pop-up ads (spam) - Chrome, Firefox, IE, Edge pop-up ads Removal Guide

What is pop-up ads? tries to trick users with cheap tricks

Madsims.comRedirects to and similar websites might indicate adware infection pop-ups won't stop showing up on your desktop? Do not worry, as you are not alone, and there are hundreds of other people experiencing the same unwanted symptoms. If you want to find out what these ads are and how to get rid of them, keep reading.

Push notifications are a web browser feature that can be used by any website – it allows websites asking for permission to show notifications. Users are free to decline them or agree to receive them. Most commonly, people subscribe to notifications from websites such as YouTube or Facebook, as they can easily gain access to something they are interested in.

However, is not a fair website, and it uses trickery to make users subscribe – there are plenty of fake messages that might convince users to press that “Allow” button. As soon as they oblige, their screens then start showing intrusive pop-ups at random times; these can come rarely or frequently, although the pop-ups disturb the normal work of users constantly.

Inside these notification prompts, users might be shown links to unsafe sites where they could be tricked into providing their personal information, download dangerous software or subscribe to more pop-ups from similar websites.

Type Push notifications, pop-ups, ads
IP address
Distribution The unwanted notifications start showing up as soon as the “Allow” button is pressed within the notification prompt
Symptoms Intrusive notifications from the site will be shown directly on the desktops
Dangers Clicking on links that are embedded within the notification prompt, exploring the sites these links bring to or downloading files can be particularly dangerous – users can get infected with malware, suffer from financial losses or privacy issues
Deletion You can stop the intrusive notifications by accessing web browser settings, as explained in the instructions below. If you suspect adware infection, you should use security software to eliminate it quickly
Further steps Cleaning web browsers is just as important when dealing with potentially unwanted programs, so do so by following the instructions below or use FortectIntego as an automatic fix

Cybercriminals were quick to realize that push notifications can be used to trick people and deliver ads. This way, they can monetize on users' clicks and their exposure to commercial content.

Upon you access a website, your IP address[1] can be recognized, and so can be your approximate location. This is why you might be seeing the scam messages in your native language. However, this is not the only trick used by crooks.

There are several versions of the scam you might encounter upon the website entry. For example, you might be told that you need to press allow to prove you are not a robot or that the website content is for those who are +18 only. However, the most frequent type of scam you'd see is a still of a video that is about to be played.

The picture strongly reminds a YouTube video, which just makes users trust it even more. You might also see the following notification:

Press “Allow” to watch the video.

But of course, there is no video to watch and not content to explore. This is a common social engineering tactic – people tend to trust notifications or emails that use familiar names. This is why malicious actors use USP,[2] Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and other familiar names to proliferate scams and spread malware. notificationsNotifications might show you links to malware-laden or scam websites

How to stop notifications from

Many people believe that their systems are infected as soon as they see the intrusive pop-ups being shown non-stop. This is because they are tricked into subscribing to these notifications, hence they don't even remember allowing them in the first place. In other cases, users might click the “Allow” button by accident.

This is very common, and one of the main reasons users don't understand how to remove ads. It is also usually related to the fact that disabling these prompts requires users to dive deep into browser settings. If you are not sure how to do this, proceed with the instructions below:

Google Chrome

  • Select Menu > Settings > Advanced.
  • Click on Site Settings > Notifications.
  • Check the Allow section and find the address of the site.
  • Select More Actions and pick Block.Stop notifications on Chrome PC 2

Mozilla Firefox:

  • Go to Menu and then select Options.
  • Go to Privacy & Security > Notifications > Settings.
  • Choose Block after picking this option from the drop-down menu.
  • Confirm with Save Changes.Stop notifications on Mozilla Firefox 2

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Go to Menu and pick Settings.
  • Select Site permissions.
  • Click on Notifications.
  • Find the site URL, and click More actions.
  • Pick Block.Stop notifications on Edge Chromium


  • Click on Safari > Preferences…
  • Go to Websites tab and, under General, select Notifications.
  • Select the web address in question, click the drop-down menu and select Deny.Stop notifications on Safari

Check your system for adware

While notification prompts have initially nothing to do with a virus infection, there is a chance that there is adware hiding on your system. Potentially unwanted programs are known to be spread via a technique called software bundling – where several components are compiled into a single installer – hence many users might fail to notice the entry of such apps.

You can remove adware manually if it is not using any obfuscation techniques, and all you have to do is uninstall it as a simple app. Here's the tip if you need help:


  • Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  • Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  • From the list, find the entry of the suspicious program.
  • Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  • If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  • Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2


  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for all related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove an unwanted app, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the related .plist files.Uninstall from Mac 2

However, the adware can be deceptive, and you might not even know which app is causing the unwanted redirects and ads. Therefore, we strongly recommend performing a full system scan with an anti-malware program such as SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes. Security software can check for the most stubborn infections and remove them automatically for you.

Adware is not initially considered malicious, although many security experts find it more than just controversial. In fact, many examples of the past show that adware can be particularly dangerous due to users' exposure to unsafe content. For example, those infected are more likely to see fake update prompts for Flash Player or other software or get notifications about the allegedly infected computer (tech support scams).

Previously known examples such as Lenovo's Superfish scandal,[3] as well as the persistent Wajam or Ask Toolbar, are great examples of how widespread and damaging adware might be – it also might come from legitimate and trusted sources. Thus, if you notice that you are being redirected to,,,, and similar insecure websites, there is a high chance your system needs cleaning from adware.

In case you find adware on your machine, keep in mind that you should also clean your web browsers. Otherwise, you might continue being tracked, and ads, redirects, and other unwanted activity won't go away. You can employ automatic tools for this job (FortectIntego, for example), although it can also be done manually.

Below you will find the instructions that should help you get rid of cookies and clean your browsers. The manual process might take a long time, however (especially if you are not that IT-savvy). Note: in some extreme cases, you might have to reset your browsers, so we provide the guide for this process as well.

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Alternative Software
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Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

Getting rid of pop-up ads. Follow these steps

Remove from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data. Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the unwanted components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings. Reset Chrome 2

Remove from Microsoft Edge

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom. Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear. Clear Edge browsing data

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running. Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick Delete Advanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -Verbose Advanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove. Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy, search and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now. Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset. Reset Chromium Edge

Remove from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove. Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear. Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

If clearing the browser as explained above did not help, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information. Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox. Reset Firefox 2

Delete from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall. Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History. Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches. Reset Safari

How to prevent from getting adware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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