Ads by Free “Virus” Removal (Firefox/Chrome/IE) July 2018 Update


How irritating is this problem? (1 votes, average: 5.00)

Loading...

This page aims to help you remove Ads by Free “Virus”. Our removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.

If irritating online ads seem to be constantly swarming your screen while you are on the Internet and sometimes maybe even when your browser is closed, then it might be a good idea to read the next lines as here we will share with you some important information about the most likely reason behind the issue that you are struggling with. The main topic of this write-up is going to be adware programs and one adware program called Ads by Free in particular is what we are going to be focusing on throughout the following lines. You might have heard about or seen adware programs in the past even if you didn’t know that this is what they are called. Those are software components that tend to latch onto popular browsers such as Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Opera and so on and then generate pop-ups, banners, box messages and other unpleasant advertising materials from inside the browser. All in all, this is what apps like Ads by Free tend to do and what they are usually created for. Obviously, not the most sophisticated form of software and yet, they seem to be a major issue for a lot of users. It’s actually their simplicity that makes them so effective and, in turn, so annoying. They are not like actual viruses and they won’t normally try to harm anything on your machine or carry out some other insidious and criminal task from within your system unlike what cyber threats the ranks of Ransomware, Worms and Trojan Horses would try to do. However, exactly because of this, apps like Ads by Free are so widespread and so commonly encountered. Still, though, despite not being actual malicious virus programs, most such apps are quite tricky to get rid of. Most of them cannot be uninstalled like a normal program and in many cases even if you think that you’ve been able to get them removed from your machine, they’d come back to bother you with their nagging ads, banners and pop-up messages the next time you start your browser. Because of this, we’ve made it our goal to offer you an effective method for dealing with this issue in the form of a removal guide manual that you can find right below.

Ads by Free “Virus” Removal

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 Ads by Free 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 Ads by Free from Firefox:

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

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Ads by Free 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

Also, know that if you don’t feel like you are up for the task of accurately carrying out all the steps from the guide, you can alternatively resort to the removal security tool that is available inside the guide as it can automatically detect any data related to the adware and help you get rid of it which would effectively uninstall the pesky app.

Why adware needs to be removed

Some of you might not be that bothered by the ads especially if in your case the ads generation isn’t as overwhelming or as aggressive. However, you need to know that the intrusiveness and annoyance coming from apps like Ads by Free isn’t actually the only reason why you might want to have such software removed from your PC. Another and arguable even more important reason for you to want to take away the adware program would be the possibility of getting exposed to unsafe advertising materials due to the presence of the unwanted software on your PC. It is no secret that a lot of malicious programs out there such as Ransomware, Trojan Horses and Rootkits oftentimes get distributed with the help of the so-called malvertising technique where ads are used to mislead the user into downloading the infected file on their computer. Naturally, the chances of landing on some unsafe add would go up if there’s an add-generating software on your PC which is why it’s simple better if you get rid of the adware on time.

Ways an adware could get on your computer

Opening spam e-mail attachments, clicking on random ads and web offers that are displayed inside obscure and unreliable sites, downloading pirated software and other similar irresponsible online behaviors could easily land you some unwanted app like Ads by Free. The same could also happen if you install some new program on your PC without first taking a moment to see if there aren’t any bonus components bundled with its installer that might be unwanted on your PC. This is a mistake a lot of users make so be sure to not be one of those users. Always check the installation menus of new programs for added contents and uncheck all optional clauses that might allow the installation of something potentially unwanted in order to be sure that nothing sketchy gets installed on your computer.

SUMMARY:

Name Ads by Free
Type Adware
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms Adware apps are infamous for their nagging ads and frequent redirects to sites they are seeking to promote.
Distribution Method Common methods for distributing such unwanted apps are the file-bundling and the malvertising. Spam e-mails are also frequently used for spreading adware.
Detection Tool We generally recommend SpyHunter or a similar anti-malware program that is updated daily.

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