What is WinAd?
WinAd is another rogue application that infiltrates systems without users’ permission and then immediately delivers intrusive advertisements and records sensitive information. For these reasons, WinAd is categorized a potentially unwanted application (PUA) and adware.
This adware generates pop-up, coupon, banner, and other intrusive advertisements. To achieve this, developers employ tools that enable placement of third party graphical content on any site. As a result, delivered advertisements often conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the browsing experience.
Furthermore, intrusive advertisements might redirect to infectious websites and execute scripts scripts that download and install other potentially unwanted applications or even malware. Clicking them is risky - even a single accidental click can lead to high-risk computer infections.
As with most adware, WinAd gathers information relating to browsing habits including IP addresses, URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, etc.
This typically includes personal details that WinAd's developers share with third parties. These people generate revenue by misusing private information. Therefore, data tracking can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For these reasons, you are advised to eliminate WinAd adware immediately.
|Ads by WinAd
|Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
|Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
|Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake flash player installers.
|Decreased computer performance, browser tracking - privacy issues, possible additional malware infections.
|Malware Removal (Windows)
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
There are hundreds of potentially unwanted adware-type applications similar to WinAd. The list of examples includes (but is not limited to) Smart Application Controller, Amazon Shopping Assistant, HidenGate, and Instagram2go.
By offering "useful features", these programs attempt to give the impression of legitimacy and trick users to install, however, these claims are false - most of these applications provide no real value for regular users. They are designed only to generate revenue for the developers.
Therefore, rather than delivering any real value for regular users, potentially unwanted applications pose a significant threat to their privacy and web browsing safety.
How did WinAd install on my computer?
To proliferate WinAd, developers employ "bundling" and intrusive advertising methods. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party applications together with regular software/apps. Developers hide "bundled" applications within "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes.
Research shows that many users rush these processes and skip steps. In addition, they click various advertisements without understanding the possible consequences. This behavior often leads to inadvertent installation of potentially unwanted applications such as WinAd. In this way, users expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
Be cautious when downloading/installing software and browsing the Internet in general. Select "Custom/Advanced" settings and carefully analyze each window of the download/installation dialogs. Opt-out of additionally-included programs and decline offers to download/install them.
You are advised to avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since developers monetize them by promoting "bundling" PUAs. Software should be downloaded from official sources only, using direct download links. Third party downloaders/installers are monetized using the "bundling" method (promoting PUAs), and thus you should avoid using them.
Furthermore, bear in mind that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, they often redirect to untrustworthy websites (gambling, adult dating, and so on). If you encounter them, immediately eliminate dubious applications and browser plug-ins.
If your computer is already infected with WinAd, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Deceptive software installer distributing WinAd adware:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is WinAd?
- STEP 1. Uninstall WinAd application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove WinAd adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove WinAd ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by WinAd' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove WinAd extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
WinAd adware removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "WinAd", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application that causes WinAd ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove WinAd adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, WinAd did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your Internet browsers.
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by winad, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by winad, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with ads by winad removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by winad, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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