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Remove StormWatch ads (Virus Removal Instructions) - updated Oct 2019

removal by Lucia Danes - -   Also known as Ads by StormWatch, StormWatch virus | Type: Adware

StormWatch – a supposedly useful app for weather viewing that is categorized as adware

StormWatch adware
StormWatch - an adware program that might redirect you to a suspicious network

StormWatch is supposed to be a useful tool that shows people forecasts about the upcoming storms. Unfortunately, it is a questionable program that has already been categorized as adware[1] as it may push rogue advertisements on all web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, etc. It has been created by Weather Protector LLC, as well as WeatherBug, Weather Forecast, or Desktop Temperature Monitor. All these programs work in a similar manner – they display a widget on a desktop and show weather or storm forecasts. Lots of PC users have installed StormWatch for this function but it seems that this program is also capable of implementing various additional operations without the user's permission asked.

Name StormWatch
Type Adware application/potentially unwanted program
Developer This suspicious program has been created and developed by Weather Protector LLC
Aim The main aim of this product is to provide users with weather-related information
Browsers affected Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, and Safari might get affected by the adware
Distributed Such products are often bundled with freeware through third-party sources such as Softonic or can be downloaded from their official websites
Remove it Scan the entire system with Reimage Reimage Cleaner . Continuously, proceed with the manual/automatical elimination technique. View guidelines at the end of this page

Once you enter the official website of StormWatch, the application developers will meet you with a nice presentation of the program and an attractive greeting that aims to express the importance of quality-full user experience:

Welcome to StormWatch website. We hope the user will find the upgraded presentation of weather data in the Kansas City metro region to be a significantly enhanced experience. The new site is now mobile-friendly, and the graphing engine for data presentation is improved.

The main issue that may annoy you to death is the constant flood of StormWatch ads on each of your web browsers. Usually, they appear massively, so you can hardly ignore them. You should be very careful with such messages because they may redirect you to questionable websites and lead you to the installation of another potentially unwanted program.

Besides, StormWatch may even connect to the Internet without your permission and install other ad-supported extensions. As a consequence, the browser's performance may be heavily diminished and you may experience constant crashes. Not to mention, this program may start collecting your personally non-identifiable information for affiliate marketing.

StormWatch virus
StormWatch - an adware virus that can come bundled with other tools

It seems that StormWatch is able to monitor your browsing activities and collect data such as IP address, search queries, visited websites, geolocation, and so on. For enhancement of your browsing experience, the developers might inject HTTP cookies.[2] According to the developers, even though users are able to refuse the tracking components, this might affect the app's functionality:

Our Application uses “cookies” to enhance User experience. User's web browser places cookies on their hard drive for record-keeping purposes and sometimes to track information about them. User may choose to set their web browser to refuse cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. If they do so, note that some parts of the Application may not function properly.

Even though StormWatch claims to use the collected information to improve its application and customers' services, third-parties mostly seek to bombard their users with targeted advertisements or sometimes even share the gathered details with other partners. The more the users click on the ads provided, the better the revenue is made. 

StormWatch ads can easily bring pay-per-click income if found attractive to potential customers/clients. However, these ads might cause redirects to other promoted locations some of which might appear to be infected with dangerous malware. This is one of the ways how Trojan horses, ransomware viruses, worms, and other malicious programs reach the computer.

If the adware program lands on your computer system and tends to modify web browsers such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, or Safari, you need to remove StormWatch from the machine and browser apps with the help of manual instructing lines that are placed at the end of this article.

However, first, we recommend scanning the entire machine with a program such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner that will find all suspicious entries, keys, and files that have been placed on the machine by the adware application. If you are likely to, you can continue with the StormWatch removal process by employing automatical software.

StormWatch ads

Developers plant their created PUPs into freeware/shareware packages 

It is very likely that you have downloaded some plug-ins voluntarily from their own official websites. However, there are many cases when deceptive programs appeared on the system after installing some free software. Mostly, users receive unpleasant content on their computer system after using third-party downloading services from Cnet or Softonic.

Fortunately, the infiltration of potentially unwanted programs can be avoided. It doesn't matter if you downloaded the application from its official website or it got inside in a bundle with freeware. If any adware or potentially unwanted program got installed on your PC without your permission, it means that you have installed the program in the wrong way.

Once you choose a program that you want, try to read its end-user license agreement and other possible information that is given. You can even try to look for reviews and comments of other users, thus it will help you to find more information about its positive and negative functions. In addition, avoid Quick/Basic/Recommended installation modes.

In fact, this way you will install your desired program quickly; however, additional programs will be installed alongside unnoticed. Therefore, choose Advanced or Custom installation and attentively follow every checkbox in order to opt-out of potentially unwanted programs and their additional products.

Remove StormWatch virus from the affected computer/browser

If this application bothers you with intrusive ads and redirects, you may choose between automatic and manual removal and fix your computer. When we recommend the StormWatch ads removal via automatical technique for all users, there still is a possibility to get rid of the cyber threat on your own.

However, we suggest evaluating your skills first and if you see that you lack experience, you should not remove StormWatch ads from your Windows/Mac computer system without any guidance of professional antivirus software. But if you do believe to be an advanced computer user, try out the following steps.

Experts from NoVirus.uk[3] want to point out the importance of complete adware removal. StormWatch might have planted bogus entries in your Task Manager that can provoke repeated adware appearance if not eliminated permanently.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner . 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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Reimage Cleaner, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Reimage Cleaner has a free limited scanner. Reimage Reimage Cleaner 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 Reimage Cleaner, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove StormWatch ads, follow these steps:

Remove StormWatch from Windows systems

To remove the adware program from your Windows computer, use these instructing tips

  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 StormWatch and related programs
    Here, look for StormWatch 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'

Delete StormWatch from Mac OS X system

To clean macOS from adware-based content, carry out the following steps

  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 StormWatch 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'

Get rid of StormWatch from Internet Explorer (IE)

To reverse Internet Explorer back to its previous state, you should complete the following

  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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again

Uninstall StormWatch ads from Microsoft Edge

To eliminate bogus changes in Edge, perform these instructing steps

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, StormWatch should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

Erase StormWatch from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

To refresh Firefox and bring the browser to its primary position, use these steps

  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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Eliminate StormWatch from Google Chrome

To delete all suspicious objects from Google Chrome, complete the below-provided lines

  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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Remove StormWatch from Safari

To clean Safari from the adware, use the following instructions

  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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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References

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