Browser Redirect

Adfly Virus


This page aims to help you remove the Adfly Virus. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

Adfly

Adfly is an app of the malware category known as browser hijackers. Adfly installs in the browser and tampers with its settings without permission, which could open your system to more serious threats.

Adfly

Adfly is a legitimate advertising platform, although can be easily exploited by viruses

Adfly is a legitimate file-shortening app that monetizes the shortened links. However, due to its involvement with online ads and due to some of its distribution techniques, Adfly is oftentimes referred to as a virus or adware and people usually want to remove it. Here, we will explain to you if and how this app can be problematic and we will tell you how you can get it off your computer in case it is bothering you. If you currently have Adfly in your computer and it is being annoying, you can directly go to our guide that you will find further down and use the instructions there to remove the app. However, it is advisable that you find the time to read the rest of this article because the information here will help you better understand this sort of applications and avoid them in the future.

Adf.ly

Adf.ly is a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application) and we, as well as most other software security researchers, believe that Adf.ly is exactly that. As was mentioned earlier, this is a legitimate app that provides its customers with link-shortening functionality.

It also offers the users to get paid for each click on the links that they have shortened using its services. On paper, all of this sounds quite nice – you basically earn money for using this link-shortening service. However, there are some aspects related to this app that may not be as nice. For example, some users report that this app has gotten added to their browser without their informed permission. This most often happens when people install file bundles without taking the time to customize the setup options. If a given file bundle has this, or another PUA integrated with it and the user doesn’t uncheck the unwanted app, the latter would certainly get installed in the computer.

Another issue people may have with Adfly is that this PUA may generate ads in the browser and/or cause redirects to third-party sites. Most users get annoyed by that since the random ads, pop-ups, and page-redirects tend to make navigating through the Internet rather difficult. Oftentimes the ads are superimposed over the main part of the page, covering it and thus forcing the user to click on the advert in order to make it disappear.
Probably the biggest issue with potentially unwanted apps like Adfly is that their advertising and page-redirecting activities may open your computer to harmful malware. The PUA itself isn’t harmful – it is a legal piece of software and it won’t harm your system in any way. However, online criminals oftentimes find ways to “steal” legitimate ads and turn them into malware-distribution tools. Such ads are call malvertisements and are one of the most common techniques for spreading Ransomware, Trojans, and other similar threats. If you are ready to take the risk of getting exposed to Ransomware, Spyware, or Trojans, you can keep Adfly and benefit from its services, but we must still warn you about the potential risks of getting random ads shown on your screen.

SUMMARY:

Name Adfly
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Hijackers are mostly known for their unwanted changes in the browser’s settings.
Distribution Method Most apps of this category are included in file bundles that install several programs at once.
Detection Tool

Remove Adfly Virus

If you have a Windows virus, continue with the guide below.

If you have a Mac virus, please use our How to remove Ads on Mac guide.

If you have an Android virus, please use our Android Malware Removal guide.

If you have an iPhone virus, please use our iPhone Virus Removal guide


Step1

Some of the steps will likely require you to exit the page. Bookmark it for later reference.

Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).

Step2

WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!

Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC at the same time and go to the Processes Tab (the “Details” Tab on Win 8 and 10). Try to determine which processes are dangerous. 

malware-start-taskbar

Right click on each of them and select Open File Location. Then scan the files with our free online virus scanner:

Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at: https://howtoremove.guide/online-virus-scanner/




Scan Results


Virus Scanner Result
ClamAV
AVG AV
Maldet


After you open their folder, end the processes that are infected, then delete their folders. 

Note: If you are sure something is part of the infection – delete it, even if the scanner doesn’t flag it. No anti-virus program can detect all infections. 

Step3

Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.

appwiz

You are now in the Control Panel. Look for suspicious entries. Uninstall it/them.

Type msconfig in the search field and hit enter. A window will pop-up:

msconfig_opt

Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer or otherwise look suspicious.

Step4

Hold the Start Key and R –  copy + paste the following and click OK:

notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts

A new file will open. If you are hacked, there will be a bunch of other IPs connected to you at the bottom. Look at the image below:

hosts_opt (1)

If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.

Open the start menu and search for Network Connections (On Windows 10 you just write it after clicking the Windows button), press enter.

  1. Right-click on the Network Adapter you are using —> Properties —> Internet Protocol Version 4 (ICP/IP), click  Properties.
  2. The DNS line should be set to Obtain DNS server automatically. If it is not, set it yourself.
  3. Click on Advanced —> the DNS tab. Remove everything here (if there is something) —> OK.

DNS

Step5

  • After you complete this step, the threat will be gone from your browsers. Finish the next step as well or it may reappear on a system reboot.

Right click on the browser’s shortcut —> Properties.

NOTE: We are showing Google Chrome, but you can do this for Firefox and IE (or Edge).

browser-hijacker-taskbar-properties

Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.

ie9-10_512x512  Remove Adfly from Internet Explorer:

Open IE, click  IE GEAR —–> Manage Add-ons.

pic 3

Find the threat —> Disable. Go to IE GEAR —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.

firefox-512 Remove Adfly from Firefox:

Open Firefoxclick  mozilla menu  ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Adfly from Chrome:

Close Chrome. Navigate to:

 C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:

Rename the Folder to Backup Default

Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.

Step6

Type Regedit in the windows search field and press Enter.

Inside, press CTRL and F together and type the threat’s Name. Right click and delete any entries you find with a similar name. If they don’t show up this way, go manually to these directories and delete/uninstall them:

  • HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—–Random Directory. It could be any one of them – ask us if you can’t discern which ones are malicious.
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—-Windows—CurrentVersion—Run– Random
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER—-Software—Microsoft—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


Leave a Comment