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PopToTop Adware

Also Known As: Ads by PopToTop
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is PopToTop?

Created by Virtue Interactive Ltd, PopToTop is a rogue browser extension claiming to improve the quality of users' Internet browsing experience by enabling web scrolling-related functions. On initial inspection, this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, however, be aware that PopToTop is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted program.

These associations are made due to a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' employed by PopToTop to install on Internet browsers without users' permission.

Bundling is a way to stealthily distribute applications together with other software, and therefore, most users inadvertently install PopToTop when downloading free software from freeware download websites.

Following successful infiltration on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, PopToTop generates intrusive online advertisements such as coupon, banner, price comparison, and pop-up ads. Clicking advertisements generated by PopToTop is likely to cause high-risk adware or malware infections.

PopToTop adware

Furthermore, PopToTop continually monitors users' Internet browsing activity by recording various software and hardware information including operating system and browser types, IP addresses, geo-locations, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries entered, cookies, unique identifier numbers, and other similar details.

This information tracking may result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. PopToTop is similar to other potentially unwanted programs that employ bundling as an installation method. Examples include SpeedCheck, PassShow, and clicknmark among many others.

These browser plug-ins are useless to the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online advertisements and forcing unwanted browser redirects. Internet users are strongly advised to eliminate PopToTop from their Internet browsers.

Research shows that most adware is distributed via small programs called 'download clients' on freeware download websites such as download.com, softonic.com, and soft32.com.

Download clients are used by these websites as free service and traffic monetization tools since they offer installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% legitimate') browser plug-ins together with the chosen free software. Thus, careless download and installation of freeware risks system infection with adware or malware.

This situation can be prevented by closely observing each step of the free software download procedure 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 'Typical' or 'Quick' - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them. If you have installed PopToTop, read the removal instructions provided and uninstall this adware from your Internet browsers.

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Quick menu:

PopToTop 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.

PopToTop adware uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Remove PopToTop adware from Internet browsers:

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

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing PopToTop 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 "PopToTop", select this entry and click "Remove".

Removing PopToTop ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by poptotop, 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 PopToTop 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: "PopToTop", select this entry and click the trash can icon.

Removing PopToTop ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by poptotop, 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 PopToTop 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 "PopToTop".

Removing PopToTop ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with ads by poptotop 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 ads by poptotop, 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.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on ads by poptotop or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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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
Ads by PopToTop QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by PopToTop on your mobile device.
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