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Ads by WikiTime

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

What is WikiTime?

WikiTime is a deceptive application claiming to allow access to Wikipedia directly from the desktop - "WikiTime is a computer-based application, enabling access to Wikipedia from your Desktop or Laptop device."

On initial inspection, this may seem legitimate and useful functionality, however, WikiTime is an adware-type potentially unwanted program (PUP). The main reason for this negative association is stealth installation without users' consent, display of intrusive online advertisements, and tracking of Internet browsing activity.

WikiTime adware

WikiTime employs a virtual layer to display pop-up, banner, in-text, and other similar advertisements. This allows placement of third party graphical content on any visited website. None of the displayed ads originate from the visited sites. They also conceal underlying content, thereby significantly diminishing the Internet browsing experience.

Some ads might redirect to rogue sites containing infectious content, and thus, clicking them can lead to further high-risk adware or malware infections.

Be aware that WikiTime collects various information that may contain personally identifiable details such as website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries entered into search engines (Yahoo, Google, Bing, etc.), Internet Protocol (IP) addresses (to determine geographic locations), and so on.

This gathered information is shared with third parties who can misuse it to generate revenue. Therefore, having WikiTime installed on your system may cause significant privacy issues. For this reason, you are strongly advised to uninstall WikiTime immediately.

WikiTime Privacy Policy regarding information sharing:

To share your information with third parties We may share or sell information with third parties for marketing or other purposes.

WikiTime is similar to hundreds of other adware-type applications also offering a variety of 'useful features'. For example, iDealsFunFeedr, Shoppr, and DealGrabbers also claim to save time and money while shopping online. In fact, adware-type applications give these fake promises to trick users to install.

After successful system infiltration, they simply display advertisements and track personally identifiable information. WikiTime, and other similar apps, aim to generate as much revenue for the developers as possible, and thus, provide no real value for users.

How did WikiTime install on my computer?

Although WikiTime is available for the download on an official website, it usually infiltrates systems during the installation of other software. This software marketing method is called 'bundling', and since many users do not pay enough attention when downloading and installing software, it is extremely effective.

Developers intentionally hide applications such as WikiTime within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings. By skipping this section, users commonly install PUPs and expose their systems to risk of infection.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Pay close attention during download and installation of all applications. Closely analyze each step of these processes and decline all offers to install additional applications. To successfully perform a safe download or installation procedure, use the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' options - this will reveal any concealed PUPs listed for installation and enable you to cancel them.

Deceptive free software installers used in WikiTime adware distribution:

Deceptive installer set-up used to distribute WikiTime adware wikitime adware installer sample 2

Screenshot of WikiTime application:

Deceitful WikiTime adware application

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Quick menu:

WikiTime 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.

WikiTime adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "WikiTime - Desktop Wikipedia for Desktop", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

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

Remove WikiTime adware from Internet browsers:

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

Optional method:

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

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the wikitime 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 WikiTime 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 WikiTime ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with wikitime 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 wikitime 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
WikiTime adware QR code
Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of WikiTime adware on your mobile device.
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