What is Mix Colors?
While inspecting deceptive software-endorsing websites, our researchers discovered the Mix Colors rogue browser extension. It is promoted as a tool capable of changing webpage background colors. Our analysis of this extension revealed that it operates as adware instead.
Mix Colors adware overview
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is designed to display advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. These ads push online scams, untrustworthy/harmful sites and software, and even malware. Some intrusive adverts can execute scripts to make downloads/installations without user consent - when clicked.
Note that while legitimate products can be encountered via these ads, they are unlikely to be endorsed in this manner by their actual developers. Instead, this promotion is undertaken by scammers abusing the programs' affiliate programs to obtain illegitimate commissions.
It has to be mentioned that adware might not deliver advertisements if certain conditions are unsuitable, such as incompatible browser/system specs or user geolocation, specific websites are not visited, etc. However, regardless of whether Mix Colors displays adverts, its presence endangers device and user safety.
Furthermore, Mix Colors spies on users' browsing activity. Information of interest may include: visited URLs, viewed pages, searched queries, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, financial/banking data, etc. The collected information can be monetized via sale to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
To summarize, the presence of software like Mix Colors on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Mix Colors|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Mix Colors|
|Supposed Functionality||Webpage background color changing|
|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; Gallery, DisLight, ClickDark, refresh color - are merely some of our newest finds. Advertising-supported software typically appears legitimate and harmless. Users are enticed into download/installation with promises of various "handy" features, which are usually nonoperational.
How did Mix Colors install on my computer?
We acquired Mix Colors from a scam page. Adware is commonly promoted on various deceptive websites. Most users access these webpages via sites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, mistyped URLs, intrusive adverts, or installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).
Additionally, advertising-supported software can be bundled (packed together) with regular programs. Download from untrustworthy 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 device.
Intrusive advertisements also proliferate adware. Once clicked on, some of the ads can execute scripts to make stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly recommend researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Furthermore, installation processes must be approached with caution. When installing, it is important to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt-out of all additional apps, extensions, tools, etc.
We advise being vigilant when browsing since fraudulent and malicious content typically appears legitimate. For example, intrusive advertisements look ordinary and harmless, yet they redirect to highly questionable sites (e.g., gambling, pornography, adult-dating, etc.).
In case of encounters with ads and/or redirects of this kind, inspect the device and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Mix Colors, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of a deceptive website used to promote Mix Colors adware:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 Mix Colors?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Mix Colors application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Mix Colors ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove 'Ads by Mix Colors' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove Mix Colors extension from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Mix Colors 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 "Mix Colors", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted application (which causes Mix Colors ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Mix Colors 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 "Mix Colors" and all other recently-installed suspicious extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by mix colors, 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 "Mix Colors" and all other recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Computer users who have problems with ads by mix colors 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 mix colors, 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 displays advertisements that promote deceptive and malicious content, which can cause severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.). This software is considered to be a privacy threat, as it usually has data tracking abilities.
What does adware do?
Adware operates by enabling the placement of ads on various interfaces, such as visited websites. This software may also be capable of causing redirects and collecting private data.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates revenue primarily through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, etc. The developers can earn commission from ad clicks, webpage visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Mix Colors adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate detected adware-type applications. It has to be mentioned that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might not be a perfect solution. In some cases, even after the advertising-supported software has been (manually) removed - various remnants (files) stay hidden within the system. What is more, these leftovers might continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate adware thoroughly.