Adware and spyware can cause your computer to behave abnormally. Removing them is what you should do.
However, many people find it too complicated or “technical” when trying to remove adware and spyware.
In this article, I have laid out some necessary information and basic easy-to-understand steps to completely remove and clean your PC from these small annoying software and bugs.
What are adware, spyware, and their difference?
Spyware is a program that monitors or spies on what computer users do on their computers. They then send the information that is gathered over the internet back to companies.
The companies then bombard computers with advertisements.
Adware is a program that monitors or spies on what computer users do on their computers. They then automatically install advertisements onto the computer.
Spyware and adware are similar indeed. The only difference between the two is that adware does not report to the company, instead, it bypasses that and automatically loads the ads onto the computer.
How do you get adware/spyware?
Spyware/adware is downloaded to your computer from the websites you visit as a software virus, or as a result of installing a program when you agree to download another program.
Sometimes it is even stated in a user agreement and when you agree/accept to download a program you wish to have, you also unknowingly agree to download spyware.
Sometimes is installed as the result of clicking some option in a deceptive pop-up window. Some software claims to be free but does not reveal that it also contains spyware.
Other common ways for adware to infect PCs today are through toolbars/browser extensions, bundled software, and downloads offered by pop-ups.
How to remove adware/spyware
Disconnect From the Internet
Close all open browser windows and applications (including email) and then disconnect your computer from the internet.
If you are connected to the internet using an ethernet cable, the easiest way to disconnect is to just remove the cable from your computer.
If you are connected via Wi-Fi, for Windows 10:
- Enter “network connections” in the search and select “View network connections.” Identify the connection to disable.
- Right-click the connection and select Disable/Enable.
For Windows 8:
- Press the Windows key to launch the Start interface, and then type “wireless.”
- Click Settings to view a list of wireless settings.
- Click Turn wireless communication on or off.
Try a Standard Uninstall
A surprising number of applications labeled as adware and spyware have fully functioning uninstallers that will cleanly remove the program.
Before moving on to more complex steps, start with the easiest route and check the Add/Remove Programs list in the Windows Control Panel.
If the unwanted program is listed, highlight it and click the Remove button. After removing the adware or spyware using Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs, reboot the computer. Reboot after the uninstall, even if you are not prompted to do so.
Scan Your Computer
After you’ve disconnected from the internet, removed any adware or spyware listed in Add/Remove Programs, and rebooted the computer, the next step is to run a full system scan using an up-to-date antivirus scanner.
If your antivirus program allows it, run the scan in Safe Mode. If you don’t have an antivirus installed, select from one of these top-rated antivirus scanners or from one of these free antivirus scanners.
When you use an adware removal software, update the tool’s database of potential viruses before you begin; new viruses appear daily, and quality anti-adware tools provide updated support on a regular basis.
Use Spyware Removal, MalwareBytes, AdwCleaner, and Other Tools
Many good spyware removal tools are available free. Malwarebytes does a good job of removing scareware — rogue software that hijacks your computer and tries to scare you into purchasing “protection.”
Get Clear Access to the Problem
While scanning the system in Safe Mode is good practice, it may not be enough to thwart some malware.
If the adware or spyware persists despite the above efforts, you’ll need to get access to the drive without allowing the adware or spyware to load. T
he most effective means to get clean access to the drive is to use a BartPE Bootable CD. Once you’ve booted to the BartPE CD, you can access the file manager, locate the installed antivirus and rescan the system. Or, locate the offending files and folders and manually delete them.
Undo the Residual Damage
After removing the active infestation, make sure the adware or spyware won’t simply reintegrate itself when the computer reconnects to the internet.
- Before reconnecting, reset your browser start and home pages
- Ensure your HOSTS file hasn’t been hijacked
- Make sure undesirable websites haven’t been added to your Trusted Sites Zone
How to prevent spyware and adware infection
- Never allow downloads from unknown/untrusted websites. Don’t install or download anything without knowing exactly what it is.
- Be aware of free software – you might download spyware when you mean to only download programs such as utilities, games, toolbars, or media players. Carefully read all agreements and privacy statements.
- Avoid clicking on links unless you know it’s safe. Don’t click on links within pop-up windows! Creators of spyware software use pop-up ads and dialogs to trick people into loading their software. Banners such as “You have won!” or “Click to collect your prize!” are examples of such tricks.
- Don’t follow email links claiming to offer free software or even anti-spyware software – these links may actually install the spyware. When you are getting their program for free, chances are they are selling your email address to spammers or installing spyware on your computer.
- Be very careful of peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing services. Even the most popular applications such as Kazaa and EDonkey2000 include spyware in their installation procedures.
- Install anti-virus software and run a full scan on your computer regularly.
- Run a spyware detection and removal program
- Install the most current version of the web browsers you are using.
- Adjust your browser security settings to medium or higher and learn how to block or limit pop-up windows.
And that’s all for how to remove spyware adware, and necessary information you need to know.
With the internet growing day by day, this malicious software is finding their way into our computers easier. As the security improves, so the spyware, adware, viruses and these threats.
Make sure you browse the Internet carefully, don’t install unknown or malicious programs and keep the system up to date.
Check out our computer repair Edmonton service for other computer and IT related issues.
If you find yourself in a difficult situation in removing spyware/adware, feel free to contact us for free technology assessment