What kind of software is Auto Download?
While investigating untrustworthy sites, our research team discovered the Auto Download browser extension. It is endorsed as a tool that simplifies image download from the Web. After examining this piece of software, we determined that it is adware. Auto Download displays ads and collects sensitive user data.
Auto Download adware overview
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It enables the placement of advertisements (e.g., pop-ups, coupons, banners, overlays, etc.) on visited websites and/or other interfaces. This software may need specific conditions (e.g., compatible browser/system, visits to particular sites, etc.) to run intrusive advert campaigns. However, even if Auto Download does not display ads – this browser extension remains a threat.
Adware-delivered adverts primarily endorse online scams, unreliable/harmful software, and potential malware. When clicked on, some of these advertisements can execute scripts to perform downloads/installations without user permission.
It is noteworthy that while legitimate products and services may be encountered via these ads – they are unlikely to be promoted in this fashion by any official parties. It is most probable that this endorsement is undertaken by scammers who abuse the content's affiliate programs in order to obtain illegitimate commissions.
Furthermore, Auto Download has data-tracking functionalities. Target information may include: browsing and search engine histories, Internet cookies, account log-in credentials, personally identifiable details, finance-related data, etc. The gathered information can then be sold to third-parties or otherwise abused for profit.
In summary, the presence of advertising-supported software like Auto Download on devices may lead to system infections, serious privacy issues, financial losses, and even identity theft.
|Name||Ads by Auto Download|
|Threat Type||Adware, Unwanted ads, Pop-up Virus|
|Browser Extension(s)||Auto Download|
|Supposed Functionality||Easy download tool for images|
|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.
Despite its legitimate/ordinary appearance and promises of various "useful" functionalities, adware rarely operates as indicated by its promotional material. It must be stressed that functional features are not definitive proof of a software's legitimacy or safety.
How did Auto Download install on my computer?
We obtained Auto Download from its "official" promotional page. In addition to such webpages, adware is endorsed on deceptive/scam sites.
Most visitors access these pages via redirects generated by websites that utilize rogue advertising networks, spam browser notifications, misspelled URLs, intrusive ads, or installed adware (with browser force-opening capabilities).
"Bundling" – packing regular program installers with unwanted/malicious additions – is also used to proliferate adware. Downloading from dubious channels (e.g., freeware and third-party sites, P2P sharing networks, etc.) and rushing through installation processes (e.g., using "Easy/Quick" settings, etc.) – increase the risk of unintentionally allowing bundled content into the system.
Intrusive advertisements spread advertising-supported software as well. Once clicked on, some of the adverts can execute scripts to perform stealthy downloads/installations.
How to avoid installation of adware?
We strongly recommend researching software prior to downloading or purchasing it. Additionally, all downloads must be performed from official and trustworthy sources. When installing, it is important to read terms, explore possible options, use the "Custom/Advanced" settings, and opt out of all supplements (e.g., apps, extensions, tools, etc.).
We advise being vigilant while browsing since fake and malicious online content typically appears legitimate and innocuous. For example, while intrusive ads may look ordinary/harmless – they redirect to highly questionable websites (e.g., scam-promoting, gambling, adult dating, pornography, etc.).
If you keep encountering adverts and/or redirects of this kind, check the system and immediately remove all suspicious applications and browser extensions/plug-ins. If your computer is already infected with Auto Download, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate this adware.
Screenshot of the official website used to promote Auto Download adware:
Screenshot of a deceptive website used to promote Auto Download 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 Auto Download?
- 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 Auto Download adware using Combo Cleaner:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Extensions" and click "Manage Extensions". Locate "Auto Download" 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 download, 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 download 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 download, 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 endorse harmful content capable of causing serious problems (e.g., system infections, privacy issues, financial losses, etc.). This software can diminish the browsing experience and system performance. Additionally, adware usually has data-tracking abilities – hence, it is considered to be a threat to user privacy.
What does adware do?
Adware stands for advertising-supported software. It operates by enabling the placement of ads on various interfaces. Furthermore, some types are capable of force-opening websites and collecting private information.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Adware generates revenue primarily via affiliate programs by promoting content. The developers may earn commissions from ad clicks, website visits, file downloads, product purchases, service subscriptions, or similar.
Will Combo Cleaner remove Auto Download adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your device and eliminate all adware-type apps present. It is pertinent to mention that manual removal (unaided by security programs) might be ineffective. In some cases, various remnants (files) stay hidden within the system after the adware has been manually removed. The remaining components can continue to run and cause issues. Therefore, it is crucial to eliminate advertising-supported software thoroughly.