How to remove Chromium virus on Mac?

Chromium is Google’s open-source web browser project. It's not a full-blown web browser like Chrome, but a platform that allows third-party developers to build their own code and create their own browser. Unfortunately, not all of those developers are interested in creating a great browser. Instead, their goal is to infiltrate your computer with malware to steal your data. 


Everything you need to know about Chromium virus

There is no Chromium virus, as such. Then, what exactly is Chromium? 

It's a legitimate Google-funded project that is used as the basis for several web browsers, including Google’s own Chrome. The difference between Chrome and Chromium is that Chrome is the finished version of Google’s web browser when Chromium is the framework on which it is built. When Google updates Chrome, it uses the latest code from the open-source Chromium project and then adds features or add-ons of its own. Other well-known browsers that rely on Chromium are Opera and Vivaldi.

You can effortlessly download Chromium yourself and run it on your Mac to check it out. If you do, you’ll find it looks and feels a lot like Chrome. However, you’ll be downloading what’s known as a “raw build” that’s likely to be unstable and crash regularly. Quick notice: try not to run raw builds on a computer you use for work. 

Another issue you should be aware of is that Chromium doesn’t update itself automatically, as Chrome does. So you’ll have to check for updates manually because running an out-of-date version of Chromium comes with security risks.

And one more thing to mention about Chromium: you should only download it from Chromium.org. If you download it from anywhere else, you risk installing a version that has been maliciously altered to bundle malware. While most of the developers who build Chromium-based browsers are legitimate, there are some scammers who use it to plant adware. That’s the reason why some people perceive Chromium as a virus.

Remember: to avoid being infected with malware, only download Chromium from the official download site. Or better still, download reputable browsers built on Chromium, rather than the source build itself.

But If you're in a situation where you've already downloaded a malicious version of Chromium, you can remove it following the steps below.


How to uninstall Chromium on your Mac

Removing a legitimate version of Chromium is a piece of cake. Just find it in your Applications folder, drag it to the Trash and then empty it. Obviously, that won’t uninstall it completely due to other related files located in folders such as:

/Library/LaunchAgents

~/Library/Application Support

The easiest way that I found to uninstall Chromium once and for all is to use the Uninstaller tool in CleanMyMac X. It deletes not just Chromium but all its parts and pieces across the entire system. This is how it works:

  1. Download and install CleanMyMac X — get a free edition here.
  2. Choose Uninstaller.
  3. Find Chromium in the list of apps or search for it in the search box.
  4. Check the box next to it.
  5. Press Uninstall.

That will remove every trace of Chromium from your Mac.

If the version of Chromium you’ve installed contains malware, the process is a bit more complicated. But no worries, You can fix that too. The next piece of this article will teach you how to accomplish that. 

1. Remove Chromium and apps that it was bundled with

  1. Go to your Applications folder and look for the app you downloaded just before Chromium appeared on your Mac.
  2. Drag it to the Trash and then empty it.

You might also try removing Chromium from your Library.

    1. Click on Finder, then choose Go in the top menu.
    2. Choose Go to Folder... Now paste the following locations:

    /Library/LaunchAgents
    ~/Library/Application Support
    /Library/LaunchDaemons

    Open these folders and look for files that have been added recently — you can use Column view in Finder and sort by Date Added to find them. If you find any suspicious recently added files, drag them to the Trash and empty it.

    Delete the app from your Login items

    Now, choose System Preferences from the Apple menu and select Users & Groups. Click on your username and then on Login Items. Look for any login items that look suspicious. If you see one, check the box next to it and press the “-“ button.

    2. Reset your other browsers

    Some malware resets your browser's settings and installs extensions that infect your other browsers. If that happens, you need to go through each browser in use and reset it. Find the instructions you need below. 

    Safari

    1. Launch Safari, go to the Safari menu, then choose Preferences.
    2. Click on the Extensions tab and look for any extensions that seem dubious and choose Uninstall.
    3. Choose the Search tab next and if your default search engine has been altered, change it back to your preference.
    4. Now click on the General tab and change the homepage settings back to what they should be.

    Chrome

    1. Launch Chrome and paste the following into the address bar: chrome://extensions
    2. Select any extensions that you didn’t install and click Remove.
    3. Now paste this into the address bar: chrome://settings
    4. Scroll down the page until you see the Search section. 
    5. Set the default search engine based on your preferences. Go further down the page until you see “On startup” and also set up your home page.

    Firefox

    1. Launch Firefox and click on the three lines on the right in the address bar.
    2. Choose “Add-ons” and then Extensions.
    3. Look for any extensions you don’t recognize, click on it and press Remove.
    4. Click on the three lines again and this time choose “Options.” 
    5. Set your homepage and default search engine based on your preferences.
    how-reset-pram-smc

    You're almost done! Once you’ve removed Chromium along with the unneeded apps and extantions, there is one more thing you should do. It’s likely that the malware placed cookies and cache files on your Mac. To get rid of the malware you need to run a full antivirus scan. And guess what? You can quickly do it with the same app I mentioned earlier — CleanMyMac X. The application is equipped with Malware Removal tool that blocks infected apps and "backdoor viruses" currently functioning on your Mac. 

    All you need to do is download the app for free and navigate to the Malware Removal tab in the sidebar. Then press Scan to start the virus-removal process.

    Removing malware files

    A quick recap: Chromium is not a virus. It’s not even malware. However, some scammers use fake Chromium build to spread malware. To avoid installing a malware version, you should only download Chromium from the official website. But if you've already installed an infected version of Chromium, you can get rid of it by taking the steps I outlined in this article. Or you can use CleanMyMac X as an alternative solution. Stay safe!

    Laptop with CleanMyMac
    CleanMyMac X

    Your Mac. As good as new.