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Linkey. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Julie Splinters - - | Type: Adware
12

Linkey continues causing browsing-related problems to Windows and Mac OS X users

The picture of Linkey virus

Linkey is a browser extension created by Aztec Media Inc. It is known as a potentially unwanted program (PUP) which has features of the adware.[1] Thus, instead of improving browsing experience, this tool cause numerous problems, such as:

  • changed homepage to default-search.net;
  • bing.com set as default search engine;
  • installation of cookies and data tracking;[2]
  • delivery of aggressive ads;
  • redirecting to suspicious websites;
  • causing system slowdowns and freezing the browser.

Linkey virus might affect the major web browsers that are installed on Windows and Mac computers. Typically, it finds its way to the computer when it arrives in a bundle with freeware and shareware as a “free addition” or “additional download.” There is no surprise why this ad-supported program manages to hijack so many computer systems – numerous free applications distribute it. 

In order to avoid Linkey hijack, you have to pay more attention to the installation process of such free programs and find the check mark that says that you agree to install this program on your computer.

If Linkey adware manages to enter its target PC system, it shows up on all web browsers that are installed on it. That’s because it's compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox and other popular Internet browsers.

In addition, it starts collecting data that is related to victim's search sessions and then begins to display annoying pop-up ads. After clicking them, you may be redirected to its affiliate sites, which might be unreliable.[3] Some third-party websites can reveal content that can appear to be dangerous, so it is better to hurry up with Linkey removal.

If you don't want to be bombarded by ads that seek to push you into visiting unknown, unsafe, questionable and suspicious places, you should remove Linkey from your computer. For that, we highly recommend using Reimage or other reputable anti-spyware that is capable of finding and eliminating such apps without delay.

Linkey becomes a huge threat to Mac users

PUPs rarely attack Mac users. However, this time people should not overlook Linkey ads that might disturb browsing sessions. This nasty adware has been noticed spreading and causing problems form Apple product users as well. On Macintosh devices, adware acts similarly like on Windows. It displays ads, redirects to potentially dangerous third-party sites and tracks browsing-related information.

However, users report that they cannot uninstall Linkey from Mac. The problem might be related to the extension’s ability to make system modifications or installing additional components to protect it. Therefore, even if you uninstall this add-on from Firefox, Safari, Opera, Chrome or another web browser, you might find it again after rebooting the device.

Thus, if you are looking for a way how to remove Linkey from Mac computer, we can assure that the best way to do it is to use reputable anti-malware software. Running a full system scan with an updated tool will quickly clean all malicious components from the device.

Adware travels with the help of free programs

We have already mentioned how people are tricked into installing this adware on their computers. It can be downloaded voluntarily, or it may show up on the system after downloading freeware and shareware.[4] To avoid a similar situation in the future, you should start monitoring installation of every freeware. Les Virus[5] security team provide these short and simple tips:

  • Select only Custom or Advanced installation option when downloading video streaming software, download managers, and similar applications.
  • Deselect agreements to install bundled software.
  • Unmark all pre-selected agreements to change your homepage or search engine.

Therefore, if you are wondering what is Linkey on my computer or where did it come from, you should think about recently downloaded and installed software. This ad-supported application probably sneaked to your device with it.

Showing the way how to get rid of Linkey

People often complain that Linkey uninstall fails and they are unable to get rid of the program. It seems that this computer pest roots deeply in the system or uses advanced techniques to prevent users from uninstalling it.

This problem might occur on both Windows and Mac OS. Therefore, to remove Linkey virus, we strongly recommend using a malware removal tool. It’s a quickest and easiest method to delete the program together with all its entries no matter where they are hidden in the system.

If you do not have such software, you can install one of these listed below, or try to delete the adware manually by following Linkey removal guidelines that we have prepared. Please do let us know if you still experience problems when trying to uninstall this program.

You can remove Linkey automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware. We recommend these applications because they can easily delete potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided Anti-spyware software to remove Linkey you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to uninstall Linkey. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

More information about this program can be found in Reimage review.

Manual Linkey Removal Guide:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Windows systems

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Manual Linkey removal guidelines are presented below:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Linkey and related programs
    Here, look for Linkey or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Mac OS X system

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Follow these steps to wipe out this PUP from Mac OS X entirely:

  1. If you are using OS X, click Go button at the top left of the screen and select Applications. Cick 'Go' and select 'Applications'
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Linkey or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on every malicious entry and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Internet Explorer (IE)

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

To remove all adware-related files and browser helper objects from Internet Explorer, you should follow these steps:

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Linkey and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Linkey removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Microsoft Edge

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

After the hijack, you have to reset Microsoft Edge.

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Linkey should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Uninstall Linkey from Firefox extensions and reset the browser.

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Linkey and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Linkey removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Google Chrome

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

Remove Linke from Goole Chrome extensions and reset the browser by following these instructions:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Linkey and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Linkey removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Remove Linkey from Safari

Reimage is a tool to detect malware.
You need to purchase Full version to remove infections.
More information about Reimage.

These guidelines will help you to clean Safari from the virus:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Linkey or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Reset Safari
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and select 'Reset Safari...'
  4. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Linkey removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button
After uninstalling this potentially unwanted program (PUP) and fixing each of your web browsers, we recommend you to scan your PC system with a reputable anti-spyware. This will help you to get rid of Linkey registry traces and will also identify related parasites or possible malware infections on your computer. For that you can use our top-rated malware remover: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus or Malwarebytes Anti Malware.

About the author

Julie Splinters
Julie Splinters - Malware removal specialist

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References

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  • Coy

    I get a “windows installer” popup on the Windows 7 desktop, every hour or so, asking if I want to install an unknown program. By hitting “next,” you can read how its about to install a program called Linkey. At which point I immediately kill the installer using Control Panel. But how do I get rid of these persistent popups, please? I dont even know from where they are originating. I have not installed anything recently on my machine.

  • Shilpa

    Unable to remove linkey throught control panel. In the middle of uninstalling, I get this message “Linkey-uninstall has stopped working”

  • gva

    I dont have linkey in my extensions and it still keeps popping up when I open a new tab.

  • Trish

    That was happening to me also because I downloaded it when I installed a free audio/video recorder. To remove it from opening as a new tab — go to: Control Panel > Internet options> Programs > Manage Add-Ons > Search Providers. Then you should be able to select Linkey and disable it. One caveat… I am not sure which OS you have so there may be some differences. I have Windows 8. Best of Luck!

  • Chrismas

    Says cannot find device driver software when trying to remove from program list ?*

  • OldGeezer

    The problem I have is that only a few programs show up when the “Delete programs” list is populated. (Im running Windows 7 64-bit.) All of them alphabetically from “Lame” to “Reading Acceleration Machine” (And the others are all “Microsoft this” or “Microsoft that” and neither Linkey nor anything labelled “Aztec” appears. (Nor do any of the other many programs Ive installed, although they seem to work.) I did remove the Linkey icon from the task bar, but I doubt if that actually removed the program.