Ads by ClearThink
Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is ClearThink?
Developed by SuperWeb LLC, ClearThink is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) claiming to improve users' Internet browsing experience by enabling coupons, comparison shopping, and other functions.
Although this functionality may seem useful and legitimate, be aware that ClearThink is categorized as adware since it employs a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' to install on Internet browsers without users' consent.
Bundling is a way to stealthily distribute applications together with other software, and therefore, most users inadvertently install ClearThink when downloading free software from freeware download websites.
Following successful infiltration on Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, and Google Chrome, ClearThink generates intrusive online advertisements and tracks users' Internet browsing activity.
These intrusive advertisements include interstitial, transitional, banner, text-link, search, and full-page ads. There is a high probability that clicking these advertisements will lead to high-risk adware or malware infections.
Furthermore, this potentially unwanted program continually monitors users' Internet browsing activity by collecting various information that is likely to be personally identifiable. For example: unique identifier numbers, search queries entered, website URLs visited, pages viewed, Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine users' geographic locations), and other details.
This behavior may lead to serious privacy issues or identity theft. SuperWeb LLC has released several hundred rogue browser plug-ins identical to ClearThink including Dolphin Deals, App Bud, PodoWeb, and neurowise among many others. None of these PUPs provide any real value for the user.
This company releases identical browser plug-ins under different names to avoid detection by legitimate anti-virus and anti-spyware software - the purpose of these rogue browser add-ons is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online advertisements, and for this reason, you are strongly advised to uninstall ClearThink adware from your Internet browsers.
Research shows that most popular freeware download websites (such as download.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, etc.) employ download programs (called 'installers', 'download managers', 'download clients', and so on) as free service monetization tools.
These small programs offer installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and virus-free') browser extensions together with the chosen free software. Thus, reckless download and installation of freeware often results in adware or malware infections.
This situation can be prevented by closely observing each step of the free software download process and never accepting installation of any additional programs 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 bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them.
If you have installed ClearThink and observe 'Ads by ClearThink', 'Powered by ClearThink', and 'ClearThink Deals' advertisements while surfing the Internet, read the removal instructions provided to eliminate ClearThink adware from your Internet browsers.
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- What is ClearThink?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ClearThink application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove ClearThink plug-in from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove ClearThink add-on from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove ClearThink extension from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove ClearThink extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ClearThink 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 "ClearThink", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes ClearThink ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove ClearThink adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "ClearThink", select this entry and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the clearthink 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.
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: "ClearThink", select this entry and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the clearthink adware, 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". Click on "Extensions", in the opened window remove "ClearThink".
Computer users who have problems with clearthink adware 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 clearthink adware, 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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