Stairway to Savings Virus
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Stairway to Savings?
Developed by Engaging Apps, Stairway to Savings is a rogue browser extension claiming to save time and money by enabling coupons, comparison shopping, and displaying discounts/special offers available on shopping websites. While this functionality may seem legitimate, be aware that this extension is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted application.
Stairway to Savings employs a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to install on Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome) without users' consent. Following successful infiltration, this potentially unwanted browser extension tracks users' Internet browsing activity and generates intrusive online advertisements.
These advertisements including search, text-link, interstitial, sponsored link, targeted video, and pop-up ads. There is a high probability that clicking these ads will cause high-risk adware or malware infections. In addition, this rogue browser add-on continually monitors users' Internet browsing activity by collecting various information, which may be personally identifiable.
For example: geographic locations, unique identifier numbers, URLs visited, search queries entered, pages viewed, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, and other similar details. This behavior may lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft, and therefore, users are strongly advised to uninstall Stairway to Savings from their Internet browsers.
Stairway to Savings is similar to other rogue browser extensions (such as Atomic Savings, Coupon Waterfall, and Savings Season) developed by Engaging Apps. Neither Stairway to Savings, nor any of these other browser plug-ins add any real value for the user.
Their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online advertisements. At time of research, Stairway to Savings was distributed via fake downloads (for example, Java updates, browser updates, etc.) and free software 'download clients' on freeware download sites such as download.com, soft32.com, and softonic.com
Download clients are used to monetize these websites' free services by offering installation of promoted 'virus-free' browser add-ons together with the chosen free software. Thus, careless download and installation of freeware risks computer infection with adware or malware.
To avoid installation of Stairway to Savings or other potentially unwanted applications, be attentive when downloading free software and decline installation of any additional programs offered.
If you are installing downloaded software, select the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation with the chosen free software, and allow you to decline them.
Internet users who have already installed Stairway to Savings and observe "Ads by Stairway to Savings" advertisements when surfing the Internet, should follow this removal guide to eliminate this adware from their Internet browsers.
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 Stairway to Savings?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Stairway to Savings application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Stairway to Savings ads from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Ads by Stairway to Savings from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Stairway to Savings adware from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Stairway to Savings extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Stairway to Savings adware removal:
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 "Stairway to Savings", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes Stairway to Savings ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove Stairway to Savings ads from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Stairway to Savings", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the stairway to savings ads, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "Stairway to Savings", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the stairway to savings ads, 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.
If you are unable to remove Stairway to Savings and it is greyed-out ("Installed by enterprise policy"), follow this removal guide - how to remove a Google Chrome extension that is "Installed by enterprise policy"?
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove "Stairway to Savings".
Computer users who have problems with stairway to savings ads 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 stairway to savings ads, 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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