Toon Explorer adware (spam) - Free Instructions

Toon Explorer adware Removal Guide

What is Toon Explorer adware?

Toon Explorer is a browser extension that displays advertisements to generate revenue

Toon ExplorerToon Explorer has no capabilities to help find cartoon-related content easier

Toon Explorer is a browser plugin that is advertised as a useful tool for cartoon lovers. Unfortunately, it does not have any functions and instead operates as adware – advertising-supported software. When it gets attached to the browser it starts causing unwanted symptoms.

Users may notice an increased amount of commercial content, like pop-ups, banners, and redirects. Promotional links can be injected into the search results as well. Crooks can use rogue advertising networks[1] that place ads leading to dangerous websites.

As a result, people may end up on pages that use social engineering[2] techniques to trick them into providing personal information, downloading PUPs (potentially unwanted programs),[3] and malware. Some malicious extensions can also change the main settings of the browser, like the homepage, new tab address, and search engine, forcing people to use only selected channels for browsing.

NAME Toon Explorer
TYPE Browser hijacker; potentially unwanted program
SYMPTOMS An increased amount of commercial content; promotional links are injected into the search results; pop-ups and banners start appearing
DISTRIBUTION Shady websites; deceptive ads; freeware installations
DANGERS Links embedded in the ads can lead to dangerous websites from rogue advertising networks
ELIMINATION Remove the extension in the browser settings; scan your machine with anti-malware tools
FURTHER STEPS Use ReimageIntego to clear your browsers, get rid of any remaining damage and optimize the system

How did Toon Explorer infect my PC?

The PUP was discovered through shady download pages. These “Downloader” sites are spread through the Internet, usually on other sites that engage in illegal activities. Such websites are full of deceptive ads and sneaky redirects. Even though Google said it would get rid of fake “Download” and “Play” buttons,[4] they still exist.

Fake “Downloader” pages often use social engineering to their advantage. As you can see in the picture below, the site asks people to install a browser extension to “continue to the website.” You should never have to install any plugins or programs to be able to access content on a legitimate website.

Adware can also infect people who use freeware[5] distribution platforms. They often include bundled software in the installers without disclosing it clearly. Most people skip through the installation process so they do not notice the additional files.

Toon Explorer adwareToon Explorer adware can install after visiting a shady website

How to avoid adware installations?

You should never click on random links and buttons. Avoid “Download” and “Play” buttons unless you are completely sure that the website is safe. Use legitimate streaming services, like Netflix or Hulu, instead of illegal streaming platforms.[6] Do not install programs from freeware distribution sites, peer-to-peer file-sharing platforms, and torrent websites.

It is best to use official web stores, and developer sites. Doing research also should not be forgotten. Read the reviews, look at the ratings, and the number of users an application has. Choose those that have plenty of positive feedback and thousands of users. Crooks also often make spelling and grammar mistakes so always read the product descriptions fully.

To avoid adware sneaking into your system during the installation, always choose the “Custom” or “Advanced” installation methods, read the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use to find out what the program will be capable of. The most important part is to check the file list and untick the boxes next to any unrelated apps.

Keep your browsing history private

Websites, web-based applications, and programs can use cookies to track your activity. These small data files can store information like your IP address, geolocation, websites you visit, links you click on, and things you purchase online. This raises many user privacy and security concerns as this data can be sold to advertising networks or other third parties.

We recommend having a maintenance tool like ReimageIntego that can clear your browsers automatically. It can eliminate cookies and cache, and stop the tracking process. This powerful software can also fix various system errors, corrupted files, and registry issues which is especially helpful after a virus infection.

Remove Toon Explorer adware

Toon Explorer adware most likely attached an extension to your browser that causes push notification spam, banners, surveys, redirects, and other commercial content. You should go to your browser settings and look at the extension list. We recommend removing plugins one by one to see if you notice any changes.

Google Chrome

  • Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  • In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to the unwanted program by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

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 extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

MS Edge (Chromium)

  • Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  • Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Mozilla Firefox

  • Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  • Select Add-ons.
  • In here, select unwanted plugin and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Safari

  • Click Safari > Preferences…
  • In the new window, pick Extensions.
  • Select the unwanted extension and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Scan your system with anti-malware tools

Manual removal of PUPs can sometimes result in the renewal of the infection as users often fail to eliminate all the related files and entries. If you are not sure what to do and you do not want to risk deleting the wrong files, we suggest using SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes anti-malware tools that will scan your machine, eliminate it, and prevent such infections in the future by giving you a warning before a PUP can make any changes.

If manual removal is what you still prefer, we have instructions for Windows and Mac machines:

Windows 10/8:

  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 the entry of the 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

Windows 7/XP:

  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.

Mac:

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

How to prevent from getting adware

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is 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. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References