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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remove pop-up ads (Virus Removal Guide)

Tell your friends: pop-up ads usually occur on computers infected with adware and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs). First things first: what exactly is a Potentially Unwanted Program? Secondly: how do you know if you've been infected by one, and thirdly, how do you prevent one from making a nuisance of itself in the future? Three good questions and ones we'll hopefully answer below!

Potentially Unwanted Programs, or PUPs to give them their abbreviated name, are software programs which you have inadvertently downloaded onto your computer, laptop, tablet or other device. That in itself begs the question, how do you inadvertently download something? The fact is that no matter what you're downloading, whether it be a paid for software upgrade or a freeware music download, there is a fairly high chance that you could also be downloading a sneaky hidden extra too.

Here's an example of an pop-up you may get when your computer is infected with potentially unwanted programs and adware. As you can see, it's pretty messy and clearly promotes something you probably shouldn't go for.

A Potentially Unwanted Program is, no prizes for guessing, something that in all likelihood you don't really want or need. Most commonly, PUPs are tool bars however far from being useful they will more often than not redirect your search inquiries, not to the website you were looking for, but to one that the PUP developer wants you to visit. Potentially Unwanted Programs are not usually designed to do you any harm – they won't log keystrokes, take screenshots, damage files or lock your system down like some forms of spyware and malware but they are not all sweetness and light either. Plus they will have you tearing your hair out with their constant redirecting of Internet searches and annoying pop-up ads.

Next, how do you know if you have a PUP installed on your machine? Well, that's pretty self explanatory as seen above. Got a new tool bar? A new home page? A new browser? Clearly too many ads and pop-ups coming from Well congratulations, you got yourself a PUP!

That brings us on to how to protect yourself from any future PUPs. It helps to have a little bit of background into the way that Potentially Unwanted Programs install themselves first.

In the majority of cases a Potentially Unwanted Program will be bundled with another piece of software. The reason for this is that either an established company is allowing a startup or newbie to piggyback off them by letting them package their software with their own application, or it is because the new kid on the block has packaged the PUP with a better known company's software – without their knowledge.

Whichever method is used, all you really need to know is that you need to pay attention when you're downloading from the Internet. Don't forget that no matter how reputable the application you're downloading is, it could still be bundled with a PUP – regardless of whether it's a legitimate duo or not.

So you're aware of that fact but how do you actually take control and do something about it? This is where you need to stop quickly clicking through the End User License Agreement (EULA) and start taking a little more interest in what you're installing on your device. Check the wording and look carefully at any check boxes and you should have a far better idea of what you're about to install. If it's already too late on your computer is flooded with annoying and misleading pop-ups and ads, then please follow the steps in the removal guide below. If you have any questions, please leave a comment down below. Good luck and be safe online!

Written by Michael Kaur, Ads Removal Guide:

1. First of all, download anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this malware. Hopefully you won't have to do that.

2. Remove ads related programs from your computer using the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program control panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8).

Go to the Start Menu. Select Control PanelAdd/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control PanelUninstall a Program.

If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for "control panel".

Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there.

3. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove the following:
  • BlockAndSurf
  • LyricsSay-1
  • Safer-Surf
  • SpeedCheck
  • HD-Plus 3.5
  • and any other recently installed application

Simply select each application and click Remove. If you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Uninstall up near the top of that window. When you're done, please close the Control Panel screen.

Remove pop-up ads related extensions from Google Chrome:

1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to ToolsExtensions.

2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove BlocckkTheAds, LyricsSay-1, BlockAndSurf, Safer-Surf, SpeedCheck, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.

If the removal option is grayed out then read how to remove extensions installed by enterprise policy.

Remove pop-up ads related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to ToolsAdd-ons.

2. Select Extensions. Click Remove button to remove BlocckkTheAds, LyricsSay-1, BlockAndSurf, Safer-Surf, SpeedCheck, HD-Plus 3.5 and other extensions that you do not recognize.

Remove pop-up ads related add-ons from Internet Explorer:

1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to ToolsManage Add-ons. If you have the latest version, simply click on the Settings button.

2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Click Remove/Disable button to remove the browser add-ons listed above.