How can I get rid of adware?

Episode 1063 (1:09:18)

Craig from Vista, CA

Craig has a ton of adware on his PC from installing software. Leo can't stress enough how important it is to be careful where he gets software. Since he doesn't really know what he has, he could have opened himself up to far more bad things. Leo suggests turning off all extensions, deleting them from his extensions folder, and running as a limited user. Look in "add/remove programs" for entries he doesn't recognize and remove them.

Craig also tried to use a system restore and it won't work. Leo says that's a sure sign of malware and viruses. He can try using MalwareBytes to remove it, as well as the Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool. Since Craig is running Windows 8, he could upgrade to 8.1 and that may work. But if it blocks the update, he should just backup his data, format the hard drive, and reinstall Windows from a known, good source.

Craig can also check out BleepingComputer.com for tips and tricks for removing malware. The chatroom says UnChecky.com is another option. It unchecks unrelated offers that installers try and slip by you.