, Chromium is mostly extracted from zip.file and downloaded without normal installtion, which seems convenient, but makes the removal difficult.
- Kevincran’ words once again confirm the fact that many users have problems in removing Chromium from the Windows programs and features.
- Some users got Chromium without theri knowledge, others like the user in the image below downloaded the browser out of curiostiy. The latter usually believe the advertising of the brower, but find it not good as they thought in the end. The example reminds you that whether you are in real life or in the Internet, you shouldn’t have too many expectations about products based on advertising hype.
So, you can see that, the fake browser is designed to be very hard for computer users to remove. But you don’t need to worry. If you also have difficulty in removing this unwanted browser, you can refer to our guides to thoroughly clean it out of your PC.
How to Change Your Default Browser?
- Open one of your browser, and then go to Settings (for Chrome).
- Click Make Google Chrome the default browser button, as shown.
- If the fake Chromium browser pops up automatically and asks you whether to set it as the default browser, you’d better click “Don’t ask again” or “×”.
Surely, the steps above can only stop the fake browser from popping up as your default browser temporarily. It may still appears again some day, unless you remove it from your PC permanently. Don’t know how to do that? Follow the guides below.
Guide to Remove Chromium Browser from Your PC
Note: For convenience, “Chromium” is used to refer to the “fake Chromium” in the following.
Automatic Removal Guide (Recommended)
The automatic removal means to use a tool to perform the removal automatically.This guide is for computer users at any level. Even though you are a novice user, you can easily remove the unwanted browser from your computer with an automatic tool. Besides, it is special for users who cannot find Chromium in the window of Add or Remove Programs/Programs and Features. Here we recommend using Express Uninstaller which is a professional uninstall tool that can effectively and thoroughly uninstall any program that standard Windows Add/Remove Programs can’t remove. It can clean up all the leftover files of the unwanted software with only a few clicks.
Now you can follow these steps to automatically remove the fake browser and clean all its related files and entries from your system.
Step 1: Download Express Uninstaller by clicking the button below.
Step 2: Run the file you have downloaded and the window below will occur. Click on the Next button to continue.
Step 3: The window with the content of license agreement will show up. Click on I Agree button to continue with the installation.
Step 4: In seconds, Express Uninstaller will be installed on your PC.
Step 5: Once the installation is completed, click Finish. If you want to start the software immediately, check Launch Express Uninstaller. The tool will run soon after you click on Finish button.
Step 6: When Express Uninstaller is started, all currently installed programs on your PC will be listed under Uninstall. Scroll down and find Chromium. Select it and click on Uninstall button. (As image below shown)
Step 7: A window with the message asking you to confirm the uninstallation will occur. It shows the name of the selected program as well as its install location, install date and program size. Make sure the information is correct and click on Yes button to continue.
Step 8: Click on Uninstall button when the pop-up below appears. If you want to delete your browsing data, remember to check the checkbox of Also delete your data item.
Step 9: When the program is uninstalled from your computer, Express Uninstaller continues to scan for the files and registry entries left by the uninstalled program. This won’t take you much time.
Step 10: When the scanning is completed, all the leftover data will be displayed. You can see the paths of those files clearly. To completely delete them, click on Delete items.
Step 11: To clean up all the leftover files of the unwanted program, you need to register Express Uninstaller first. If you haven’t registered it, and the following window will occur when you click on Delete items button. Just click on Yes button and follow the instructions given to get the registered version. Then you will be able to remove Chromium completely from the PC.
Manual Removal Guide (Only for Advanced Users)
Step 1: End processes of the fake browser from Task Manager.
* With the processes of the browser running on your computer, you may not be able to remove its related program from Control Panel. So, the first step is to end its related processes which are running in the system without permission. Usually, there are more than one process running in the backdoor of your system, and most of them use a large number of system resources, making your computer run slowly.
Move the cursor to the taskbar, right click it and then select Task Manager from the list.
When the Task Manager is open, click the Processes tab, and then scroll down to looking for the suspicious processes. Under the Image Name column, you may find several processes named by chrome.exe. You may mistakenly think that they are the processes of the Google Chrome browser; however, when you check the Description column on the right side, you will find that all of them are described as “Chromium”. These are the target processes we need to end from Task Manager. One by one, highlight these processes, and click on the End Process button.
When a small dialog box pops up and asks if you really want to end the target process, click End Process to confirm it. When all unwanted processes are stopped, exit the Task Manager.
Step 2: Uninstall the related program from Control Panel.
For Windows 7/Vista:
Move the cursor to the lower left corner of the computer screen, click the Windows menu and then select Control Panel.
In the open window, find and click the Uninstall a program option.
In the Program and Features window, find the program named Chromium, which is installed without your permission. Highlight this program and then click the Uninstall button.
You will receive a popup window asking if you are sure to uninstall the program. Just click the Uninstall button to confirm the uninstallation.
For Windows 8/8.1:
Hover your cursor over the upper right corner of the screen and click Search.Type control panel in the search box, and then click Control Panel from the list.
In the open window, click Uninstall a program.
Look for the unwanted program, select it, and then click Uninstall. Follow the prompts to finish the uninstallation.
Step 3: Delete related files & registry entries.
Open the folder of C:Program Files, find the fake browser’s folder, right click it and click the Delete option. This step will delete all files contained in the folder.
Navigate to the folder of C:Users[User Name]AppDataLocal, find and delete the fake browser’s folder.
Then, use the Search function to check if still there are other folders & files related to the fake browser. If you find some, delete them completely.
After deleting the files, now you should open the Registry Editor to delete the unwanted registry entries. Click Windows menu, type regedit in the search box, and click the program named regedit from the result list.
When the Registry Editor is run, follow these two paths to find and delete the Chromium folder.
You also need to search for any other entries related to the fake browser and delete them all. Click Edit menu, and select Find option from the list.
Now a search window will open, type the fake browser name into the Find what field, and click Find Next button. Then the searching will start automatically.
Within seconds, the related entries will be listed at the right side, right click these entries and then click Delete. Click Yes to confirm the deletion.
To make sure all entries related to fake browser are deleted all, please repeat the “find-search-delete” step several times until all associated entries are found and removed.
Till now, you have finished all manual removal steps. Please restart computer and check if this unwanted browser has been totally removed.
There are two common methods to remove this fake browser, the manual removal method and the automatic removal method. The manual removal method includes three steps. Step 1 introduces how to end processes of Chromium from Task Manager. Step 2 guides you to uninstall its related program from control panel (for Windows 7 & Windows 8). Step 3 shows you how to delete related files and registry entries. Automatic removal method introduces how to use Express Uninstaller to easily and effectively clean the unwanted browser.
Research shows that the automatic removal method is safer and more effective than the manual removal. Many users may encounter problems in Step 2 because sometimes Chromium doesn’t appear in the Programs list. Less inexperienced users can safely and successfully remove the fake browser in the manual way. They fail because they are not able to find out and delete all files and entries of the fake browser on their own. Some of them even wrongly delete the important files and registry entries, which causes serious system damage. However, a professional software uninstall tool can do a better job in searching for relevant files and registry entries of the unwanted program. Express Uninstaller can help detect and remove all the files and registry entries of Chromium even if it doesn’t appear in the Windows Add/Remove Programs list.
As mentioned above, Chromium is a legitimate program. But the one which suddenly gets installed on your PC and causes many problems might be fake. If you don’t clean it out of your PC timely, you will at the least get a bad browsing experience, and at worst encounter identify theft and system crash. So, start performing the removal now!
(Note: The removal guide including the manual method and the automatic method mentioned in this post can help you uninstall Chromium completely, no matter the legitimate one or the fake one.)
The following video offers a complete guide for Chromium removal. You’d better watch it in full-screen mode!