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Playthru Player Adware

Also Known As: PlayThru Player ads
Type: Adware
Damage level: Medium

What is Playthru Player?

The Playthru Player application supposedly allows users to play online videos directly from the desktop without using Internet browsers - "The PlayThru Player is based on one simple but brilliant idea: an enjoyable online video viewing experience – without the browser! The PlayThru Player offers seamless online video viewing directly on your desktop while working, browsing the Web or gaming."

Initially, this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, however, Playthru Player is categorized as adware and a potentially unwanted program (PUP). This deceptive application usually infiltrates systems without users' permission. Furthermore, it generates various online advertisements and tracks Internet browsing activity.

Playthru Player adware

To display advertisements, Playthru Player employs a virtual layer, which allows placement of third party graphical content on any visited website. At time of research, Playthru Player generated display, banner, coupon, and other similar ads. Its Privacy Policy states that the types of delivered advertisements might change at any time.

In fact, the displayed ads diminish the Internet browsing experience by concealing underlying content. They may also redirect to rogue sites containing infectious content, and therefore, there is a high probability that clicking them will result in further computer infections.

Playthru player collects various types of software and hardware information such as Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine geographic locations), CPU type, operating system, etc.

Some of the collected data might contain personally identifiable details, and thus, having Playthru Player installed on your system can lead to privacy issues. For these reasons, you are strongly advised to uninstall this adware.

Playthru Player Privacy Policy regarding online advertising:

PlayThruPlayer may include additional advertisements in the future, including, without limitation: Placing display ads, banners, or coupons into web pages or displaying over parts of such web pages that advertisements would not otherwise appear on the underlying website; or Convert words on pages you view into hyperlinks that are linked to advertisements.

Note that Playthru Player is a regular adware-type application, and thus, very similar to hundreds of other applications of the same type. For example, SkyeMoji, SmartSaver, App Lid, and Twinkle Star also claim to be legitimate and will improve the Internet browsing experience in various ways.

These claims are merely attempts to give the impression of useful software. Neither Playthru Player, nor any of these other adware-type apps, deliver the promised functionality. They are developed to generate revenue by displaying advertisements and collecting various user/system data.

How did Playthru Player install on my computer?

Although Playthru Player has an official download website, it is often distributed as a 'bundle' together with other (mostly free) software. Bundling is used to conceal third party applications within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings, and since most users do not pay enough attention during the download and installation processes, this method is extremely effective.

Many users are unaware that the developers intentionally hide bogus applications such as Playthru Player. Therefore, by rushing the download/installation procedures and skipping most of the steps, they inadvertently install potentially unwanted programs.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

This situation can avoided by taking a number of simple steps. Never rush the download or installation procedures. Closely follow each step and decline all offers to download or install third party software.

Furthermore, these processes should be performed using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical' - this will reveal any bundled software listed for installation and allow you to cancel them.

Screenshot of Playthru Player application:

Deceptive Playthru Player adware application

Deceptive free software installers used to distributed Playthru Player adware:

playthru player adware installer sample 5 playthru adware installer sample 4 playthru player adware installer sample 3 playthru adware installer sample 2 Deceptive free software installer used in Playthru Player distribution (sample 1)

Playthru Player adware installer set-up:

Deceptive free software installer used in Playthru Player distribution (sample 2)

Playthru Player generating intrusive pop-up ads (marked as 'Ads by Playthru Player'):

playthru player adware generating pop-up ads

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Quick menu:

Playthru Player 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.

Playthru Player adware uninstall via Control Panel

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

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

Remove Playthru Player adware from Internet browsers:

At time of research, Playthru Player 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 Playthru Player 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 Playthru Player ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the playthru player ads, 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 Playthru Player  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 Playthru Player ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the playthru player ads, 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 Playthru Player 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 on "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.

Removing Playthru Player ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with playthru player ads 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 playthru player ads, 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
PlayThru Player ads QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of PlayThru Player ads on your mobile device.
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