FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

Ads by WordAnchor

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

WordAnchor removal instructions

What is WordAnchor?

WordAnchor is identical to its previous versions - Wordinator, WordShark, and Quick Surf. All claim to enable a feature to search and translate various information on the Internet. The functionality offered is used to trick users into believing that WordAnchor is a legitimate and useful bowser plug-in. In fact, it is categorized as adware. The developers of this bogus app employ a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling', and therefore, WordAnchor is also considered to be a potentially unwanted program (PUP). The bundling method allows developers to stealthily install third party apps (usually rogue) together with regular software. Thus, most users install this application inadvertently. After infiltration on the most popular Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox), WordAnchor employs a virtual layer to display intrusive online advertisements. This allows placement of graphical content on users' visited websites. Most of the ads displayed by this add-on are marked as 'Ads by WordAnchor' and are, thus, easily identifed. Furthermore, some of these displayed ads are opened in new browser tabs or windows - this might cause users to accidentally click them. Although the displayed ads (coupons, in-text, comparison shopping, transitional, etc.) often redirect to harmless sites such as online stores or websites offering various services, they may also redirect to untrusted websites containing infectious content, thereby opening exposing computers to risk of infection.

WordAnchor adware

Some users may be unaware that WordAnchor is developed to track their Internet browsing activity and record various types of information. The Privacy Policy of WordAnchor states that the collected information includes no personal details. Although this statement is commonly made by adware-type apps, research shows that it is likely to be false. WordAnchor collects computer and browser type (including data held within the browser - websites visited, pages viewed, search queries, cookies, cache, etc.), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine geographic locations), and so on. Clearly, this type of information might contain personally identifiable details. This gathered information is later shared with third parties (possibly, cyber criminals) and may include bank account details used by criminals to generate revenue. This behavior can result in serious privacy issues or even identity theft, and for this reason, you are strongly advised to eliminate WordAnchor adware from your system. Adware-type applications often have identical behavior. For instance, On Stage, Larparus, Deals Avenue, PrintOnKey, and WordAnchor all promise useful features to improve the Internet browsing experience, however, this is a merely scam to persuade users to install the bogus app. The purpose of adware is to generate revenue for the developers by displaying advertisements (through the pay-per-click - PPC - advertising model) and sharing collected information with third parties.

Rather than providing any real value for the user, this adware may cause privacy issues or further computer infections. Commonly, adware is distributed on freeware download websites that monetize their traffic and free services via small programs called 'download managers'. Users are forced to use download managers to download their chosen software. These download apps supposedly improve download speed and ease the process, and yet, they are are developed simply to offer installation of third party apps with the chosen software. This promoted software is often described as 'legitimate and virus-free', however, reckless download and installation of freeware mostly results in adware or malware infections. For these reasons, never accept offers to install additional, unrecognised applications when downloading software. If you observe intrusive online adverts (marked as 'Ads by WordAnchor), the following removal guide will help you to eliminate WordAnchor adware.

How did WordAnchor install on my computer?

The bundling method is popular with developers of rogue apps and used to install apps when users download or install regular software. The third party programs are usually hidden within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options, which are often skipped by many users. This lack of caution is the main cause of computer infection. The download managers and installer set-ups do not properly disclose installation of additional programs, and therefore, rushing the installation process can lead to inadvertent installation.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Chosen software should be downloaded from the official website only. If you must download from a freeware download website, select the direct download link, rather than using a download app. Some freeware download websites demand use of a download app - in this case, closely analyse each step of the entire download process, ensuring that only the chosen application is included. Furthermore, do not skip steps of the installation process and select the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options, since most installer set-ups hide third party software. By selecting these options, you can reveal any software listed for installation and opt-out.

Deceptive free software installers used in WordAnchor adware distribution:

wordanchor adware installer sample 2 wordanchor adware installer

WordAnchor adware generating intrusive online ads ('Ads by WA'):

WordAnchor adware generating ads by wa (sample 1) wordanchor adware generating wa ads (sample 2) wordanchor adware generating wa ads (sample 3)

Instant automatic malware removal: Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced computer 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:
▼ DOWNLOAD Combo Cleaner By downloading any software listed on this website you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.

Quick menu:

WordAnchor 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.

wordanchor adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "WordAnchor 1.10.0.19", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

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

Remove WA ads from Internet browsers:

At time of research, WordAnchor 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:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing WordAnchor 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 any recently-installed suspicious browser extensions, select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing WordAnchor ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by wa, 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 WordAnchor  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 "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing WordAnchor ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by wa, 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing WordAnchor 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 "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing WordAnchor ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with ads by wa 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 wa, 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 wa or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

2 Comments. Click to view

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.

Our malware removal guides are free. However, if you want to support us you can send us a donation.

About PCrisk

PCrisk logo

PCrisk is a cyber security portal, informing Internet users about the latest digital threats. Our content is provided by security experts and professional malware researchers. Read more about us.

Removal Instructions in other languages
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 WA QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of Ads by WA on your mobile device.
We Recommend:

Get rid of Windows malware infections today:

▼ REMOVE IT NOW
Download Combo Cleaner

Platform: Windows

Editors' Rating for Combo Cleaner:
Editors ratingOutstanding!

[Back to Top]

To use full-featured product, you have to purchase a license for Combo Cleaner. 7 days free trial available. Combo Cleaner is owned and operated by Rcs Lt, the parent company of PCRisk.com read more.