How to Delete Adware Manually

By Monica Sethi Datta

Adware is a software application that automatically displays advertisements on your computer while a program is running. To protect yourself from cyber threats and to help maintain your privacy, you should remove adware from your computer. You may decide you want to delete adware manually to avoid taking up computer memory with a downloaded adware removal program. Also, with manual deletion you have control over which files you remove without running the risk of interrupting other programs or files. Deleting adware manually can be as simple as using the Control Panel to remove the program or as complex as identifying and removing the adware's running processes and deleting the adware files individually.

Step 1

From the "Start" menu, select "Settings" and then "Control Panel."

Step 2

Double-click the "Add/Remove Programs" option.

Step 3

Select the adware program and click "Remove."

Step 4

Restart your computer to allow all changes to take effect.

Step 5

Press Ctrl and Alt together and then Del to bring up the Task Manager window if the Control Panel procedure in the preceding steps does not successfully remove the adware from your computer.

Step 6

Select the "Processes" tab.

Step 7

Scan the list of processes that are running on your computer to identify any adware. "System" and "System Idle Process" are not programs that you need to worry about as being adware. To find out whether a process is adware or not, determine what the process does by looking it up in a process library such as the Uniblue webpage listed in the Resources section.

Step 8

Select each adware process and click "End Process."

Step 9

From the "Start" menu, select "Search," "Files or Folders" and "All Files and Folders." Enter the name of the adware file, which will usually be an EXE or COM file, exactly as it was listed in the Task Manager window.

Step 10

Delete the file or files returned by the search.

Step 11

Restart your computer for all changes to take effect.

Tips & Warnings

  • Consider running an adware removal program if manual deletion is not effective.
  • Sometimes, albeit rarely, adware programs can cause changes to files of other programs so that adware programs run before any other application. If that happens, and you deleted the adware program, error messages may pop up when running certain programs or applications. To check that your file associations have not been affected by adware, go to "My Computer," "Tools" and "Folder Options." Click "File Types." Check the list for any EXE or COM files. If you see either of these types of files, the adware has caused changes that require the help of a computer professional to undo.