How to uninstall SketchBall adware and remove the ads it delivers
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is SketchBall?
SketchBall, also known as SnetchBall, is rogue software classified as adware. It operates by running intrusive advertisement campaigns. I.e., this application delivers various misleading, deceptive, and malicious ads.
Additionally, most adware-type programs have data tracking capabilities, which are employed to monitor users' browsing habits and collect private data. Since most users download/install SketchBall inadvertently, it is also classified as a Potentially Unwanted Application (PUA).
Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content, typically on any visited website. This software delivers pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page, and other intrusive ads, which significantly diminish the browsing experience.
Furthermore, when clicked, intrusive advertisements can redirect to untrusted/malicious sites and some can download/install software (e.g., PUAs) without users' consent.
Potentially unwanted apps have various dangerous functionality, and these functions can be in different combinations. For example, these applications can force-open dangerous websites and deliver intrusive ad campaigns.
Most PUAs can track and gather data. Information of interest includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, IP addresses, geolocations, and even personally identifiable details. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of unwanted software on devices can lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial loss, and identity theft. Therefore, you are strongly advised to eliminate all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.
|Name||Ads by SketchBall|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Detection Names (installer)||Avast (Win32:AdwareX-gen [Adw]), BitDefender (Application.DealAlpha.2.Gen), ESET-NOD32 (Multiple Detections), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Win32.Vosteran.), Microsoft (Trojan:Script/Phonzy.A!ml), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (application)||BitDefender (Gen:Variant.Ursu.843485), Fortinet (PossibleThreat), Malwarebytes (Malware.AI.4028135232), McAfee (Artemis!9EB1AE7D345F), Microsoft (Trojan:Win32/Woreflint.A!cl), 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 Combo Cleaner.
Clear History, Trash the Cache, and Application are some examples of adware-type apps. They may seem legitimate and harmless, and users are lured into download/installation with offers of various functionality, however, despite how "useful" the features sound, they are usually nonoperational.
In fact, this is true of most PUAs. The sole purpose of this unwanted software is to generate revenue for the developers. PUAs run intrusive advertisement campaigns, cause redirects, modify browsers (browser hijackers), and gather vulnerable information.
How did SketchBall install on my computer?
PUAs are distributed via download/installation set-ups of other products. This deceptive marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions is called "bundling".
Rushing download/installation processes (e.g. ignoring terms, skipping steps and settings, etc.) increases the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the system.
Some PUAs have "official" download sites. Intrusive advertisements proliferate these applications as well. Once clicked, they can execute scripts to download/install PUAs without users' consent.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications
You are advised to research all software before download/installation or purchase. All downloads must be done from official and verified sources, since dubious channels such as unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks and other third party downloaders commonly offer deceptive or bundled content.
When downloading/installing, read the terms, explore all possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings and opt-out of supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive ads may seem normal and harmless, however, they can redirect to various dubious web pages (e.g. gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and many others).
If you encounter ads or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and remove any suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately.
If your computer is already infected with SketchBall, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
SketchBall adware download/installation setup:
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:
- What is SketchBall?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SketchBall application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SketchBall ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by SketchBall' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove SketchBall extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove SketchBall adware from Internet Explorer.
SketchBall 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 "SketchBall", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application that causes SketchBall ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove SketchBall adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, SketchBall 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 sketchball, 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 sketchball 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 sketchball, 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 sketchball, 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.
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