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How to remove Ad Cleaner adware and the adverts delivered by it?

Also Known As: Ads by Ad Cleaner
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Ad Cleaner?

Ad Cleaner is a piece of rogue software endorsed as an adblocker. This browser extension can supposedly eliminate intrusive advertisements and block online trackers. However, instead of blocking adverts, it runs intrusive advertisement campaigns. Due to this, it is classified as adware.

Additionally, Ad Cleaner has data tracking abilities, which are used to spy on users' browsing activity. Since most users download/install adware-type products inadvertently, they are also categorized as PUAs (Potentially Unwanted Applications).

Ad Cleaner adware asking for permissions

Ad Cleaner adware in detail

Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content on any visited website and/or different interfaces. This software can deliver various pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, full-page, and other intrusive advertisements. They severely diminish the browsing experience by overlaying webpages and slowing down the browsing speed.

Furthermore, these ads pose a threat to device and user safety. Intrusive adverts promote a wide variety of sale-oriented, rogue, untrustworthy, deceptive/scam, and even malicious websites. What is more, some of these sites can be triggered (by being clicked) to stealthily download/install software (e.g., PUAs).

Adware typically has data tracking abilities, and Ad Cleaner is not an exception to this. Targeted information includes: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries types, IP addresses, personally identifiable details, etc. The collected data is then monetized by being 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, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft. Therefore, it is crucial to remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins immediately upon detection.

Threat Summary:
Name Ads by Ad Cleaner
Threat Type Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus
Browser Extension(s) Ad Cleaner
Supposed Functionality Adblocking tool
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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Adware in general

GameBoxNew Tab Explorer — Explore the Web on New TabFortnite Free Vbucks Codes Generator, and OpenBook are some examples of adware. It appears legitimate and innocuous. Users are lured into download/installation with promises of "handy" functionalities, which are usually nonoperational.

Nearly all PUAs advertise nonexistent features. The only goal of unwanted apps is to generate profit for the developers; they have no real value to users. PUAs are designed to deliver intrusive ad campaigns, cause redirects, modify browsers (browser hijackers), and collect private information.

How did Ad Cleaner install on my computer?

Select PUAs (e.g., Ad Cleaner) have "official" promotional sites from which they can be downloaded and/or purchased. Intrusive advertisements are also used to proliferate these applications. Once clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.

PUAs are most commonly spread via downloaders/installers of other programs. This false marketing tactic of packing regular software with unwanted or malicious additions - is called "bundling". Rushed download/installation processes (e.g., skipped steps and sections, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

It is recommended to research software before download/installation. Furthermore, all downloads must be done from official and verified sources. Untrustworthy download channels, e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, and other third-party downloaders - often offer bundled and hazardous content.

When downloading/installing, it is advised to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out from additional apps, tools, features, etc. Intrusive adverts appear legitimate; however, they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, and so on).

In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this type, the system must be checked and all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins detected - immediately removed from it. If your computer is already infected with Ad Cleaner, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.

Website used to promote Ad Cleaner adware:

Ad Cleaner adware promoting website

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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available.

Quick menu:

Ad Cleaner adware removal:

Windows 10 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.

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.

macOS (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.

Ad Cleaner adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "Ad Cleaner", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

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

Remove Ad Cleaner adware from Internet browsers:

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

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Ad Cleaner  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 "Ad Cleaner", select this entry and click the trash can icon.

Removing Ad Cleaner ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by ad cleaner, 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 Ad Cleaner 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 "Ad Cleaner".

Removing Ad Cleaner ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with ads by ad cleaner 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 ad cleaner, 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.

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 ad cleaner 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 Ad Cleaner QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by Ad Cleaner on your mobile device.
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