WikiNow adware removal instructions
What is WikiNow?
WikiNow is a piece of adware-type software, endorsed as a tool for quick access to the Wikipedia online encyclopedia and Wikia information/content repositories. Following successful installation, WikiNow runs intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, it delivers various misleading and harmful ads. Additionally, most adware-types collect browsing-related information. Due to the dubious methods used to distribute this app, WikiNow is also classified as a PUA (Potentially Unwanted Application).
Adware enables the placement of pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page and other intrusive advertisements - typically, on any visited website. The delivered ads seriously diminish the browsing experience, as they overlay page content and slow down the browsing speed. Furthermore, intrusive adverts also pose a threat to device/user safety. Once clicked on, these advertisements redirect to various untrustworthy, rogue, sale-based (of both legitimate and fraudulent content), deceptive/scam, compromised and malicious sites. Some intrusive ads can even be triggered (by being clicked) to execute scripts, designed to download/install software (e.g. PUAs) without user consent. Unwanted apps can have varied heinous functionalities and these functions can be in different combinations. PUAs can force-open questionable and dangerous websites. Another type called browser hijackers make modifications to browser settings and restrict/deny access to them - in order to promote fake search engines. The promoted web searchers are seldom able to provide search results, so they tend to redirect to (or cause redirection chains ending with) Google, Yahoo, Bing and other legitimate search engines. Most PUAs have data tracking abilities. They can monitor browsing activity (visited URLs, viewed webpages, searched queries, etc.) and gather sensitive information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). The collected data typically contains personally identifiable information. What is more, this vulnerable data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user privacy, it is crucial to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Ads by WikiNow|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Supposed Functionality||Easy access to Wiki content|
|Detection Names||Ikarus (Trojan-Downloader.JS.Agent), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Wacatac.B!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|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, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers.|
|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 Malwarebytes.
Media Convert Pro Promos, PopBlock+, OneUpdater and Free Package Tracker Plus are some examples of other apps within the adware category. They appear legitimate and harmless. Users are lured into download/installation and/or purchase with offers of various "useful" and "advantageous" features. However, despite how good the advertised functionalities may sound - they are usually nonoperational. This applies to practically all PUAs. The only purpose of unwanted software is to generate profit for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive advert campaigns, cause redirects, hijack browsers and collect private data.
How did WikiNow install on my computer?
Select PUAs (e.g. WikiNow) have "official" promotional sites, from which they can be downloaded. These applications can also be downloaded/installed together with other programs. This false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing dubious and/or bundled content into the device. Intrusive advertisements can infiltrate PUAs into systems as well. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software products prior to download/installation and/or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Since untrustworthy download channels, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - commonly offer harmful and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, study all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. It is just as important to exercise caution when browsing. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate, however they redirect to highly questionable webpages (e.g. gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.). In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be inspected and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed from it without delay. If your computer is already infected with WikiNow, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of WikiNow adware's installation setup:
Screenshots of the website used to promote WikiNow adware:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer skills. Malwarebytes is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is WikiNow?
- STEP 1. Uninstall WikiNow application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove WikiNow ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by WikiNow' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove WikiNow extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove WikiNow adware from Internet Explorer.
WikiNow adware removal:
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.
Windows XP users:
Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.
Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.
Mac 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 "WikiNow", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes WikiNow ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove WikiNow adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, WikiNow 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 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 wikinow, 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 plugins 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 wikinow 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 wikinow, 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.
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 wikinow, 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.
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.
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove ads by wikinow from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.
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