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Ads by PlayTopus

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

PlayTopus removal instructions

What is PlayTopus?

The PlayTopus website contains thousands of addictive free Flash games - "playtopus is a gaming website that can lead you to a world of more than 3000 flash games. These games are free and offer you a diversity of fields that might attract your attention." In order to access the 'Premium Games' section, however, users must install the PlayTopus application on their computers. On initial inspection, this app may seem legitimate and useful, however, it is categorized as adware and a potentially unwanted program (PUP). These negative associations are made for two main reasons. Firstly, PlayTopus often self-installs on Internet browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) without users' consent. Secondly, this application tracks Internet browsing activity and displays intrusive online advertisements.

PlayTopus adware

PlayTopus is developed to display in-text, pop-up, banner, and other similar ads using a virtual layer, which allows placement of various graphical content on any website visited. Some of these ads open new browser tabs or windows, thereby increasing the chance of accidental user clicks. Note that the displayed ads do not originate from the visited site. In fact, most are harmless and redirect to various websites (for example, online stores), however, others may redirect to infectious sites. Thus, clicking these ads can lead to high-risk computer infections. Additionally, PlayTopus collects various Internet browsing-related information including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, geographic locations, Internet Service Provider (ISP), websites visited, pages viewed, search queries,  and other details that may be personally identifiable. This information is later shared with third parties, and therefore, the presence of PlayTopus on your system may cause serious privacy issues or even identity theft. If you are concerned with your privacy and Internet browsing safety, uninstall PlayTopus immediately.

PlayTopus Privacy Policy regarding information tracking:

We may share your PII with our parent company and its principals, employees, consultants, officers, directors, members, agents, subsidiaries, or affiliates (collectively "Related Companies"). Neither we nor our Related Companies contribute to or participate in cooperative databases, which give other companies access to your PII.

There are hundreds of PUPs similar or identical to PlayTopus. For example, CrushArcade, ArcadeTwist, TopArcadeHits, and GreatArcadeHits. Adware-type applications claim to significantly improve the Internet browsing experience, however, these claims are merely attempts to give the impression of legitimate software. None of these apps provide the features promised - they display intrusive online advertisements and collect personally identifiable information to generate revenue for the developers.

How did PlayTopus install on my computer?

PlayTopus is commonly 'bundled' with other (often free) software. Lack of attention during download and installation of software is the main reason why bundling is so effective. Many users skip installation steps (including the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings, without realizing that bogus apps are often concealed within this section), thereby inadvertently installing PUPs such as PlayTopus. The developers do not properly disclose installation of bogus apps, since they are only concerned with the amount of revenue received (which is dependent on the number of apps distributed).

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

The key to computer safety is caution. Pay close attention when downloading and installing software. If you are downloading via a 'download manager', closely inspect each step and decline all offers to install third party software. Furthermore, applications should be installed with the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options - this will reveal any bundled applications listed for installation and allow you to opt-out.

PlayTopus adware installer set-up:

PlayTopus adware installation setup

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Quick menu:

PlayTopus 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.

PlayTopus adware uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Remove PlayTopus adware from Internet browsers:

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

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

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

Removing PlayTopus ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the playtopus 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 PlayTopus  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 "PlayTopus", select this entry and click the trash can icon.

Removing PlayTopus ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the playtopus 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 PlayTopus 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 "PlayTopus Games".

Removing PlayTopus ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with playtopus 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 playtopus 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.

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PlayTopus adware QR code
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