What is SoftwareRefresher?
Developed by Software Refresher LP, SoftwareRefresher is a potentially unwanted program (PUP) claiming to notify users of the latest available updates for various installed software and help to install them.
Although this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, be aware that SoftwareRefresher is categorized as adware, since it installs on Internet browsers without users' consent using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' (stealth installation of additional programs together with the chosen software).
Following successful infiltration on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox, SoftwareRefresher tracks users' Internet browsing activity and delivers intrusive online ads and fake notifications to update installed programs.
These intrusive advertisements include (but are not limited to) offers to install other applications, banner, pop-up, and in-text ads. It is highly probable that clicking these advertisements will cause further high-risk adware or malware infections.
Additionally, users' Internet browsing activity is continually monitored, since SoftwareRefresher collects various software and hardware information such as Internet browser types and data (website URLs visited, pages viewed, and search queries entered), operating system types, lists of installed applications, unique identifier numbers, geographic locations, IP addresses, and other similar data that may be personally identifiable.
This information tracking may result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft, and therefore, you are strongly advised to eliminate SoftwareRefresher from your system.
SoftwareRefresher is similar to other rogue applications that employ bundling as an installation method. Some examples are ShieldMe, SpeedItApp, RapidCheck, DocToPDFConverter, and Selection Tools among many others.
Neither SoftwareRefresher, nor any of these other applications provide any significant value for the user - the main purpose of SoftwareRefresher is to generate revenue by the display of intrusive online advertisements, tricking users into installing other rogue applications, and sharing collected data with third parties.
Close examination of SoftwareRefresher reveals that it is mostly distributed via small programs called 'download managers' used by freeware download websites such as download.com, soft32.com, softonic.com, etc.
Download managers are used to monetize these websites' traffic and free services by offering installation of promoted (according to the developers, '100% legitimate and virus-free') applications or browser extensions together with the chosen free software.
Thus, reckless download and installation of freeware often leads to high-risk adware or malware infections. This situation can be prevented by closely inspecting each step of the free software download process and never accepting installation of any additional programs offered.
Furthermore, if you are installing downloaded software, select the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' installation options, rather than 'Typical', 'Regular', or 'Quick' - this will reveal any concealed applications listed for installation and allow you to opt-out.
If your computer is infected with SoftwareRefresher, read the following removal instructions and uninstall this potentially unwanted program from your system.
Deceptive free software installer used in SoftwareRefresher adware distribution:
SoftwareRefresher application screenshot:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT 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 SoftwareRefresher?
- STEP 1. Uninstall SoftwareRefresher application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove SoftwareRefresher adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove SoftwareRefresher ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by SoftwareRefresher' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove SoftwareRefresher extension from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
SoftwareRefresher 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 "SoftwareRefresher", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes SoftwareRefresher ads), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove SoftwareRefresher adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, SoftwareRefresher did not install its browser plug-ins on Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, however, it was bundled with other adware. Therefore, you are advised to remove all potentially unwanted browser add-ons from your 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 any recently-installed suspicious plug-ins, select these entries and click "Remove".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the softwarerefresher 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 "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the softwarerefresher 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 "Extensions", in the opened window, remove any recently-installed suspicious plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with softwarerefresher 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 softwarerefresher 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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