Windows Adware Removal

Written by thomas king
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Windows Adware Removal
Adware can reduce your system performance. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

Adware is a term used to describe certain programs that affect the Windows operating system. Adware is similar to spyware. However, spyware collects your personal information, often for the purposes of telling advertisers what products you might be interested in, whereas adware does not. Nevertheless, adware can be dangerous and should be removed.

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What is Adware?

Adware is a term used to describe computer software designed to generate advertisements. Generally, adware programs are installed without your consent. However, some adware programs, often referred to as "good adware" only installs itself with your permission. Good adware is generally a useful program that displays advertisements for the purposes of remaining free. The Opera web browser is an example of good adware. All adware can, however, slow your computer, slow your Internet connection and cause system instability.

Windows Defender

Windows Defender is a free anti-spyware program created by Microsoft and pre-installed on the Windows Vista and 7 operating systems. Windows Defender has the ability to detect and remove spyware. In addition, Windows Defender can help prevent adware from infecting your computer in the first place. To remove adware from your computer using Windows Defender, click "Start," "All Programs" and "Windows Defender." Click the "down arrow" next to Scan and select "Full Scan." Windows Defender scans your computer and automatically removes any adware it finds. This may take anywhere from several minutes to several hours.

Alternative Removal Tools

There are several free anti-adware programs that can be downloaded online. These include Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy. In addition, adware programs can be removed manually. To delete adware programs manually, you need to remove the processes, registry entries, dynamic link libraries and files associated with the adware program. Manual removal is useful if you do not have access to the Internet. However, it is a technical process that, if done incorrectly, can lead to serious system-wide failures.

Prevention

One way to prevent adware from infecting your computer is to run an anti-adware program that includes real-time protection. To turn on Windows Defender real-time protection, open Windows Defender, click "Tools," "Options," "Real-time Protection," check the box next to "Use real-time protection" and click "Save." In addition, reduce your use of "cookies," avoid clicking on Internet advertisements and avoid opening e-mail attachments from e-mail accounts that you do not recognise.

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