8 Ways to Stop Websites Opening Automatically in Chrome

By opening unwanted websites in new tabs, Chrome often frustrates its users. Hidden malware might be to blame, but the issue could also be in your browser settings.

Let’s take a look at eight different ways to stop unwanted websites from opening on Chrome.

1. Block Pop-ups and Redirects

Using redirects, websites can send traffic to their desired location, which can be an affiliate page, a landing page, or a promotional offer. As a result, you’ll be redirected to multiple pages every time you visit such a website. It may also be responsible for the opening of unwanted websites and pop-ups.

Luckily, Chrome allows you to block such activity by disabling the settings for allowing websites to use pop-ups and redirects. To do so, follow these steps:

  1. Click the three vertical dots in the top-right corner to access Settings.
  2. In the left sidebar, click Privacy and Security settings.
  3. Click on Site Settings and scroll down to Content settings.
  4. Click on Pop-ups and redirects.
  5. Check the circle for Don’t allow sites to send pop-ups or use redirects.

Then scroll down to Customized behaviors and remove all websites from the Allowed to send pop-ups and use redirects section. Avoid adding new websites in the future as well.

To block pop-ups and redirects in Chrome on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Tap on three vertical dots in the top-right corner and select Settings.
  3. Go to Site settings > Pop-ups and redirects.
  4. Turn off the toggle next to Pop-ups and redirects.

2. Change Search Settings in Chrome

You can prevent Chrome from opening unwanted websites at the same time by tweaking search settings. Even though it may not solve the entire issue, it allows you to control how many unwanted websites are opening at once.

Chrome opens every new pop-up or website in a new tab by default. Every time a new unwanted website opens in Chrome, it opens in a new tab. This gives viruses and bugs free rein to redirect you to different pages at once.

You can effectively limit Chrome from opening websites in new tabs unless you specify otherwise. So, all new websites will open in the same tab without consuming more than one.

To do that, go to the Chrome search bar and search for anything. Click the Settings icon in the top-right and click See all Search settings.

Click See all Search Settings From Quick Settings on Chrome

Scroll down to the bottom of the search settings page and uncheck the box for Open each selected result in a new browser window.

Unchecking The Box In Search Setting In Chrome

As such, if the problem is with anything else, it may also disrupt your browsing by opening unwanted websites replacing the one you clicked to visit. In that case, undo the change.

3. Disable Coupon Extensions

If you are only redirected to specific pages, such as shopping pages, you might be using coupon or money-saving shopping extensions. Coupon extensions work by finding the most suitable coupon for your purchase, and may redirect you to another website or another page of the same website.

This could result in numerous unwanted websites being opened within seconds. Consider disabling all coupon and discount extensions you’re using to make sure that isn’t the case. You can disable extensions in Chrome by clicking on the three vertical dots in the top-right corner and navigating to More Tools > Extensions.

Disabling Honey Extension In Chrome Extensions

If disabling coupon’s extension fails to yield any results, disable the ad-blocker extensions in Chrome.

4. Remove Ad-Blockers Extensions

Ad-blockers extensions prevent the visited pages from being overrun with advertisements. While very useful, there are downsides. By filtering content, ad-blockers stop specific content from appearing on a webpage, directly interfering with your site’s script.

Such interference can also result in unusual issues such as the one under discussion. To determine whether the issue results from ad blocking, disable them and see if the problem persists. If yes, proceed with the remaining fixes.

5. Block Website Notifications

Whenever you visit a new website, you are asked to allow receiving notifications from it. Unknowingly, you may have enabled notifications on a website that provides an insecure connection. These websites can redirect you to unwanted websites when you tap on their notifications.

Here is how you can rule out this cause by disabling the notifications:

  1. Go to Chrome’s settings.
  2. On the left sidebar, click Privacy and security settings.
  3. Head over to Site Settings.
  4. Go to Notifications under Permissions.
  5. Check the circle for Don’t allow sites to send notifications.

Then, scroll down and remove any suspicious websites from the list of websites Allowed to send notifications. Remove them all to avoid further distractions.

To disable notifications in Chrome on Android, follow these steps:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Tap on three vertical dots in the top-right corner and select Settings.
  3. Go to Notifications.
  4. Turn off the toggle next to Show notifications.

  5. Go back to the Settings page again.
  6. Navigate to Site settings > Notifications.
  7. Turn off the toggle next to Notifications.

If some suspicious websites appear in the Exceptions list, tap on them one by one and turn off the toggle next to Show notifications for each website separately.

6. Look for a Browser Hijacker

A browser hijacker is a malware that targets web browsers and infects them with viruses. Upon entering a browser, the hijacker alters its settings, changes the default search engine (to Yahoo, in most cases), changes the default homepage, tracks user activity, and more. The hijacker does all this without the users’ consent or knowledge.

Besides compromising your security, hijackers alter your browser settings and could automatically redirect you to unwanted websites. If your browser automatically opens random websites, it may have been hijacked. Thus, it is imperative to rule this possibility out.

To ensure your browser hasn’t been hijacked, check that no suspicious extensions have been added, that no shady search engine is selected as default, and the hijacker hasn’t altered the default browser settings. Look for suspicious changes in your browser and revert them.

Be careful when installing third-party applications in the future, since hijackers often come bundled with untrusted software. This way, you can protect your device against browser hijackings.

7. Clearing Cookies and Cache

If Chrome is still opening unwanted websites, you can clear Chrome’s cookies and cache to negate any chances of cached data doing the harm.

Go to More Tools > Clearing browsing data and check all boxes except for Passwords and other sign-in data (to prevent losing saved passwords and sign-in information across different websites). Then, click Clear data.

Clearing Cookies And Cache In Chrome

To clear cookies and cache in Chrome on Android, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch Chrome.
  2. Tap on three vertical dots in the top-right corner and select Settings.
  3. Go to Privacy and security > Clear browsing data.
  4. Ensure the boxes next to Browsing history, Cookies and site data, and Cached images and files are checked.
  5. Tap on Clear data.

Clearing the cache often resolves most problems, but it doesn’t mean it will fix this one. If this doesn’t work, you can try resetting Chrome or uninstalling it as a last resort.

8. Reset or Reinstall Chrome

Once you’ve applied all other fixes, update Chrome to the latest version if it fixes the problem. In case that does not work, you can try resetting Chrome or reinstalling it. However, there is a downside to both methods.

Chrome’s reset or reinstallation means giving it a fresh start, reverting all the changes to their defaults, and removing all your account information unless you have synced it earlier.

Reset Chrome by going to Settings > Reset settings. Click on Restore settings to their original default and hit Reset settings.

Resetting Chrome's Setting to Their Defaults

To reset Chrome on Android, follow the below steps:

  1. Open your phone’s Settings.
  2. Navigate to Apps > Chrome.
  3. Tap on Storage.
  4. Tap on Manage storage in the bottom-left corner.
  5. Tap on Clear All Data.
  6. Tap on OK in the confirmation pop-up.

Remember that clearing app data erases all your customizations and resets the settings to default. The next time you open Chrome, it will look like the browser has just been installed. So, you’ll need to sign in to your account and customize the browser again.

If resetting Chrome doesn’t resolve the problem, you can reinstall the browser.

Stop Unwanted Websites Disrupting Your Work

Taking the above steps will stop unwanted websites from opening automatically. If none of these solutions work, your device is likely infected with malware. To ensure this isn’t the case, scan your device for malware and uninstall any suspicious apps.


🧪 |Medical Laboratory Scientist 🥇 | Mindset over Everything. 
 🤝 | Let's Grow Together.

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