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Meteoroids Ads

Also Known As: Meteoroids Adware
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Meteoroids?

Created by Acute Angle Solutions, Meteoroids is a potentially unwanted browser extensions claiming to enable users to play an addictive browser game called 'Asteroids'.

The developers of this rogue application employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to install Meteoroids on Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome) without users' permission.

Bundling is a way to stealthily distribute additional programs together with other software, and for this reason, most users infect their computers with Meteoroids during download of free software from freeware download websites.

Although Meteoroids may appear to be a legitimate and useful browser add-on, be aware that it is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Following successful infiltration on Internet browsers, Meteoroids generates numerous intrusive online advertisements including banner, in-text and interstitial ads.

There is a high probability that clicking these advertisements will cause high-risk adware or malware infections.

Meteoroids adware

Furthermore, users' Internet browsing activity is continually monitored, since Meteoroids records various software and hardware information that is likely to be personally identifiable.

For example: operating systems, Internet browsers and activity (website URLs visited, search queries entered, pages viewed), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, unique identifier numbers, geographic locations, and other details. There are many rogue browser add-ons similar to Meteoroids, for example, Radsteroids, Websteroids, Jewel Quest, and many others.

These are useless to the user - their purpose is to generate income by the display of intrusive online advertisements. The behavior of these PUPs may result in serious privacy issues or identity theft, and therefore, you are strongly advised to eliminate Meteoroids from your Internet browsers.

Research shows that most popular freeware download websites (such as download.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, etc.) employ small programs called 'download managers' to monetize their free services by offering installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% virus-free') browser extensions together with the users' chosen free software.

Thus, rash download and installation of freeware often leads to freeware or malware infections. This situation can be prevented by closely inspecting each step of the free software download process and clicking 'Decline' if installation of any additional programs is offered.

Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical' - this will reveal any hidden applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them. If you have already installed Meteoroids, read the following removal guide to uninstall this adware from your Internet browsers.

Deceptive free software installer used in Meteoroids adware distribution:

meteoroids adware installer

Meteoroids adware installer:

Meteoroids Installer

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Quick menu:

Meteoroids adware removal:

Windows 11 users:

Accessing Apps and Features in Windows 11

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

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:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

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:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

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.

Meteoroids adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "Meteoroids", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes Meteoroids ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove Meteoroids adware from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing Meteoroids ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Meteoroids", select this entry and click "Remove". Note that Meteoroids ads can be caused by other adware. In the Manage Add-ons window, remove all suspicious browser add-ons.

Removing Meteoroids ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the meteoroids adware, 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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

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.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing Meteoroids ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "Meteoroids", select this entry and click the trash can icon. Note that Meteoroids ads can be caused by other adware. In the "extensions" window of Google Chrome, remove all suspicious browser extensions.

Removing Meteoroids ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the meteoroids adware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google 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.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing Meteoroids ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove "Meteoroids". Note that Meteoroids ads can be generated by other adware. In the "Add-ons Manager" window, remove all suspicious browser add-ons.

Removing Meteoroids ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with meteoroids adware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

removing adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) 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.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the meteoroids adware, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

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.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, 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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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of over 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an author and editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay informed about the latest online security threats. Contact Tomas Meskauskas.

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
Meteoroids Adware QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Meteoroids Adware on your mobile device.
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