How to remove the Ask Ali adware-type browser extension
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is the Ask Ali browser extension?
Our researchers discovered the Ask Ali browser extension while inspecting deceptive download webpages. This extension promises easy access to "one of the most prominent online shopping services". The extension's name and the imagery used in its official webpage imply that the e-commerce platform in question is AliExpress. However, it must be emphasized that this piece of software is in no way associated with AliExpress or the Alibaba Group.
Following analysis, we have concluded that the Ask Ali browser extension operates as advertising-supported software (adware).
Ask Ali adware overview
After being successfully installed onto our test machine, Ask Ali began running intrusive advertisement campaigns - i.e., displaying various ads.
It must be mentioned that advertising-supported software may require certain conditions to operate as designed. For example, it may not deliver adverts - if the browser/system or user geolocation are incompatible, users do not visit particular websites, or similar. Regardless of whether Ask Ali (or other adware) displays advertisements - its presence on a system endangers device and user safety.
Adware-delivered ads primarily endorse untrustworthy/harmful websites and software, online scams, and even malware. Some intrusive adverts can infiltrate software into systems - once clicked.
Reputable developers/creators are unlikely to promote their content using this advertising method - however, such products can be encountered through these advertisements. This marketing of legitimate content is mainly used by scammers who abuse affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
Furthermore, Ask Ali has data tracking functionalities. Advertising-supported software usually collects browsing data, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, banking information, etc. The gathered data is monetized through sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Ask Ali on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Ask Ali|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Ask Ali|
|Supposed Functionality||Easy access to an e-commerce website|
|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.
We have analyzed thousands of adware samples; Buyers Assistant, Best Converter Online, External Links Tool - are just a few examples. This software typically appears genuine and harmless. It also offers "useful" features, which rarely work as promised, and in most cases - they are nonfunctional.
How did Ask Ali install on my computer?
We acquired Ask Ali from its "official" promotional site, and we also discovered this browser extension being pushed via a deceptive download page.
Users seldom enter such webpages intentionally. Most access them via mistyped URLs or redirects caused by intrusive adverts, spam browser notifications, sites using rogue advertising networks, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
"Bundling" - packing regular program installers with various additions - is also used to spread adware. Download from dubious sources (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Furthermore, when clicked on, some intrusive advertisements can download/install advertising-supported software without user consent.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Installation processes must be treated with care, e.g., reading terms, inspecting available options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additions.
We also advise exercising caution when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content typically looks innocuous. For example, intrusive ads appear legitimate yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.).
If you encounter such adverts and/or redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Ask Ali, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Ask Ali adware's official promotional website:
Screenshot of the deceptive website used to promote Ask Ali adware:
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 Ask Ali?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Ask Ali application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Ask Ali ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Ask Ali' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Ask Ali extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Ask Ali 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 "Ask Ali", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Ask Ali ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Ask Ali adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove Ask Ali adware using Combo Cleaner:
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 "Ask Ali", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by ask ali, 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 "Ask Ali".
Computer users who have problems with ads by ask ali 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 ask ali, 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.
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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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What harm can adware cause?
Adware can decrease browsing quality and system performance. It is also considered a privacy threat, as this software usually has data tracking abilities. Furthermore, adware-displayed advertisements can endorse dubious/malicious content that can cause severe issues.
What does adware do?
Advertising-supported software (adware) operates by displaying ads on visited sites and/or other interfaces. It may also be capable of force-opening websites and exfiltrating private data.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware developers generate profit by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, and so on. Most of the revenue comes from affiliate programs.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Ask Ali adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan computers and eliminate detected adware-type apps. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective. After the adware itself is (manually) removed - various file leftovers may remain in the system. What is more, these remnants might continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is paramount to remove adware thoroughly.
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