How to remove History Removal Tool adware and the ads it delivers?

Also Known As: Ads by History Removal Tool
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

History Removal Tool adware removal instructions

What is History Removal Tool?

History Removal Tool is a piece of rogue software, supposedly capable of automatically deleting users' browsing history. However, following successful installation, History Removal Tool runs intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, it delivers various unreliable, questionable and possibly harmful ads. Additionally, most adware-types spy on users' browsing activity and History Removal Tool is not an exception to this. Since users typically download/install adwares inadvertently, they are also classified as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications). At the time of research, History Removal Tool has been observed being promoted through deceptive sites wherein download buttons redirect to the Chrome Web Store.

History Removal Tool adware promoted on the Chrome Web Store via deceptive sites (GIF)

Adware delivers various banners, pop-ups, banners, coupons surveys, full-page and other intrusive adverts. They seriously diminish the browsing quality, since they limit the browsing speed and overlay webpage content. Aside from being a nuisance, these advertisements are considered to be dangerous. Once clicked on, intrusive ads redirect to untrustworthy/malicious websites and some can even stealthily download/install software. PUAs are a prime example of content infiltrated into systems in this manner. They can have a variety of heinous functionalities and these functions can be in different combinations. Some PUAs can force-open deceptive and malicious sites. Browser hijackers are another type of unwanted applications, they modify 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 redirect to Google, Bing, Yahoo and other genuine search engines. As mentioned in the introduction, History Removal Tool has data tracking abilities and this is common for most PUAs (adware included). They monitor browsing activity (URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, etc.) and gather personal information extracted from it (IP addresses, geolocations and other details). PUA developers monetize the collected data by sharing it with and/or selling it to third parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses and even identity theft. To ensure device integrity and user safety, all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by History Removal Tool
Threat Type Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
Browser Extension(s) History Removal Tool
Supposed Functionality Automatic browsing history removal
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)

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Movie FinderGiphy SearchAdBlock StreamDamn Good Recipe Promos and Access+ are some examples of other software within the adware classification. It appears ordinary and harmless. Users are lured into download/installation with offers of various "useful" and "advantageous" features. However, despite how good the promised functionaries may sound - they rarely work. In fact, this is true of nearly all PUAs. Functionality, user convenience and safety are irrelevant - since the only goal of unwanted apps is to generate revenue for the developers. Therefore, instead of delivering on any promises, PUAs can run intrusive advert campaigns, cause redirects, hijack browsers, gather vulnerable and personally identifiable information.

How did History Removal Tool install on my computer?

PUAs can have "official" download webpages, yet they can also be hosted on genuine online stores (e.g. Chrome Web Store). These applications are also be distributed via download/installation setups of other programs. "Bundling" is the term used to define this false marketing technique of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions. Rushed download/installation processes (e.g. ignored terms, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system. Upon being clicked, the ads can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without user permission.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is important to research software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Only official and verified download channels must be used. Since untrustworthy sources, e.g. unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders - often offer harmful and/or bundled content. When downloading/installing, it is recommended to read terms, study all available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features and other additions. Intrusive advertisements appear legitimate, however they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.). In case of encounters with such adverts and/or redirects, the system must be inspected and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - removed immediately from it. If your computer is already infected with History Removal Tool, we recommend running a scan with Malwarebytes for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.

History Removal Tool adware asking for various permissions:

History Removal Tool adware asking for permissions

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:
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Quick menu:

History Removal Tool 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.

History Removal Tool adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "History Removal Tool", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes History Removal Tool ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove History Removal Tool adware from Internet browsers:

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

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing History Removal Tool  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 "History Removal Tool", select this entry and click the trash can icon.

Removing History Removal Tool ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by history removal tool, 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 plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing History Removal Tool 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 "History Removal Tool".

Removing History Removal Tool ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with ads by history removal tool 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 (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by history removal tool, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing History Removal Tool 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 "History Removal Tool", select this entry and click "Remove".

Removing History Removal Tool ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by history removal tool, 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

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 history removal tool from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
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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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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 History Removal Tool 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 History Removal Tool on your mobile device.
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