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“Sponsored links by Content.Ad” ads. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware

What dangers do the “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” ads bring?

“Sponsored links by Content.Ad virus” or “Content.Ad virus” are the common terms users enter into their search bar when looking for a solution on how to remove annoying pop-ups, banners and other ads from their browser. It is no secret that these ads are generated by an adware because most of them feature the typical slogans such as “Powered by Content.Ad”, “Ads by Content.Ad” or “Content.Ad Ads”. Adware viruses are known for being quite pushy about the content they advertise, but not all of them are considered malicious. In fact, there are two types of adware: legitimate and malicious ones. Unfortunately, it seems that the program we are discussing today belongs to the latter category. The official website of this advertiser may give an impression of trustworthiness, but in reality, we do not know anything about what parties does Content.Ad collaborates with. It is quite possible that some unreliable sources use this service as well. If this is really the case, this means that while browsing the web, you may suddenly come across some tech-support scam notifications, phishing surveys or fraudulent offers, persuading you to obtain certain products or services. It goes without saying that such ads should be avoided at all costs. But with a malicious adware on your computer, it might be quite difficult to do. Thus, you can already start thinking about “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” removal. The quickest and most assured way to do it is by scanning the computer with Reimage or other trusted anti-malware software.

Picture of Sponsored links by Content.Ad

If Sponsored links by Content.Ad hijack has slipped through you unnoticed, do not worry. You are not the only one that this shady advertising app has managed to trick. There are numerous users who only notice something strange is happening on their browsers only when they can’t see the content of their visited websites through all of the ads, video commercials and banners that start overlaying the screen. Others are unable to close their browsers due to browser blocking technologies, but usually, until this time, a few ads that show up here and there are simply ignored. Ideally, though, any unusual activity on the computer or the Internet browser should be left without close examination. So, Sponsored links by Content.Ad should be the first indicators that you need to scan your computer with an antivirus utility immediately. Do not wait until your browser or other applications start crashing from CPU overload, or until the sponsored links by Content.Ad redirect you suspicious websites potentially filled with malware. The potentially unwanted programs may later be used to work in collaboration with the adware and spy on the users’ browsing, collect data about their most frequently visited websites or pages they view most frequently. As a result, the hijacked browser will be filled with even more targeted ads. To remove sponsored links by Content.Ad from your computer, follow our guide below the article.

How did this adware hijack my computer?

As we have already mentioned, Sponsored links by Content.Ad are brought into the computers with the help of adware. These ad-based programs usually install using “bundling” strategy which is one of the most popular distribution techniques among malware developers. Users often download various freeware and shareware applications on their computers, so the malware creators have thought up a way to exploit this tendency. They combine free and popular applications which potentially unwanted ones and spread them around in a single software package. To disclose what is hiding in your downloaded software package, you should opt for the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation modes, because “Quick” or “Recommended” ones will simply proceed with the installation without allowing to cancel optional components. If preventing Sponsored links by Content.Ad installation is already too late, you should check out our guide below to remove this adware from your computer.

Sponsored links by Content.Ad removal:

Have you already decided to remove Sponsored links by Content.Ad virus from your computer? Do not hurry and read these recommendations first. Keep in mind that these ads you are seeing are just the tip of the iceberg and more serious problems lay much deeper. To remove these annoying ads, you have to find where they are coming from first. If you do not know where to start, let the automatic antivirus utilities do the job. If you are well aware of how adware viruses work, you may as well accomplish Sponsored links by Content.Ad removal manually, by applying the instructions provided below the article.

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.

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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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” ads, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” from Windows systems

”Sponsored links by Content.Ad” ads may be terrible companion while browsing the web, but luckily, you can get rid of it. To do that, you must locate the adware responsible for generating these ads and remove it. Do not worry if you can’t find it under the name of Content.Ad or anything similar. Keep looking through any of the suspicious applications you have recently installed on your PC and, hopefully, you will find the perpetrator.

  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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” and related programs
    Here, look for “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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

Remove “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” from Mac OS X system

  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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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

Uninstall “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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

Eliminate “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” ads 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, “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Erase “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” 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 “Sponsored links by Content.Ad” removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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