What is Download Checker?
While investigating deceptive websites, our researchers discovered the Download Checker browser extension. It is promoted as a tool for testing Internet speed. However, our analysis of Download Checker revealed that it operates as advertising-supported software (adware) instead.
Download Checker adware overview
Adware is designed to run intrusive advertisement campaigns. In other words, this software can enable the placement of third-party graphical content (e.g., pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc.) on visited websites and/or other interfaces.
The displayed advertisements endorse various scams, unwanted/harmful software, and even malware. When clicked on, some intrusive adverts are capable of performing stealthy downloads/installations.
It is pertinent to mention that any genuine content encountered via these ads is highly unlikely to be promoted by its actual developers. Instead, this endorsement is undertaken by scammers who abuse affiliate programs in order to obtain illegitimate commissions.
Advertising-supported software can need specific conditions to run intrusive ad campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system specs or user geolocation, visits to particular websites, etc.). However, regardless of whether the Download Checker browser extension displays advertisements - its presence on a system endangers device/user safety.
Furthermore, this adware spies on users' browsing activity. Data of interest may include: URLs visited, webpages viewed, search queries typed, usernames/passwords, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, and so on. The collected data can be shared with and/or sold to third-parties (potentially, cyber criminals).
In summary, the presence of advertising-supported software like Download Checker on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Download Checker|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Download Checker|
|Supposed Functionality||Internet speed checking tool|
|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.
Advertising-supported software tends to look legitimate and harmless. It lures users with promises of various functionalities. However, these functions seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. It is noteworthy that operational features are not proof of a software's legitimacy or safety.
How did Download Checker install on my computer?
We acquired the Download Checker browser extension from its "official" promotional webpage. Additionally, we found a deceptive site endorsing this extension. Most users enter such pages via redirects caused by websites using rogue advertising networks, mistyped URLs, intrusive ads, spam browser notifications, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
Advertising-supported software can also be bundled with (packed alongside) ordinary programs. Download from dubious sources (e.g., freeware and third-party websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushed installation (e.g., ignored terms, used "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of unintentionally permitting bundled content into the device.
Intrusive adverts proliferate adware as well. Once clicked on, some of the advertisements can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We highly recommend researching software prior to download/installation and/or purchase. Furthermore, we advise approaching installation with care, e.g., by reading terms, inspecting possible options, using the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opting-out of all additional applications, extensions, tools, etc.
Another recommendation is to exercise caution when browsing since illegitimate and malicious online content usually appears harmless. For example, intrusive ads may look ordinary/innocuous yet redirect to questionable sites (e.g., pornography, adult-dating, gambling, etc.).
Should you keep experiencing adverts and/or redirects of this kind, inspect the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Download Checker, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of Download Checker adware's "official" promotional website:
Screenshot of a deceptive website used to promote Download Checker 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 Download Checker?
- STEP 1. Uninstall adware applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue extensions from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove rogue extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove rogue extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
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 any unwanted applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the unwanted applications, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove 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 "Download Checker" 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 download checker, 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 recently-installed suspicious extensions, click on the three dots and then click "Remove".
Computer users who have problems with ads by download checker 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 download checker, 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.
Post a comment:
If you have additional information on ads by download checker or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What harm can adware cause?
Adware can decrease browsing quality and system performance. It displays advertisements that promote deceptive/malicious content, which could cause system infections, financial losses, and other severe issues. Additionally, advertising-supported software typically has data-tracking functionalities – hence, it is considered to be a threat to user privacy.
What does adware do?
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. Its primary functionalities can include displaying advertisements on various interfaces, force-opening websites, and collecting private information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates revenue primarily through affiliate programs by promoting content. The developers might commission from ad clicks, website visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Download Checker adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate installed adware-type apps. It must be mentioned that manual removal (performed without the aid of security programs) might be ineffective. In some cases, even after the adware has been manually removed – various components (files) remain hidden within the system. What is more, the remnants can continue to run and cause problems. Therefore, adware must be eliminated thoroughly.