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Remove Taboola ads (Removal Instructions) - Aug 2020 update

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Adware

Taboola is a legitimate advertising network, although can often be abused by adware developers

Taboola official websiteTaboola is legitimate advertising platform, and developers can enter the ad program via the official website

Taboola is a New York-based content recommendation network and advertising service that allows website developers to place ads on their sites for monetization purposes. Unfortunately, these platforms can be greatly abused by adware and other potentially unwanted programs in order to insert pop-ups, deals, offers, flashing windows, hyperlinks, and other intrusive content directly into web browsers. Consequently, users struggle to view legitimate content on various sites that they visit due to ads like “Sponsored by Taboola” or “Taboola ads.”

While the company itself has little to do with adware, users often see the name of the advertiser, and, due to intrusive behavior, makes them think that they are affected by Taboola virus. While this is not the case and no malicious software is installed, the intrusive ads can be stopped by terminating adware and other PUPs installed on the device.

Questions about Taboola ads

Besides, some ads might be simply embedded within the site and have nothing to do with adware. In such a case, the best way to remove Taboola ads would be by installing the ad-blocking application.

Name Taboola ads
Type Adware, potentially unwanted program
Infiltration Software bundling, third-party websites
Symptoms  Intrusive ads on all sites that you visit
Main dangers  Loss of money, installation of unwanted software, viewing of undesired web content
Termination  Delete adware with the help of security software or our manual guide below
Recovery To recover from adware-made changes, scan your computer with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego
Prevention Use ad-blocking software to stop Taboola ads

Some of Taboola's publishers are NBC, Aol, The Weather Channel or MSN. However, these ads can be highly annoying because clicking on them usually throws the user to external websites. Besides, you can never be too sure when clicking on them – recently, scammers compromised the ad network to serve malicious ads to computer users across the globe.

Internet is an amazing place to learn new things and algorithms used on websites allow us to learn consistently by providing suggestions on what to read next. Unfortunately, Taboola can turn these things around. Although it hardly differs from other content recommendation platforms such as RevContent, Spoutable, or Outbrain, users tend to call Taboola ads annoying and often start looking for their removal guidelines.

This content recommendation platform is designed to present the users with sponsored news stories and click-bait[1] celebrity news[2]. It actually places annoying and intrusive ads and articles on web pages when the user browses the web. It is important to know that some ads and articles are part of the website you are visiting. Therefore, attempts to find Taboola-associated adware on your computer might be unsuccessful.

However, if you constantly see the following in the address line or at the bottom of Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or another browser, there is a high chance a potentially unwanted program is involved:

  • Ads bought to you by Taboola;
  • Taboola ads;
  • Sponsored by Taboola;
  • Redirecting to Taboola;
  • Provided by Taboola, etc.

Besides Taboola ads, users might also start getting redirected to unknown websites, seeing sponsored links within search results, and have their homepage and new tab default address altered.

Taboola adsTaboola is a legitimate advertising network, although is often used by potentially unwanted programs to insert ads into infected computers

Ads might lead you to inappropriate or even disturbing websites – do not click on them to avoid the unwanted consequences

Having in mind all of the things we have already discussed, is not surprising why so many people want to block Taboola ads somehow. They often complain that seeing these ads makes their web browsing experience worse with the constant appearance of pushy ads, “Related articles” and “From around the web” news which distract them from finding relevant information on the Internet.

Taboola spam is not only annoying; you can never trust where you will end up after clicking on these irritating advertisements or articles it suggests reading. Although the ad network claims to be using strict restrictions for advertisers and prohibiting the use of offensive, threatening, inappropriate, dangerous, or scam content, recently the ad network was compromised and clicking on its ads used to redirect victims to tech support scam[3] page.

The only thing that we want to accentuate is that you can never fully trust these ads and click on them without worries. You can never know what hides behind them!

Taboola business model is simple: it places eye-catching content to draw users' attention and make them click on it; in other words, it functions as bait. When the bait servers its purpose and the users click on the ads, Taboola redirect occurs and drops its victims off on some promoted websites.

Each of such redirects generates pay-per-click revenue[4] for the developers of this PUP. You should avoid content marked as “Sponsored links by Taboola,” “Content you may like” or “Related articles.”

To sum up, we want to share our opinion with you – we believe that these marketing strategies are a bit pushy, however, when seeking for security and privacy online, you should see these ads the same way you see any online content. Just do not be too trustful and you will be fine.

Taboola on Google Chrome

Sadly, it seems that it is not really possible to avoid Taboola ads at all times because some websites simply choose to provide their advertisements willingly. In a recent Facebook update, which was rolled out completely silently, a new feature was added to Facebook apps for iOS and Android – an icon with a rocket icon on it.

Some news sites were quick to state that the new feature serves users content that looks like “a mixture of Taboola ads and Snapchat's Discover section.[5]” However, the mysterious rocket button quickly disappeared as it was only a test feature. 

Hackers compromise the ad network to push malicious ads

Taboola content recommendation platform has recently become a victim of a cyber attack. While the company strives to strictly check the reliability of every advertiser, rogue ones managed to push malicious ads via security checks and this way abuse ad network for the promotion of deceptive ads.

According to analysis,[6] the malvertising incident was caught on the website on September 28th, 2017. Researchers noticed that clicking on one of Taboola's ads placed on the MSN news site initiated a redirect via to a tech support scam site on that displays a rogue “Windows Security” pop-up which says:

The server is asking for your user name and password.

The server reports that it is from Suspicious activity detected on your IP address due to harmful virus installed in your computer.

Call Toll Free now +1-833-335-1333 for any assistance. Your data is at serious risk.

The deceptive message then repeats all problems and issues that the user will run into if he attempts to open an Internet browser or restart the computer. It is obvious why the support scammers try to frighten the user not to take these measures because a) opening another browser could help the user find information about this fake “Windows Security” pop-up online, b) restarting the computer would shut down the scary pop-up. 

Distribution of adware that serves annoying ads

However, if you noticed that you see too many ads by this content recommendation network, you might be dealing with an adware[7] program that serves these ads to you. That might be the case why the “Taboola virus” term appeared, say experts.[8]

Typically, the adware which presents Taboola content for you spreads via freeware and shareware as an additional component, exhibited as a “recommended download.”

Taboola unwanted adsTaboola is known to serve ads that might be a click-bait or even fake news

When the virus settles down on the computer, it copies its command file taboola.dll to the Program Files and ProgramData folders from which it can then run its processes. In fact, the majority of ad-supported programs or browser hijackers are distributed like that.

The good news is that you can always opt-out of these additional components by adjusting the installation settings appropriately. You have to opt for either the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation option when installing new programs, and then you will be provided with a list of optional programs added to your selected one.

Deselect the checkboxes next to them to avoid installing them. That is all you need to do to prevent installing unlooked-for additions. If you are one of many users who cannot stand these advertisements, you are probably looking for a clear removal guide. Luckily, we have one prepared for your below.

Remove Taboola ads generated by suspicious programs

If you are looking for instructions on how to block Taboola ads, you have come to the right place. We present two different techniques on how to get rid of Taboola virus:

  1. You can uninstall it manually using manual removal instructions;
  2. You can remove Taboola using anti-spyware software.

If you do not want to see these Taboola articles or ads anymore, and if you are sure that your computer is free of spyware or malware, you can try to solve the issue manually.

For that, follow the removal instructions given below. However, if you would like to check the security status of your PC, consider installing reliable security software.

We recommend using security software because it can detect and remove the latest computer threats and also provide real-time protection. If you have any questions regarding uninstall, please contact our support team.

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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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove 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.

To remove Taboola ads, follow these steps:

Delete Taboola from Windows systems

Taboola virus is known to infect exceptionally the Windows OS, but instances of its hijack may occur on other operating systems as well. In case of such an attack, you should act quickly and scan your computer with an antivirus tool. If you do not have one installed, follow the steps below to remove Taboola from your PC manually.

  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 Taboola and related programs
    Here, look for Taboola 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'

Get rid of Taboola from Mac OS X system

Trying to remove Taboola from the Mac OS manually may seem overwhelming, thus, we have prepared the following instructions to guide you through this process.

  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 Taboola 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'

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

Eliminate Taboola ads from Microsoft Edge

If Taboola virus has infected your PC, it most probably has installed some browser extensions or add-ons to help it deploy ads and news stories on your visited websites. It is absolutely necessary to clean up your browser from such potentially dangerous components. You can do it by going to the Microsoft Edge settings and clicking the “Extensions” catalog.

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, Taboola should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

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

Remove Taboola from Google Chrome

Taboola-related components may be placed on your browser, thus to clean up your device from this virus completely, you should eliminate any suspicious add-on or browser extension that you find in Google Chrome's “Extensions” list.

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

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

Choose a proper web browser and improve your safety with a VPN tool

Online spying has got momentum in recent years and people are getting more and more interested in how to protect their privacy online. One of the basic means to add a layer of security – choose the most private and secure web browser. Although web browsers can't grant a full privacy protection and security, some of them are much better at sandboxing, HTTPS upgrading, active content blocking, tracking blocking, phishing protection, and similar privacy-oriented features. 

Nevertheless, there's 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. 

Recover files after data-affecting malware attacks

While much of the data can be accidentally deleted due to various circumstances, malware is also one of the main culprits that can cause loss of pictures, documents, videos, and other important files. Potentially unwanted programs may clear files that keep the application from running smoothly.

More serious malware infections lead to significant data loss when your documents, system files, or images get locked. In particular, ransomware is is a type of malware that focuses on such functions, so your files become useless without an ability to access them. Even though there is little to no possibility to recover after file-locking threats, some applications have features for data recovery in the system.

In some cases, Data Recovery Pro can also help to recover at least some portion of your data after data-locking virus infection or general cyber infection. 


About the author

Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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