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Ads by OptiSpace

Also Known As: Optispace adware
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is OptiSpace?

OptiSpace supposedly improves the Internet browsing experience by displaying content relating to Internet searches performed - "The Software provides a feature that customizes and enhances your interaction with various websites by providing you targeted content based on your search activity."

Some users may find this functionality legitimate and useful, however, OptiSpace is classed as adware and a potentially unwanted program (PUP).

One of the main reasons for these negative associations is stealth installation - OptiSpace usually infiltrates systems without users' permission. Furthermore, this app displays intrusive online ads and collects various user information.

OptiSpace adware

By using a virtual layer, OptiSpace displays search, price comparison, coupons, pop-unders/ups, banner, and other similar ads. Some ads are opened in new browser tabs/windows, thereby increasing the chance of accidental clicks. The virtual layer allows display of various graphical content on any website - content that does not originate from the visited site.

After clicking these ads, users are mostly redirected to commercial websites (for example, online stores), however, the ads may also be infectious and lead to bogus sites - this can result in high-risk computer infections. Furthermore, OptiSpace collects various Internet browsing-related information.

The Privacy Policy states that this adware collects no information that can reveal users' identities, however, these claims are false. Clearly, information such as websites visited, pages viewed, search queries, language settings, etc., can contain personally identifiable details.

Be aware that these details could be misused and lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. Therefore, if you are worried about your privacy and Internet browsing safety, uninstall OptiSpace immediately.

OptiSpace Privacy Policy regarding information tracking:

This information won't enable us to identify the user. They will give us an understanding of a user's online behavior as well as technical information about the user's operating system, browser, keyboard language etc. When it comes to the behavioral information we collect, this includes things like log-ins and time of access. But users don't need to worry. None of the information we collect will enable us to identify them.

OptiSpace shares many similarities with other adware-type applications that install without users' permission. For instance, as with OptiSpace, Great Find, GetPrivate, PriceChomper, and Sail Deals also promise useful features. Yet, these claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimate software.

Adware-type applications are developed to employ the 'Pay Per Click' (PPC) advertising model to display ads - when users click ads, developers receive specific payments.

Furthermore, collected data is later shared with third parties - another way to generate revenue. Adware provides no significant value for the user - its purpose is solely to generate revenue for the developers.

How did OptiSpace install on my computer?

OptiSpace is mostly distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' - stealth installation of third party software together with regular software. Research shows that most users do not express enough caution and recklessly rush the download/installation procedures.

Bogus applications such as OptiSpace are often hidden within the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' options, and so, skipping this section can lead to inadvertent installation of rogue apps.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Your chosen software should be downloaded from a trusted source - usually the official website of the software. When downloading from a freeware download website, select the direct download link (if possible).

Note that popular freeware download websites monetize their traffic and free services via small programs called 'download managers' designed to include installation of additional third party software. For this reason, pay close attention when downloading software and follow each step to ensure that no additional programs are included.

Furthermore, installation of downloaded software should be performed with the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options - this will reveal any bundled apps listed for installation and allow you to decline them.

Deceptive free software installers used in OptiSpace adware distribution:

OptiSpace adware installer Installer set-up used to distribute Optispace adware

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Quick menu:

OptiSpace 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.

OptiSpace adware uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Remove OptiSpace adware from Internet browsers:

At time of research, OptiSpace 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 OptiSpace 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 OptiSpace ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the optispace 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 OptiSpace  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 OptiSpace ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the optispace 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 plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing OptiSpace 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 OptiSpace ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with optispace 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 optispace 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.

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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
Optispace adware QR code
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