What is Adware?
Adware, also known as advertisement-supported software or ad-supported software is any form of software that generates advertisements in order to generate revenue for the software’s advertisers, authors, publishers, and/or distributors.
Adware can consist of any form of software that displays advertisements. Even software that displays advertisements in the user interface or on a screen presented to the user during installation and setup processes is considered adware. This may also include programs used to download software, known as Download Managers that display advertisements or promote third-party software by making recommended and custom installations available for users who download their software.
Advertisements generated by adware come in many forms. There are generic pop-up ads that may appear anywhere on a screen while a user is browsing the internet (or in some cases offline), there are pop-under adverts that primarily appear under an open browser window and are initiated when a user clicks somewhere on a webpage, there are in-text advertisements like Text Enhance that pop-up when a user hovers over linked text, there are coupon adverts, drop-down adverts, and many others, even image-ads that appear when a user hovers over an image or advertisements that appear over videos (including YouTube videos).
Adware that collects and/or observes a computer user’s activity (such as their browsing habits and browser history) without their direct consent and reports it to the software’s author and/or third-parties is categorized as spyware.
Some adware is simply an irritant and may only be considered a potentially unwanted program (PUP), while other adware may be described as malware because it has malicious or unclear intensions. Some adware programs that are considered malware may not include an option to uninstall the software or may promote malicious sponsored advertisements and sponsored links.
Over the years many programs have been developed to detect and remove all forms of adware as advertisement platforms progress, as well as block against becoming infected with any unwanted programs and malicious programs.
While most Antivirus software will not go after a lot of potentially unwanted software or irritable adware, Anti-Malware programs such as Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware PRO have been specifically developed to protect against unwanted programs, as well as detect and remove most forms of adware.
How does adware get onto a computer?
Adware can get onto a computer using various methods and different types of software. Most irritable adware often bundles with freeware and shareware that is distributed by websites such as download.com. During the installation process a user may be given the opportunity to accept or decline an offer to install adware and other programs such as browser hijackers; However, the offer may be presented in a confusing manner, which may allow the program to “accidentally” install without user knowledge.
Many authors and distributors of free software often include these offers in order to compensate for their free software or use scripts to allow their software to generate advertisements.
Adware Removal Guide
Some forms of adware can be uninstalled manually from your computer and internet browser. Other types of adware require an in-depth scan with reputable software. We have provided several steps below to remove Adware and other threats from your computer and browser.
Step 1: Uninstall Adware from Windows
Follow the instructions to uninstall Adware from your Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 computer. If you do not find Adware installed on your computer but still notice unwanted symptoms such as pop-up ads while you browse the web it is recommended to use Malwarebytes and HitmanPro to eradicate troublesome files.
1. Open Windows Start or Task menu and go to the Control Panel (or directly to Programs and Features).
2. In the “Programs” section click Uninstall a program (or Add and remove programs).
3. Search for unwanted programs in the list of installed programs and double click the program you want to remove to uninstall it. You can also select the unwanted with your mouse and click the Uninstall button once it appears. Once you have uninstalled the program look for other unwanted programs in the list of installed programs and uninstall any if they are found. A general tip is to click “Installed On” to locate any programs that installed around the same time.
Step 2: Remove ad-serving browser attachments
Follow the instructions to remove add-ons and extensions that serve advertisements and associate with adware. If you do not find unwanted attachments installed on your internet browser but still notice unwanted symptoms such as pop-up ads while you browse the web it is recommended to use Malwarebytes and HitmanPro to eradicate troublesome files.
1. Click the Customize and control Google Chrome icon and go to More tools > Extensions.
2. Search for the unwnated extension in the list and click the trashcan icon.
1. Open the Menu and click Add-ons.
2. Search for the unwanted add-on and click Remove.
1. Go to Safari > Preferences > Extensions.
2. Search for the unwanted extension in the list and click the Uninstall button.
Step 3: Remove Adware with Malwarebytes
Follow the instructions to remove adware with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
1. Download and install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
2. Launch Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software once it has finished installing.
3. Make sure that Malwarebytes has been updated. To ensure it is updated click Update Now on the Dashboard.
4. Click the large Scan Now button on the dashboard to perform a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
5. When the scan is complete click the Remove Selected button and then click the Finish button or restart your computer if Malwarebytes suggests that you do so.
Step 4: Remove Adware with HitmanPro
Follow the instructions to remove adware with HitmanPro second-opinion software.
1. Download and install HitmanPro second opinion scanner and removal tool.
3. Once Hitman Pro is installed, open the program and click Next to start scanning your computer. *If you are using the free version you may chose to create a copy or perform a one-time scan.
4. When the scan is complete, click the Next button again to delete any threats or traces on your system.
5. If you are initially using the free version, to activate it, enter your email address twice and click the Activate button.
6. Restart your computer by selecting Reboot.
Step 5: Clean and repair your computer with CCleaner
Follow the instructions to clean your computer and repair your computer’s settings.
2. Once installed, open the program and go to the main Cleaner screen and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries. If you find any thing suspicious click it and click the Delete button to remove it.
4. Finally, go to the Registry window and click the Scan for Issues button. When the scan is complete click the Fix selected issues… button and click Fix All Selected Issues.
After you have performed each step adware should be completely removed from your computer. If you are still having issues call us at 1-866-521-2427 and we’ll help you remove the infection.