Welcome to our Linkey “Virus” removal guide. The following instructions will aid you in removing the unwanted software from your PC.
Have you recently opened your default browser just to notice that its homepage or search engine has been replaced without your permission? And on top of that, a strange automatic page-redirect service has started to forward your searches to different sites full of nagging ads, pop-ups, banners and new tabs. If yes, then you should know that the most probable source of these strange modifications and activities is not a computer virus, as you may suspect, but a browser hijacker application. Now, if you are not familiar with the term “browser hijacker”, you might be interested in reading the information that our “How to remove” team has published in the next paragraphs. There, we will talk about the specifics of this type of strange software and its most common symptoms, distribution methods and potential risks it might bring. We will also reveal the characteristics of one recently released browser hijacker named Linkey “Virus” which could be the possible intruder in your Safari, Chrome or Firefox browser.
A browser hijacker in the system typically affects the users’ ability to browse the web in a very irritating way. It tends to constantly interrupt the web surfing with unexpected page-redirects, randomly popping-up ads, new tabs, blinking boxes, sponsored links and promotional banners. Usually, it is a bit tricky to remove the ads and uninstall the annoying software because, in most of the cases, additional steps are required to detect and eliminate the ad-generating code of the hijacker from the PC. Fortunately, on this page, you can find a step-by-step Removal Guide and specialized software, both of which can help you remove the source of your disturbance. Don’t worry if you are not a computer expert because the browser hijackers are not as dangerous as Ransomware viruses, Trojan horses or Spyware. They can be uninstalled much easier if the removal steps are carefully completed, and normally don’t leave any negative consequences on the system.
Remove Linkey “Virus”
I – Safe mode and revealing hidden files
II – Uninstallation
- Use the Winkey+R keyboard combination, write Control Panel in the search field and hit enter.
- Go to Uninstall a program under Programs.
- Seek the unwanted software, select it and then click on Uninstall
If you are unable to spot Linkey, search for any unrecognized programs that you do not remember installing on your PC – the unwanted software might disguise itself by going under a different name.
III – Cleaning all your browsers
- Go to your browser’s icon, right-click on it and select Properties.
- Go to the Shortcut tab and in the Target make sure to delete anything written after “.exe”.
- Now, open your browser and follow the instructions below depending on whether you are using Chrome, Mozilla or IE.
- Chrome users:
- Go to your browser’s main menu located in the top-right corner of the screen and select Settings.
- Scroll down, click on Show Advanced Settings and then select Clear browsing data. Just to be sure, tick everything and clear the data.
- Now, in the left pane, go to Extensions and look through all extensions that are integrated within your browser. If you notice any suspicious add-on, disable it and then remove it.
- Firefox users:
- Similarly to Chrome, go to the main menu and select Add-ons and then Extensions.
- Remove any suspicious browser extensions that you may have even if they do not have the name Linkey on them.
- IE users:
- Go to Tools and select Manage add-ons.
- Click on all add-on types from the left pane and check if there is anything suspicious in the right panel. In case you find anything shade, make sure to remove it.
IV – Removing Shady processes
- Go to your start menu, type Task Manager in the search field and from the results open View running processes with Task Manager.
- Thoroughly look through all processes. The name Linkey might not be there, but if you notice any shady looking process that consumes high amounts of memory it might be ran by the unwanted program.
- If you spot the process ran by Linkey, right-click on it, open its file location and delete everything in there. Then go back to the Task Manager and end the process.
V – DNS check
- In the start menu search box write View Network Connections and open the first result.
- Right-click on the network connection you are using and go to Properties.
- Select Internet Protocol Version (TCP/IPv4) and click on Properties.
- If Obtain DNS server addresses automatically is not checked, check it.
- Go to Advanced and select the DNS If there is anything in the DNS server addresses field, remove it and click OK.
- Click OK on the rest of the opened windows.
What is a browser hijacker and can it cause harm to my PC?
Browser hijackers are applications which are typically not malicious. They operate as advertising tools and their primary goal is to expose the web users to different web-ads, sponsored websites, search engines, toolbars or links. These applications also use to generate pay-per-click profits for their creators. This explains why most browser hijackers usually tend to take over the default browser of the system and force it to redirect people’s searches to certain promotional content.
Linkey “Virus” is a typical representative of this software class as it operates in the above-described way and makes the end users interact with various types of sponsored web pages, pop-ups, new tabs, and hard-to-remove ads during their web surfing. Despite its rather harmless nature, such software could be very irritating and is often regarded as potentially unwanted by most of the cyber security researchers out there. The reason is, the browser hijacker could be related to an uncontrolled exposure to random web content.
From a security point of view, any interaction with random links, ads, pop-ups and unfamiliar websites increases the risk of a malware encounter. That’s why, if you have an application like Linkey on your PC and it makes you click on various offers, new tabs, and sites, you should be careful with it. Its uncontrolled and intrusive advertising messages might be potential transmitters of various security hazards such as Trojans, Worms, Spyware and even Ransomware viruses. With this in mind, you might agree with us that uninstalling the ad-generating software is a preventive measure against much more serious computer threats.
Where do applications like Linkey “Virus” spread and how can you avoid them?
Due to the reasons that we already mentioned above, applications like Linkey are usually not something that the web users would like having on their computers. Still, in most of the cases, it is the users who download and install browser hijackers on their system (albeit, mostly without realizing it). This typically happens thanks to distribution methods such as software bundling. With the help of spam messages, attractive free browser add-ons, torrents, and free software downloads, applications like Linkey often get people tricked and get installed as additional or bonus components that have been put inside some other program’s installation wizard. Luckily, if the user pays enough attention to the setup menu and selects the Advanced/Custom/Manual settings, they can easily opt out of such additional components and install only the main program that they want. The thing is that most people don’t take advantage of these options and agree on the installation of the entire software bundle by selecting the Automatic or the Quick options (which is actually not advisable).