An adware remover is a software program that helps a computer user remove advertising-supported software and stand-alone adware. Adware is commonly downloaded as part of another program that is free but relies on money earned through advertisements to make a profit. These programs can frequently interrupt a computer user with pop-up ads, download additional ads to display, or even prevent the computer user from using the program until he or she has viewed an ad. An adware remover is designed to remove adware, but some removers are more effective than others. In fact, some adware removers are entirely fake and are actually adware themselves or programs designed to ask a computer user for money to remove imaginary adware or malware.
Adware can also be a stand-alone program that is secretly bundled with another download or accidentally downloaded alone. This type of adware works similarly to adware that is part of a useful program; it might display pop-ups, prevent a computer user from doing certain tasks without first viewing an ad, and keep track of the user’s most visited websites to display relevant advertisements. In general, adware removers are better at removing stand-alone adware programs than programs that are part of another program. It is usually not possible for an adware remover to remove the advertising portion of another software program, but it might still be able to alert the user about the presence of adware.
It is generally recommended to download and install a well-known and respected adware remover and avoid software programs that are mostly unheard of due to the possibility of those programs being viruses or malware. For example, Ad-Aware® by Lavasoft and various Microsoft programs are popular free programs designed to remove adware from a computer, in addition to blocking adware from installing in the first place. Many anti-virus program also offer protection against adware. Like adware removers, there are fake anti-virus programs that mimic their real and respected counterparts, so caution is necessary when downloading one.
While an adware remover can be beneficial, it is often unnecessary to install one in addition to a strong Internet security program. Many total Internet security programs have the capability of blocking and removing adware. Installing an adware remover anyway might lead to system instability if the two programs are not compatible or just an overall decrease in performance, as multiple defense programs can slow down a computer. Either way, however, adware alone is normally harmless to a computer and not designed to do anything malicious beyond spam computer users with advertisements.