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What is an Adware Scanner?

By G. Wiesen
Updated May 17, 2024
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An adware scanner is a program designed to scan a computer system in order to identify and potentially remove any adware on that system. This type of scanner can be part of a larger security suite, such as a major antivirus program, or can be designed specifically for use in scanning for adware. It may provide passive protection against adware as well, though it will typically be developed with active use and scanning in mind. An adware scanner should typically be run on a regular schedule, to ensure thorough and effective scanning of a computer system.

The primary purpose of an adware scanner is typically to allow a computer user to find and deal with any adware that may be on his or her computer. Adware is a type of malicious software, or malware, which can get onto a computer and gather information related to how a person uses his or her computer. This information is usually related to websites that are visited, searches that are made, and other data that is then used to create advertisements somewhat related to that user. These advertisements can be quite annoying, however, including pop-up advertisements that occur while a user is not even using the Internet, or may be inappropriate or obscene in nature.

An adware scanner is a program developed to allow a computer user to find adware that may be on his or her computer. Some forms of adware are, in fact, legitimate programs that can be installed along with other programs, and may be easily removed. An adware scanner is typically required for other types of adware that may be harder to find and remove from a computer system. When used, an adware scanner will go through various files and folders on a computer in an attempt to find any files that can be recognized as components of various adware programs.

Once an adware scanner is used to scan a computer system, it will typically display a message regarding any adware that has been found. The computer user can then indicate whether such programs should be removed from the system, and take any further steps that may be required after a scan is performed. Some large computer security programs will include protocols for finding adware, but there are also programs specifically created as adware scanners. Regardless of what type of adware scanner is used, regular scans should be performed, usually at least once a week, to ensure a computer is running properly and free of malware.

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