How to uninstall unwanted applications distributed through adf.ly ads

Also Known As: Ads by adf.ly
Type: Adware
Distribution: Moderate
Damage level: Medium

adf.ly redirect removal instructions

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.
Removal

To eliminate Ads by adf.ly our malware researchers recommend scanning your computer with Spyhunter.
▼ Download Spyhunter
Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

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 Spyhunter 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)

IMPORTANT NOTE! As mentioned above, these deceptive sites asks to enable web browser notifications:

Rogue websites asking to enable browser notifications (sample 1) Rogue websites asking to enable browser notifications (sample 2)

Therefore, before commencing, perform these steps:

Google Chrome (PC):

  • Click the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select "Settings", scroll down to the bottom and click "Advanced"
  • Scroll down to the "Privacy and security" section, select "Content settings" and then "Notifications"
  • Click three dots on the right hand side of each suspicious 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 pop-up' notifications in Google Chrome web browser

Google Chrome (Android):

  • Click on the Menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the screen and click "Settings"
  • Scroll down, click on "Site settings" and then "Notifications"
  • In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs and click on them one-by-one
  • Select "Notifications" in the "Permissions" section and set the toggle button to "OFF"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Android Google Chrome web browser

Mozilla Firefox:

  • Click the Menu button (three bars) on the right upper corner of the screen
  • Select "Options" 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"
  • In the opened window, locate all suspicious URLs, click the drop-down menu and select "Block"

Disable pop-up' notifications in Mozilla Firefox web browser

Internet Explorer:

  • Click the Gear button on the right upper corner of the IE window
  • Select "Internet options"
  • Select the "Privacy" tab and click "Settings" under "Pop-up Blocker" section
  • Select suspicious URLs under and remove them one by one by clicking the "Remove" button

Disable pop-up' notifications in Internet Explorer web browser

Microsoft Edge:

  • Click the menu button (three dots) on the right upper corner of the Edge window
  • Scroll down, find and click "Settings"
  • Scroll down again and click "View advanced settings"
  • Click "Manage" under "Website permissions"
  • Click the switch under each suspicious website

Disable pop-up' notifications in Microsoft Edge web browser

Safari (Mac):

  • 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
  • Check for suspicious URLs and apply the "Deny" option for each

Disable pop-up' notifications in Safari web browser

Instant automatic removal of Ads by adf.ly: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Spyhunter is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of Ads by adf.ly. Download it by clicking the button below:
▼ DOWNLOAD Spyhunter By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Free scanner checks if your computer is infected. To remove malware, you have to purchase the full version of Spyhunter.

Quick menu:

Adware removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

adf.ly adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for any potentially unwanted applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application that causes adf.ly redirects, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove adware from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing adf.ly ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options 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".

Removing adf.ly ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by adf.ly, 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing adf.ly  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Removing adf.ly ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by adf.ly, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing adf.ly ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing adf.ly ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with ads by adf.ly removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge logoRemove malicious add-ons from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Look for any recently-installed suspicious extensions, right click your mouse on these entries and click "Uninstall".

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

Click the three horizontal dots icon edge more icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), and select Settings.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 1

In the opened tab, click the "Choose what to clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 2

Click Show more and select everything, and then click the "Clear" button.

Resetting Microsoft Edge settings step 3

  • If this didn't help, please follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove ads by adf.ly from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on ads by adf.ly or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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.

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Malware activity

Global virus and spyware activity level today:

Medium threat activity
Medium

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

QR Code
Ads by adf.ly QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by adf.ly on your mobile device.
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Platform: Windows

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