Severity scale:  

Moatads virus. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - -   Also known as | Type: Browser hijacker

Moatads – malware that disrupts your searches by redirecting you to unsafe websites

Moatads advertisements can be truly annoying
Moatads malware - an adware-type program which has been causing advertisements that are truly annoying.

Questions about Moatads virus

Moatads is a highly annoying application that belongs to adware category. Just like any other program of this type, it delivers continuous advertisements by opening them in a new window or in a new tab. Additionally, it causes redirects to subdomains such as,,,, and virus. The described domains can be filled with different ads that are seeking the only thing – to trick you into visiting specific websites, installing questionable programs or even revealing your personal information while trying to win invented prizes. Moatads malware can serve tons of annoying ads without stopping, and the only way to get rid of them is to delete the adware virus from your computer.

Name Moatads
Type Adware
Affected web browsers Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE, Opera, ect.
Main issues Displays continuous ads on user's browser
Main dangers Being redirected to an infected website
Elimination To get rid of this malware, download and run Reimage.

According to 2-Spyware experts, this potentially unwanted program is associated with the branch of clingy computer viruses called browser hijackers[1] and potentially unwanted programs[2]. These viruses infiltrate computers stealthily and start changing the browser’s settings without users' knowledge or permission. Therefore, you should probably not take long to notice the infiltration of this PUP because domain quickly starts emerging in your browser's URL bar.

Internet Explorer is considered to be the most affected web browser[3], but this hijacker has also been spotted on Mozilla, Chrome, and Safari as well. What is also surprising that the suspicious program targets not only Windows users – people are already complaining about Moatads Mac version as well. The majority of complaints reach experts as the problem mainly bothers Turkish-speaking computer users.[4]

When having this hijacker on board, you can start suffering from redirect issue constantly. It reappears once you open your browser and enter the URL you prefer. However, they are just the beginning of problems if the computer is infected. To prevent unpleasant activities on your computer, security experts advise users to get rid of the adware from the system.

Moatads malware can also include some features of an adware-type program and inject intrusive sponsored ads and links to your visited websites. We don't recommend clicking these ads and links because they can end up on highly suspicious websites used to promote malicious programs.

On top of that, it can track your browsing with the help of cookies or Javascript. Once it collects a right amount of data, it sends it to its developers who are working on filling your searches with eye-catching ads and links. To avoid all these shady activities from taking place on your device, we recommend you to remove Moatads virus as soon as possible. A quick removal can be achieved with reputable antivirus tools, such as Reimage

Moatads can infiltrate any of the popular browsers, so Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Chrome users have to think twice about their computer protection. However, if you are already infected with this virus, there are a few things you should also keep in mind if you do not want to inflict additional damage to your computer.

  • First of all, you should not click on any ads you see that are labeled “[virus name] Ads,” “Brought to you by [virus name]” or “Ads by [virus name].” These advertisements are usually linked to unreliable sites, so, regardless of how legitimate they might look, interacting with them is not safe.
  • Stay away from ads provided to you by px.moatads or other subdomains associated with the described ad-supported program. In addition, some users have shared their experience in online forums, stating that virus started bothering them lately. Do not forget that unwanted browser redirects and ads appearing on the screen are warning signs asking for an immediate computer scan.
  • It is not uncommon for this virus to generate fake support service ads, software update ads and similar pop-up notifications[5] which use social engineering techniques, such as scare tactics, to trick people into downloading or purchasing unnecessary or infectious programs.
  • Needless to say, Moatads removal is essential to keep your computer’s system stable and protected.

Find out how the adware reaches your computer system

Before introducing you to the methods which you can apply for fixing redirects to such domains as…&zMoatDevice=1_device_category:56, we want to inform you about the steps you can take to protect your computer from such viruses. Maybe you have already read about them in some tech-related website[6] but we must repeat them to save your computer.

  • First and foremost, you should obtain a reputable antivirus system to shield your computer from the potential cyber attacks. Do not forget to update your antivirus to its latest version and run frequent system scans.
  • Secondly, if you have taken the software installation process merely as an obligatory procedure before being able to enjoy your new programs, you should start changing your attitude. You should know that the hijack can be initiated with the help of the software packages.
  • Typically, unreliable developers distribute their PUPs in a bundle with other popular applications. The majority of such software packages are not adequately disclosed to the user.
  • The only way to manage these optional installs is through advanced installation settings, which list all the included programs and gives you an option to cancel their installation individually.
  • This way, you can decide for yourself, what applications should be installed and which ones are better to be kept at bay.

Block Moatads ads with ease

You can remove Moatads malware from your computer manually, by following a detailed removal guide provided below this article. Potentially unwanted programs come in very distinct forms – some of them are less dangerous while infection with others can result in a completely ruined PC.

Therefore, it is important to remove them from the computer without a delay. The guidelines provided by our team will guide you through the removal process and help you to kill the unwanted ad-supported program with ease.

However, if manually deleting viruses sounds intimidating to you, we recommend using automatic tools, such as anti-malware or antivirus software to help you with the process. The major benefit of such programs is that they will not only take care of the Moatads removal quickly and safely but will also protect you from similar attacks in the future.

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.

do it now!
Reimage (remover) Happiness
Reimage (remover) Happiness
Compatible with Microsoft Windows Supported versions Compatible with OS X Supported versions
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 Moatads virus, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Moatads from Windows systems

We must warn you that manual removal is a seriously complicated task as you have to find and remove all components of this hijacker. Make sure you remove,,, and similar entries.

  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 Moatads and related programs
    Here, look for Moatads 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'
  5. Remove Moatads from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete '' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Moatads from Mac OS X system

To fix Mac OS X after the hijack, make sure you uninstall all entries that could be related to this hijacker. In this case, you need to find:,,, etc.

  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 Moatads 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 Moatads 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 Moatads 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 Moatads 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

Delete Moatads virus 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, Moatads should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Moatads 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 Moatads 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Moatads removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of Moatads 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 Moatads 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Moatads removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate Moatads 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 Moatads or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Moatads, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Moatads removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

If this free removal guide helped you and you are satisfied with our service, please consider making a donation to keep this service alive. Even a smallest amount will be appreciated.

Contact Jake Doevan
About the company Esolutions


Removal guides in other languages