What is Down Assist?
While inspecting dubious software promoting webpages, our research team discovered the Down Assist browser extension. It is endorsed as a tool capable of quickly providing alternative websites when the one users seek to access is down (unavailable). After analyzing Down Assist, we determined that it operates as advertising-supported software (adware).
Down Assist adware overview
Adware is designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, advertising-supported software displays ads on visited websites and/or different interfaces.
The delivered adverts promote online scams, unreliable/harmful sites and software, and even malware. What is more, some intrusive advertisements can make downloads/installations without user consent - once clicked on.
Note that any legitimate products encountered through these ads 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 has to be mentioned that advertising-supported software may require specific conditions (e.g., compatible browser/system or user geolocation, visits to particular websites, etc.) to deliver intrusive advertisement campaigns. However, regardless of whether Down Assist (or other adware) displays advertisements - its presence on a system endangers device/user safety.
Furthermore, Down Assist has data tracking functionalities. Adware usually collects browsing-related data, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, credit card numbers, and so on. The gathered data is monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Down Assist on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Down Assist|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Down Assist|
|Supposed Functionality||Easy access to alternative sites when the intended website is down.|
|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.
Dark-Display, text info, Web Saver, and frame order are just some examples of the adware we have analyzed. This software typically appears legitimate and offers "useful" functionalities. However, these functions rarely work as promised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.
Therefore, not only is advertising-supported software useless, but it also poses a threat to device integrity and user privacy.
How did Down Assist install on my computer?
We acquired Down Assist from its "official" promotional webpage. Adware is also endorsed through scam websites. Most users enter such sites via redirects caused by pages using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive adverts, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
Intrusive advertisements proliferate advertising-supported software as well. Once clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent.
"Bundling" - packing ordinary program installers with unwanted/malicious additions - is 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.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly recommend researching software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and verified channels. When installing, it is important to read terms, inspect possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all supplements.
We advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements look harmless yet redirect to unreliable/questionable sites (e.g., gambling, adult-dating, pornography, etc.).
If you encounter ads/redirects of this kind, check the system and remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Down Assist, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of the website used to promote Down Assist 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 Down Assist?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Down Assist application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Down Assist ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Down Assist' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Down Assist extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Down Assist 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 "Down Assist", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Down Assist ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Down Assist 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 "Down Assist", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by down assist, 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 "Down Assist".
Computer users who have problems with ads by down assist 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 down assist, 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 to be a privacy threat, as this software usually has data tracking abilities. What is more, adware-displayed advertisements endorse deceptive/malicious content that can cause serious issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware is designed to display various ads on visited websites and/or other interfaces. Some types can force-open sites and collect private information as well.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates most of its revenue through affiliate programs by endorsing websites, applications, products, services, and so on. The developers might earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Down Assist adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate detected adware-type apps. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. In some instances, even after the advertising-supported software has been (manually) removed - various file remnants get left behind. Furthermore, the remaining components may continue running and causing problems. Therefore, adware must be eliminated thoroughly and without delay.