How To Remove Adware, Pop-up Ads & Malware from STEAM

If you are seeing pop-up ads and advertisements within the STEAM gaming platform, then your computer is infected with an adware or a potentially unwanted program.

Steam adware

Steam malware

These STEAM ads are caused by an ad-supported adware program, which is usually distributed through various monetization platforms during installation. This malicious program is typically added when you install another free software (video recording, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this adware program.

The advertisements within STEAM will be shown as underlined keywords, pop-up ads or advertising banners. These ads are aimed to promote the installation of additional questionable content including web browser toolbars, optimization utilities and other products, all so the publisher can generate pay-per-click revenue.

When your STEAM program is infected with adware, other common symptoms include:

  • Advertising banners are injected within the STEAM Platform.
  • 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.
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.
The below instructions are for Windows users, however we also have an Android guide and a Mac OS guide which should help clean up your device.

How To Remove Adware, Pop-up Ads & Malware from STEAM

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 adware and other malicious programs from Windows, follow these steps:


STEP 1 : Uninstall the malicious programs from Windows

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. Go to “Apps and Features”.

    Right-click on the Start Windows Start button button in the lower-left corner and select “Apps and Features”. This will take you directly to your list of installed programs.
    Go to Apps and Features in Windows 10

    If you can’t find the “Apps and Features” option in the Start menu, click on the Start Windows Start button button, then go to “Settings” > “Apps”
  2. Search for malicious programs and uninstall them.

    The “App and Features” screen will be displayed with a list of all the programs installed on your PC. Scroll through the list until you find the malicious program, click it, and then click “Uninstall”.

    Known malicious programs: YeaDesktop, Wajam, 1.0.0.1, DNS Unlocker, Cinema Plus, Price Minus, SalesPlus, New Player, MediaVideosPlayers, Browsers_Apps_Pro, PriceLEess, Pic Enhance, Sm23mS, Salus, Network System Driver, SS8, Save Daily Deals, Word Proser, Desktop Temperature Monitor, CloudScout Parental Control, Savefier, Savepass, HostSecurePlugin, CheckMeUp or HD-V2.2.

    The malicious program may have a different name on your computer.

    If you cannot find any malicious programs on your PC, you can proceed with the next step

    Click on the malicious program than click on the Uninstall button - Windows 10

  3. Follow the on-screen prompts to uninstall the program.

    You will now see a pop-up window informing you that the program and its related info will be uninstalled. Click on the “Uninstall” button to complete the process (you may also see a pop-up asking if you want to let this program make changes to your computer, hit “Yes” to proceed).

    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.

    Click again on the Uninstall button to remove the malicious program - Windows 10

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall a program, you can use Revo Uninstaller Free to completely remove an unwanted program from your PC.

STEP 2: Use Malwarebytes to remove adware and browser hijackers

Malwarebytes 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.

The first time you install Malwarebytes, you’re given a free 14-day trial of the premium edition, which includes preventative tools like real-time scanning and specific protection from ransomware. After two weeks, it automatically reverts to the basic free version that will detect and clean up malware infections only when you run a scan. It is important to note that Malwarebytes will run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. Download Malwarebytes.

    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)
  2. Double-click on the Malwarebytes setup file.

    When Malwarebytes has finished downloading, double-click on the mb3-setup-consumer-x.x.x.xxxx.exe file to install Malwarebytes on your PC. In most cases, downloaded files are saved to the Downloads folder.

    Double-click on mb3-setup to install Malwarebytes Help
    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.
    Windows asking for permission to run the Malwarebytes installer - Help Guide

  3. 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. To install Malwarebytes on your PC, click on the “Agree and Install” button.
    Malwarebytes Setup Screen - Help Guide
    Malwarebytes is installed on your PC - Help Guide

  4. Click on “Scan Now”.

    Once installed, Malwarebytes will automatically start and update the antivirus database. To perform a system scan, click on the “Scan Now” button.
    Start a scan with Malwarebytes

  5. Wait for the Malwarebytes scan to complete.

    Malwarebytes will now start scanning 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.
    Malwarebytes scanning PC for malware - Help Guide

  6. Click on “Quarantine Selected”.

    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 Selected” button.
    Click on the Quarantine Selected button to remove malware

  7. Reboot your computer.

    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.
    Malwarebytes requesting to restart computer to complete malware removal process - Help Guide
    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 malware and unwanted programs

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 the 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 clean up.

  1. Download HitmanPro.

    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)
  2. Install 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.
    Double-click on the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide
    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.Windows asking for permissions to run the HitmanPro setup file - Help Guide

  3. 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.
    Click Next to install HitmanProHitmanPro final installer screen

  4. 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.
    HitmanPro while scanning for malware - Help Guide

  5. 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.
    HitmanPro scan summary. Click Next to remove malware - Help Guide

  6. 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.
    Activate the free HitmanPro license keyEnter your email to complete the HitmanPro activation - Help Guide
    When the process is complete, you can close HitmanPro and continue with the rest of the instructions.


(OPTIONAL) STEP 4: Use Zemana AntiMalware Free to remove Unwanted Programs

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 previous scans are more than enough, we’re recommending Zemana AntiMalware Free to users who still have malware related issues or just want make sure their PC is 100% clean.

  1. Download Zemana AntiMalware.

    You can download Zemana AntiMalware Free by clicking the link below.

    Zemana LogoZEMANA ANTIMALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK
    (The above link will open a new web page from where you can download Zemana AntiMalware)
  2. 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.
    Double-click on the Zemana AntiMalware to instal it
    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.
    Zemana AntiMalware UAC

  3. Install Zemana AntiMalware Free.

    Click on the “Next” button to install Zemana AntiMalware on your PC. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the install process.
    Click Next then follow the on-screen prompts - Help Guide

    When you reach the “Select Additional Tasks” screen, you need to opt-out the “Enable Real Time Protection” option, then click on the “Next” button.
    Opt-out the Real-Time protection Zemana Antimalware

  4. Click on “Scan”.

    When Zemana AntiMalware will start, click on the “Scan” button to perform a system scan.
    Click on Scan to perform a system scan - Help Guide

  5. Wait for the Zemana AntiMalware scan to complete.

    Zemana AntiMalware will now scan your PC for malicious files. This process can take a few minutes.
    Zemana AntiMalware scanning for malware - Help Guide

  6. Click on “Next”.

    When Zemana AntiMalware has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found. Click on the “Next” button to remove the malicious files from your computer.
    Click Next to remove malware found by Zemana AntiMalware - Help Guide

  7. Restart your PC.

    When the malware removal process is complete, Zemana AntiMalware may need to restart your computer. Click on the “Reebot” button to reset your PC.
    Zemana asking to restart PC - Help Guide


(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reinstall Steam and remove the AppData\Local\Steam folder

If after all these steps there are still malware related issues within STEAM, we will need to reinstall this program and remove the AppData\Local\Steam folder.

This step should be performed only if your issues have not been solved by the previous steps.

  1. Uninstall Steam from Windows

    Windows 10 or Windows 8.1

    1. To uninstall a program on Windows 10 or Windows 8, right-click on the Windows Start button and choose “Control Panel” from the pop-up menu.
      Control Panel in Windows 10
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      Uninstall A Program on Windows 10

    Windows 7

    1. If you are using Windows 7, click the “Start” button, then click on the “Control Panel” menu option.
      [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category.
      [Image: Uninstall a program]

    When the “Programs and Features” screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Steam and any unknown programs.
    Remove Steam from Windows

  2. Next, we will need to delete the Steam folder within C:\Users\$USERNAME\AppData\Local\Steam.
    The AppData folder is usually hidden, so to see this folder we will need to enable the Show hidden files, folders and drives option.
    • To view the hidden files and folders, if you are using Windows Vista or 7, click on the Start button, and click on Computer. Next, click on the Organize button, then click on Folder and Search Options.
    • If you are using Windows 8 or Windows 10, type “folder” in the search box and click on “Folder Explorer Options”.

    Show Hidden Folders Windows 10
    Next, click the View tab, select Show hidden files, folders and drives, then click on Apply and then OK.
    Show hidden files, folders and drives in Windows 7

  3. You should now be able to see the AppData folder, so we will need to navigate to C:\Users\[Your Username]\AppData\Local\, and delete the Steam folder.Steam Folder Delete
  4. You can now reinstall STEAM on your device.

STEAM should now be free of adware, browser hijackers and other types of malware. If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove malware from your device, please do one of the following:

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