What is the best adware remover

These 5 free tools will delete annoying adware

Arne Arnold

Along with free software, there are often unwanted advertising programs. Some of them are so stuck in the system that you can hardly get rid of them. But with the tools presented here, you can easily eliminate even the most stubborn adware.

EnlargeEliminate adware now
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There are quite a few tools out there that specialize in adware removal. Even the manufacturers of classic antivirus programs are now more and more concerned with adware. Most of these tools talk about potentially unwanted programs (PUP). However, it is best to use one of the following five tools against the really nasty adware. By the way: In this detailed article we show how you can manually detect and eliminate adware without tools.

EnlargeAdw Cleaner: Fast and Reliable Adware Killer

1. AdwCleaner: Fast and reliable adware killer

The free AdwCleaner tool knows most of the common adware programs and removes them thoroughly. The tool runs without installation. However, you should close all open programs before starting, because the AdwCleaner will kill all running programs without comment. Click on “Search”; to let AdwCleaner search for unwanted advertising programs on your PC. Then remove all finds using "Delete". The adware is then first moved to the quarantine area, where it can no longer cause any damage. It stays there until you select “Uninstall” in AdwCleaner. More detailed instructions for the practical AdwCleaner can be found here.

2. Spybot Search & Destroy: The classic

Spybot Search & Destroy is the classic anti-adware program. If you have not been successful with the AdwCleaner, you can try Spybot Search & Destroy. However, the tool is not as slim as the AdwCleaner, which is why we recommend it in second place. You start a test run in Spybot Search & Destroy via "System Scan". This tool also packs found adware into quarantine, which is why it can be tried out safely.

EnlargeThe data from Hijack This is clearly displayed on the website www.hijackthis.de.

3. Hijack This: Special tool for Internet Explorer

The open source program Hijack This mainly finds adware in Internet Explorer. However, the tool is a bit old. Nevertheless, it can be helpful against one or the other adware. Start the tool and select “Do a system scan and safe a logfile”. The Windows editor opens with the scan results. Select this with Ctrl-A and copy it with Ctrl-C. Then enter the data on the website www.hijackthis.de and select "Evaluate". The entries that the website marks as harmful can be ticked in Hijack This and deleted using "Fix checked".

By the way, some volunteer developers have been working on a new version of Hijack This since February 2015. By the time of going to press, however, this was not finished.

4. Unchecky: The Adware Preventer

The Unchecky program chases away adware before it can implant itself in the PC. The tool succeeds at least with adware programs that come piggyback with other software. Because Unchecky monitors the installation wizard of new programs and informs you if adware is hidden in them. This won't block every adware, but it does block a lot.

EnlargeAvira Free Antivirus: Antivirus program with a flair for adware

5. Avira Free Antivirus: Antivirus program with a flair for adware

Most antivirus tools don't care much about adware. Although they often have a small database on adware stored in the program, they do not or only partially use this during the search. You can change this in the settings of the tools. Check the options for the scanner to see whether you can activate “Adware”, “Potentially unwanted programs (PUP)” or similar switches.

Protection against adware has been activated by default at Avira for some time. Avira has even won a lawsuit against the manufacturer of an adware. He wanted the antivirus program to leave his supposedly useful advertising software alone. You can check whether your anti-virus program also has an anti-adware module in the settings for scanner and guard.