The Google Chrome web browser never shows you an alarming message covering your computer’s display, so when you see alleged warnings such as “This setting is enforced by your administrator” in Google Chrome, it should immediately raise a red flag.
If you see this message in Chrome, your computer has been infected by a browser hijacker and is showing you a fake message that was not delivered by Google Chrome. The idea behind it being to manipulate you into thinking that Google delivered it.
Browser hijackers are bits of malicious code that make changes to the web browser’s settings without the users’ prior knowledge with the idea behind it being to inject advertising into a user’s browser. The advertising that comes from the browser hijacker is completely separate from the ads you may see from the webpages that you visit, which results in users seeing multiple layers of ads or only ads coming from the browser hijacker if the hijacker is blocking the existing ads.
Many users end up with browser hijackers on their computers because they’ve downloaded free programs from the internet from unreliable sources. Common sites include those who supply torrent files, where the user thinks they’re getting a free movie, but they’re getting malware along with it.
There are several methods that browser hijackers can use to gain access to a computer’s operating system. Sometimes simply removing the web browser extension, if one exists, is not enough to prevent the browser hijacker from changing the browser’s settings again without the users’ permission. In such cases, it is advised that the user installs antimalware programs to aid in the removal of the remaining malicious code on a computer.
The following tutorial demonstrates how to remove the ‘This setting is enforced by your administrator’ message you’re getting when using the Google Chrome web browser.
Part One: How to Reset Browser to Default Settings and Clean Up Browser
Google Chrome offers buttons for resetting the web browser and also cleaning up the web browser. These two settings are beneficial for removing any malware that other scans from Windows Defender and other third-party software could not remove.
You can reset the browser settings from the More menu in Google Chrome.
1. Click on the More button and then click on the Settings link from the menu.
2. Scroll down and then click on Advanced at the bottom of the page.
3. Under the Reset and cleanup heading, click on the Restore settings to their original defaults link.
4. From the Reset settings overlay, click on the Reset settings button.
5. Under the Reset and clean up heading once again, click on the Clean up computer link.
6. Next to where it says Find and remove harmful software, click on the Find button.
7. You can now close the Google Chrome web browser and continue using your computer if you like.
Note: Some browser hijackers are easily removed while others are not. If you have removed the browser extension but are still finding the “This setting is enforced by your administrator” message coming back again, then you should run an antimalware scan on your computer to remove any remaining malicious files that are allowing the browser’s settings to get changed again continually.
Part Two: How to Reset All Local Group Policy Settings to Default in Windows 10
Local Group Policy Editor is a Microsoft Management Console (MMC) snap-in that you can use to edit local Group Policy objects (GPOs). Local Group Policy Editor and the Resultant Set of Policy snap-in are available in Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 7 Enterprise. For more information, see What’s New in Group Policy.
Here’s how you can reset all of the Local Group Policy settings back to their defaults by using the elevated Command Prompt:
Note: You need to be logged in as an administrator to be able to reset all Local Group Policy Editor settings. There are two ways you can log in with an administrator’s account on a Windows 10 computer: either by (a) using your Windows account that already has the administrator privileges or (b) logging in to someone else’s account that has the administrator privileges. The account that was created first is automatically assigned the administrator privileges and it can pass it on to other accounts; other administrator accounts can also remove the administrator privileges from the original account.
1. Open the elevated Command Prompt window.
2. Enter the following three commands, one at a time, into the command line and then press Enter after each one. (click to enlarge screenshot below)
RD /S /Q "%windir%\System32\GroupPolicyUsers"
RD /S /Q "%windir%\System32\GroupPolicy"
You can now close the elevated Command Prompt window if you like.
Part Three: How to Remove “Google Custom Search” Redirect Using Malwarebytes
1. Visit the Malwarebytes website and then click on the Free Download link.
2. If your web browser shows a message that says “this type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the executable file anyway?,” click on the Keep button.
3. If prompted by User Account Control and asked: “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?,” click on the Yes button.
4. Select between Personal computer and Work computer for where you are installing Malwarebytes ad then click on the Continue button.
5. Click on the Agree and Install button to accept the license agreement.
6. Click on the Finish button when the Malwarebytes installation is complete.
7. The Malwarebytes interface should open on its own. If it doesn’t, click on its application that is now on your desktop.
8. Click on the Scan Now button to bring the scan.
9. Malwarebytes will then take a few moments to run a quick scan of the computer.
10. Place a tick on the boxes next to the malware threats and then click on the Quarantine Selected button.
11. If Malwarebytes hasn’t solved the malware on your computer, you can visit their website and contact them to let them know of the issue that their software is not yet fixing.
12. You can now close the Malwarebytes application if you like.
Part Four: How to Repair Browser Settings Using CCleaner
You can use third-party tools such as CCleaner to repair the web browser settings. This is optional but should be done if your redirect keeps coming back or isn’t yet completely fixed.
1. If your web browser shows a message that says “this type of file can harm your computer. Do you want to keep the executable file anyway?,” click on the Keep button.
2. If prompted by User Account Control and asked: “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?,” click on the Yes button.
3. Click on the Install button.
Note: CCleaner may offer an additional program for you to install. Choose to check or uncheck the box for installing any additional programs.
4. Check or uncheck the box for viewing the release notes based on your preference, and then click on the Run CCleaner button.
5. Click on the Analyze button.
6. Click on the Run Cleaner button once the analysis is completed.
7. The scan is now complete.
8. Click on Tools from the left menu and then click on Startup and looks through the tabs for any startup programs that have the word “search” in the title or name.
9. If you find any, click on the Disable and then Delete buttons.
10. You can now close the CCleaner application if you like.
This article was last updated on May 13, 2019.