Ads by ShieldMe

Also Known As: ShieldMe adware
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

ShieldMe removal instructions

What is ShieldMe?

Created by Virtue Interactive Ltd, ShieldMe is a rogue browser extension claiming to prevent children from viewing adult websites. Although this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, be aware that ShieldMe is categorized as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) or adware. The developers of this rogue application employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of additional programs together with the chosen software) to install ShieldMe on Internet browsers without users' consent. This extension is compatible with Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, and Mozilla Firefox. After successful infiltration on these browsers, ShieldMe generates intrusive online advertisements including sponsored links, coupons, pop-ups, pop-unders, banner, content suggestions, deals, comparison shopping, and other similar ads. ShieldMe is not directly linked to virus or malware infections, however, you are strongly advised to uninstall it from your system since advertisements generated by this potentially unwanted program are likely to cause high-risk computer infections.

ShieldMe adware

In addition, this potentially unwanted program continually monitors users' Internet browsing activity by collecting various software and hardware information that may be personally identifiable. For example: IP and MAC addresses, URLs visited, default search providers and search queries entered, geographic locations, and other similar details. This personal information tracking may result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft. In order to eliminate ShieldMe adware, use legitimate anti-spyware and anti-virus suites (which also provide parental control if this is a feature you require). ShieldMe is similar to other rogue applications that employ bundling as an installation method. ReMarkable, PassWizard, and Speederu are just three examples. Neither ShieldMe, nor any of these other applications, provide any significant value for the user - their purpose is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online ads and sharing collected data with third parties. Therefore, you should not trust this application and are advised to remove it from your system.

Close examination of ShieldMe reveals that it is mostly distributed via small programs called 'download clients' on freeware download websites such as download.com, softonic.com, soft32.com, and many others. Download clients are employed to monetize these websites' free services and traffic by offering installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and virus-free') browser add-ons together with the chosen software. Thus, reckless download and installation of freeware often leads to adware or malware infections, which appear in various forms such as tool-bars or potentially unwanted programs (including ShieldMe). To prevent installation of ShieldMe, or other adware, closely inspect each step of the free software download process and never accept installation of any additional software offered. Furthermore, all software downloaded from the Internet should be installed using the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options, rather than 'Quick', 'Regular', or 'Typical' - this will reveal any concealed applications listed for installation and allow you to decline them. If your computer is infected with ShieldMe, and you observe intrusive online ads when surfing the Internet, follow the removal instructions provided to uninstall this adware from your Internet browsers.

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Quick menu:

ShieldMe adware removal:

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.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 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.

Mac 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.

ShieldMe adware uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Remove ShieldMe adware from Internet browsers:

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

Internet Explorer logo Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing ShieldMe ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" iconInternet Explorer options icon(at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "ShieldMe", select this entry and click "Remove".

Removing ShieldMe ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the shieldme 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 ShieldMe ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu iconGoogle Chrome options icon(at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "ShieldMe", select this entry and click the trash can icon.

Removing ShieldMe ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the shieldme 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 ShieldMe ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menufirefox menu icon(at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove "ShieldMe".

Removing ShieldMe ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with shieldme 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 shieldme 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.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove shieldme adware from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

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

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
ShieldMe adware QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of ShieldMe adware on your mobile device.
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