What is AdChoices

When browsing the web, you might have encountered advertisements labeled under promotion of AdChoices (Digital Advertising Alliance). Such ads are completely legitimate and rarely have something to do with malware. They act as targeted marketing platforms employed by IT giants like Google, Microsoft, Bloomberg and many more too. Unfortunately, it is often the case that some users complain about receiving them often and wonder how to avoid them. While it may be impossible to get rid of all ads shown around the web, you can block the majority of them with the help of ad-blocking software or browser extensions. In some cases, however, an abnormal stream of browser ads may indicate that some adware infection works on your PC. Below, we have given general instructions on adware removal and also how you can block AdChoices ads from their display.

adchoices ads

How AdChoices infected your computer

As mentioned, AdChoices is not a virus, but a completely legitimate platform used by IT companies to generate revenue. It can however be possible that extreme amounts of ads are promoted by adware. Adware is a piece of unwanted software that tends to install on users’ system without consent. This usually happens when users download free program installers from third-party websites. As a rule, unearthed software is presented as a “useful” addition to the main program, which users are offered to install (usually in “Advanced” or “Custom sections”). To avoid installation of it, it is important to look into such settings and deselect all extra offers that come apart from the program downloaded initially. You should also be careful relying on pirated and cracked software too much. Ideally, it is advised to use only official and legitimate sources for downloading software. This will ensure you are risk-free in terms of getting infection onto your PC.

  1. Download Removal Tool
  2. Remove/Uninstall unwanted apps, that may cause AdChoices ads from Control Panel and Applications
  3. Remove unwanted extensions, that may cause AdChoices ads from browsers
  4. Reset browser settings
  5. Block AdChoices ads
  6. How to protect from threats like AdChoices ads

Step 1. Download pop-up blocker

Download AdGuard

To block AdChoices ads completely, we recommend you to use AdGuard. It detects and removes or blocks all unwanted banners, ad links, pop-ups from browser pages, helping you avoid infection by clicking on malicious ads. AdGuard builds additional layer of protection and prevents AdChoices ads and pop-ups. The trial version of AdGuard offers 14 days for FREE.

Step 2. Remove malware from your computer

Download SpyHunter

To remove AdChoices ads completely, we recommend you to use SpyHunter. It can help you remove files, folders, and registry keys of programs and extensions that can cause AdChoices pop-ups and eliminate hijackers, toolbars, and unwanted add-ons from the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Edge or Safari browsers. The trial version of SpyHunter offers virus scan and 1-time removal for FREE.

Remove unwanted programs, that may cause AdChoices pop-ups from Control Panel or Applications

To start removing unwanted program you should uninstall them using Control Panel. It can be present by different names. It should uninstall correctly, however, we recommend you to use IObit Uninstaller or CleanMyMac to clean leftover items after uninstalling. Here are instructions for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, Windows 11 and Mac.

Remove unwanted program from Windows XP:

  1. Click on Start button.
  2. Choose Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. Find recently installed suspicious program.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 7:

  1. Click Start button.
  2. Then go to Control Panel.
  3. Click Uninstall a Program.
  4. Find recently installed suspicious program and click Uninstall.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 8:

  1. Hover mouse pointer to the bottom-right corner to see Menu.
  2. Click Search.
  3. After that click Apps.
  4. Then Control Panel.
  5. Click Uninstall a Program under Programs.
  6. Find recently installed suspicious program, click Uninstall.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 10:

There are 2 ways to uninstall unwanted program from Windows 10

Way one
  1. Click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the System tile.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  5. Click on it and then click Uninstall button near it.
Way two (classic)
  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Programs and Features.
  3. Locate recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  4. Click on it and then click Uninstall button above.

Remove unwanted program from Windows 11:

  1. Right-click on the Start button.
  2. In opened menu choose Settings.
  3. Click on the Apps tab on the left side.
  4. Click Apps & features and locate recently installed suspicious program in the list.
  5. Click on 3-dots icon near it and then click Uninstall button near it.
  6. Depending on the type of application (Windows Store app or classic Win32 app) it will be removed immediately or you will need to confirm the action and go through standard uninstall procedure.

Remove unwanted program from Mac:

  1. In the Finder sidebar, click Applications.
  2. unwanted program might have an Uninstaller.
  3. Otherwise, drag unwanted program from the Applications folder to the Trash (located at the end of the Dock).
  4. Then choose Finder > Empty Trash.

Cannot uninstall unwanted program in Windows

In some cases, program unwanted program won’t uninstall and gives you a message that “You do not have sufficient access to uninstall “unwanted program” Please, contact your system administrator” when you try to remove it from Control Panel or “Access denied” error when removing the unwanted programs’ folder and files. This happens because the process or service does not allow you to do it. In this case, I will recommend you to use SpyHunter 5 or Malwarebytes AntiMalware or uninstall unwanted program in Safe Mode. To boot in Safe Mode do the following:

  1. Reboot your computer.
  2. While it starts booting type F8 button.
  3. This will open Advanced Boot Options menu.
  4. Choose Safe Mode and wait until Windows loads.
  5. Go to Control Panel > Uninstall a program and remove recently installed suspicious program

>> See detailed instructions and video tutorial on how to boot in Safe Mode

Cannot uninstall unwanted program in MacOS

If you can’t uninstall unwanted app related to AdChoices pop-up from MacOS using instructions above, or it keeps coming back, you can use free AppCleaner for Mac to remove all residual data and libraries of the app. Follow instructions below:

  1. Download free AppCleaner.
  2. Drag unwanted app from Applications folder to AppCleaner window.
  3. Choose files and folders you want to remove along with unwanted app.
  4. Click Delete button.

Remove malicious add-ons from your browsers

Uninstalling unwanted program from Control Panel often does not bring the desired effect. It sometimes has a browser extension and it may still be active in Safari, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Here are instructions on how to remove extension related to AdChoices pop-up from your browsers manually.

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://extensions.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click the Remove button to remove them.
  5. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:addons.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click three-dots icon near it and choose Remove in the menu.
  5. In opened dialog window click Remove button to confirm the action.
  6. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Click Extensions tab.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click Uninstall button to remove it.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Start Microsoft Edge browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) edge://extensions.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click Remove link under the name of extension.
  5. In opened dialog window click Remove button to confirm the action.
  6. Remove all suspicious extensions from the list.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

Note: There is no feature to remove browser extensions from browser in latest version of Internet Explorer. To remove suspicious add-on from Internet Explorer, please, perform instructions for uninstalling program from Control Panel. To disable unwanted add-on, please, do the following:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu Manage Add-ons.
  4. Select Toolbars and Extensions.
  5. Click Disable suspicious extension.
  6. Also disable other suspicious extensions from the list.

Opera Browser:

Generally, such extensions does not install in Opera browser however you can always double check. Do the following:

  1. Start Opera browser and click on Opera icon in the top-left corner.
  2. Choose Extensions > Extensions.
  3. Find suspicious extension.
  4. Click Details button and scroll down to the bottom.
  5. Click Remove extension link and confirm the action by clicking Remove button on opened dialog window.
  6. Also remove other suspicious extensions from the list.

Reset browsers settings (homepage, default search)

To make sure there are no malicious settings in your browsers, that may cause AdChoices pop-ups, please, do the following:

Google Chrome:

  1. Start Google Chrome browser
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) chrome://settings.
  3. On the left panel expand Advanced options.
  4. Choose Reset and clean up.
  5. Click on Restore settings to their original defaults link and confirm by clicking Reset button.

Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Start Mozilla Firefox browser.
  2. In address box type (or copy-paste) about:support.
  3. Click Refresh Firefox… button.
  4. Click Refresh Firefox button in opened dialog window to confirm.

Reset Safari:

  1. Start Safari on your Mac, click Safari to open drop-down menu and choose Preferences
  2. Go to the Privacy section of Safari’s preferences.
  3. Click Remove All Website Data button.
  4. In opened window click Remove Now button to remove data stored by websites in Safari.
  5. Go to the Advanced section of Safari’s preferences.
  6. Click the Show Develop menu in menu bar option.
  7. In the menu click Develop and select Empty Caches from this menu.
  8. Again, go to Safari menu and choose Clear History….
  9. Choose to clear all history and click Clear History button.

Microsoft Edge:

  1. Start Microsoft Edge browser
  2. Click on 3-dots icon in the top-right corner and choose Settings.
  3. On the left panel find and click Reset settings option.
  4. Click on Restore settings to their default values link and confirm by clicking Reset button.

Internet Explorer (9, 10, 11):

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on gear/asterisk icon in the top-right corner.
  3. In opened menu choose Internet options.
  4. Click Advanced tab.
  5. Click Reset button.
  6. Choose Delete personal settings and click Reset.

Opera Browser:

  1. Start Opera browser and click on Opera icon in the top-left corner.
  2. Choose Settings and click Advanced on the left side and choose Browser.
  3. Scroll down to the very bottom and click on Restore settings to their original defaults link.
  4. Confirm by clicking Reset button.

How to block AdChoices pop-ups

AdChoices pop-ups, in some cases, are caused by a program installed on your PC or an add-on installed in browsers. However, sometimes it can appear on a clean computer when visiting a malicious website, using an advertising script. To protect your PC and browsers from phishing websites, pop-up ads, banners, malicious scripts it is recommended to use AdGuard. Download free trial here:

Download AdGuard for Windows Download AdGuard for Mac

Final tips

Be careful surfing the internet and downloading software, as threats, like AdChoices pop-up, may become a real headache as they are hard to get rid of and can break your privacy. To keep safe from such threats we recommend you always use antivirus and one of the anti-malware programs available on the market. One of the best anti-spyware and anti-malware programs is SpyHunter 5. It can protect your PC from threats, causing AdChoices pop-ups.

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