Pop-up Virus — How to Remove Unwanted Ads?

Written by Wilbur Woodham push notifications appear when you do not expect, distracting and irritating you. However, they are much more than annoying notifications – their nature is surely malignant, and they may introduce other malware to your computer. In this article, I will show you how to remove pop-up notifications and explain how to avoid them in the future.

Any time you interact with push notifications will be useless at best. In worst case scenario, the sites it can open can introduce malware to your system. These push notifications may also promote fake online shopping sites which will take your money and payment info. The latter generally ends up with losing all the money you have on the exposed card.

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What are pop-up notifications?

As the pop-up definition goes, these are short and small advertisements that attract your attention to a product they promote. But the difference between regular pop-ups and notifications is the malicious origins of the latter. Common pop-up notifications are offered for you to enable on different sites with a legitimate purpose – keep you aware about the new articles, goods for sale and so on. It is an effective approach to help your site to keep visitors and help the interested users to have the best deal.

Short summary of the pop-up ads:
Hosting AS13335 Cloudflare, Inc.
United States, San Francisco
IP Address
Malware type Adware1
Effect Unwanted pop-up advertisements
Hazard level Medium
Malware source Apps from third-party websites, ads on dubious websites
Similar behavior Shegrowtook, Uvempoahsurvey, Celeb
Removal method
To remove possible virus infections, try to scan your PC pop-up advertisements, as opposed, are related to untrustworthy sites. You will generally observe the proposition to turn them on following the redirection from another site. It’s OK to see redirects unless it throws you to such a dubious place. In this case, enabling push notifications is offered under the guise of the anti-DDoS check. In other cases, the sites may refuse to show you the content unless you enable these push notifications. These demands should already be the red flag, as websites usually have a different anti-bot mechanism. Witnessing this offer is a reason to leave the website doubtlessly. Sometimes, even after clicking “Allow”, you will not see the website – it has only a landing page with the offer to turn on the pop-up ads. push notification push notification.

How does this work?

The vast majority of browsers support turning on push notifications from sites. Sites, on the other hand, may send out notifications with the content they want. It can be an advertisement of the product or a page published on this particular site, or a promotion of their partner page. As a result, you may see the push notification from site X, but interacting with it will redirect you to website Y – because a referral link to the latter was added.

Crooks bear on this feature in their attempt to earn money through advertising. They trick victims into turning on pop-ups, and after that just spread numerous banners of anyone they have a deal with. As you may suppose, no normal organisations will contract with fraudsters. All the popups you may see lead to other fraudulent sites. In some cases, the same victim can get into a trap of several pop-up spamming web pages, and its web browser will turn into a complete mess.

The promotions these criminals show are paid under the pay-per-view model. It generally provides a negligible payment for one person, but when you can send ads to a huge number of users and show them hundreds of ads every day – that is a way bigger sum. Even though the majority of these banners are ineffective, it may still give all the participants a lot of profit.

Are pop-up notifications dangerous?

Yes, they are. At the surface, they can look harmless – just a colourful window that appears a couple times in an hour. However, the things this window promotes differ drastically from what you generally see in push notifications. web page is ruled by fraudsters, who intendedly spread hundreds of malicious ads in pop-ups. They also never follow any manners of advertising and can make sporadic push notifications into a storm of ads. For weak computers, that may be enough to cause performance issues. But troubles are not over at this point.

Why people dislike popups

As with any other thing related to illegal advertising, pop-up notifications don’t have legit deals to offer. Even when crooks make the banners looking similar to ones from Amazon, Walmart or Ebay, the website these ads will throw you to are completely different. And these pages may offer you to turn on other pop-ups, install a “useful” program, or pay for a thing at a big discount and never receive it. Let’s leave aside the cases when pop-up advertisements promote phishing pages or straightforward malware. There’s no way these pages will bring you any good, thus interacting with them is a very bad idea. For the same reason, push notifications are not recommended to click on either, and the best solution is to disable them as soon as possible.

How to remove pop-ups?

Fortunately, pop-up ads removal is pretty easy. They sit in the web browser and can’t hide themselves among system files. Nonetheless, as I stated before, some pop-up notifications may deliver malware to your computer. It is nearly impossible to describe all cases, and manual malware removal is a poor idea. For that reason, after removing the source of the pop-up notifications the best option is to use anti-malware software. I’d especially recommend that if you have never allowed pop-up notifications, and they still appeared. That can point at adware activity. GridinSoft Anti-Malware will perfectly fit both system recovery and malware scanning purposes, thanks to its abilities of system recovery and superb detection system.

First of all, you should reset your browser settings. You can do that in both manual and automatic manner. The former, obviously, requires more time to complete and can be somewhat complicated if you have never done that. Automated supposes the use of anti-malware programs that can reset all browser settings at once.

Reset your browsers with GridinSoft Anti-Malware

To reset your browser with GridinSoft Anti-Malware, open the Tools tab, and click the “Reset browser settings” button.

Tools tab in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

You may see the list of options for each browser. By default, they are set up in a manner that fits the majority of users. Press the “Reset” button (lower right corner). In a minute your browser will be as good as new.

Reset Browser Settings tab in GridinSoft Anti-Malware

The browser reset is recommended to perform through the antivirus tool by GridinSoft, because the latter is also able to reset the HOSTS file without any additional commands.

Reset your browsers manually

Manual method of browser reset

To reset Edge, do the following steps:
  1. Open “Settings and more” tab in upper right corner, then find here “Settings” button. In the appeared menu, choose “Reset settings” option:
  2. Reseting the Edge browser

  3. After picking the Reset Settings option, you will see the following menu, stating about the settings which will be reverted to original:
For Mozilla Firefox, do the next actions:
  1. Open Menu tab (three strips in upper right corner) and click the “Help” button. In the appeared menu choose “troubleshooting information”:
  2. The first step to revert Mozilla Firefox

  3. In the next screen, find the “Refresh Firefox” option:
  4. The second step of Firefox restoration
    After choosing this option, you will see the next message:
    The last step for Firefox
If you use Google Chrome
  1. Open Settings tab, find the “Advanced” button. In the extended tab choose the “Reset and clean up” button:
  2. In the appeared list, click on the “Restore settings to their original defaults”:
  3. Finally, you will see the window, where you can see all the settings which will be reset to default:
Opera can be reset in the next way
  1. Open Settings menu by pressing the gear icon in the toolbar (left side of the browser window), then click “Advanced” option, and choose “Browser” button in the drop-down list. Scroll down, to the bottom of the settings menu. Find there “Restore settings to their original defaults” option:

  2. After clicking the “Restore settings…” button, you will see the window, where all settings, which will be reset, are shown:

When the browsers are reset, you need to ensure that your browser will connect the right DNS while connecting to the web page you need. Create a text file titled “hosts” on your pc’s desktop, then open it and fill it with the following lines2:

# Copyright (c) 1993-2006 Microsoft Corp.
# This is a sample HOSTS file used by Microsoft TCP/IP for Windows.
# This file contains the mappings of IP addresses to host names. Each
# entry should be kept on an individual line. The IP address should
# be placed in the first column followed by the corresponding host name.
# The IP address and the host name should be separated by at least one
# space.
# Additionally, comments (such as these) may be inserted on individual
# lines or following the machine name denoted by a '#' symbol.
# For example:
# # source server
# # x client host
# localhost name resolution is handle within DNS itself.
# localhost
# ::1 localhost

Find the hosts.txt file in C:/Windows/System32/drivers/etc directory. Rename this file to “hosts.old.txt” (to distinguish it from the new one), and then move the file you created on the desktop to this folder. Remove the hosts.old from this folder. Now you have your hosts file as good as new.

Scan your system for possible viruses

After removing the push notifications, it’s time to see if these pop-ups brought any threat to your system. Launch GridinSoft Anti-Malware, and then click on Standard scan. It will be enough in most cases to find and remove malware. The scan will last 5-10 minutes; you are free to use your system during that process.

GridinSoft Anti-Malware during the scan process

Once the scan is complete, you will see the detections or a notification about a clean system. Proceed with pressing the Clean Up button (or OK when nothing is detected).

GridinSoft scan finished

How to Remove Pop-ups?


Description: - a lot of users became a target for the pop-up advertisements. I have a lot of friends who literally bombed me with the questions like “how to remove push notifications?” or “why do pop-ups keep appearing on Chrome even after AdBlock installation?”. In this article we will show you how to deal with pop-ups, which may corrupt your browser’s correct performance, and create a lot of troubles while you are working.

Operating System: Windows

Application Category: Adware

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  1. More about this malware type on GridinSoft Encyclopedia.
  2. Official Microsoft guide for hosts file reset.

About the author

Wilbur Woodham

I was a technical writer from early in my career, and consider IT Security one of my foundational skills. I’m sharing my experience here, and I hope you find it useful.

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