If the Google Chrome, FF, Edge and IE shows the “Ads by Tom” unwanted ads then most probably that your machine is infected with an adware (sometimes called ‘ad-supported’ software). This adware modifies the Chrome, Internet Explorer, FF and MS Edge settings to open a ton of unwanted advertisements on all web-sites, including web-pages where previously you advertisements have never seen. These ads can be varied: pop-up windows, boxes signed with “Ads by Tom”, in-text ads, different sized banners and so on. What is more, the ad supported software, that shows the “Ads by Tom” advertisements, can cause your Internet connection to be slow or freeze your web-browser so that the interface is not updated anymore.
The malicious programs from the adware family that changes the settings of web browsers usually affects only the Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Internet Explorer and MS Edge. However, possible situations, when any other web-browsers will be affected too. The ‘ad-supported’ software may change the Target property of a internet browser’s shortcut, so every time you run the web-browser, instead of your homepage, you will see the unwanted “Ads by Tom” ads.
The ‘ad-supported’ software may insert a huge number of ads directly to the sites that you visit, creating a sense that the advertising links has been added by the creators of the web-site. Moreover, a legal advertisements may be replaced on the fake ads, that will offer to download and install various unnecessary and harmful programs. Moreover, the ad supported software has the ability to collect lots of personal information about you (your ip address, what is a web page you are viewing now, what you are looking for on the World Wide Web, which links you are clicking), which can later transfer to third parties.
We suggest you to delete ‘ad-supported’ software and clean your personal computer from “Ads by Tom” advertisements ASAP, until the presence of the adware has not led to even worse consequences. You need to follow the few simple steps below that will allow you to completely delete the redirect to “Ads by Tom” unwanted ads, using only the built-in Windows features and a few of specialized free tools.
How does “Ads by Tom” ads get installed onto machine
How to manually remove “Ads by Tom” advertisements
Without a doubt, the adware is harmful to your machine. So you need to quickly and completely delete this dangerous software. To remove this ad-supported software, you can use the manual removal which are given below, or use an anti-malware tool for removing dangerous applications, such as Malwarebytes Anti-malware and AdwCleaner (both are free). I note that we recommend that you use automatic removal, which will allow you to remove “Ads by Tom” ads easily and safely. Manual removal is best used only if you are well versed in personal computer or in the case where adware is not removed automatically.
- Remove suspicious and unknown software by using Windows Control Panel
- Remove Ads by Tom from Mozilla Firefox
- Delete “Ads by Tom” advertisements from Chrome
- Remove “Ads by Tom” from Internet Explorer
- Disinfect the browser’s shortcuts to delete “Ads by Tom” redirect
- Remove unwanted Scheduled Tasks
Uninstall suspicious and unknown software by using Windows Control Panel
First, you should try to identify and remove the program that causes the appearance of unwanted ads and browser redirect to unwanted web-pages, using the ‘Uninstall a program’ which is located in the ‘Control panel’.
Windows 8, 8.1, 10
Windows XP, Vista, 7
Remove Ads by Tom from Mozilla Firefox
First, run the Firefox. Next, click the button in the form of three horizontal stripes (). It will display the drop-down menu. Next, click the “Help” button ().
In the Help menu, click the “Troubleshooting Information”. In the upper-right corner of the “Troubleshooting Information” page, press “Refresh Firefox” button.
Confirm your action, click the “Refresh Firefox”.
Delete “Ads by Tom” advertisements from Chrome
Reset Chrome settings is a easy way to remove the malicious and ad-supported extensions, as well as to restore the web browser’s homepage, new tab and default search engine that have been modified by adware.
- Open the Chrome, then click the Menu icon (icon in the form of three horizontal stripes).
- It will open the Chrome main menu. Click the “Settings” menu.
- Next, click the “Show advanced settings” link, which located at the bottom of the Settings page.
- Further, press the “Reset settings” button, which located at the bottom of the Advanced settings page.
- The Chrome will open the reset settings dialog box as shown on the image above.
- Confirm the browser’s reset by clicking on the “Reset” button.
- To learn more, look the article How to reset Google Chrome settings to default.
Remove “Ads by Tom” from Internet Explorer
First, run the Microsoft Internet Explorer, then click the button in the form of gear (). It will open the Tools drop-down menu as shown on the image below. Next, press the “Internet Options”.
In the Internet Options window click on the Advanced tab, then click the Reset button. The Internet Explorer will show the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” window as shown below. Select the “Delete personal settings” check box, then press on “Reset” button.
You will now need to restart your system for the changes to take effect.
Disinfect the browser’s shortcuts to delete “Ads by Tom” redirect
When installed, the ad supported software may add an argument similar “http://site.address” into the Target property of the desktop shortcut for the Chrome, FF, Microsoft Edge and Microsoft Internet Explorer. Due to this, every time you run the internet browser, it will display the “Ads by Tom” unwanted ads.
Right click on the internet browser’s shortcut, click Properties option. On the Shortcut tab, locate the Target field. Click inside, you will see a vertical line – arrow pointer, move it (using -> arrow key on your keyboard) to the right as possible. You will see a text that starts with “http://”. Remove it or everything after .exe. An example, for Google Chrome you should remove everything after chrome.exe.
Next, press OK to save changes. You need to clean all web-browser’s shortcuts. So, repeat this step for the Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.
Remove unwanted Scheduled Tasks
If the unwanted “Ads by Tom” ads opens automatically on Windows startup or at equal time intervals, then you need to check the Task Scheduler Library and remove all the tasks that have been created by ‘ad-supported’ program.
Press Windows and R keys on the keyboard at the same time. This shows a prompt that called Run. In the text field, type “taskschd.msc” (without the quotes) and press OK. Task Scheduler window opens. In the left-hand side, click “Task Scheduler Library”, as shown in the following image.
In the middle part you will see a list of installed tasks. Select the first task, its properties will be display just below automatically. Next, click the Actions tab. Pay attention to that it launches on your system. Found something like “explorer.exe http://site.address” or “chrome.exe http://site.address”, then you need get rid of it. If you are not sure that executes the task, check it through a search engine. If it is a component of the adware, then this task also should be removed.
Having defined the task that you want to get rid of, then click on it with the right mouse button and select Delete as shown below.
Repeat this step, if you have found a few tasks that have been created by ‘ad-supported’ applications. Once is done, close the Task Scheduler window.
Delete “Ads by Tom” advertisements automatically
You can delete “Ads by Tom” advertisements automatically with a help of Malwarebytes Free. We recommend this free malware removal utility because it can easily remove ad supported software, browser hijackers, potentially unwanted applications and toolbars with all their components such as files, folders and registry entries.
Download Malwarebytes Free on your system using the link below. Save it on your Desktop.
Category: Security tools
Update: January 25, 2017
After the download is done, close all windows on your system. Further, launch the file named mb3-setup. If the “User Account Control” prompt pops up as shown on the screen below, press the Yes button.
It will show the “Setup wizard” that will assist you install Malwarebytes on the system. Follow the prompts and do not make any changes to default settings.
When the setup is finished successfully, click Finish button. Then Malwarebytes will automatically start and you can see its main window as shown below.
Next, click the “Scan Now” button . This will begin scanning the whole computer to find out malware and ‘ad-supported’ software which cause the “Ads by Tom” ads. When a threat is found, the number of the detected objects will change accordingly. Wait until the the scanning is done. Please be patient.
When it has finished scanning, you can check all threats detected on your computer. Make sure all entries have “checkmark” and click “Quarantine Selected” button.
The Malwarebytes will start removing malware and adware that cause “Ads by Tom” ads. Once the disinfection is finished, you may be prompted to reboot your PC system. I recommend you look at the following video, which completely explains the procedure of using the Malwarebytes to get rid of ‘ad-supported’ software and other malicious applications.
Block “Ads by Tom” ads and other annoying sites
To increase your security and protect your PC against new unwanted ads and malicious web sites, you need to use program that blocks access to malicious ads and web-sites. Moreover, the program can block the open of intrusive advertising, which also leads to faster loading of web sites and reduce the consumption of web traffic.
Download AdGuard program by clicking on the following link.
Author: © Adguard
Category: Security tools
Update: August 16, 2016
Once downloading is complete, start the file named adguardInstaller. You will see the “Setup Wizard” screen as shown below.
Follow the prompts. Once the install is complete, you will see a window as shown on the screen below.
You can press “Skip” to close the installation application and use the default settings, or press “Get Started” button to see an quick tutorial which will help you get to know AdGuard better.
In most cases, the default settings are enough and you do not need to change anything. Each time, when you start your machine, AdGuard will start automatically and block unwanted pop-ups, “Ads by Tom” ads, as well as other dangerous or misleading web pages. For an overview of all the features of the application, or to change its settings you can simply double-click on the AdGuard icon, which is located on your Windows desktop.
If the problem with “Ads by Tom” ads is still remained
If MalwareBytes Anti-malware cannot get rid of “Ads by Tom” advertisements, then we suggests to use the AdwCleaner. AdwCleaner is a free removal tool for adware, browser hijackers, PUPs, toolbars.
- Download AdwCleaner by clicking on the link below. AdwCleaner download
Category: Security tools
Update: April 24, 2017
- Double click the AdwCleaner icon. Once the tool is launched the main screen will appear as shown on the image above.
- Now, press the “Scan” button to perform a system scan for the ‘ad-supported’ software which generates “Ads by Tom” ads.
- When the system scan is done, AdwCleaner will open a scan report. Review the report and then press “Clean” button. It will open a dialog box, click “OK” button.
The following video explains the step-by-step instructions above on how to get rid of adware with AdwCleaner.
Now your computer should be clean of the “Ads by Tom” ads. Remove AdwCleaner. We suggest that you keep AdGuard (to help you block unwanted advertisements and annoying dangerous web-pages) and Malwarebytes (to periodically scan your machine for new malware and adware). Probably you are running an older version of Java or Adobe Flash Player. This can be a security risk, so download and install the latest version right now.
If you are still having problems while trying to get rid of “Ads by Tom” advertisements from your machine, then ask for help in our Spyware/Malware removal forum.