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Remove Swagbucks toolbar (Removal Instructions) - updated May 2018

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Plugins

Swagbucks Toolbar – a potentially unwanted program that redirects your browser to sponsored pages

The example of Swagbucks virus

Swagbucks is a potentially unwanted program[1] that can get installed on your PC system without your approval, after clicking on a wrong ad on Facebook. The most affected operating system is Mac OS X, but this PUP can also appear on Windows OS. Right after being installed, the virus drops its toolbar and changes your home page, the default search engine and a new tab page on all web browsers to make you search the web with the help of its search engine. Besides, if using Mac, the Swagbucks button can appear in your preferences bar. If you are wondering if this service is legitimate, we should warn you that security experts recommend using it with carefulness.

Name Swagbucks
Developer Prodege LLC
Type Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Related apps SwagButton, Search.swagbucks.com (currently unavailable)
Main problems Can infiltrate the system behind user's back, change its settings, cause redirects, pop-up ads
Dangers related to PUP A possibility of being redirected to infected websites, infiltration of malware, system changes that cannot be fixed by using traditional techniques
Elimination To delete Swagbucks, run a full system scan with Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego or another reliable anti-spyware

The app is promoted as a great service that helps users generating points (Swag Bucks) with the help of these ways:

  • Special offers;
  • Surveys;
  • Shop;
  • Trade-in program;
  • Polls;
  • Invite friends.

However, we should warn you that entering personal information to surveys or polls can be dangerous as you can never know what parties are capable of using it for their own needs. Besides, as we have already warned you, the app can infiltrate your computer without your approval, after clicking on a simple ad without thinking. As a result, users have started using the term “Swagbucks virus.”

In fact, we should warn you that, apart from changing browser’s settings, this potentially unwanted program might cause other undesired problems, such as:

  • delivery of aggressive or potentially dangerous ads;[2]
  • redirecting to questionable or high-risk websites;[3]
  • preventing users from removal;
  • installation of other third-party apps, add-ons or extensions;
  • tracking information about users.

Questions about Swagbucks toolbar

Please, don't leave this PUP on your machine if you haven't installed it consciously! Otherwise, it can start tracking your browsing habits, redirecting your search sessions to unwanted sites and causing other unfair activities. We highly recommend users who found any of as soon as it steps on your browser. To remove Swagbucks quickly and without problems using professional anti-malware, such as Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego.

Swagbucks PUP

Mac OS X – the most affected operating system

The majority of PUPs target Windows users. However, this ad-supported application seems to cause numerous problems for Mac users[4] as well. Lots of users report about problems to remove Swagbucks Mac version. Indeed, this app might be hard to uninstall manually. However, it’s still possible.

At the end of the article, we have provided instructions on how to get rid of Swagbucks on Mac. We want to stress out that it’s important to check installed apps and make sure that any unknown programs are not left on the system. Thus, if you do not remember installing some video player or another app, you should move it to trash immediately.

The instructions will also show you how to remove Swagbucks from Safari. According to the researchers from Los Virus,[5] this PUP mostly causes for Safari users compared to other attacked Mac browsers.

However, if uninstall Swagbucks toolbar Safari fails, you should opt for the automatic elimination method. It requires obtaining reputable security software and scanning the system with anti-malware.

The picture of Swagbucks adwareSwagbucks is an adware program that might alter browser's settings and cause browsing-related problems.

Insights on methods used to spread Swagbucks

As we have mentioned, the toolbar can easily come on your computer without any permission asked. For that, this program typically relies on freeware and shareware. However, you can also discover it installed on the system after clicking on the simple ad on Facebook.[6]

To prevent its infiltration, you should stay away from unknown links. Besides, carefully check every installation window of the software and get rid of unfamiliar entries:

  • Choose Advanced/Custom settings instead of Recommended/Standard;
  • Do not leave any pre-selected “optional downloads”;
  • Unmark all pre-marked agreements to change your search provider.

Besides, this program is also actively promoted on the websites that are included in its distribution, so it can be tricked into installing it manually as well. However, no matter which way it uses to get inside the PC, the PUP initiates system's changes without any permission asked.

Swagbucks toolbar

Instructions on how to get rid of Swagbucks on Chrome, Firefox, and other web browsers

You have to remove Swagbucks after discovering it on your computer without your approval. For that, we recommend following the steps below that will help you to fix your browsers.

The instructions will also provide information on how to delete Swagbucks toolbar Safari. However, it is reported that manual adware’s elimination might be complicated. Indeed, the PUP might make several system changes or install additional components that protect it. Thus, if you cannot get rid of the virus manually, you should try scanning the system with anti-malware tool.

Additionally, you can perform automatic Swagbucks removal with an anti-spyware/anti-malware program at first. However, you should not forget that you need to reset all the browsers that are installed on your computer as well.

You may remove virus damage with a help of Reimage Reimage Cleaner Intego. SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner and Malwarebytes are recommended to detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage Intego, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage Intego has a free limited scanner. Reimage Intego offers more through scan when you purchase its full version. When free scanner detects issues, you can fix them using free manual repairs or you can decide to purchase the full version in order to fix them automatically.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Reimage, try running SpyHunter 5.
Alternative Software
Different software has a different purpose. If you didn’t succeed in fixing corrupted files with Intego, try running Combo Cleaner.

To remove Swagbucks toolbar, follow these steps:

Eliminate Swagbucks toolbar from Windows systems

Follow these instructions carefully. The Swagbucks adware may have left its components installed. Thus, you have to get rid of them all.

  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 Swagbucks toolbar and related programs
    Here, look for Swagbucks toolbar 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'
  5. Remove Swagbucks toolbar from Windows shortcuts
    Right click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and select Properties. Right click on browsers' icon and select 'Properties'
  6. Go to Shortcut tab and look at the Target field. Delete malicious URL that is related to your virus. Select 'Shortcut' tab and delete 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other suspicious URL

Repeat steps that are given above with all browsers' shortcuts, including Internet Explorer and Google Chrome. Make sure you check all locations of these shortcuts, including Desktop, Start Menu and taskbar.

Remove Swagbucks toolbar from Mac OS X system

Below you can see manual virus removal guidelines. Please be attentive because you cannot leave any adware-related components.

If your macOS is displaying some infection symptoms, proceed with the following guide:

Remove Swagbucks toolbar from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Swagbucks toolbar-related entries.
  3. Click on the app and drag it to Trash (or right-click and pick Move to Trash)Uninstall from Mac 1

To fully remove Swagbucks toolbar, you need to access Application Support, LaunchAgents, and LaunchDaemons folders and delete relevant files:

  1. Select Go > Go to Folder.
  2. Enter /Library/Application Support and click Go or press Enter.
  3. In the Application Support folder, look for any dubious entries related to Swagbucks toolbar and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Swagbucks toolbar-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Uninstall Swagbucks toolbar from Internet Explorer (IE)

Internet Explorer reset might be necessary to get rid of tracking cookies and other suspicious entries.

Remove dangerous add-ons:

  1. Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top-right corner of the browser
  2. Pick Manage Add-ons.
  3. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Swagbucks toolbar and other suspicious plugins. Click on these entries and select Disable.Remove add-ons from Internet Explorer

Change your homepage if it was altered:

  1. Open IE and click on the Gear icon.
  2. Select Internet Options.
  3. In the General tab, delete the Home page address and replace it by your preferred one (for example, Google.com).
  4. Click Apply and then select OK.Reset IE homepage

Delete temporary files:

  1. Press on the Gear icon and select Internet Options.
  2. Under Browsing history, click Delete…
  3. Select relevant fields and press Delete.Clear temporary files from Internet Explorer

Reset Internet Explorer:

  1. Click on Gear icon > Internet options and select Advanced tab.
  2. Select Reset.
  3. In the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Swagbucks toolbar removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of Swagbucks toolbar from Microsoft Edge

After the hijack you should follow these steps to make sure that Edge is safe to use:

Delete unwanted extensions from MS Edge:

  1. Select Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and pick Extensions.
  2. From the list, pick the Swagbucks toolbar-related extension and click on the Gear icon.
  3. Click on Uninstall at the bottom.Remove extensions from Edge

Clear cookies and other browser data:

  1. Click on the Menu (three horizontal dots at the top-right of the browser window) and select Privacy & security.
  2. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  3. Select everything (apart from passwords, although you might want to include Media licenses as well, if applicable) and click on Clear.Clear Edge browsing data

Reset MS Edge if that above steps did not work:

  1. Press on Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Click on More details arrow at the bottom of the window.
  3. Select Details tab.
  4. Now scroll down and locate every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right-click on each of them and select End Task to stop MS Edge from running.Reset MS Edge

If this solution failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method. Note that you need to backup your data before proceeding.

  1. Find the following folder on your computer: C:\\Users\\%username%\\AppData\\Local\\Packages\\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  2. Press Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select all folders.
  3. Right-click on them and pick DeleteAdvanced MS Edge reset 1
  4. Now right-click on the Start button and pick Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  5. When the new window opens, copy and paste the following command, and then press Enter:

    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register “$($_.InstallLocation)\\AppXManifest.xml” -VerboseAdvanced MS Edge reset 2

Instructions for Chromium-based Edge

Delete extensions from MS Edge (Chromium):

  1. Open Edge and click select Settings > Extensions.
  2. Delete unwanted extensions by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chromium Edge

Clear cache and site data:

  1. Click on Menu and go to Settings.
  2. Select Privacy and services.
  3. Under Clear browsing data, pick Choose what to clear.
  4. Under Time range, pick All time.
  5. Select Clear now.Clear browser data from Chroum Edge

Reset Chromium-based MS Edge:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. On the left side, pick Reset settings.
  3. Select Restore settings to their default values.
  4. Confirm with Reset.Reset Chromium Edge

Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Access Firefox extensions. You should see Swagbucks extensions installed. Remove it and make sure that any other suspicious apps were not installed as well. Once you delete all unnecessary extensions, 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 Swagbucks toolbar 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. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the menu (top right corner), choose Options General.
  4. Here, delete malicious URL and enter preferable website or click Restore to default.
  5. Click OK to save these changes. When in 'General' tab, delete malicious URL from 'Home Page' section or click on 'Restore to Default' button. Click 'OK' to save changes
  6. 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'
  7. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Swagbucks toolbar removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times

Erase Swagbucks toolbar from Google Chrome

Check Chrome's extensions and remove unknown entries, including Swagbucks. Then reset the browser:

  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 Swagbucks toolbar 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. Change your homepage and default search engine if it was altered by your virus
    Click on menu icon and choose Settings.
  4. Here, look for the Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup option and click on Set pages. After clicking on menu and 'Settings', select 'Set pages'
  5. Now you should see another window. Here, delete malicious search sites and enter the one that you want to use as your homepage. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  6. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  7. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  8. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  9. 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
  10. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Swagbucks toolbar removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

Eliminate Swagbucks toolbar from Safari

If you decided to go for the manual virus removal, you have to be careful. The PUP might be hard to eliminate from Safari. Thus, if the instructions below don't help, please opt for the automatic elimination.

  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 Swagbucks toolbar or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and uninstall malicious add-ons
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Swagbucks toolbar, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. When in 'General', delete malicious URL and enter your desired domain name
  5. 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...'
  6. 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 Swagbucks toolbar removal process. Select all options and click on 'Reset' button

Do not let government spy on you

The government has many issues in regards to tracking users' data and spying on citizens, so you should take this into consideration and learn more about shady information gathering practices. Avoid any unwanted government tracking or spying by going totally anonymous on the internet. 

You can choose a different location when you go online and access any material you want without particular content restrictions. You can easily enjoy internet connection without any risks of being hacked by using Private Internet Access VPN.

Control the information that can be accessed by government any other unwanted party and surf online without being spied on. Even if you are not involved in illegal activities or trust your selection of services, platforms, be suspicious for your own security and take precautionary measures by using the VPN service.

Backup files for the later use, in case of the malware attack

Computer users can suffer from data losses due to cyber infections or their own faulty doings. Ransomware can encrypt and hold files hostage, while unforeseen power cuts might cause a loss of important documents. If you have proper up-to-date backups, you can easily recover after such an incident and get back to work. It is also equally important to update backups on a regular basis so that the newest information remains intact – you can set this process to be performed automatically.

When you have the previous version of every important document or project you can avoid frustration and breakdowns. It comes in handy when malware strikes out of nowhere. Use Data Recovery Pro for the data restoration process.

About the author
Jake Doevan
Jake Doevan - Computer technology expert

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References
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