Removal instructions for Healthy adware and the adverts it displays
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Healthy adware?
Healthy is a rogue application, which our analysis revealed to be advertising-supported software (adware). Apps within this classification operate by running intrusive advertisement campaigns, i.e., by displaying ads.
Healthy adware overview
Adware enables the placement of third-party graphical content (e.g., pop-ups, banners, coupons, and other ads) on visited sites and/or different interfaces.
It is noteworthy that this software may require certain conditions to run intrusive ad campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system specs, visits to particular websites, etc.). However, regardless of whether Healthy displays adverts - its presence endangers device/user safety.
Adware-delivered advertisements endorse online scams, untrustworthy/harmful webpages and apps, and even malware. Once clicked on, some intrusive ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
It is pertinent to mention that any genuine products encountered through these adverts are most likely promoted by scammers abusing their affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
Furthermore, Healthy likely has data tracking abilities, as they are standard for advertising-supported software. Targeted information may include: browsing and search engine histories, personally identifiable details, account log-in credentials, credit card numbers, etc. The collected data is then shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Healthy on devices can result in system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Healthy|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Detection Names (iso)||Combo Cleaner (Application.AdSearch), ESET-NOD32 (LNK/Agent.PL), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Script.AdSearch.), Symantec (Trojan.Gen.MBT), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Detection Names (app)||Combo Cleaner (Application.AdSearch), Kaspersky (Not-a-virus:HEUR:AdWare.Script.AdSea), Sophos (AdSearch (PUA)), Webroot (W32.Virus.Script.Adsearch), Full List Of Detections (VirusTotal)|
|Rogue Process Name||HealthySoftware Copyright © 2022 (process name may vary)|
|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.
Strength, Healthiness, and Energy are a couple examples of adware practically identical to Healthy; while colors scale, Video Player, Make It Dark - are our latest finds in software within this classification.
Advertising-supported software usually appears legitimate and innocuous. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of "useful" and "advantageous" functions. However, these functionalities rarely work as advertised, and in most cases - they do not work at all.
How did Healthy install on my computer?
Adware can be bundled with (packed alongside) ordinary software. Download from untrustworthy sources (e.g., unofficial and free file-hosting websites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installations (e.g., used "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the system.
Additionally, intrusive adverts proliferate advertising-supported software. When clicked on, some of these advertisements can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user permission.
Adware can also have "official" download webpages, and it is pushed through scam pages. Most users access such websites via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, pages that use rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading it only from official and verified sources. When installing, it is advised to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additions.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing - since fraudulent and malicious content typically appears harmless. For example, intrusive adverts look legitimate yet redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with such ads/redirects, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Healthy, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Healthy adware's installer contents:
Screenshot Healthy adware's process on Windows Task Manager ("HealthySoftware Copyright © 2022" process name):
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 Healthy?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Healthy application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Healthy ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Healthy' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Healthy extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Healthy 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 "Healthy", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Healthy ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Healthy adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, Healthy did not install its browser plug-ins on Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your 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 all recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by healthy, 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 and themes". Click "Extensions", in the opened window locate all recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Computer users who have problems with ads by healthy 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 healthy, 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 typically has data tracking abilities, which make this software a privacy threat. Adware-delivered advertisements can be dangerous and cause serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware operates by displaying ads on visited webpages and other interfaces. Additionally, this software may be capable of force-opening sites and gathering private information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware developers generate profit mainly via affiliate programs by endorsing various websites, software, products, services, and so forth.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Healthy adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your system and eliminate installed adware-type applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be ideal. In some instances, even after the adware has been (manually) removed - various remnants (files) stay within the system. What is more, the remaining components may continue running and causing issues. Hence, it is crucial to remove advertising-supported software thoroughly.
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