This page aims to help you uninstall Social2Search Ads. These Social2Search Ads removal instructions work for Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, as well as every version of Windows.
Random pop-up ads start flooding my screen when I open my browser – what should I do?
First of all: do not panic. Panic never helps and in this case, there’s probably no real reason to worry. It might be really frustrating to suddenly see tons of ads raining down your screen preventing you from using your browser effectively. The first thought, that has probably crossed your mind, is that you’ve caught a nasty virus. Indeed, it may seem like you have, but worry not. If intrusive ads and strange behaviour of your browser are the most prominent symptoms, then there’s high chance, that you’ve actually landed Social2Search Ads, an adware program.
But what is adware?
These are a type of programs/browser add-ons that generate ads for your browser. Once you have them installed on your PC, they will likely generate ads for every browser that you have, so don’t bother switching browsers. It won’t matter whether you are using Mozilla or Chrome. The annoying program will make sure that all of them receive their fair share of intrusive pop-ups, banners, box messages etc. Sudden page redirects are also on the list of possible obstructions.
Formally, Social2Search Ads and adware in general are supposed to provide you with online offers that are likely to appeal to you. This is done via potential tracking of your browser activity and determining what sites you visit the most. However, in most cases the annoying application has hardly any real value for the common user. Often clicking on any of the pop-ups will redirect you to a page that you’ve visited earlier. Even if you may sometimes get redirected to an actual offer, it is better if you do not interact with the ads. Most of them are harmless and won’t expose your system to any danger. Albeit, occasionally you might happen to click on an ad, that is a hyperlink to a malicious, virus-infested page. This is quite rare, but it is still something you should know and keep in mind. In this case, the best advice is to avoid clicking on any of those pop-ups and should you get redirected to a page, that you didn’t mean to open, close that page ASAP without interacting with it.
In fact, the actual purpose of Social2Search Ads and the likes of it is to earn revenue for its developers. These type of programs use the Pay-Per-Click model – the more ads you click on – the more money Social2Search Ads ’s developers gain. Also, some of the more aggressive adware might collect and sell the data that they’ve acquired from your browser. Worry not, since such programs usually don’t have access to any valuable information.
All of this being said, note that adware are not viruses. It’s true, that they can be really frustrating and often hard to remove, but apart from that, they pose no danger to your system, especially if you are careful with the ads that they generate.
How to avoid landing Social2Search Ads and other adware programs
Adware programs are all over the internet. They are very easy to land and often you don’t even know how or when it happened. The distribution methods vary from spam e-mails to torrent files from file-sharing sites to bundling with other programs. However, if you are being careful while browsing and avoid shady sites with suspicious content you should be fine. As easy as it is to have the unwanted program installed on your PC it is twice as easy to prevent this from happening. From the distribution methods mentioned we will put our emphasis on the program bundling.
This is by far, the most successful method via which the intrusive software gets to end users’ computers. Here’s how it happens: Social2Search Ads is bundled with another free program that you can download from the internet. By installing that other program, you also get the added content, which in this case is the unwanted browser add-on. Preventing this from happening is easy – you just need to pay attention to the installation menu. Look for the custom/advanced settings – in there you should be able to see all added installs and choose which of them you don’t want on your computer. Uncheck Social2Search Ads and proceed with the installation of the main thing. Note that the intrusive software might go under a different name, therefore, just in case, uncheck everything that looks suspicious.
If you take heed of what you’ve just read no adware should be able to get in your system. Just remember – avoiding Social2Search Ads is much easier than removing it, because uninstall is probably not going to be enough.
For those of you who need to know how to remove an already installed Social2Search Ads – read our guide below this article.
|Danger Level||Medium (The rage-inducing ads will keep obstructing your browsing experience until you remove the unwanted add-on).|
|Symptoms||Intrusive ads, occasional page redirects, possible change in the front page of your browser.|
|Distribution Method||Spam e-mails; bundled with free programs that can be downloaded from the Internet.|
|Detection Tool||Social2Search Ads may be difficult to track down. Use SpyHunter – a professional parasite scanner – to make sure you find all files related to the infection.|
Social2Search Ads Removal
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Reboot in Safe Mode (use this guide if you don’t know how to do it).
This was the first preparation.
- Do not skip this – Social2Search Ads may have hidden some of its files.
Hold together the Start Key and R. Type appwiz.cpl –> OK.
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:
Startup —> Uncheck entries that have “Unknown” as Manufacturer.
Hold the Start Key and R – copy + paste the following and click OK:
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:
If there are suspicious IPs below “Localhost” – write to us in the comments.
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).
Properties —–> Shortcut. In Target, remove everything after .exe.
Remove Social2Search Ads from Internet Explorer:
Open IE, click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find the threat —> Disable. Go to —–> Internet Options —> change the URL to whatever you use (if hijacked) —> Apply.
Remove Social2Search Ads from Firefox:
Open Firefox, click ——-> Add-ons —-> Extensions.
Find the adware/malware —> Remove.
Remove Social2Search Ads from Chrome:
Close Chrome. Navigate to:
C:/Users/!!!!USER NAME!!!!/AppData/Local/Google/Chrome/User Data. There is a Folder called “Default” inside:
Rename it to Backup Default. Restart Chrome.
- At this point the threat is gone from Chrome, but complete the entire guide or it may reappear on a system reboot.
Press CTRL + SHIFT + ESC simultaneously. Go to the Processes Tab. Try to determine which ones are dangerous. Google them or ask us in the comments.
WARNING! READ CAREFULLY BEFORE PROCEEDING!
Right click on each of the problematic processes separately and select Open File Location. End the process after you open the folder, then delete the directories you were sent to.
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 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—Internet Explorer—-Main—- Random
Remember to leave us a comment if you run into any trouble!