Remove Unwanted Ads, Pop-ups, or Virus from Firefox (Help Guide)

If your Mozilla Firefox browser is constantly being redirected to unwanted sites, or pop-up ads appear while browsing the Internet, then your PC may be infected with a potentially unwanted program.
[Image: Pop-up ads in Firefox]

[Image: Firefox Adware]
These Firefox pop-up ads is usually caused by adware installed on your PC. These type of adware programs are bundled with other free software that you download off of the Internet. Unfortunately, some free downloads do not adequately disclose that other software will also be installed and you may find that you have installed adware without your knowledge.

Once an adware program is installed, whenever you will browse the Internet with Firefox, unwanted advertisements will pop-up on web pages that you visit. These ads are aimed to promote the installation of additional questionable content including web browser toolbars, optimization utilities and other products, all so the adware publisher can generate pay-per-click revenue.

Other common symptoms include:

  • Advertising banners are injected with the web pages that you are visiting.
  • Random web page text is turned into hyperlinks.
  • Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
  • Other unwanted adware programs might get installed without the user’s knowledge.

Other than displaying advertisements and collecting data, Firefox adware doesn’t generally make its presence known. Usually, there will be no signs of the program in your computer’s system tray – and no indication in your program menu that files have been installed on your machine.

Adware can slow down your PC. It can also slow down Firefox by constantly downloading and displaying advertisements These pop-up ads can also distract you and waste your time if they have to be closed before you can continue using Firefox.

If you suspect that your computer is infected with a malicious program, you can follow the below guide to easily clean up your PC.
This guide was written to help users remove pop-up ads and advertisements that are caused by adware and other malicious programs, if your just looking for a way to block ads within Firefox, then you can use a free browser extension like Adblock Plus.

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.

Clean Firefox of Unwanted Ads, Pop-ups, & Malware (Virus Help Guide)

This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the amount of the steps and numerous programs that are being used. We have only written it this way to provide clear, detailed, and easy to understand instructions that anyone can use to remove malware for free.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.

To remove Unwanted Ads, Pop-ups, & Malware from Firefox, follow these steps:


STEP 1: Use the Chrome Cleanup Tool to remove unwanted browser changes

The Chrome Cleanup Tool application will scan and remove software that may cause problems with Firefox, such as crashes, unusual startup pages or toolbars, unexpected ads you can’t get rid of, or otherwise changing your browsing experience. It’s important to be remember that this program is not an antivirus application for your entire system, it only scans for programs interfering with your Firefox experience.

  1. You can download Chrome Cleanup Tool from the below link.
    CHROME CLEANUP TOOL LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “Chrome Cleanup Tool”)
  2. When Chrome Cleanup Tool has finished downloading, start this program by double-clicking on the chrome_cleanup_tool icon as seen below.
    Double click on the Chrome Cleanup Tool icon
  3. Chrome Cleanup Tool will now scan Firefox for adware and browser hijackers. The scan should take less than 1 minute, and will report whether it found any malicious programs or not. If any malicious programs were detected, click on the “Remove suspicious programs” button and wait for the tool to tell you it has completed the process.
    Chrome Cleanup Tool Scanning
    If Chrome Cleanup Tool has not detected anything suspicious, then you can click on the “Continue” button and move to the next step.
    Chrome Cleanup Tool detecting adware
  4. Next, a new tab in Firefox will open, prompting you to reset Chrome to default settings. We recommend that you perform this reset as usually this will remove any browser hijackers that might affect your browser.
    Chrome Cleanup Tool Reset Firefox

STEP 2: Use AdwCleaner to remove adware from Firefox

Malwarebytes AdwCleaner is a free utility that will scan Firefox for adware programs that may have been installed without your knowledge.

  1. You can download Malwarebytes AdwCleaner from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Malwarebytes AdwCleaner” on your computer)
  2. When Malwarebytes AdwCleaner has finished downloading, please double-click on the AdwCleaner icon to perform a system scan with this program.
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner Icon
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Malwarebytes AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
    Windows asking permission to start Malwarebytes AdwCleaner
  3. When the Malwarebytes AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
    Scan Firefox with Malwarebytes AdwCleaner to remove adware
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will now start to search for adware and other malicious programs.
  4. To remove the malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner removing Adware
  5. Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will prompt you to save any open files or documents, as the program will need to reboot the computer to complete the cleaning process. Please do so, and then click on the “OK” button.
    Malwarebytes AdwCleaner finishing malware removal
    When your computer reboots and you are logged in, Malwarebytes AdwCleaner will automatically open a log file that contains the files, registry keys, and programs that were removed from your computer. Please review this log file and then close the notepad window. You can now continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 3: Scan and clean Firefox with Malwarebytes

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is a powerful on-demand scanner which should remove malware from Firefox. It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link open a new page from where you can download “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware”)
  2. When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the “mb3-setup-consumer” file to install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your computer.
    Malwarebytes installer
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow Malwarebytes to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    Malwarebytes User Account Control Prompt
  3. When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    Setup Malwarebytes installer
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    Completing the Malwarebytes Setup Wizard
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To start a system scan you can click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Perform a system scan with Malwarebytes
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for malicious programs.
    This process can take a few minutes, so we suggest you do something else and periodically check on the status of the scan to see when it is finished.
    Malwarebytes scanning for malware
  6. When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected.
    To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine Selected” button.
    Malwarebytes Quarantine Selected
  7. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found.
    To complete the malware removal process, Malwarebytes may ask you to restart your computer.
    Malwarebytes removing malware from computer
    When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 4: Double-check for malicious programs with HitmanPro

HitmanPro can find and remove malware, adware, bots, and other threats that even the best antivirus suite can oftentimes miss. HitmanPro is designed to run alongside your antivirus suite, firewall, and other security tools.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download “HitmanPro”)
  2. When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on the “hitmanpro” file to install this program on your computer.
    HitmanPro icon
    You may be presented with an User Account Control pop-up asking if you want to allow HitmanPro to make changes to your device. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
    HitmanPro User Account Control Pop-up
  3. When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Now click on the Next button to continue with the scan process.
    HitmanPro setup process
  4. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malware.
    HitmanPro scanning for virus
  5. When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the “Next” button, to remove malware.
    HitmanPro detected malware
  6. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    Activate HitmanPro to remove malware
    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.

STEP 5: Use Zemana AntiMalware Portable to remove Firefox browser hijackers

Zemana AntiMalware Portable is a free utility that will scan Firefox for browser hijacker and other malicious programs.
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
  1. You can download Zemana AntiMalware Portable from the below link:
    ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE PORTABLE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will start the download of “Zemana AntiMalware Portable”)
  2. Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Portable” to perform a system scan with Zemana AntiMalware Free.
    Zemana AntiMalware portable
    You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this program. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to allow Zemana AntiMalware to run.
    Zemana AntiMalware User Account Control
  3. When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
    Zemana AntiMalware Free Scan
  4. Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your computer for malicious programs. This process can take up to 10 minutes.
    Zemana AntiMalware scanning for virus
  5. When Zemana has finished finished scanning it will show a screen that displays any malware that has been detected. To remove all the malicious files, click on the “Next” button.
    Zemana AntiMalware Removing Virus
    Zemana AntiMalware will now start to remove all the malicious programs from your computer.

(OPTIONAL) STEP 6: Reset your browser to default settings

If you are still experiencing issues with redirects and adware in Mozilla Firefox, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings.
This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

If you’re having problems with Firefox, resetting it can help. The reset feature fixes many issues by restoring Firefox to its factory default state while saving your essential information like bookmarks, passwords, web form auto-fill information, browsing history and open tabs.

  1. In the upper-right corner of the Firefox window, click the Firefox menu button, then click on the “Help[Image: Firefox Help button] button.
    Firefox Help button
  2. From the Help menu, choose Troubleshooting Information.
    If you’re unable to access the Help menu, type about:support in your address bar to bring up the Troubleshooting information page.
    Troubleshooting Information in Firefox
  3. Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
    Refresh Firefox button
  4. To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
    Reset Firefox settings to default
  5. Firefox will close itself and will revert to its default settings. When it’s done, a window will list the information that was imported. Click on the “Finish“.
Your old Firefox profile will be placed on your desktop in a folder named “Old Firefox Data“. If the reset didn’t fix your problem you can restore some of the information not saved by copying files to the new profile that was created. If you don’t need this folder any longer, you should delete it as it contains sensitive information.

Your Firefox browser should now be free of unwanted ads, pop-ups and malware. You can remove AdwCleaner from your machine, however we recommend that you keep Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro installed, and perform regular computer scans.

If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove malware from Firefox, you can ask for help in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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I am the creator and owner of the MalwareTips Community. I've started this site in 2010 to help people solve their computer problems.
I live in Bucharest, where I run my own local computer repair shop. My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.

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