Severity scale:  
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WinAD. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Adware

WinAD is a program that displays advertisements and affects computer performance speed

WinAD virus
WinAD is a program that can infect your PC with other malware.
 

WinAD is an adware related program that can display numerous ads and disturb web browsing sessions. This program might affect the performance of computer and decrease security level of the device. It should raise the attention of the user because a suspicious activity is never wanted. As a general rule, adware programs are not considered to be malware, but can still cause havoc on users' PCs. They can track various information about users, as well as redirect to sometimes dangerous domains.

Name WinAD
Type Adware
Dangers Can attract malware, result in personal data theft
Distribution Software bundling
Elimination Use Reimage for WinAD removal

Typical adware programs are sponsored by advertisement developers – that means the program needs to create ads in various forms to generate revenue for the provider. Typically, a pay-per-click[1] scheme is used. 

Adware as WinAD virus also can promote fake system tools or unnecessary programs inside pop-ups, deals, banners, coupons, offers, etc. These applications may demand you to purchase licensed version to fix fake computer problems or act as an advertisement delivery tool. Meaning, your PC will get injected with even more ads.

In some cases, adware can lead to infiltration of malicious programs (ransomware, trojans, keyloggers, etc.), especially if you are keen on clicking on the content inside questionable websites that you get redirected to. You should remove WinAD immediately after noticing any suspicious activity. If you are not sure if your PC is plagued with adware, see if you are experiencing any of these symptoms:

  • intrusive advertisements are displayed on Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox or other browsers;
  • redirects lead to commercial sites;
  • ads of deceptive software appear;
  • advertisements redirect to affiliated[2] sites from the same provider;
  • you feel that in time ads become personalized.

The last point is explained by the biggest issue with adware itself — data collecting. This program can track various browsing related data such as search queries, most visited sites, preferences on games, movies, and music. Social media likes and friend activity is also accessible for adware. You need to perform WinAD removal because this information about your location and habits can be used by third-party ad providers to create and display commercial content designed for you. You can use security software like Reimage, or, if you trust your skills, perform manual elimination of a questionable program.

In case you get unlucky and manage to install a trojan or other malware on your system, it could result in severe consequences. For example, viruses are capable of stealing personal information, record every key-press of your keyboard, disable or enable programs, or even capture screenshots. These malicious programs can also modify Windows settings without your permission. Thus, to avoid all that, follow a guide below for a proper WinAD removal.

Unwanted programs spread via software bundling

Users tend to forget that adware or other unwanted programs tend to be installed silently – without their consent. These programs come in bundles with freeware or shareware. This marketing technique is often used by developers and is remarkably effective when it comes to PUP distribution.

To avoid possible adware infections, you should pay attention when installing the free software you obtained from the internet. Security experts[3] warn – do not rush, and do not click “Next” until the process is complete. Instead, take your time and read installation instructions. Most importantly, when prompted – use Advanced or Custom installation mode instead of Recommended one. This way, you will be able to get rid of all optional installs by unticking all the tick-marks next to add-ons, toolbars, system optimization tools, etc.

Get rid of WinAD from your computer so you can browse safely 

To remove WinAD virus from the system, you could employ a certified anti-malware tool. If you use automatic elimination method, you will also be able to get rid of all additional useless software that may have been installed without your knowledge. What is more, the process only takes a couple of minutes. 

WinAD removal can also be executed manually. If you are a computer-savvy individual, you can follow detailed instructions below. You will have to detect and eliminate all browser extensions, plug-ins, add-ons and other apps, and then reset each of the affected browsers. Nevertheless, make sure you do not rush this process and skip steps.

You can remove WinAD automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes Malwarebytes, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareNorton Internet Security. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove WinAD you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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Compatible with Microsoft Windows Compatible with OS X
What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall WinAD. 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.
More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.
Press mentions on Reimage
Alternate Software
Plumbytes Anti-Malware
We have tested Plumbytes Anti-Malware's efficiency in removing WinAD (2018-07-18)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing WinAD (2018-07-18)
Hitman Pro
We have tested Hitman Pro's efficiency in removing WinAD (2018-07-18)
Malwarebytes
We have tested Malwarebytes's efficiency in removing WinAD (2018-07-18)

To remove WinAD, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Eliminate WinAD from Windows systems

Clean adware from your Windows OS:

  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 WinAD and related programs
    Here, look for WinAD 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

Uninstall WinAD 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 WinAD 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

Erase WinAD from Internet Explorer (IE)

Remove WinAD from your browser:

  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 WinAD 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 WinAD 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

Delete WinAD 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, WinAD should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove WinAD from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

If Firefox is affected by this adware follow 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 WinAD 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 WinAD removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Get rid of WinAD from Google Chrome

Remove WinAD from 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 WinAD 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 WinAD removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

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

About the author

Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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