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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 adwareStormWatch - 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 Intego. 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 virusStormWatch - 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 Intego 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 Intego. 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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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.

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

To remove StormWatch 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 StormWatch (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.

Delete StormWatch from Mac OS X system

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

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

Remove StormWatch from Applications folder:

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

Get rid of StormWatch from Internet Explorer (IE)

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

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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Uninstall StormWatch ads from Microsoft Edge

To eliminate bogus changes in Edge, perform these instructing steps

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 StormWatch-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

Erase StormWatch from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

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

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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch removal.Reset Firefox 2

Eliminate StormWatch from Google Chrome

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

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 StormWatch 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 StormWatch-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 StormWatch removal.Reset Chrome 2

Remove StormWatch from Safari

To clean Safari from the adware, use the following instructions

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

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

Access your website securely from any location

When you work on the domain, site, blog, or different project that requires constant management, content creation, or coding, you may need to connect to the server and content management service more often. It is a hassle when your website is protected from suspicious connections and unauthorized IP addresses.

The best solution for creating a tighter network could be a dedicated/fixed IP address. If you make your IP address static and set to your device, you can connect to the CMS from any location and do not create any additional issues for server or network manager that need to monitor connections and activities. This is how you bypass some of the authentications factors and can remotely use your banking accounts without triggering suspicious with each login. 

VPN software providers like Private Internet Access can help you with such settings and offer the option to control the online reputation and manage projects easily from any part of the world. It is better to clock the access to your website from different IP addresses. So you can keep the project safe and secure when you have the dedicated IP address VPN and protected access to the content management system.

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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