Your computer is infected with malicious software? Do you have pop-ups on your PC?
If so, search this blog for removal instructions or browse computer threats by category.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Remove pop-up ads (Uninstall Guide)

Tell your friends: pop-up ads are usually displayed by adware and potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Just because a Potentially Unwanted Program has a cute nickname - PUP – trust us, it really isn't quite as adorable as it sounds. That's because although a PUP is a software program that has been designed to be useful, it is actually more of a hindrance than a help.

Potentially Unwanted Programs should not be confused with malicious software because a PUP does have some useful properties – in varying degrees – while malware has only one intention and that is to steal your data, money or even identity, or to corrupt your files. Of course, you probably wouldn't agree with me but pop-ups are not malicious. Yes, they are intrusive and may redirect you to sketchy websites but they cannot install malware on your computer. What should worry you the most in this case is a potentially unwanted program that displays these pop-ups. It was probably installed along with adware and maybe spyware.

So if a Potentially Unwanted Program isn't malicious then why all the fuss? The problem that most people have with them is the way they install themselves on your PC without you really knowing about it. How useful they really are is up for debate too. Because PUPs are normally tool bars, browsers, home pages or pop-up ads it is extremely likely that you already have these on your computer – and working just fine.

So why display annoying pop-ups? Who would go to the trouble when everybody using the Internet already has these things? The tool bars, browsers, pop-ups or home pages that Potentially Unwanted Programs install are actually designed to redirect your Internet searches to websites that the software developer wants you to visit. They also bombard you with adverts, usually for products or services you don't want or need. Put simply, PUPs have been designed to create advertising revenue for the developer, or for a third party who they are working for.

Let's take a more in depth look at the different types of PUPs that you may come across - if you are unlucky.

As mentioned, adware is designed to show you adverts in an attempt to redirect you to a website of the developer's choosing. Adware can also monitor your Internet browsing habits and relay this data back to the developer so that they can display targeted adverts that are related to the websites you've visited. The adware component is particularly annoying as it will slow down your processor and Internet connection speed.

Adware's bigger, badder brother spyware not only monitors your Internet usage and captures data about the websites you visit to send you targeted pop-ups. The good news is that it doesn't record your passwords, personal data such as your name, address and date of birth - and your online banking details or credit card numbers.

Potentially Unwanted Programs and adware usually receive a nod to their existence in the End User License Agreement that you'll see displayed when you're installing an item of software. Therefore you should make sure that you read this carefully and make a note of any additional programs that are mentioned. Pay particular attention to check boxes which may need to be checked or unchecked in order to avoid also installing a PUP.

In order to stop pop-ups, 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, Pop-ups 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 pop-up 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:
  • SaferSurf
  • LyricsSay-1
  • TinyWallet
  • BlockAndSurf
  • 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 related extensions from Google Chrome:

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

2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove SaferSurf, LyricsSay-1, TinyWallet, BlockAndSurf, 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 related extensions from Mozilla Firefox:

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

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

Remove pop-up 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.