Removal instructions for the Auto Refresh adware-type browser extension
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What is Auto Refresh?
While investigating untrustworthy websites, our researchers discovered the Auto Refresh browser extension. This piece of software is supposedly designed to automatically refresh webpages within certain time intervals. After examining Auto Refresh, we determined that this extension operates as adware.
Auto Refresh adware overview
Adware stands for advertising-supported software, and it is designed to display advertisements on visited websites and/or other interfaces. These ads promote various scams, untrustworthy/harmful software, and malware. Once clicked on, some intrusive adverts can even execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user consent.
Keep in mind that while legitimate content may be encountered through these advertisements – it is unlikely to be endorsed in this manner by its actual developers. It is most probable that the promotion is undertaken by scammers who abuse the product's affiliate programs in order to obtain illegitimate commissions.
It is noteworthy that adware may require certain conditions to run intrusive advertisement campaigns (e.g., compatible browser/system specs or user geolocation, visits to particular sites, etc.). However, even if Auto Refresh does not display ads – its presence on a system threatens device and user safety.
This rogue browser extension has data-tracking abilities. Advertising-supported software usually collects the following data: browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, account log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related information, and so forth. The collected data can then be monetized via sale to third-parties.
To summarize, the presence of software like Auto Refresh on devices can result in system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Auto Refresh|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Auto Refresh|
|Supposed Functionality||Webpage auto-refresh 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).|
|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 countless adware samples; Convert Page to PDF, One Click Refresh, Anonymous Video Player – are merely a few of our newest finds.
Advertising-supported software tends to appear legitimate and innocuous. It typically offers a broad range of useful functionalities. However, these features seldom work as promised, and in most cases – they do not work at all. It must be stressed that even if a piece of software operates as indicated by its promotional material – that is not definitive proof of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Auto Refresh install on my computer?
We discovered several deceptive webpages endorsing Auto Refresh. In addition to various scam sites, adware often has "official" promotional pages. Websites of this kind are primarily accessed via redirects caused by pages using rogue advertising networks, misspelled URLs, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with browser force-opening abilities).
"Bundling" – packing ordinary program installation setups with unwanted/malicious additions – is also used to distribute advertising-supported software.
The risk of allowing bundled content into the device is increased by downloading from dubious sources (e.g., freeware and free file-hosting websites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., using "Easy/Express" settings, etc.).
Adware is proliferated by intrusive adverts as well. Some of these advertisements are capable of performing stealthy downloads/installations upon being clicked.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We highly recommend researching software and downloading it only from official/verified channels. Furthermore, installation must be treated with caution. Therefore, we advise reading terms, exploring available options, using the "Custom" or "Advanced" settings, and opting out of all supplementary apps, extensions, tools, etc.
Another recommendation is to be vigilant while browsing since fake and dangerous content usually appears legitimate. For example, intrusive ads may look harmless yet redirect to unreliable/questionable sites (e.g., pornography, gambling, adult dating, etc.).
In case of continuous encounters with such adverts/redirects, check the device and immediately remove all suspect applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Auto Refresh, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshots of deceptive websites used to promote Auto Refresh 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 Auto Refresh?
- 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 "Auto Refresh" 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 auto refresh, 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 auto refresh 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 auto refresh, 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 auto refresh 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. This software delivers advertisements that promote harmful content capable of causing severe issues (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.). Additionally, adware often has data-tracking functionalities – therefore, it is considered to be a privacy threat.
What does adware do?
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It operates by enabling the placement of ads on various interfaces. Some types can also generate redirects and collect sensitive information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware developers profit mainly through affiliate programs by promoting various websites, apps, products, services, and other content.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Auto Refresh adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner is capable of scanning computers and eliminating installed adware-type applications. Note that manual removal (unaided by security software) might not be a perfect solution. Even after the advertising-supported software has been manually removed – various remnants (files) can stay hidden within the system. Furthermore, the remaining components may continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate adware thoroughly.
▼ Show Discussion