FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

How to uninstall unwanted applications distributed through adf.ly ads

Also Known As: Ads by adf.ly
Damage level: Medium

What is adf.ly?

adf.ly is a legitimate website that provides a URL-shortening service. This website pays registered users for sharing shortened links, since visitors are presented with a five-second advertisement prior to being given access the chosen website.

The delivered advertisements, however, might redirect to other websites that promote potentially unwanted applications (PUAs) or display deceptive browser notifications.

adf.ly pop-up redirects

Deceptive advertisements are often used to promote adware, browser hijackers and other potentially unwanted applications (such as fake system cleaners). Adware-type applications and browser hijackers usually deliver intrusive advertisements, cause unwanted redirects, modify options (especially browser settings), and record sensitive data.

This behavior significantly diminishes the browsing experience and can even lead to further computer infections or serious privacy issues (collected data includes personal details that are also shared with third parties [potentially, cyber criminals]). Web browser notifications are also likely to promote dubious websites.

Some promote scam websites that deliver fake error messages claiming that system is damaged (infected, missing files, etc.) and encouraging users to download fixing tools and/or to contact 'tech support' (which is fake). Promoted fixing tools are usually paid and, therefore, following steps provided on these websites can lead to monetary loss.

Browser notifications are often used to promote adult dating, pornography, survey, gambling, and other dubious websites that might contain malicious content. Therefore, clicking them can lead to system infection. In summary, adf.ly is a legitimate website, yet its promoted content might be harmful.

Note that adf.ly website developers do not choose which advertisements are displayed. They monetize this website using advertising networks, which might include rogue ads.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by adf.ly
Threat Type Push notifications ads, Unwanted ads, Pop-up ads
Detection Names AutoShun (Malicious), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)
Serving IP Address 104.20.18.254
Observed Domains api.adf.ly, cdn.adf.ly, custom.adf.ly, dmca.adf.ly, fb.adf.ly, forum.adf.ly, kb.adf.ly, login.adf.ly, logo.adf.ly, mail.adf.ly, static.adf.ly, support.adf.ly, v1.adf.ly, v2.adf.ly
Related Domains gloyah[.]net, lighronlittheprat[.]pro
Symptoms Seeing advertisements not originating from the sites you are browsing. Intrusive pop-up ads. Decreased Internet browsing speed.
Distribution Methods Deceptive pop-up ads, potentially unwanted applications (adware)
Damage 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.
▼ Download Combo Cleaner
To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

There are many legitimate websites monetized using advertising networks (e.g., zippyshare.com) and they share many similarities with adf.ly. Again, these sites are generally harmless and provide useful services, however, users might encounter ads that redirect to other websites that are not trustworthy.

Therefore, no matter which website you are visiting, we strongly advise you to avoid clicking any advertisements, since there is a chance that this will lead to system infection (even if the advertisement seems legitimate).

How did adware install on my computer?

Some unwanted applications have official download websites, however, most are promoted using the "bundling" method, and intrusive advertisements. Therefore, PUAs often infiltrate computers without users' permission. "Bundling" is essentially stealth installation of third party software with regular software.

Developers hide "bundled" applications behind "Custom/Advanced" settings (or other sections) of the download/installation processes. Furthermore, many users are likely to click advertisements, rush download/installation processes, and skip steps. In doing so, they expose their systems to risk of various infections and compromise their privacy.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

To prevent infiltration by PUAs, be very cautious when browsing the Internet and downloading/installing software. Carefully analyze each step of the download/installation processes using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings. Decline offers to download/install third party applications and opt-out of those already included.

You are strongly advised to download programs from official sources only (if possible, via direct download links) and avoid using third party downloaders/installers, since most are monetized using the "bundling" method.

Be aware that intrusive ads typically seem legitimate, since developers invest many resources into their design, however, they often redirect to dubious websites (gambling, pornography, adult dating, etc.).

If you experience these ads/redirects, uninstall all suspicious applications and browser plug-ins. The key to computer safety is caution. If your computer is already infected with rogue applications, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.

Examples of browser notifications delivered by rogue sites:

Rogue websites delivering browser notifications (sample 1) Rogue websites delivering browser notifications (sample 2) Rogue websites delivering browser notifications (sample 3)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

Disable unwanted browser notifications:

Video showing how to disable web browser notifications:

Google Chrome logoRemove spam notifications from Google Chrome:

Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and select "Settings". In the opened window select "Privacy and security", then click on "Site Settings" and choose "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome (step 1)

In the "Allowed to send notifications" list search for websites that you want to stop receiving notifications from. Click on the three dots icon near the website URL and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome (step 2)

Android logoRemove spam notifications from Google Chrome (Android):

Tap the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and select "Settings". Scroll down, tap on "Site settings" and then "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome - Android (step 1)

In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and tap on them one-by-one. Once the pop-up shows up, select either "Block" or "Remove" (if you tap "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Google Chrome - Android (step 2)

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove spam notifications from Mozilla Firefox:

Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen. Select "Settings" and click on "Privacy & Security" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen. Scroll down to the "Permissions" section and click the "Settings" button next to "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Mozilla Firefox (step 1)

In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and block them using the drop-down menu or either remove them by clicking "Remove Website" at the bottom of the window (if you click "Remove Website" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Mozilla Firefox (step 2)

Microsoft Edge logoRemove spam notifications from Microsoft Edge:

Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window and select "Settings". Click on "Cookies and site permissions" in the toolbar on the left hand side of the screen and select "Notifications".

Disable web browser notifications in Microsoft Edge (step 1)

Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious URL under "Allow" section and click "Block" or "Remove" (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again).

Disable web browser notifications in Microsoft Edge (step 2)

Safari logoRemove spam notifications from Safari (macOS):

Click "Safari" button on the left upper corner of the screen and select "Preferences...". Select the "Websites" tab and then select "Notifications" section on the left pane.

Disable web browser notifications in Safari - macOS (step 1)

Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option using the drop-down menu or either remove them by clicking "Remove" at the bottom of the window (if you click "Remove" and visit the malicious site once more, it will ask to enable notifications again)

Disable web browser notifications in Safari - macOS (step 2)

How to avoid browser notification spam?

Internet users should be very skeptical when being asked to allow notifications. While this is a useful feature that allows you to receive timely news from websites you like, deceptive marketers frequently abuse it.

Only allow notifications from websites that you fully trust. For added security - use an anti-malware application with a real-time web browsing monitor to block shady websites that tries to trick you into allowing spam notifications. We recommend using Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows.

▼ Show Discussion

About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Removal Instructions in other languages
Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Ads by adf.ly QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by adf.ly on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.