Remove StormCloud Ads Virus

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How the “Ads by StormCloud” Virus Works

Like the majority of viruses nowadays “Ads by StormCloud” is an adware program displaying unwanted advertisements on your web browser, and should be removed for obvious reasons. Most (if not all) of the sites you browse will be infected. I don’t know about you, but when this happened to me, simple using a browser became a nightmare. Banners and underlined words with pop-up ads just appeared all over the place. Considering you are here, then this likely happened to you too, so let me lend you a hand and help you remove “Ads by StormCloud.” If for some reason you are not completely sure you got the right removal guide, the image below should clarify if this is indeed the virus you suffer from.

ads-by-storm-cloud-virus

In essence, the StormCloud program should be giving you alerts when bad weather is approaching. But that’s not the only function it performs. It promotes other content that it hopes you’d install on your PC, and that content ranges from annoying to downright dangerous. It is very important that you remove not only StormCloud, but also all its affiliated toolbars and supposed optimization tools.

Generally speaking this extension’s true purpose is to generate pay per click revenue, and you are the unwitting accomplice in this. It’s general knowledge that the sites offering you free software are paid to include in their bundles possibly malicious software or even malware. My guess is you wouldn’t want to be a part of this, so you should remove “Ads by StormCloud” at once.

How “Ads by StormCloud” Entered My Computer

StormCloud, like practically all programs classifies as adware, comes in a bundle with other free software.  Although not necessarily always the case, this will likely immediately ring a bell in your head. If you remember recently adding a free download manager, toolbar or anything of the sort, that’s the likely candidate where you got the “Ads by StormCloud” virus. To make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice (or more), be sure to check Custom Installation whenever you setup a freeware. At some point in the steps it should notify/ask you about installing a bonus content or something like that. If you have the option, always avoid such a content. It is the usual carrier of viruses like “Ads by StormCloud.” If there is no such option, do not proceed with the installation and cancel the setup. Remove any programs that may have snuck in.

How To Remove “Ads by StormCloud”

What follows is a  several step guide on how to easily remove “Ads by StormCloud” first from your PC, then from your browsers.

STEP 1: Removing “Ads by StormCloud” From Windows

Substep 1. 

 For Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 Users:

First, click the Start button (the windows key) —–>Control Panel —–> Programs and Features or (for Windows XP) Add/Remove Programs.pic 1

Proceed to Substep 2.

 For Windows 8 users:First, right click down on the left side of your screen. The Quick Access Menu should appear —–> Control Panel —–> Uninstall a Program. Proceed to Substep 2.

 

pic 2

For Mac (OS X) Users:

Click Go at the top left —–> Applications.

Proceed to Substep 2.

Substep 2.

For all Windows Users:

Look for a program called “StormCloud” and click Uninstall.

Sometimes the virus will operate under a different name. If you can not find it as “StormCloud”, click on the column titled Installed On. This will arrange programs by their installation date. Look for all recently added programs that seem suspicious and click Uninstall on them.

WARNING! Here is the very tricky part: Even at this point StormCloud will try to deceive you. When you try to uninstall it an error-like message will appear, asking you something. The correct answer is: 

  • NO

StormCloud is basically asking if you want to install a similar tool at the end of the process. Answering Yes will fill your PC with similar malicious software again.

You are not done, however. Proceed to STEP 2.

For Mac (OS X) Users:

Find a program called “Ads by StormCloud”, then right click on it and select Move to Trash.

If you can not find such a program, click the Date Modified column, and look for recent additions of programs you don’t know about. Right click on each of them—–> Move to Trash.

WARNING! Here is the very tricky part: Even at this point StormCloud will try to deceive you. When you try to move it an error-like message will appear, asking you something. The correct answer is: 

  • NO

StormCloud is basically asking if you want to install a similar tool at the end of the process. Answering Yes will fill your PC with similar malicious software again.

Proceed to STEP 2.

STEP 2: Removing “Ads by StormCloud” from your browser(s)

For Internet Explorer Users:

Open the browser, then click on the small Gear icon on the top right —–> Manage Add-ons.

internet explorer manage add-ons

Once there, you should look for “Ads by StormCloud” or any other extension or plugin you feel may be unsafe. Click Disable on it/them.

If for some reason. you Home Page was changed from the one you prefer (viruses, especially adware, tend to do that) click on the Gear icon —–> Internet Options. From there you just edit the URL box, dispose of the unwanted link, and put in what you like, then click Apply.

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Proceed to STEP 3.

For Mozilla Firefox Users:

Open the browser, click on the Menu icon on the top right (three lines) —–> Add-ons.

.mozilla firefox add-ons

Then you just click Extensions.

mozilla firefox extensions

Here you should find “Ads by StormCloud” or anything you think may be a virus, then click Remove.

Proceed to STEP 3.

For Google Chrome Users:

 

Enter the browser. At the top right click on the Menu icon —–>Tools —–> Extensions.

google chrome extensions

Once in Extensions, find ” StormCloud” and anything you believe may be dangerous, and click the little Trash icon on the right.

pic 8

You are almost done! Now click on the Menu icon on top for a second time, and go to Settings. In Settings, find the Search section (the fourth one from top),then click Manage Search Engines. In there you should remove any search sites you do not use.

google chrome settings

Proceed to STEP 3.

For Safari Users:

Open Safari, and click the Safari button on the top left —–>Preferences —–> Extensions

Find “StormCloud” and/or other possible virus extensions, then click Uninstall.

Proceed to STEP 3 .

STEP 3: Checking For “Ads by StormCloud” Leftovers

Right Click on the Time at the bottom right of your screen, then click Start Task Manager. From there click Processes on the band above, and try to find any of the following processes:

  • “Ads by StormCloud”-nova.exe
  • “Ads by StormCloud”-bg.exe
  • “Ads by StormCloud”.exe

windows task manager

If none of those are present in your task manager, then you are in the clear. If one or all of them are present, you need to go back to STEP 1 and see what you missed there.

Warning! There is a step 4, but you should proceed with it ONLY IF your efforts up until now failed to remove “Ads by StormCloud”.

STEP 4: Reset Your Browser (OPTIONAL)

In this step, you will reset your browser to its original state. Home pages, toolbars, history and cookies will all be lost, so you should do this ONLY if everything else failed.

For Internet Explorer Users:

Click on the Gear icon at the top right —–> Internet Options. There you click on Advanced on the right side of the band, then Reset.  On the pop-up that will appear, tick Delete Personal Settings, then Reset and finally hit Close. This should remove “Ads by StormCloud” and all other unwanted extensions from your browser.

For Mozilla Firefox Users:

Click the Menu button —–> Help. On the right, click Troubleshooting Information, and then Reset Firefox, again on the right. Finalize everything by hitting Reset Firefox in the pop-up that will appear, then Finish.

For Google Chrome Users:

Click on the Menu button at the top right —–> Settings —–> Reset Browser Settings. There click Reset on the pop-up to confirm and that should remove “Ads by StormCloud”.

For Safari Users:

Open Safari —–> Safari —–> Reset Safari. A window with several checkboxes should appear. All of them need to be ticked, then click Reset to finalize the removal process of “Ads by StormCloud”.

 

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