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How to Remove the Chrome.exe Virus in 2023

Updated on: September 24, 2023
Fact Checked by Katarina Glamoslija
Hazel Shaw Hazel Shaw
Updated on: September 24, 2023

Short on time? Here’s how to remove the Chrome.exe virus:

  • 1. Scan Your Device — Run a full disk scan using a premium antivirus like Norton to find the Chrome.exe virus and any other malware.
  • 2. Remove The Chrome.exe Virus — Once the scan is done, let your antivirus get rid of all files related to the Chrome.exe virus.
  • 3. Stay Protected Online — To avoid more infections, choose a premium antivirus like Norton, which offers flawless malware detection rates, real-time protection, and many other tools to keep you safe online. Norton comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee on all plans, so you can try it risk-free.

The Chrome.exe virus is a trojan that can seriously damage your computer. Trojans are malware files that pretend to be safe programs on your device and then steal your data and deploy other malware files like rootkits and worms. In this case, the Chrome.exe virus imitates Chrome.exe, the executable file that opens and runs the Chrome browser on your computer.

Fortunately, it’s very easy to remove the Chrome.exe virus if you follow the right steps. The best way to rid your device of trojans and other malware files is with one of the top antiviruses on the market in 2023. A comprehensive antivirus will detect and safely remove the Chrome.exe virus and prevent future malicious files from infecting your computer. Norton is our top antivirus software pick for 2023, and its plans start at just $54.99 / year, with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

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How Chrome’s Secure Sandboxing Makes It Hard to Detect Trojans

It can be really difficult to figure out if you have a trojan masquerading as Chrome.exe on your system, and here’s why. If you look at the Task Manager while Chrome is open, you’ll see numerous instances of Chrome.exe running. This isn’t an indication of being infected by the Chrome.exe virus. Chrome.exe runs a separate process for each of its different windows, tabs, web apps, and extensions — this security practice is called “sandboxing”. Sandboxing is a safety measure to stop your entire web browser from crashing if one of these web apps or plugins fails (or gets hacked).

Short on time? Here’s how to remove the Chrome.exe virus:

Trojans rely on Chrome’s sandboxing to hide their fake instances of Chrome.exe in the crowd of legitimate Chrome.exe files that run any time you open your browser. One method for detecting a fake or malicious instance of Chrome.exe is to close out of Chrome and check Task Manager. If Chrome.exe is still running once you’ve exited the Chrome browser, it’s probably a malware file. However, sophisticated trojans and rootkits are able to detect when your browser is running — so the only way to be sure your device is safe is to run a full system scan using a comprehensive antivirus scanner.

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Step 1. Run a Full System Scan With Your Antivirus

It’s really important to disconnect any USB devices from your computer before initiating a scan. This includes USB sticks, portable hard drives, and mobile phones. Malware, like the Chrome.exe virus, can replicate itself onto any of these devices.

Next, you need to run a comprehensive virus scan with your antivirus (I recommend Norton). Make sure to select a full-disk scan, which will scan every single file and process on your computer. When the full-disk scan finds malware, it will place the infected files into a quarantine vault. Remember, the full-disk scan may take 4-5 hours, so I recommend that you schedule it for a convenient time or when you’re not planning to work on your PC.

Also, don’t cancel the scan until it’s finished — even if the compromised file appears on the infected file list, malware is able to replicate and you want to make sure your antivirus has found every instance of it.

Once the full scan has finished, all malware on your computer should be quarantined, including the Chrome.exe virus. Now, you’re ready for step 2.

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Step 2. Delete Any Infected Files

All of the malware your full-scan detected will be displayed in your antivirus’s quarantine vault. While it’s best to delete all of the infected files, advanced users can look through the infected file list and choose to keep false positives — but only keep a file if you’re 100% sure that it’s safe.

Once you’ve gone through the list and deleted all of the infected files, you need to restart your PC. This is because sometimes malware loads itself into your computer’s memory and continues to run even after the scan. But when you restart your PC, Windows will reload its memory without the infected process.

When your PC has restarted, run another full disk scan to ensure all instances of the malware have been removed. The good news is the second scan shouldn’t take as long — programs like Norton can remember which files have already been scanned and they only check for any discrepancies or new files that have appeared since your last scan.

When the second full disk scan is complete, look through your infected file list once more. There shouldn’t be any infected files, but if there are you’ll need to delete them, restart your PC once more, and continue this step until all of the malware is wiped clean from your device.

When you’re sure all infected files are gone, your PC is free from all malware. However, you’ve experienced first-hand how easy it is for malware to infect your computer, and now you need to take measures to prevent it from happening again. The best part is that it’s easy to avoid catching a virus if you follow our advice.

60-Days Risk-Free — Try Norton Now

Step 3. Keep Your Device Protected From Getting Re-Infected

Cybercriminals are constantly developing new and sophisticated ways to infect users’ devices in 2023. Users have to remain vigilant and take a few preventative steps to protect themselves. While this may seem challenging, you can keep your computer and personal information safe if you follow these steps.

  • Don’t Download Suspicious Files. Most malware spreads through suspicious emails and untrustworthy websites. So, if you see a suspicious email or don’t recognize a site, avoid clicking on it or downloading any files from it until you have verified that it’s safe. Always ensure you have an antivirus running with real-time protection, which actively scans files, websites, and emails for suspicious links and attachments and prevents you from downloading them.
  • Keep Your Software, OS, and Drivers Up-To-Date. If you’re running on outdated software, operating systems, or drivers, your computer is vulnerable to an attack. However, many antiviruses (like McAfee) have vulnerability scanners that ensure your computer has the latest versions of your software, operating system, and drivers. McAfee also offers a free security assessment that scans your PC for any apps that need an update, lets you choose which updates you want to run, and tells you which updates you need to manually install.
  • Secure Your Wireless Network and IoT Devices. Type your router or IoT device’s brand and model number into Google (or check the product manual) to learn how to log into its settings. Next, navigate into the settings and create a strong password (the best passwords are 20+ characters long and include numbers and special characters). I recommend purchasing an affordable password manager like 1Password to help create and store a strong password. A password manager can generate virtually unbreakable passwords for you and then store them in a password vault that is protected with military-grade encryption. This means hackers will never be able to compromise your passwords, and you’ll never have to worry about forgetting a password. If you have to use an unsecure network, for example when you’re out and about, make sure to use a quality VPN like ExpressVPN to protect your privacy.
  • Download a Secure Antivirus Program. The safest way to prevent your computer from getting infected is to download a secure antivirus program like Norton. Norton comes with tons of features to protect you in 2023, including really good malware detection rates and excellent web protection.

60-Days Risk-Free — Try Norton Now

3 Best Antivirus Programs for Removing the Chrome.exe Virus

Quick summary of the best antiviruses for removing the Chrome.exe Virus:

  • 🥇1. Norton — Overall best antivirus for removing Chrome.exe in 2023.
  • 🥈2. Bitdefender — Feature-rich antivirus with cloud-based scanning capabilities.
  • 🥉3. McAfee — Excellent web security and a great value.

🥇 1. Norton — Overall Best Antivirus for Removing Chrome.exe in 2023

🥇 1. Norton — Overall Best Antivirus for Removing Chrome.exe in 2023

Norton 360 is the best antivirus in 2023. It comes with comprehensive malware security, it includes a wide range of additional features, it’s super easy to use, and it’s a really good value for money. Some of Norton’s features include:

  • Malware scanning.
  • Anti-phishing protection.
  • VPN (virtual private network).
  • Cloud backup.
  • Device optimization.
  • And more…

Norton had a 100% malware detection rate in all of my tests. It also prevented any ransomware simulators from encrypting my files. When I tried running the same malware and ransomware tests on competitors such as Comodo, they let a lot of malware samples and ransomware through.

Furthermore, Norton’s web protections perform exceptionally well — making it a great option to prevent the Chrome.exe virus. I tried visiting hundreds of known phishing websites, and Norton blocked every one. This includes phishing websites that other antiviruses failed to block. I also like how Norton alerts you to dangerous links on the web before you can click on them, preventing threats like drive-by downloads.

I do think Norton’s desktop user interface is a little clunky — however, Norton makes up for this by having a really intuitive web-based dashboard that I used more often than the desktop app. Norton also offers comprehensive mobile apps for both Android and iOS, and despite the fact that Norton claims otherwise, you can actually use its Android app on Chromebook — which is pretty cool.

All of Norton’s plans are really good value for money, but Norton 360 Deluxe is my favorite. It costs $49.99 / year and comes with all of the essential Norton features (such as the malware scanning), in addition to coverage on up to 5 devices, parental controls, a privacy monitor, and more.

Overall, Norton is my top choice for removing the Chrome.exe virus. It has excellent malware detection rates, offers great additional features, and is a really good value for money. Although the desktop app is a little clunky, Norton features a really easy-to-use and intuitive web-based dashboard as an alternative. Each of Norton’s plans come with a generous 60-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full Norton Review

🥈2. Bitdefender — Feature-Rich Antivirus With Cloud-Based Scanning

🥈2. Bitdefender — Feature-Rich Antivirus With Cloud-Based Scanning

Bitdefender is one of the most feature-rich antiviruses on the market in 2023. It has a huge range of additional features (more than most competitors), and its plans are all really cheap. Some of Bitdefender’s features include:

  • Cloud-based malware scanning.
  • Secure web browser.
  • Ransomware protection.
  • VPN (virtual private network).
  • Parental controls.
  • And more…

Bitdefender’s malware scanner performed as well as Norton’s in my tests. It detected and removed every malware sample on my computer and restored any files that my ransomware simulator tried to lock.

I also really like Bitdefender’s web protection. It blocked access to most phishing websites, and it has an intuitive notification screen that let me easily bypass any false positives. My only complaint is that Bitdefender doesn’t use color-coding to alert you to dangerous websites before you click on them like Norton does.

That said, I found Bitdefender’s desktop interface much more intuitive than Norton’s. It’s easy to navigate, so even if you’re not tech-savvy, you don’t have to spend long figuring out how to use it. I also like how you can modify the dashboard so your favorite features appear first. Many competitors don’t let you do this.

However, I was a bit disappointed in Bitdefender’s iOS app. Although Bitdefender provides a comprehensive Android app, the iOS app is fairly limited. It doesn’t include SMS message filtering or a Wi-Fi scanner like Norton’s iOS app does.

Even so, Bitdefender is a really good value. It has several different pricing plans, including Internet Security, which offers Bitdefender’s basic features, a firewall, an anti-spam filter, and more, all for $32.99 / year. Unfortunately this plan is Windows-only — if you want iOS and Android coverage, you need to get Bitdefender Total Security ($35.99 / year).

Overall, Bitdefender is a great choice for removing the Chrome.exe virus and other malware. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and works well across all devices (though the iOS protection is a little bit limited). You can try each of Bitdefender’s plans with a 30-day money-back guarantee.


Read the full Bitdefender Review

🥉3. McAfee — Comprehensive Web Security and Excellent Value

🥉3. McAfee — Comprehensive Web Security and Excellent Value

McAfee has some of my favorite web protections in 2023, as well as a ton of useful features. These include:

  • Malware scanning.
  • Virtual private network (VPN).
  • Password manager.
  • Identity theft protection.
  • And more…

Like Norton and Bitdefender, McAfee had perfect malware detection rates. It also prevented me from running ransomware simulators on my computer. However, I did experience more system slowdowns while using McAfee than with Norton and Bitdefender — which is a bit of a shame.

That said, McAfee has some really good web protections, so if you want to prevent the Chrome.exe virus, it’s a great choice. McAfee blocked every phishing website I tried to visit, and like Norton, it used color-coding to alert me to dangerous websites before I could click on them. I really like how this feature extended to social media posts, too, so I could easily see if a friend had accidentally shared a malicious link.

McAfee is also relatively easy to use, but it can get a bit confusing for beginners. For example, many features are only accessible via McAfee’s sidebar. I much prefer how Bitdefender lets you access most of its features through large buttons on the home screen.

I like McAfee’s mobile apps in general, but it’s a shame that the anti-theft feature has recently been removed. This is especially disappointing when you consider that Bitdefender provides excellent anti-theft features on its mobile apps.

That said, McAfee works really well overall and is an excellent value for money. Depending on your location, there are various different pricing plans, but I really like McAfee Premium, which costs $54.99 / year, offers coverage on unlimited devices, and includes all of the essential features you need to stay protected in 2023. You can try each of McAfee’s plans on a 30-day money back guarantee.


Read the full McAfee Review

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Chrome.exe a virus?

In most cases, Chrome.exe isn’t a virus. It’s a safe and trusted process used by Google Chrome’s web browser. Chrome.exe runs multiple instances of Chrome.exe in your Task Manager (and here’s why).

However, the Chrome.exe virus disguises itself as a legitimate Chrome.exe file. Your computer is likely infected with the Chrome.exe virus if your PC is frequently crashing, exposing you to lots of pop-up ads, or if you can’t remember installing Google Chrome but it’s in your Task Manager. The best way to find out whether you have the Chrome.exe virus is to run a full system scan using a comprehensive malware scanner like Norton.

Can I uninstall the Chrome.exe virus?

Yes, and it’s really easy to do it. First, purchase an antivirus (Norton is my favorite), and then follow these steps — run a full-disk scan, which will check your entire computer for malware, including trojans (like the Chrome.exe virus), rootkits, computer worms, and more, and place them in quarantine. Next, delete all of the infected files in your quarantine vault. Then, restart your computer and run another full scan to make sure all of the malware was detected and removed.

Once you have deleted the Chrome.exe virus and all other malware from your computer, you can keep your computer from getting reinfected by following these preventative measures:

  • Don’t click on suspicious links or download files from unknown sources.
  • Confirm that all of your drivers, software, and operating systems are updated with the most recent versions.
  • Make sure you purchase a top-quality antivirus program that includes real-time protection (my top pick is Norton).

Is Chrome.exe dangerous?

Chrome.exe is the executable file that launches and runs the Chrome web browser on your device. Seeing it in your Task Manager just means Chrome is active. However, be cautious — some malware files like the Chrome.exe virus can imitate Chrome.exe to sneak into your system unnoticed.

Malware files that pretend to be legitimate files are called trojans, and they are very dangerous. Trojans can create a backdoor into your system and allow cybercriminals to steal or modify your files — or even spy on you. To make sure that you don’t have the Chrome.exe virus running on your system, follow my steps.

How can I check if Chrome.exe is legitimate or a virus?

The best way to figure out if your version of Chrome.exe is legitimate or a virus is to run a full scan using a comprehensive antivirus scanner.

However, you can also check the Chrome.exe file manually.

  1. If you can’t remember installing Chrome, bring up your Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc.
  2. Right-click on the suspicious Chrome.exe process and click “Open File Location.”
  3. Check the location of the folder you’re taken to. If it’s: “C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application,” (or similar) it’s unlikely you have a virus infection. If you’re taken anywhere else (such as a temporary folder, your Windows installation folders, or a Documents folder), chances are you have a virus infection.
  4. If you have a virus infection, you should scan your computer using a comprehensive antivirus scanner (like Norton).

Where is Chrome.exe located in Windows 10?

The default location for Chrome.exe in a 64-bit Windows 10 operating system is:

  • C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe.

If your operating system isn’t 64-bit, you should look in:

  • C:\Program Files\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe.

If you suspect you have the Chrome.exe virus, don’t manually delete the .exe file in the mentioned directory. Chrome can’t work without it. If you find Chrome.exe in the specified directories, it’s likely your legitimate Google Chrome installation and not malware.

If you suspect you have a virus (even if you find Google Chrome in the above location), you should run a malware scan using a comprehensive antivirus program like Norton. To do this, download and install your chosen antivirus program on your device and follow our above steps.

How to remove the Chrome.exe virus?

The best way to remove the Chrome.exe virus is to download a comprehensive antivirus program like Norton and follow our above steps. However, before you do this, you need to check if your version of Chrome.exe is legitimate or a virus. To do this, check to see if it’s installed in C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe. If it is, it’s unlikely to be a virus. However, if you have any doubts, it doesn’t hurt to run a virus scan anyway.

Best Antiviruses for Removing the Chrome.exe Virus — Final Score:

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About the Author
Hazel Shaw
Hazel Shaw
Content Manager
Updated on: September 24, 2023

About the Author

Hazel Shaw is a Content Manager at SafetyDetectives. She has 8+ years of experience in writing, editing, and fact-checking content for both print and digital media. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, she trained writers and editors on cybersecurity tools like VPNs, password managers, and antiviruses. Hazel has also worked as a communications consultant for a number of companies, advising on SEO, content strategies, web design, and internal communications. When she’s not working, you can find her cooking, reading, visiting art galleries, or taking her dog on hikes around Portugal.