Removal instructions for Fast Downloader adware and the ads it delivers
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is Fast Downloader?
Our research team discovered the Fast Downloader browser extension during a routine investigation of suspicious websites. This extension is promoted as a tool capable of aiding with content downloading from the Web. However, our analysis revealed that Fast Downloader is advertising-supported software (adware).
Fast Downloader adware overview
Adware is designed to display various advertisements (e.g., pop-ups, banners, coupons, surveys, etc.) on visited websites and/or other interfaces. These adverts endorse online scams, unreliable/harmful software, and even malware. When clicked on, some of these ads can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
It is pertinent to mention that any genuine products or services encountered through these advertisements are most likely endorsed by scammers abusing their affiliate programs in order to acquire illegitimate commissions.
Advertising-supported software might not run intrusive advertisement campaigns if the browser/system is incompatible, specific sites are not visited, or other conditions are unsuitable. However, even if Fast Downloader does not display advertisements – its presence on a system threatens device integrity and user safety.
Furthermore, Fast Downloader collects sensitive data. Targeted information may include: URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries typed, downloads, bookmarks, log-in credentials (usernames/passwords), personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. The gathered information can be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
To summarize, the presence of software like Fast Downloader on devices can lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Fast Downloader|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Fast Downloader|
|Supposed Functionality||Tool to aid with downloads from the Internet|
|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).|
|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; Ads Buster, Quick Video Find, and Files Downloader Expert are just a couple of our newest finds.
Advertising-supported software usually appears harmless and offers "handy" features. However, these functionalities seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. Keep in mind that even if a piece of software operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not proof of its legitimacy or safety.
How did Fast Downloader install on my computer?
We acquired Fast Downloader from a dubious website promoting it. Adware often has "official" promotional pages, and it is pushed through scam sites. Users typically enter such webpages via redirects caused by mistyped URLs, websites using rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
Additionally, advertising-supported software can be bundled with ordinary programs. Downloading from untrustworthy sources (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of allowing bundled content into the device.
Adware is also distributed by intrusive advertisements. When clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts and perform downloads/installations without user consent.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly advise researching software and downloading only from official/verified channels. Furthermore, when installing, it is crucial to read terms, study possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplementary apps, tools, extensions, etc.
Another recommendation is to be careful when browsing since fake and malicious content usually appears harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements may look innocuous yet redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.).
Should you experience such adverts/redirects, check the device and immediately remove all dubious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Fast Downloader, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of the website used to promote Fast Downloader 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 Fast Downloader?
- 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 "Fast Downloader" 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 fast downloader, 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 fast downloader 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 fast downloader, 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?
The presence of adware on a device can decrease browsing quality and system performance. This software is also deemed to be a privacy threat, as it usually has data-tracking abilities. Adware also displays advertisements that promote deceptive/malicious content that can cause severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.).
What does adware do?
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It is designed to display ads on various interfaces, and it may also be capable of causing redirects and collecting private data.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Most of the profit comes from affiliate programs. Adware developers may earn commission from ad clicks, site visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Fast Downloader adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is designed to detect and eliminate threats. It is capable of removing installed adware-type applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. In some cases, even after the adware has been manually removed – various components (files) remain hidden within the systems. Furthermore, the remnants can continue running and causing issues. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate adware thoroughly.
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