Google Prize Pop-up Ad Scam Removal (Sept. 2018 Update)


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

It can be particularly frustrating if every time you open a new browsing session your screen starts getting flooded with intrusive and irritating banners, blinking boxes, online requests, offers, redirects to random pages as well as any other kind of online advertising content. This, however, is exactly what would be happening with your browser if you have an adware app on your computer. Oftentimes, users might initially mistake adware components for actual browser extensions that could offer some actual use. However, if a given app is regarded as adware, then this mostly means that it is rather undesirable. One thing to be noted about adware apps that is yet another difference between them and most regular browser extensions and add-ons is that an adware component would be able to become a part of most browsers that you could have on your computer including Chrome, Firefox, Edge, IE, Opera and pretty much any other browsing program you are likely to have on your PC. In contrast to that, most regular extensions, add-ons and plugins are mostly compatible with one or only a couple of similar browsers that use the same engine. There, however, is no such limitation with most adware apps and this is actually quite understandable. You see, the main purpose of adware programs is to get onto as many PCs and onto as many browsers as possible as that would greatly increase the end-profit that their creators would be able to gain from the generated advertising materials. Due to that, those apps are specifically designed in such a way so as to be as multi-compatible as possible. This means it doesn’t matter what browsers you have on your computer and which browsing program you typically use – if you get an adware program on your machine, it would most likely be able to attach itself to your browser and then start spamming it with its intrusive and obstructive advertising materials.

Of course, you wouldn’t want to have your screen flooded with different obnoxious and highly-irritating adverts whenever you open your browser which is why we have prepared a detailed removal manual with a list of steps that will guide you through the process of quickly and effectively getting rid of the pesky Google Prize adware. This is a rather new, yet highly widespread, adware app and also most likely the reason you are here.

Google Prize Pop-up Ad Scam 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:

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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
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AVG AV
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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 Google Prize 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 Google Prize from Firefox:

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

pic 6

Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
chrome-logo-transparent-backgroundRemove Google Prize 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

As should be obvious from the guide, getting rid of an adware app is not so simple and straightforward. This mainly stems from the fact that the creators of such apps do not want you to be able to easily remove their product from your computer as that would inevitably diminish the potential profit that they would get from the adware ads. Then again, this is no concern of yours and the very fact that it might sometimes be rather difficult to remove an adware such as Google Prize further makes this type of software components unwanted. Still, though, despite being somewhat tricky to uninstall and despite being quite irritating and maybe even aggressive in its advertising tactics, Google Prize isn’t a virus program. It isn’t as dangerous as a Trojan Horse or as sneaky and insidious as a Ransomware cryptovirus. Adware apps are still mostly nothing more than web-advertising software tools and their purpose hardly ever exceeds the need for generating money through Internet-advertising. That said, it is still best if you don’t allow the Google Prize to stick onto your PC for too long or else other, more sinister hazards might target your computer. Not all web ads are safe and the chances of coming across some piece of online advertising content that could actually link you to threats such as Trojan Horses, Spyware and Ransomware are greatly increased when there’s adware on your computer. This, in turn, brings us back to the guide from this page – we strongly advise you to take a look at the instructions and use them (or the specialized removal tool) in order to eliminate Google Prize and thus improve the overall security of your PC.

Keeping away from other adware

The best way to ensure that you never again get such an app on your machine is to be really considerate with regards to what you do while surfing the Internet. Most users get adware on their machines after interacting with spam letters, fake ads and misleading download offers so make sure to stay away from those. However, you could also land an adware app if you install some free program on your machine without first carefully looking through the installation settings and opting out of the installation of any bundled bonus software elements that might actually be adware. Remember those two tips and make sure to always apply them and you’d make it very unlikely for any adware to sneak inside your PC ever again.

SUMMARY:

Name Google Prize
Type  Adware
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  In most cases, the ads are what give away the presence of adware apps like this one.
Distribution Method Different spam messages, fake ads, installation bundles and low-quality dowloads.
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!


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