In this article we are going to try and help you remove Adfocus “Virus”. Our instructions cover all Windows versions as well as most browsers – Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer etc.
Is Adfocus “Virus”, really a virus? Our article will help you deal with that!
Intrusive ads are all over the internet and everybody who regularly uses the worldwide web should know just how annoying they can get. There’s one particularly obstructive type of adverts that you can be faced with online. The ads we’re referring to are generated by a special program/browser add-on called adware. It should be noted, however, that for the most part adverts you see online are not caused by such programs. Most online ads are, in fact, integrated within the websites themselves. Therefore, there’s almost nothing that you can do about not seeing them anymore, apart from no longer visiting that specific site. Nonetheless, these integrated ads are not what this article is going to be focusing on. Besides, they are hardly as annoying as the adware-generated ones (the actual topic of our article). Ads generated by an adware will pop-up on every page you visit, regardless of the page itself. Furthermore, often they tend to show on each of your browsers, therefore, switching from one browser to another would be pointless. Many people begin to panic when they first see the barrage of ads flooding their screen, thinking that their computer has been infected with some kind of a malicious virus. This applies for Adfocus “Virus” as well. People often refer to Adfocus as a virus, when in fact this is not correct. Adware programs are unwanted for sure. They can be a real pain in the neck. However, it should be said that they do not fall under the virus category. First of all, adware are relatively harmless and despite their intrusive nature will hardly ever damage your system. Another important thing to mention is that they are usually legal programs distributed via legal methods. None of this applies to actual viruses (for instance Trojan Horses or Ransomware), which can both heavily damage your system and are undoubtedly illegal and illegally distributed. Ransomware in particular can lock you out of your files until you pay blackmail money. As you can see Adware is not all that bad, but there is no reason not to remove them either.
How to deal with it
If you’re currently dealing with the problem of having your browser filled with intrusive ads like pop-ups, box messages, banners and sudden page redirects, you can be pretty sure that they’re being caused by an adware type of add-on. Since Adfocus is one of the latest adware programs, it’s highly likely that this is the one that is currently residing in your system. Since most programs of that kind are almost the same and usually have no substantial differences between one another, we can safely assume that what applies to most adware will apply to Adfocus as well. As we already mentioned, adware are not dangerous as viruses are. Still, there are some things that you need to know about Adfocus and the rest of its kind.
First and foremost, some of the ads you see on your screen have the potential to put expose your PC to danger. Clicking on an ad may redirect you to an illegal and malicious page or further download more unwanted programs on your machine. This happens rarely and for the most part the ads are safe. However, we advise you to avoid clicking on them, just in case.
Secondly, if you ever get redirected to an unknown and shady-looking page, that you did not intend to visit, make sure yo quickly close it. Do not interact with those pages – just like some of the ads, such page redirects might hide potential dangers to your system’s security. Just click on the X button and you should be fine.
Thirdly, we will cover the most common distribution methods for Adfocus and how to avoid getting the intrusive program installed on your PC
- Spam e-mails are a very commonly used method not only for distributing Adfocus, but all sorts of unwanted software. Usually spam letters go to in the spam folder. Still, it won’t hurt remaining vigilant even when checking your regular inbox.
- Torrent and file-sharing sites are another obvious way via intrusive adware add-ons get distributed. If you want to download anything from such sites, remember to look at the torrent’s rating and download count. This usually helps you to distinguish the safe torrents from the potentially harmful ones.
- The most successful method via which people get Adfocus on their computers is program-bundling. The intrusive add-on is bundled with another program. Once you download and install that program, you also get the annoying adware. To avoid that, simply opt for the advanced settings in the installation menu of the program you want to install. There, you should be able to see a list of any added content. Uncheck everything you may not want to have on your computer before proceeding with the installation. Note that Adfocus won’t necessarily go under the same name in that list. Still, it shouldn’t be hard to spot it and leave it out.
If you’re looking for a way uninstall and remove Adfocus from your system, read our guide on how to do that below this article.
Adfocus Removal Instructions
Many types of malware will restrict your access to their core files. It is highly recommended that you reboot your PC in safe mode before attempting to use this guide.
- To enable Safe Mode reboot you PC, then hit F8 repeatedly. When the corresponding menu opens please select Safe Mode with Networking.
WARNING! If you are using Windows 8,0 or later and/or your operating system is installed on a fast SSD drive this may fail to work. In this case click here to see how to start your PC in Safe Mode.
#1: Uninstall the malicious program from your control panel
Enter control panel to look for any suspicious programs, which may have installed on your PC. To do that:
- Navigate to your Desktop
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type appwiz.cpl
- Go through the list of programs and find Adfocus or anything else that may seem suspicious. Right-click on it and choose the uninstallation option
WARNING! Carefully read any confirmation messages that may be created in the process. Sometimes you may get offers to download more Adware applications and this can be linked to either the Yes or the No answer depending on the wording!
Go through the list of programs again and check online for any potentially unwanted programs. We have an article that covers this awesome free software that makes sure that your computer is free from bloatware and programs that you don’t need.
#2: Remove Adfocus From Chrome
Now we’ll remove the extensions that the malware has attached to your browser.
- Open your Google Chrome browser.
- Type chrome://extensions/ in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on “Developer Mode” on the top right and look for the extension installed by Adfocus and anything that might be related to it. Copy their IDs (the string of letters), then remove them by clicking on the trash bin icon.
- Type Regedit in the Windows Start Menu and press Enter. Go in : HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Google\Chrome\Extensions and delete the entries corresponding to the suspicious IDs you recorded.
#3: Remove Adfocus From Firefox
- Open Mozilla Firefox browser.
- Type “about:support” in the URL address bar and press Enter.
- Click on the “Refresh Firefox” button on the right and confirm.
#4 Remove Adfocus From Internet Explorer
- Open your Internet Explorer internet browser.
- Click on the Gear icon on the up right, then on manage add-ons.
- Go through the list disable any suspicious extensions.
#5 Remove any leftover parasitic processes
From the task manager:
- Use Ctrl + Shift + Esc and open the Task manager, then click on the Processes
- Go through the list of processes and look for unknown or otherwise suspicious entries.
- If you see anything suspicious right click on the process and shoes Open File Location, then terminate the process and delete any files you find in the directory.
WARNING! If the directory you open from this menu has no files inside of it it’s probably because the malware has hidden them. You need to reveal hidden files and folders in order to be able to see them. Click here if you don’t know how to do that.
From the start menu:
- Press simultaneously the Win button together with the R button (Win+R)
- In the Run window that just opened type msconfig
- Click on the Startup tab.
This menu controls which programs are loaded when windows starts after a reboot. Disable anything that seems suspicious. Optionally you can also disable any program that you don’t need and also has a high impact on your startup time.
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