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Remove PopAds virus (Removal Guide) - updated Oct 2020

removal by Lucia Danes - -   Also known as popads.net | Type: Adware

PopAds is an adware redirecting users to popads.net ads

PopAds virus can start bothering you all of a sudden, especially if you tend to install computer programs in a rush. It turns out that this potentially unwanted program[1] (PUP) can reach your computer with your permission only; therefore, it cannot be called a malicious virus. Experts tend to call it adware program because it usually serves a lot of pop-up ads for the user. Originally, these ads come from PopAds.net server. This program itself is an advertising network[2], and seeing these ads means that your PC was infected with a program that takes these ads from the ad network and displays them for you, hoping that you will click on them. However, the ad network can precisely monitor all of the content that third-party websites provide, therefore, we must advise you to be very careful when clicking on ads by PopAds. Each external site that you can get redirected to has its own privacy policy and reading it is a must. You can never know how these external websites collect information about you and how do they use it, so be careful.

PopAdsIf PopAds advertisements appearing on your screen, your PC might be infected with adware. To detect it, run a system scan with a good anti-spyware software.

Questions about PopAds virus

If you accidentally installed a free but ad-supported program, it is likely that you will see PopAds.net ads everywhere you go on the Internet. These ads might automatically show up in the form of pop-up, pop-under, banner, full-screen, or in-text ads. It is important to realize that while some of these ads can actually provide you with useful offers, others can provide you with inappropriate content, for instance, this ad network admits to be promoting adult websites, which means that one of the ads from this platform can throw you, your relatives, or your kids onto adult content websites. Despite the visual material published by them, you should think of all dangers[3] related to links and ads provided by these websites. Security researchers know that ads served by such sites are often risky because of the whole malvertising[4] concept. It is not a secret that scammers try to infect ad networks just to serve malware-laden ads to users via popular Internet websites. Therefore, if you started receiving loads of ads from the described ad network, it might mean that you have installed a program that promotes content from it. If you wish to disable these ads, remove adware first. With ReimageIntego, you can complete this task in minutes, meanwhile, attempts to take matters into your own hands can take much longer. Therefore, that is the main reason why we recommend choosing automatic PopAds removal option.

How to protect my PC from popAds?

Adware is a type of a free program that displays ads for the victim during his browsing sessions. Usually, users end up installing them when they decide to install computer programs using “Recommended,” “Default” or “Standard” installation option[5]. Most of the free programs suggest installing extra programs alongside them to earn pay-per-install revenue. However, such deals usually do not benefit the end-user. The majority of users end up installing unwanted software on their PCs only because they do not pay enough attention to software setup settings and think that suggested installation options are the best ones. That is not true – only choosing Custom or Advanced settings can provide you with an opportunity to adjust components of your download and drop off the ones that you don’t need. After configuring installation settings, you can finish the installation in a usual manner.

Removal tips for PopAds

If the described advertisements appear on your screen in an intrusive way, do not tolerate it. We highly recommend you to remove PopAds virus automatically, because trying to find it on your computer can become a time-consuming activity, and we bet that you have something better to do. For automatic removal, you can use one of the recommended anti-spyware or anti-malware programs such as ReimageIntego. If you want to try to get rid of PopAds.net manually before you try the anti-malware tool, you should follow instructions provided below the article.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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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.

To remove PopAds virus, follow these steps:

Eliminate PopAds from Windows systems

If you started to notice pop-ups and banners with a “By PopAds” mark one them, look through the list of programs that were recently installed on your computer. Uninstall them according to these instructions.

To remove PopAds from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  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 entries related to PopAds (or any other recently installed 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

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  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.

Remove PopAds from Mac OS X system

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove PopAds from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for PopAds-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 PopAds, 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 related to PopAds and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the PopAds-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall PopAds from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for PopAds and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete PopAds removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of PopAds virus 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 PopAds-related 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

Reset MS Edge if that 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 DeleteAdvanced 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” -VerboseAdvanced 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 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

Delete PopAds from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Clean Firefox by removing all suspicious extensions that might be serving PopAds advertisements to you. If you can't find an extension called PopAds, look for other shady-looking extensions and delete them.

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 plugins that are related to PopAds and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  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

In case PopAds did not get removed after following the instructions above, 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 – this should complete PopAds removal.Reset Firefox 2

Erase PopAds from Google Chrome

In Chrome, you will find a panel called Extensions. You must open it and look through the list of programs installed on it. Next, delete the ones that seem suspicious to you. If you can find an extension called PopAds, get rid of it as soon as possible.

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 PopAds 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

If the above-methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the PopAds-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 to complete PopAds removal.Reset Chrome 2

Eliminate PopAds from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to PopAds 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

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References
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