Severity scale:  
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Gstatic. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Adware

Gstatic – a dubious adware program that may contaminate the machine with unwanted software, and not only

Gstatic virus
Gstatic is an adware program whose main goal is to generate as much revenue as possible for its authors

Gstatic is an adware[1] program that may display intrusive advertisements every time user launches Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox or another browser. Victims can also be rerouted to gstatic.com, Gstatic.com/generate_204 or similar realms, that are filled with ads and questionable links. Adware usually gets into machines using software bundling – a marketing technique which allows developers to injected potentially unwanted programs into devices without being noticed.

SUMMARY
Name Gstatic
Type Adware
Main dangers Malware infections, sensitive information disclosure, etc.
Symptoms Intrusive advertisements, obscure redirects, installation of additional components without permnission, etc.
Distribution Software bundling, malicious ads, scam sites, etc.
Elimination To make sure all the components of adware are uninstalled, run a full system scan using Reimage

Even though adware is not a dangerous piece of software on itself – it is ad-supported software, which means that the only goal of developers is to generate revenue by making users' browsing sessions miserable. Gstatic creators can use multiple methods to make money, and the most prevalent one is the pay-per-click scheme. As users gain no actual benefit from such programs, we suggest an immediate Gstatic removal from your machine.

Adware usually displays search results that are not entirely genuine. For example, if you would look for security software online while having Gstatic virus installed, you would get multiple sponsored links before you are shown legitimate results. In this way, developers of adware promote third-party vendors, bloat traffic to their websites and increase their rank. This leads to overall better sales and popularity of less-known retailers.

Gstatic, the potentially unwanted program, may display adverts in various forms, including pop-ups, deals, banners, coupons, offers, in-text links, video, and audio auto-play ads, etc. The worst part is that these annoying pop-ups may conceal the content of legitimate websites and make the web browsing experience miserable for any user. 

Additionally, Gstatic malware may install additional components without permission, including:

  • Add-ons;
  • Toolbars;
  • Browser extensions;
  • Browser hijackers;[2]
  • Browser helper objects;
  • System optimizers and similar.

Gstatic ads
Ads can pop at any time or inside any browser

Overall, the more you delay Gstatic removal, the more jump will be installed on your machine, which will bloat your system and make it run extremely slow. And it does not end with the operating system – your internet may be affected as well, as the unwanted program (together with the ones installed by the adware) continually tries to make connections with outside servers to display ads constantly. Thus, loading of a page may take up to 20 seconds or more; some sites might even become unreachable.

Although ads are annoying to deal with, it is not the worst feature of Gstatic. Rerouting tendencies may lead users to suspicious sites that may contain malware. Malicious JavaScripts[3] can then inject viruses without users noticing. This can lead to ransomware, trojan horse or other malware installation. Same can happen if malicious ads, generated by adware, are clicked.

Therefore, of the unwanted program leads to the suspicious domain, close down your browser (we must note that some ads may be impossible to close unless you do it via the task manager) and remove Gstatic virus from your machine. Security experts[4] recommend using robust security software like Reimage, as adware may be sometimes tricky to eliminate manually.

Information gathering – another bad feature of Gstatic

There are different kinds of adware, one of it called spyware. This software is capable of gathering a significant amount of information about users who have the program installed and then is for advertising purposes. Unfortunately, spyware can also collect sensitive information, such as credit card information, usernames, passwords, home addresses, etc.

Gathering data is widely used practice amongst marketing campaigns. The other side of the story, however, is the sharing of such data. Quite often, adware creators deliver this private information to their partners, and not only. They can also sell this data to cybercriminals. 

Overall, the seriousness of data gathering is only coming to light in recent years – you can notice that with such changes as GDPR.[5] Not only that – several high-profile firms, like Facebook, have been under the radar, as data breach scandals have been uncovered one after another.

Private information should remain that, and you should also take part in keeping it away from cybercriminals. For that, you need to make sure that apps like Gstatic are kept away from your computer.

Avoid unwanted programs by being careful online

Software bundling is a lucrative method to earn money, and adware, browser hijacker, scareware and other dodgy-app developers use this technique often. It is a multi-million business worldwide. Unfortunately, those who are less computer savvy and do not know much about this business tend to skip essential steps and inject their machines with unwanted software.

Yes, users themselves agree to install potentially unwanted programs. To be exact, they are tricked into doing it; however, technically they conform to the installation. Damon McCoy, a professor of computer science and engineering at NYU Tandon School of Engineering noted[6] with the following:

Buried in the text that nobody reads is information about the bundle of unwanted software programs in the package you're about to download.

Therefore, unwanted applications hide under terms and conditions, which, unfortunately, are rarely read. Thus, to avoid such trickery, users should be aware that Recommended or Default installation settings will rarely let them view the full list of programs about to be installed on the system.

Instead, users should opt for Advanced or Custom installation mode and remove all the pre-ticked tick marks next to add-ons, browser extensions, and other unwanted programs.

Uninstall Gstatic using security software or the step-by-step guide

Gstatic removal might be tricky. As we mentioned above, adware can inject multiple components into the targeted machine, or hide under legitimate names that may be difficult to distinguish from legitimate ones. Thus, we highly advise users to pick automatic Gstatic virus elimination method.

For those who are not keen on having extra software installed on their machines – we can suggest a detailed guide below. You will have to find each of the installed components manually and reset each of the browsers separately. Beware that, in order to remove Gstatic correctly, you need not rush the procedure and execute it in the correct order. Otherwise, you may accidentally delete needed files, which will bring you even more trouble.

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, 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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More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

If you decided to select another anti-spyware, uninstall Reimage from your computer.
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Alternate Software
Malwarebytes
Alternate Software
Malwarebytes

To remove Gstatic, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Gstatic from Windows systems

To delete Gstatic from Windows operating systems, follow these instructions:

  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 Gstatic and related programs
    Here, look for Gstatic 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

Uninstall Gstatic from Mac OS X system

To uninstall the PUP from Mac, follow this guide:

  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 Gstatic 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 Gstatic from Internet Explorer (IE)

  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 Gstatic 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 Gstatic 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

Remove Gstatic 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, Gstatic should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Gstatic from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

You need to reset Mozilla Firefox manually in the following way:

  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 Gstatic 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 Gstatic removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Gstatic from Google Chrome

  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 Gstatic 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 Gstatic removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Gstatic 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 Gstatic 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 Gstatic removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

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