Removing the Play Audio adware-type browser extension
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on
What kind of software is Play Audio?
While investigating untrustworthy websites, our research team discovered the Play Audio browser extension. It is promoted as a tool that enables users to listen to any audio format on the Web.
After analyzing this piece of software, we determined that it is adware. Play Audio runs intrusive advertisement campaigns and collects sensitive user data.
Play Audio adware overview
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It delivers intrusive advertisement campaigns, i.e., this software displays ads on visited websites and/or other interfaces.
The adverts promote various scams, unreliable/harmful software, and malware. Some intrusive advertisements can even perform stealthy downloads/installations when clicked on.
It is noteworthy that while legitimate products and services may be encountered through these ads – they are highly unlikely to be endorsed in this manner by their developers. It is most probable that this promotion is undertaken by scammers who abuse the content's affiliate programs in order to acquire illegitimate commissions.
Advertising-supported software might not display advertisements if the browser/system or user geolocation is incompatible, specific sites are not visited, or other conditions are unsuitable. However, regardless of whether Play Audio runs intrusive ad campaigns or not – its presence on a system threatens device/user safety.
Furthermore, this rogue browser extension spies on users' browsing activity. Targeted data may include: browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, personally identifiable details, usernames/passwords, credit card numbers, and so on. The collected information can be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
To summarize, the presence of software like Play Audio on devices may lead to system infections, severe privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Play Audio|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Play Audio|
|Supposed Functionality||Playing various audio formats|
|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.
Better Webb, Night Reading for All, and All Image Download are just a few examples of adware that we have analyzed recently. Advertising-supported software usually appears legitimate and harmless. It also offers a wide variety of functionalities, which seldom work as promised, and in most cases – are utterly nonoperational.
Keep in mind that even if a piece of software works as indicated by its promotional material – that is not a guarantee of either legitimacy or safety.
How did Play Audio install on my computer?
We obtained Play Audio from its "official" promotional webpage. In addition to such sites, adware is commonly endorsed on scam pages. Most visitors to such sites enter them via redirects generated by mistyped URLs, websites employing rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
Advertising-supported software can also be bundled (packed together) with regular programs. The risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system is increased by downloading from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, Peer-to-Peer sharing networks, etc.) and by rushing through installation processes (e.g., ignoring terms, using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.).
Intrusive adverts proliferate adware as well. When clicked on, some of these advertisements can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly recommend researching software prior to download or purchase. Furthermore, all downloads must be performed from official and verified sources. When installing, it is essential to read terms, explore available options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all additions (e.g., applications, extensions, tools, etc.).
Another recommendation is to be careful while browsing since fake and dangerous online content usually appears legitimate and harmless. For example, intrusive advertisements may look ordinary/innocuous – yet redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., pornography, gambling, adult dating, etc.).
Should you keep experiencing such adverts/redirects, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious apps and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Play Audio, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshots of websites used to promote Play Audio 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 Play Audio?
- 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 "Play Audio" 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 play audio, 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 play audio 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 play audio, 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 result in diminished browsing experience or system performance. This software enables the placement of advertisements that promote deceptive/hazardous content capable of causing serious problems (e.g., system infections, financial losses, etc.). Additionally, adware is classified as a privacy threat since it usually has data-tracking abilities.
What does adware do?
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It operates by displaying ads on various interfaces, and it may be capable of generating redirects and collecting private information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware developers generate revenue primarily through affiliate programs by promoting websites, applications, products, services, and other content.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Play Audio adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner can scan devices and eliminate installed adware-type applications. It is noteworthy that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. In some cases, even after the adware has been manually removed – various file leftovers remain hidden within the system. These components may continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, it is paramount to eliminate advertising-supported software thoroughly.
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