FP3: Chrome opens with a 'spam' after unlocking

For the last few weeks, when I enter my pattern to unlock my FP3, it opens a Chrome browser tab with some kind of ‘spam’ site such as ‘congratulations, you have won blah blah blah’.
Chrome isn’t my default browser and this started suddenly, perhaps it was just after the last OS update.
Can anybody help, it’s driving me nuts?

Install an alternative browser like Firefox and see if the issue does not exist there.

Then clear all history and cache etc. in Chrome to see if that helps and try again using Chrome


Have you installed any apps lately? Maybe one contained an overly aggressive ad framework.


I use Brave on a daily basis but Ecosia is set as my default browser. I don’t use Chrome at all, but it’s installed on my phone. I don’t understand why it would be Chrome that is opened automatically…
I don’t remember installing any new apps, it’s not something I do often.

This is a startup issue then a) you can disable Chrome via Apps and notifications to see if that helps. b) ??


It’s not really a startup issue, it’s whenever I unlock with a pattern or just swipe up if I haven’t used the phone for however long. I’ve cleared the cache and rebooted, it still happened.
I’ve now disabled the app. Fingers crossed the problem doesn’t shift to another browser.

Ok so just happens every time you unlock??
Let us know how you get on.

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Yes, when I unlock or even if it says ‘Kept unlocked by a trust agent’ but i still need to tap or swipe to restore the display.
I disabled Chrome as suggested above. To be honest, I thought I’d already done that when I got the phone last summer, but I can’t be certain.
So now, I just have two browsers - Brave and Escosia. Now, with each unlock/swipe, it opens Ecosia, which is my default browser. It displays the last tab that I had opened. This is an improvement because it isn’t opening some kind of advert/spam (thanks Ecosia!) but I still find it disturbing that ‘something’ is suddenly making a browser open.

Yes I agree about the unknown intrusion :frowning: but at least it isn’t in your face multiple times a day.

It may also be the case that an update to the Android 10 will reset Google as the default. There’s an update due this month so I will find out then.

All the best


Under the Chrome app settings there are Notifications > and Permissions that can be disabled too, that may impact upon it’s advertising etc.

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Hmm, I can’t say it’s not in my face multiple times a day - I got it 17 times yesterday (there were 17 Chrome tabs), that’s why I finally caved in and asked for help…
Thanks for your input, I guess I’ll just have to stick with it happening until there’s a new release of whatever caused this in the first place :-/

I though you had got rid of it by disabling Chrome??

I’m not getting the ads in Chrome, I’m getting the Ecosia browser opening on the latest tab. So the issue has moved from one browser to another, but Ecosia doesn’t open new tabs. I still have to close down the browser, it’s just a different one. And thankfully I can’t accidentally click on some dodgy link.

You might try to use adb debugging to check if you can find in the debug log any hint which process or app initiates to opening of the webpage…

Hi Kate,

Obviously, you have caught some kind of adware. Maybe this official guidance from Google can help you to get rid of it again:

Remove unwanted ads, pop-ups and malware - Android - Google Chrome Help

Good luck an d best wishes,


Quite strange, because I already had Play Protect running so I couldn’t figure out which app it was. Finally I tracked it down, now that I’ve removed it the problem has disappeared. It’s surprising and disappointing because it’s a news service app from a reputable source.


Please share your wisdom and name the app – so that all of us can avoid it. Thanks!


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