Play No Ads browser extension (virus) - Free Guide

Play No Ads browser extension Removal Guide

What is Play No Ads browser extension?

Play No Ads is disguised as a handy extension that can get rid of ads but it does the opposite

Play No AdsPlay No Ads causes annoying pop-ups ads to appear on the screen

Play No Ads is a useless browser extension created by crooks to generate revenue from PPC advertising.[1] It is disguised as an adblocker that gets rid of ads on videos. Unfortunately, the plugin does not function as promised. Instead, it causes erratic browser behavior.

Users may start experiencing an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects. Browser hijackers may also change the main settings, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine. So the extension does not get rid of the problem that users want to fix and even makes it worse.

Crooks may use rogue advertising networks that place ads leading to dangerous websites. People may end up on scam pages that try to trick them into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[2] and even malware.

NAME Play No Ads
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS The amount of commercial content increases, pop-ups, banners are shown from rogue advertising networks
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites, deceptive ads, freeware installations
DANGERS The app can lead to misinformation, dangerous pages, and collect browsing-related data
ELIMINATION Remove the plugin via browser settings
FURTHER STEPS Use a maintenance tool ReimageIntego to fix any remaining damage and optimize the machine

Distribution methods

The Play No Ads browser extension was found to be spread through bogus “Downloader” pages. They do not show the real name of the file, so it could be anything. It is really dangerous to click “Download” on such sites because you may never know what you are actually installing.

It is rare that these sites would be found through search results. Usually, they hide on other shady websites. Often, these pages engage in illegal activities, so they are unregulated. This can result in deceptive ads and sneaky redirects. Illegal streaming platforms can also display fake “Download” and “Play” buttons[3] that open new tabs and redirect users to scam sites.

If you are looking for browser add-ons, it is best to use official web stores. Apps that get listed there, go through an extensive review process. However, you should still do your research – read the reviews, look at the ratings and the number of users. You are better off choosing plugins that have plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users.

Play No Ads browser extensionPlay No Ads might have appeared after an encounter with a shady page

Freeware distribution platforms

The hijacking could have been caused not only by a browser extension but also by a PUP. Adware usually hides in the background of the machine performing unwanted tasks without the users' knowledge. Most times adware gets installed from freeware[4] distribution sites.

Because they do not make any money from giving away software for free, they include additional programs in the installers. Many users find the installation process boring so they skip through the steps and do not notice the additional files.

You should always choose the “Custom” or”Advanced” installation methods, read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to find out what the program will be capable of. The most important step is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any unrelated applications.

Remove the extension

The first thing you should do is go to your browser settings and check if you see Play No Ads in the list, any extensions with a similar name, or suspicious-looking add-ons in general. You can follow our guide if you need help:

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • 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

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

MS Edge (Chromium)

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

Mozilla Firefox

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

Safari

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

Delete cookies and cache to protect your privacy

Cookies[5] are small pieces of data that are used to include all sorts of settings. While they are not malicious by themselves, they can be stolen by third parties and used for malicious purposes. Therefore, security experts advise cleaning web browsers regularly. You can employ automatic cleaning tools such as ReimageIntego, although you can also refer to the manual instructions below.

Google Chrome

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

Mozilla Firefox

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

MS Edge

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

Safari

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

Scan the system with anti-malware tools

Identifying the program responsible for hijacking your browser might be difficult if you have never done this before. Fraudsters like to disguise them as “handy” tools, so they could look like an antivirus suite, image editing software, media player, system optimizer, etc.

If you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk eliminating the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes security tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a malicious program can make any changes. If manual removal is what you prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

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

Windows 7/XP:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Mac:

  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
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to fix virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

How to prevent from getting browser hijacker

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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References