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AdSafeProtected. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

AdSafeProtected is an adware application which prevents users from viewing content online

AdSafeProtected virus
AdSafeProtected is a potentially unwanted program that prevents users to view content on the internet.

AdSafeProtected is a potentially unwanted application[1] that usually gets installed on the system with the help of shareware and freeware, as users often skip steps while establishing new programs and do not read the text in fine print. Adware's primary purpose is to display pop-ups, offers, deals, banners and other advertisements on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, or Safari browsers. While the AdSafeProtected virus is prominent on Mac, Android and Windows users are also known to suffer from it. Additionally, users reported that Doubleclick ads often link to Pixel.adsafeprotected.com or fw.adsafeprotected.com domains. Without a doubt, adware should not be kept on any system to maintain its security.

Summary
Name AdSafeProtected
Type Adware
Subdomains anycast.fw.adsafeprotected.com, dt.fw.adsafeprotected.com
Infiltration Software bundling
Main dangers Malware infection
Main purpose To generate ad revenue
Elimination Use our instructions below or employ anti-malware software
Optimization To make sure all the traces are deleted and computer is back to normal, scan it with Reimage

AdSafeProtected has been actively bugging users in order to earn profits from ads. Unfortunately, adware related to it is unsafe, as it could track user data, redirect them to scam or phishing sites, or even lead to sites loaded with malware. For that reason, victims should not click on any content that is initiated by the PUP and take care of AdSafeProtected removal as soon as possible.

Users also reported that they are receiving pop-up windows that load a script for a while, coming out with nothing. In some cases, AdSafeProtected ads prevent them from viewing videos or similar content. 

To accumulate enough data about users, AdSafeProtected adware uses tracking technologies like cookies, web beacons[2] and JavaScript. With the help of these tools, the affected users' information can be gathered:

  • IP address;
  • Technical data;
  • Programs installed;
  • Bookmarks;
  • Search data;
  • Sites visited, etc,

While many companies use tracking technologies for marketing purposes, experts[3] do not advise trusting adware-relating programs. The data harvested can be potentially misused and end up in the hands of cybercriminals. As soon as that happens, credit card details and other personal data can serve as a tool for identity fraud or money stealing. Thus, if you see ads that link you to AdSafeProtected, make sure you do not enter any sensitive information.

You are not safe until you remove AdSafeProtected virus from your computer. You can do it with the help of anti-malware software that is capable of detecting PUPs or follow our removal instructions below this article. After the elimination, make sure you employ Reimage to repair the damage done by the unwanted program.

Beware of bundled software – it is the most prominent adware distribution method

If you encounter a redirect to a questionable website, do not click on anything and simply close down the tab. However, if you are regularly being rerouted to questionable domains, it is a sign of an adware infection.

If you are wondering where the potentially unwanted program could have come from, you should check if you recently installed any free applications you downloaded online. Third-party websites like Download.com[4] or Cnet are one of the biggest providers of installers that are plagued with useless apps and often hidden purposely. By “hidden,” we don't mean that optional installs are not accessible or impossible to decline – it is not the case.

Installing something on user's machine without informing him or her about it is illegal, hence why malware distribution is considered to be criminal activity. However, PUP authors often hide legal documents, regulations and a full list of programs by urging users to go for Recommended or Quick settings, and, most people do.

For that reason, picking Advanced or Custom installation settings is a must. This will let you uncover all the hidden components, and get rid of the pre-checked boxes.

Get rid of AdSafeProtected and clear your browsers

We recommend users not to waste time and remove AdSafeProtected virus either by using security software or rely on our manual instructions below. Both methods are effective, although the latter might take quite a bit longer.

AdSafeProtected removal should not be delayed, as adware multiplies fast. Quite often, these dubious applications are closely related and promote unsafe system tools for users to download. Software like scareware is very typical for adware to promote, so users end up with cluttered systems without even realizing that they are injecting more unwanted apps into their machine.

After AdSafeProtected elimination from Mac or Windows operating systems is complete, reset each of the installed browsers as explained in the instructions below.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove AdSafeProtected, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall AdSafeProtected from Windows systems

To remove AdSafeProtected ads from Windows, follow this guide:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall AdSafeProtected and related programs
    Here, look for AdSafeProtected or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate AdSafeProtected from Mac OS X system

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for AdSafeProtected or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase AdSafeProtected from Internet Explorer (IE)

To make sure that no components of PUP are left, perform IT reset:

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for AdSafeProtected and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete AdSafeProtected removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of AdSafeProtected from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, AdSafeProtected should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove AdSafeProtected from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select AdSafeProtected and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete AdSafeProtected removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete AdSafeProtected from Google Chrome

Don't forget to reset Google Chrome by using these steps:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select AdSafeProtected and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete AdSafeProtected removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall AdSafeProtected from Safari

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for AdSafeProtected or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete AdSafeProtected removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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