What is AdVPN?
AdVPN is an adware-type application claiming to allow use of a free Virtual Private Network (VPN) - "AdVPN - free VPN! Be 100% anonymous on the net with our free VPN client."
Although this functionality may seem legitimate and useful, be aware that AdVPN is categorized as adware and a potentially unwanted program (PUP). The main reasons for these negative associations are stealth installation without users' consent, display of intrusive online advertisements, and tracking of Internet browsing activity.
This browser extension generates banners, pop-ups, and other similar ads, which are displayed via a virtual layer enabling placement of any graphical content on visited websites. None of these advertisements originate from the visited sites and overlay underlying content, thus, significantly diminishing the Internet browsing experience.
Many ads redirect to e-commerce websites such as online stores, however, some may redirect to infectious sites - clicking them can lead to high-risk adware or malware infections.
Users' Internet browsing activity is continually monitored, since AdVPN collects various software and hardware information including Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, website URLs visited, pages viewed, search queries, and other Internet browsing-related data.
These details may seem insignificant, however, some of this collected data will be personally identifiable and later shared with third parties. Therefore, the presence of AdVPN on your system can lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. For these reasons, we strongly recommend that you uninstall this adware immediately.
AdVPN has similar characteristics to other regular adware. There are hundreds of PUPs also claiming to enable 'useful features', supposedly to enhance the Internet browsing experience including, for example, Healthcare Gov Tool, Cinemax Plus, and Video Convert. In fact, no adware provides the functionality promised.
The purpose of apps such as AdVPN is to generate revenue by displaying advertisements (via the 'Pay Per Click' - PPC - advertising model) and collecting personal data (which is later shared with third parties).
How did AdVPN install on my computer?
AdVPN is distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' - stealth installation of third party applications with regular software/apps. Many users do not express enough caution when downloading and installing software, and therefore, this app usually infiltrates systems without permission.
The developers intentionally conceal rogue apps within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings. Unaware of this, users often rush the download and installation processes, thereby inadvertently installing PUPs and exposing their systems to risk of further computer infections.
How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?
All applications should be installed using the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings. Follow each step and prevent additional applications from infiltrating the system. To achieve this, decline all offers to download/install third party software. The key to computer safety is caution. Do not rush the download or installation processes.
Deceptive free software installer used in AdVPN adware distribution:
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:
- What is AdVPN?
- STEP 1. Uninstall AdVPN application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove AdVPN adware from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove AdVPN ads from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove 'Ads by AdVPN' from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove AdVPN ads from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
AdVPN adware removal:
Windows 11 users:
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:
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:
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:
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.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "AdVPN", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes AdVPN ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove AdVPN adware from Internet browsers:
At time of research, AdVPN 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:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click the "gear" 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".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the advpn 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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the advpn adware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the 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.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (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.
Computer users who have problems with advpn adware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the advpn adware, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, 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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