Severity scale:  
  (10/100)

Remove Zwinky Toolbar - Jan 2021 update

removal by Lucia Danes - - | Type: Browser hijacker

Zwinky Toolbar is a browser-hijacking app that might track our online activities

Zwinky Toolbar

Zwinky Toolbar is a potentially unwanted program that belongs to the browser hijacker category. We must warn you that this program has become a widely spread issue on the Internet because it is capable of hijacking each of web browsers, including Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.

Nevertheless, it's not the main reason why security experts have included this application in this category. Beware that after hijacking each web browser, this application may also cause other problems for its victims.

Name Zwinky Toolbar
Type Browser hijacker, potentially unwanted program
Distribution Software bundles, deceptive third-party websites, fake updates
Homepage changes Once installed, the PUP changes homepage and new tab URL to mywebsearch.com
Risks While browser hijackers are not considered malicious, their presence can expose users to certain hazards, for example, installation of other unwanted apps or privacy risks
Removal To delete potentially unwanted programs, you can follow the manual guide below. Alternatively, you can use security software that would delete all unwanted apps from your system automatically
Optional steps Computer infections can cause significant damage to system files or disrupt normal settings. To revert these changes and remediate the operating system, perform a full system scan with a ReimageIntego repair tool

Once this potentially unwanted application is installed, it may perform the following actions on a Windows or Mac computer:

  • It may alter the start page and the default search engine to mywebsearch.com;
  • it may display altered search results;
  • it may show you continuous pop-up advertisements;
  • it may track your browsing habits, etc.

As you can see, Zwinky Toolbar is a seriously questionable application that was filled with various capabilities. If you don't want to reveal information, which is related to your browsing history, you should never keep such programs on your computer because it may easily start collecting data, which is related to it.

It may collect your search terms, information about your most visited websites, data that you enter when visiting them, your PC's IP address, PC's location, etc. However, we think that the biggest problem related to Zwinky Toolbar is that it may make you visit unwanted websites.

It does that by showing altered search results that may be filled with various links. If you have just found entries on your web browser (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, etc.), you should remove Zwinky Toolbar from your computer. Afterward, we also recommend employing ReimageIntego to check the OS for potential system damage.

Browser hijackers use deception to enter your PC

Zwinky Toolbar can be installed on your computer consciously from its official site or having no idea about that. In fact, this program has been noticed for its suspicious infiltration, which requires no users’ permission asked. If you want to avoid that, you should start checking what components are spread in a bundle with freeware.

Please always select the Custom or Advanced installation option when installing download managers, PDF creators, video streaming software, video recording software, etc. After doing so, make sure you find a checkmark that claims that you want to install this toolbar or change your start page/default search engine. Do not skip the text, such as:

By installing this application, you agree to set your start page and homepage to XXX

Of course, you should uncheck each of such questionable checkboxes and complete your installation. If the toolbar enters its target PC system, it modifies some of the browser’s settings and starts promoting unknown and sometimes very questionable websites against their will.

Beware that this potentially unwanted program may alter your homepage and default search engine to mywebsearch.com. Also, it may fill your search results with various links and pop-up ads. Do not ignore these changes because they may complicate your browsing experience in the future and may also lead you to the infiltration of other malware. Security experts recommend removing Zwinky Toolbar from the system without wasting time.

Eliminate Zwinky Toolbar virus to protect your privacy

You can remove Zwinky Toolbar easily – either manually or automatically. If you are moderately familiar with how your operating system functions and how to navigate it correctly, you could try using our manual instructions below. Keep in mind that this potentially unwanted program is likely to come as an extension on Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or another browser, so you should take your time cleaning them properly.

Automatic Zwinky Toolbar removal is also possible and is actually recommended. By employing up-to-date security software, you can ensure that all the unwanted or malicious components are deleted from your system at once – the whole process will only take you a few minutes.

You may remove virus damage with a help of ReimageIntego. 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.
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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 Zwinky Toolbar, follow these steps:

Delete Zwinky Toolbar from Windows systems

To remove Zwinky Toolbar from Windows 10/8  machines, please follow these steps:

  1. Enter Control Panel into Windows search box and hit Enter or click on the search result.
  2. Under Programs, select Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 1
  3. From the list, find entries related to Zwinky Toolbar (or any other recently installed suspicious program).
  4. Right-click on the application and select Uninstall.
  5. If User Account Control shows up, click Yes.
  6. Wait till uninstallation process is complete and click OK.Uninstall from Windows 2

If you are Windows 7/XP user, proceed with the following instructions:

  1. Click on Windows Start > Control Panel located on the right pane (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs).
  2. In Control Panel, select Programs > Uninstall a program.Uninstall from Windows 7/XP
  3. Pick the unwanted application by clicking on it once.
  4. At the top, click Uninstall/Change.
  5. In the confirmation prompt, pick Yes.
  6. Click OK once the removal process is finished.

Uninstall Zwinky Toolbar from Mac OS X system

Remove Zwinky Toolbar from Applications folder:

  1. From the menu bar, select Go > Applications.
  2. In the Applications folder, look for Zwinky 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 Zwinky 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 Zwinky Toolbar and then delete them.
  4. Now enter /Library/LaunchAgents and /Library/LaunchDaemons folders the same way and terminate all the Zwinky Toolbar-related entries.Uninstall from Mac 2

Remove Zwinky Toolbar from Internet Explorer (IE)

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 Zwinky 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 Zwinky Toolbar removal.Reset Internet Explorer

Get rid of Zwinky Toolbar from Microsoft Edge

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 Zwinky 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

Restore new tab and homepage settings:

  1. Click the menu icon and choose Settings.
  2. Then find On startup section.
  3. Click Disable if you found any suspicious domain.

Reset MS Edge if the 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

Eliminate Zwinky Toolbar from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Remove dangerous extensions:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click on the Menu (three horizontal lines at the top-right of the window).
  2. Select Add-ons.
  3. In here, select plugins that are related to Zwinky Toolbar and click Remove.Remove extensions from Firefox

Reset the homepage:

  1. Click three horizontal lines at the top right corner to open the menu.
  2. Choose Options.
  3. Under Home options, enter your preferred site that will open every time you newly open the Mozilla Firefox.

Clear cookies and site data:

  1. Click Menu and pick Options.
  2. Go to Privacy & Security section.
  3. Scroll down to locate Cookies and Site Data.
  4. Click on Clear Data…
  5. Select Cookies and Site Data, as well as Cached Web Content and press Clear.Clear cookies and site data from Firefox

Reset Mozilla Firefox

In case Zwinky Toolbar did not get removed after following the instructions above, reset Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox browser and click the Menu.
  2. Go to Help and then choose Troubleshooting Information.Reset Firefox 1
  3. Under Give Firefox a tune up section, click on Refresh Firefox…
  4. Once the pop-up shows up, confirm the action by pressing on Refresh Firefox – this should complete Zwinky Toolbar removal.Reset Firefox 2

Erase Zwinky Toolbar from Google Chrome

Delete malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome, click on the Menu (three vertical dots at the top-right corner) and select More tools > Extensions.
  2. In the newly opened window, you will see all the installed extensions. Uninstall all the suspicious plugins that might be related to Zwinky Toolbar by clicking Remove.Remove extensions from Chrome

Clear cache and web data from Chrome:

  1. Click on Menu and pick Settings.
  2. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
  3. Select Browsing history, Cookies and other site data, as well as Cached images and files.
  4. Click Clear data.Clear cache and web data from Chrome

Change your homepage:

  1. Click menu and choose Settings.
  2. Look for a suspicious site like Zwinky Toolbar in the On startup section.
  3. Click on Open a specific or set of pages and click on three dots to find the Remove option.

Reset Google Chrome:

If the previous methods did not help you, reset Google Chrome to eliminate all the Zwinky Toolbar-components:

  1. Click on Menu and select Settings.
  2. In the Settings, scroll down and click Advanced.
  3. Scroll down and locate Reset and clean up section.
  4. Now click Restore settings to their original defaults.
  5. Confirm with Reset settings to complete Zwinky Toolbar removal.Reset Chrome 2

Delete Zwinky Toolbar from Safari

Remove unwanted extensions from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. In the new window, pick Extensions.
  3. Select the unwanted extension related to Zwinky Toolbar and select Uninstall.Remove extensions from Safari

Clear cookies and other website data from Safari:

  1. Click Safari > Clear History…
  2. From the drop-down menu under Clear, pick all history.
  3. Confirm with Clear History.Clear cookies and website data from Safari

Reset Safari if the above-mentioned steps did not help you:

  1. Click Safari > Preferences…
  2. Go to Advanced tab.
  3. Tick the Show Develop menu in menu bar.
  4. From the menu bar, click Develop, and then select Empty Caches.Reset Safari

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 Zwinky Toolbar 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: ReimageIntego, SpyHunter 5Combo Cleaner or Malwarebytes.

Protect your privacy – employ a VPN

There are several ways how to make your online time more private – you can access an incognito tab. However, there is no secret that even in this mode, you are tracked for advertising purposes. There is a way to add an extra layer of protection and create a completely anonymous web browsing practice with the help of Private Internet Access VPN. This software reroutes traffic through different servers, thus leaving your IP address and geolocation in disguise. Besides, it is based on a strict no-log policy, meaning that no data will be recorded, leaked, and available for both first and third parties. The combination of a secure web browser and Private Internet Access VPN will let you browse the Internet without a feeling of being spied or targeted by criminals. 

No backups? No problem. Use a data recovery tool

If you wonder how data loss can occur, you should not look any further for answers – human errors, malware attacks, hardware failures, power cuts, natural disasters, or even simple negligence. In some cases, lost files are extremely important, and many straight out panic when such an unfortunate course of events happen. Due to this, you should always ensure that you prepare proper data backups on a regular basis.

If you were caught by surprise and did not have any backups to restore your files from, not everything is lost. Data Recovery Pro is one of the leading file recovery solutions you can find on the market – it is likely to restore even lost emails or data located on an external device.

About the author
Lucia Danes
Lucia Danes - Virus researcher

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