What is Retina Defense?
Retina Defense is a browser extension supposedly designed to enable dark-mode for browsers. It is classified as adware since it runs intrusive advertisement campaigns.
In other words, this piece of software has data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing habits. Due to the questionable methods used to distribute adware-type products, they are also categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).
Adware operates by enabling the placement of third-party graphical content on any visited webpage and/or different interfaces. This software can deliver pop-ups, banners, surveys, coupons, and other intrusive adverts.
These ads seriously diminish the browsing experience by limiting site visibility and browsing speed. Furthermore, intrusive advertisements endanger device and user safety.
They promote various sale-based pages (of both legitimate and fraudulent products), rogue, misleading, untrustworthy, deceptive/scam, compromised, and malicious websites. What is more, some intrusive ads can stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs) - when they are clicked on.
What is more, Retina Defense can track data, which is typical of adware. Information of interest includes: browsing and search engine histories, IP addresses/ geolocations, personally identifiable details, etc.
The gathered data is then monetized by being shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals). In summary, the 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, all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins must be eliminated without delay.
|Name||Ads by Retina Defense|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Retina Defense|
|Supposed Functionality||Enabling dark-mode browsing|
|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.
Users are enticed into download/installation with offers of various features. However, the advertised functionalities are rarely operational. This applies to practically all PUAs.
The only goal of unwanted apps 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 gather private and sensitive information.
How did Retina Defense install on my computer?
Some PUAs (e.g., Retina Defense) have "official" promotional/download webpages. These applications are also proliferated through download/installation setups of other software.
This deceptive marketing method of packing regular programs with unwanted or malicious additions - is termed "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., skipped steps and sections, used "Easy/Express" settings, etc.) increase the risk of inadvertently allowing bundled content into the device.
Intrusive advertisements are used to spread PUAs as well. Once clicked on, the ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
It is recommended to research software products before download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, only official and verified download channels must be used. Untrustworthy download sources, e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer harmful and bundled content.
When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from supplementary apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear ordinary and innocuous; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, and so forth).
In case of encounters with advertisements and/or redirects of this kind, the system must be checked and all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with Retina Defense, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Retina Defense adware asking permission to track data:
Retina Defense adware promoting website:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 Retina Defense?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Retina Defense application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Retina Defense ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Retina Defense' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Retina Defense extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
- STEP 6. Remove Retina Defense adware from Internet Explorer.
Retina Defense 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 "Retina Defense", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Retina Defense ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Retina Defense adware from 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 "Retina Defense", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by retina defense, 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 "Extensions", in the opened window, remove "Retina Defense".
Computer users who have problems with ads by retina defense 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 retina defense, 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 "Retina Defense", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by retina defense, 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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