Remove .country “2015 Browser Survey” Pop Up Ads From Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer

Do you see a “2015 Browser Survey” survey from a .country domain while browsing websites that usually don’t advertise in pop-up windows? Do the survey pop-ups manage to bypass the built-in pop-up blockers in Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer or Safari. Perhaps the .country pop-ups appear when clicking search results from Google? Or does the surveys appear even when you’re not browsing?

Here an example on how the “2015 browser survey” at a .country domain can look 2015 browser survey pop-up ad

Typically, the web page appears in a new tab and shows a “2015 Browser Survey” and claims to give you chance of winning something by completing the survey. In this case, it tempts you with Apple’s iMac, iPhone 6 or an iPad Air. The survey is also localised, poorly, which is good since it makes it easier to dismiss it. In my case, the survey is localised to swedish. The above survey is from the domain, but I’ve seen the same type of survey pop up from other domains. Here’s a few:

etc.. What .country-domain did you see in the survey that popped up on your machine? Please let me and the readers know by posting a comment.

If you also see this on your machine, you probably have some adware installed on your computer that pops up the .country ads. So don’t write angry emails to the web site you were browsing, the ads are almost certainly not coming from them, but from the adware on your machine. I’ll try help you with the .country survey removal in this blog post.

Those that have been following this blog already know this, but here we go: Not long ago I dedicated some of my lab machines and deliberately installed some adware programs on them. I’ve been tracking the behaviour on these computers to see what kinds of advertisements that are displayed. I’m also looking on other interesting things such as if the adware updates itself automatically, or if it installs additional unwanted software on the computers. I first noticed the .country pop-up survey on one of these lab machines.

Who owns these .country domains? I don’t know. This is the registrant info from the WHOIS database:

Registrant ID: 283612-MMd1
Registrant Name: PrivacyDotLink Customer 302315
Registrant Organization: 
Registrant Street: PO Box 30485
Registrant City: Seven Mile Beach
Registrant State/Province: Grand Cayman
Registrant Postal Code: KY1-1202
Registrant Country: KY
Registrant Phone: +1.3457495465

So, how do you remove the .country pop-up surveys? On the machine where I got the .country ads I had TinyWallet, BlockAndSurf and BrowserWarden installed. I removed them with FreeFixer and that stopped the .country pop-ups and all the other ads I was getting in Mozilla Firefox.

The issue with pop-ups such as this one is that it can be popped up by many variants of adware. This makes it impossible to say exactly what you need to remove to stop the surveys.

So, what should done to solve the problem? To remove the .country pop-up surveys you need to examine your system for adware or other types of unwanted software and uninstall it. Here’s my suggested removal procedure:

The first thing I would do to remove the .country pop-up surveys is to examine the software installed on the machine, by opening the “Uninstall programs” dialog. You can reach this dialog from the Windows Control Panel. If you are using one of the more recent versions of Windows Operating System you can just type in “uninstall” in the Control Panel’s search field to find that dialog:
Uninstall a program search

Click on the “Uninstall a program” link and the Uninstall programs dialog will open up:
Uninstall a program dialog

Do you see something dubious listed there or something that you don’t remember installing? Tip: Sort on the “Installed On” column to see if some program was installed approximately about the same time as you started seeing the .country pop-ups.

Then you can examine you browser add-ons. Adware often appear under the add-ons dialog in Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer or Safari. Is there anything that looks suspicious? Something that you don’t remember installing?
Firefox add-ons manager

I think you will be able to identify and remove the adware with the steps outlined above, but in case that did not work you can try the FreeFixer removal tool to identify and remove the adware. FreeFixer is a freeware tool that I started develop many years ago. It’s a tool designed to manually track down and uninstall unwanted software. When you’ve identified the unwanted files you can simply tick a checkbox and click on the Fix button to remove the unwanted file.

FreeFixer’s removal feature is not locked down like many other removal tools out there. It will not require you to pay for the program just when you are about to remove the unwanted files.

And if you’re having a hard time figuring out if a file is legit or malware in FreeFixer’s scan report, click on the More Info link for the file. That will open up a web page which contains more details about the file. On that web page, check out the VirusTotal report which can be very useful:

FreeFixer More Info link example
An example of FreeFixer’s “More Info” links. Click for full size.

Here’s a video guide showing how to remove pop-up ads with FreeFixer:

Did this blog post help you to remove the .country pop-up ads? Please let me know or how I can improve this blog post.

Thank you!