If your Windows 10 computer is constantly being redirected to unwanted sites or advertisements are popping up while you browse the Internet, then it is possible that you have malware installed on your computer.
Is my Windows 10 infected with malware?
Windows 10 is the most secure version of Windows ever created, however, adware and other malicious programs are constantly created to infect this operating system. Adware and browser hijackers are the most prevalent and easy to spot types of infections on Windows, however, ransomware, Trojans and other malware can wreak havoc when installed on a PC.
The above images are examples of unwanted advertisements within Windows 10 that are usually caused by adware installed on your computer. These ads will overlay the content on the page and when you click on a link, it will just open a pop-up to another advertisement. When a malicious program displays advertisements it will either display them in pop-up windows, directly on a web page you are visiting, or will appear as videos, banners, moving ads, or like folded down the page in the top right corner of the web site. Also, you might experience new tabs opening, a change in your home page, findings from a search engine you never heard of, or even a redirect to an NSFW website.
Why am I seeing pop-up ads and redirects in Windows 10?
You are seeing pop-ups and redirects in your Windows 10 because you are either infected with adware or another web site is redirecting you to them.
This guide was written to help Windows 10 users remove malware from their devices, so if you’re just looking for a way to block the pop-up ads or advertisements on a specific site, then you can use a free Chrome browser extension like Adblock.
When it comes to adware, these malicious 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 on your device, whenever you will browse the Internet, malicious sites will redirect your Chrome browser to unwanted advertisements.
Here are a few typical signs that you have adware on your system:
- Advertisements appear in places they shouldn’t be.
- Your web browser’s homepage has mysteriously changed without your permission.
- Web pages that you typically visit are not displaying properly.
- Website links redirect to sites different from what you expected.
- Browser popups appear which recommend fake updates or other software.
- Other unwanted programs might get installed without your knowledge.
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.
To check your Windows 10 computer for adware or other malware and remove it for free, please use the guide below.
Remove adware, pop-up ads & malware from Windows 10 (Free Guide)
This malware removal guide may appear overwhelming due to the number of 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 adware, pop-ups and malware from Windows 10, follow these steps:
- STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
- STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes Free to remove adware and pop-ups
- STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for Trojans and malware
- STEP 4: Double-check for other malicious programs with Zemana AntiMalware Free
- STEP 5: Reset the browser settings to remove redirects and browser hijackers
STEP 1: Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows
In this first step, we will check if any malicious programs are installed on your computer. Sometimes browser hijackers or adware programs can have usable Uninstall entries that can be used to remove these programs.
Open the “Settings” menu.
Click Start button on the taskbar, then select “Settings” (gear icon).
Click on “Apps”, then on “Apps and Features”.
When the “Windows Settings” window opens, click on “Apps“. By default, it should open “Apps and Features” but if it doesn’t, select it from the list on the left.
Find the malicious program and uninstall it.
The “Apps and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your computer. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious program, then click to highlight it, then click the “Uninstall” button.
Look out for any suspicious program that could be behind all the drama – anything you don’t remember downloading or that doesn’t sound like a genuine program.
Here are some known malicious programs: PDFPoof, BatBitRst, MessengerNow, SearchAd, MyPrintableCoupons, Reading Cursors, ProMediaConverter, PDFOnline-express, See Scenic Elf, Clickware, Easy Speedtest, or WebDiscover.
The malicious program may have a different name on your computer. If you cannot find any malicious programs on your computer, you can continue with the second step from this guide.
Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall the program.
In the next message box, confirm the uninstall process by clicking on Uninstall, then follow the prompts to uninstall the program.
Make sure to read all of the prompts carefully, because some malicious programs try to sneak things in hoping that you won’t read closely.
STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes Free to remove adware and pop-ups
Malwarebytes Free is one of the most popular and most used anti-malware software for Windows, and for good reasons. It is able to destroy many types of malware that other software tends to miss, without costing you absolutely nothing. When it comes to cleaning up an infected device, Malwarebytes has always been free and we recommend it as an essential tool in the fight against malware.
Download Malwarebytes Free.
You can download Malwarebytes by clicking the link below.MALWAREBYTES DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new page from where you can download Malwarebytes)
Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.
When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the MBSetup file to install Malwarebytes on your computer. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
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 Malwarebytes installation.
Follow the on-screen prompts to install Malwarebytes.
When the Malwarebytes installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes setup wizard which will guide you through the installation process. The Malwarebytes installer will first ask you on what type of computer are you installing this program, click either Personal Computer or Work Computer.
On the next screen, click “Install” to install Malwarebytes on your computer.
When your Malwarebytes installation completes, the program opens to the Welcome to Malwarebytes screen. Click the “Get started” button.
Select “Use Malwarebytes Free”.
After installing Malwarebytes, you’ll be prompted to select between the Free and the Premium version. The Malwarebytes Premium edition includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and ransomware protection, however, we will use the Free version to clean up the computer.
Click on “Use Malwarebytes Free“.
Click on “Scan”.
To scan your computer with Malwarebytes, click on the “Scan” button. Malwarebytes will automatically update the antivirus database and start scanning your computer for malware.
Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.
Malwarebytes will scan your computer for adware and other 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.
Click on “Quarantine”.
When the scan has completed, you will be presented with a screen showing the malware infections that Malwarebytes has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes has found, click on the “Quarantine” button.
Malwarebytes will now remove 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.
When the malware removal process is complete, you can close Malwarebytes and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 3: Use HitmanPro to scan for Trojans and malware
HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner that takes a unique cloud-based approach to malware scanning. HitmanPro scans the behavior of active files and also files in locations where malware normally resides for suspicious activity. If it finds a suspicious file that’s not already known, HitmanPro sends it to their clouds to be scanned by two of the best antivirus engines today, which are Bitdefender and Kaspersky.
Although HitmanPro is shareware and costs $24.95 for 1 year on 1 PC, there is actually no limit in scanning. The limitation only kicks in when there is a need to remove or quarantine detected malware by HitmanPro on your system and by then, you can activate the one time 30-day trial to enable the cleanup.
You can download HitmanPro by clicking the link below.HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
When HitmanPro has finished downloading, double-click on “hitmanpro.exe” (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or “hitmanpro_x64.exe” (for 64-bit versions of Windows) to install this program on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
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.
Follow the on-screen prompts.
When HitmanPro starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below. Click on the “Next” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the HitmanPro scan to complete.
HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for malicious programs. This process will take a few minutes.
Click on “Next”.
When HitmanPro has finished the scan, it will display a list of all the malware that the program has found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious programs.
Click on “Activate free license”.
Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your PC.
When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 4: Double-check for other malicious programs with Zemana AntiMalware Free
Zemana AntiMalware is a free popular on-demand antivirus scanner which can detect and remove malware that even the most well-known anti-virus and anti-malware applications fail to find.
While the Malwarebytes and HitmanPro scans are more than enough, we’re recommending Zemana AntiMalware Free to users who still have malware related issues or just want to make sure their computer is 100% clean.
Download Zemana AntiMalware.
You can download Zemana AntiMalware Free by clicking the link below.ZEMANA ANTIMALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK
(The above link will open a new web page from where you can download Zemana AntiMalware)
Double-click on the setup file.
Double-click on the file named “Zemana.AntiMalware.Setup.exe” to start the installation of Zemana AntiMalware. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.
You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
Install Zemana AntiMalware Free.
Click on the “Next” button to install Zemana AntiMalware on your computer. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the install process.
Click on “Scan Now”.
When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan Now” button to perform a system scan.
Wait for the Zemana AntiMalware scan to complete.
Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your computer for malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
Click on “Apply Action”.
When Zemana AntiMalware has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Apply Action” button to remove the malicious files from your computer.
Restart your computer.
When the malware removal process is complete, Zemana AntiMalware may need to restart your computer. Click on the “Reboot” button to restart your computer.
When the process is complete, you can close Zemana AntiMalware and continue with the rest of the instructions.
STEP 5: Reset the browser settings to remove redirects and browser hijackers
If your Windows computer is still being redirected to malicious sites or you see pop-ups, we will need to reset the web browser settings to their original defaults. This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.
To reset Google Chrome and remove malicious browser extensions or browser hijackers, follow these steps:
Click the menu icon, then click on “Settings”.
In the top right corner, click on Chrome’s main menu button, represented by three vertical dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “Settings“.
Chrome’s “Settings” should now be displayed in a new tab or window, depending on your configuration. Next, scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Advanced” link.
Click “Reset settings to their original defaults”.
Scroll down until the “Reset and clean up” section is visible, as shown in the example below. Click on “Reset settings to their original defaults“.
Click “Reset Settings”.
A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset Settings” button.
To reset Firefox and remove malicious browser extensions or browser hijackers, follow these steps:
Click the menu icon, then click on “Help”.
Click on Firefox’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled “Help“.
Click “Troubleshooting Information”.
From the Help menu, click on “Troubleshooting Information“.
Click on “Refresh Firefox”
Click the “Refresh Firefox” button in the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page.
To continue, click on the “Refresh Firefox” button in the new confirmation window that opens.
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 “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.
To reset Microsoft Edge and remove malicious browser extensions or browser hijackers, follow these steps:
Open the “Settings” menu.
In the top right corner, click on Microsoft Edge’s main menu button, represented by three horizontal dots. When the drop-down menu appears, click on “Settings“.”.
Click on “Reset Settings”.
On the left side of the window, click on “Reset Settings”.
Click on “Restore settings to their default values”.
In the main window, click on “Restore settings to their default values”.
A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, detailing the components that will be restored to their default state should you continue on with the reset process. To complete the restoration process, click on the “Reset” button.
To reset Internet Explorer and remove malicious browser extensions or browser hijackers, follow these steps:
Go to “Internet Options”.
Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon in the upper right part of your browser, then select “Internet Options“.
Select the “Advanced” tab, then click “Reset”
In the “Internet Options” dialog box, select the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.
Click on “Reset”.
In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” checkbox, then click on the “Reset” button.
Click on “Close”.
When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box.
Close your browser and then you can open Internet Explorer again.
Your computer should now be free of malicious programs. If your current antivirus allowed this malicious program on your computer, you may want to consider purchasing the full-featured version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.
If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps: