Removing the "Watch It" browser extension and the ads it displays
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What kind of browser extension is "Watch It"?
Watch It is the name of a browser extension that we discovered while inspecting shady download webpages. This piece of software promises to allow users easy access to movies, TV shows, and related content. After analyzing this extension, we determined that it operates as adware.
Watch It adware overview
Adware is designed to deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns, i.e., display ads on visited websites and other interfaces. These advertisements endorse untrustworthy/harmful sites and software, online scams, and even malware. Additionally, some intrusive adverts are capable of infiltrating software into systems - once clicked.
Any legitimate products encountered through these advertisements are highly unlikely to be endorsed by their actual developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers' abusing the products' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
It is noteworthy that adware may require certain conditions (e.g., compatible browser/system specs, visits to particular websites, etc.) to run intrusive ad campaigns. However, regardless of whether Watch It (or other adware) delivers ads or not - its presence on a system endangers device and user safety.
Furthermore, Watch It has data tracking functionalities, which are standard for software within this classification. Adware typically collects browsing-related data (e.g., URLs visited, searched queries, etc.), personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, credit card numbers, and so on. The gathered information is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
In summary, the presence of advertising-supported software like Watch It on devices - may result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Watch It|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Watch It|
|Supposed Functionality||Easy access to movies and TV shows|
|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.
Video Ad Skipper, Energy, and fill darker are a few examples of the adware we have analyzed recently. This software usually appears legitimate and harmless. It also promises various "handy" features - however, the promised features are rarely operational.
How did Watch It install on my computer?
We acquired Watch It from its promotional webpage. Adware is commonly spread through misleading pages that endorse them and scam websites. Users typically enter sites of this kind via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, pages using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).
Advertising-supported software is also proliferated by using the "bundling" marketing technique - packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious supplements. Download from dubious channels (e.g., unofficial and freeware websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations - increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.
Intrusive advertisements are used to distribute adware as well. When clicked on, the adverts can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading it from official and trustworthy sources. Installation processes must be approached with care, e.g., by reading terms, exploring possible options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all supplements.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant when browsing - since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive ads appear innocuous yet redirect to questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
If you experience such advertisements/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Watch It, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Watch It adware's "official" promotional website:
Screenshots of the deceptive websites used to promote Watch It 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 Watch It?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Watch It application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Watch It ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Watch It' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Watch It extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Watch It 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 "Watch It", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Watch It ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Watch It adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove Watch It 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 "Watch It", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by watch it, 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 "Watch It".
Computer users who have problems with ads by watch it 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 watch it, 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 endangers device integrity and user safety. It can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. This software is also considered to be a privacy threat, as it usually has data tracking functionalities. Furthermore, adware-displayed ads can be dubious/malicious and cause serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware is designed to enable the placement of third-party graphical content (ads) on visited websites and/or other interfaces. It may also be capable of force-opening sites and collecting private data.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates most of its profit through affiliate products in the form of commissions earned for the promotion of various websites, software, products, services, and similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Watch It adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and eliminate detected adware-type apps. It has to be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security software) might be ineffective. Since even after the adware itself has been (manually) removed - various file leftovers may remain in the system. What is more, these remnants can continue running and causing issues. Hence, it is paramount to remove adware thoroughly.
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