Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update



A browser-hijacking program called Linkey has recently been reported to cause numerous issues with popular browsers like Safari, Chrome, Firefox and others. This program falls into the group of potentially unwanted programs (PUP) since it may impose some rather intrusive browser changes (homepage or search engine replacements, new toolbar installations) and may redirect the users’ searches without their permission.

The developers of Linkey “Virus” advertise it as a useful tool that combines many browsing enhancing features in an easy-to-use interface. However, it looks like some of the users see it as annoying software that interrupts their normal browsing activity with a never-ending stream of annoying redirects, ads, pop-ups, banners, and links. To avoid the nagging pop-up ads and to bring your favorite browser settings back to normal, our experts recommend you uninstall Linkey “Virus” and remove all of its toolbars and components. In the guide below, you can find more details about the effective elimination of the potentially unwanted software as well as some useful information about its behavior.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Linkey Browser Redirect

Linkey “Virus” is the reason why many users suffer from a steady influx of third-party ads, annoying redirects to sponsored web pages, system delays, and other inconveniences!

If you recently installed some free software from the Internet and observed the above-described inconveniences in your browser, you probably have accidentally installed a browser hijacker called Linkey “Virus” along with the installation package of the program you desire. Such software is commonly found for free on the web and its primary usage is to advertise. The activity of the browser hijacker does not aim to cause damage to your system and is not related to the malicious capabilities of real viruses such as Trojans, Ransomware, Spyware, and others. Its main purpose is to bring traffic and clicks for certain sponsored sites. In most of the cases, the developers of the hijacker include it in Pay-Per-Click or Pay-Per-View campaigns to earn some money from the clicks on the displayed ads.

Unlike real viruses, which are definitely created to do some sort of fraud or theft, Linkey “Virus” is not itself a malicious program. However, it engages in various dubious activities in the background of your system and tries to trick you into clicking on sketchy ads and sites. For this reason, many people prefer to uninstall it. It’s activity can be briefly described in the following way. Once it enters the computer, the hijacker can integrate with Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, or any other browsing program, and install new components, toolbars, search engines and homepages on each of them. As a result, the performance of these web browsers may significantly decrease. The hijacker may use the system resources to receive, collect, and share information about the users’ browsing habits. After collecting enough information, it may send it to remote control servers and use it to generate customized ads. For example, if you’ve recently searched for the best holiday offers, you might expect pop-up ads with cheap flights, hotels and more. It looks useful, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, not all, but some of the content, generated by Linkey “Virus”, may be misleading and may eventually redirect users to predefined web pages or insecure sites. Since nobody knows if the advertised web pages are safe because the hijacker partners may not be selected or monitored, we strongly recommend that you avoid interaction with the sites, pop-ups and links, suggested by the hijacker. To prevent this program from spoiling your browsing or accidentally redirecting you to a website full of viruses, Trojans, Ransomware and other security hazards, we advise you to use a professional malware removal tool or the instructions in the guide below to remove it.

How to prevent browser hijackers from getting inside your system?

Browser hijackers like Linkey “Virus” typically infect the systems along with other free software. You should know that most of the free programs that are advertised on different third-party sites are grouped (aka bundled) with “optional download programs,” as free software makers earn money that way. Although “bundling” is not considered an illegal marketing and distribution method, it is nowadays mainly used for spreading potentially unwanted programs. Therefore, you should be very careful when downloading and installing free software from the Internet. Avoid Suggested and Fast Settings because they are usually programmed to install the optional default components. Instead, choose the Advanced or Custom Settings as they reveal all available checkboxes, including those that offer the installation of additional downloads. If you notice statements claiming that you are installing plug-ins, add-ons, toolbars, or extensions, uncheck them without any hesitation. Otherwise, you may end up with another browser hijacker or potentially unwanted program on your computer.


Name Linkey
Type Browser Hijacker
Danger Level Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Symptoms  Unauthorized changes in your browsers’ homepage or search engine, generation of ads, pop-ups and intrusive banners, page redirects.
Distribution Method Software bundles are the most common source of this software, but you may also find it in spam messages, ads, free download links from the web, email attachments, torrents, shareware sites. 
Detection Tool

How to Uninstall Linkey “Virus”

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

The first thing you need to do is to Quit Safari (if it is opened). If you have trouble closing it normally, you may need to Force Quit Safari:

You can choose the Apple menu and click on Force Quit.

Alternatively you can simultaneously press (the Command key situated next to the space bar), Option (the key right next to it) and Escape (the key located at the upper left corner of your keyboard).

If you have done it right a dialog box titled Force Quit Applications will open up.

In this new dialog window select Safari, then press the Force Quit button, then confirm with Force Quit again.

Close the dialog box/window.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update


Start Activity Monitor by opening up Finder, then proceed to Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Once there, look at all the processes: if you believe any of them are hijacking your results, or are part of the problem, highlight the process with your mouse, then click the “i” button at the top. This will open up the following box:

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Now click on Sample at the bottom:

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Do this for all processes you believe are part of the threat, and run any suspicious files in our online virus scanner, then delete the malicious files:

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update
Drag and Drop Files Here to Scan
Maximum file size: 128MB.

This scanner is free and will always remain free for our website's users. You can find its full-page version at:

Scan Results

Virus Scanner Result
Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 UpdateClamAV
Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 UpdateAVG AV
Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 UpdateMaldet

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

The next step is to safely launch Safari again. Press and hold the Shift key while relaunching Safari. This will prevent Safari’s previously opened pages from loading again. Once Safari is opened up, you can release the Shift key.

On the off chance that you are still having trouble with scripts interrupting the closing of unwanted pages in Safari, you may need to take some additional measures.

First, Force Quit Safari again.

Now if you are using a Wi-Fi connection turn it off by selecting Wi-Fi off in you Mac’s Menu. If you are using a cable internet (Ethernet connection), disconnect the Ethernet cable.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Re-Launch Safari but don’t forget to press and hold the Shift button while doing it, so no previous pages can be opened up. Now, Click on Preferences in the Safari menu,

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

and then again on the Extensions tab,

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Select and Uninstall any extensions that you don’t recognize by clicking on the Uninstall button. If you are not sure and don’t want to take any risks you can safely uninstall all extensions, none are required for normal system operation.
Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

The threat has likely infected all of your browsers. The instructions below need to be applied for all browsers you are using.

Again select Preferences in the Safari Menu, but this time click on the Privacy tab,
Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Now click on Remove All Website Data, confirm with Remove Now. Keep in mind that after you do this all stored website data will be deleted. You will need to sign-in again for all websites that require any form of authentication.

Still in the Preferences menu, hit the General tab

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Check if your Homepage is the one you have selected, if not change it to whatever you prefer.
Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

Select the History menu this time, and click on Clear History. This way you will prevent accidentally opening a problematic web page again.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update How to Remove Linkey “Virus” From Firefox in OSX:

Open Firefoxclick on Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update (top right) ——-> Add-onsHit Extensions next.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

The problem should be lurking somewhere around here –  Remove it. Then Refresh Your Firefox Settings.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 UpdateHow to Remove Linkey “Virus” From Chrome in OSX:

 Start Chrome, click Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update —–>More Tools —–> Extensions. There,  find the malware and  select  Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update.

Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update

 Click Remove Linkey “Virus” from Mac (What is Linkey?) Dec. 2019 Update again, and proceed to Settings —> Search, the fourth tab, select Manage Search Engines.  Delete everything but the search engines you normally use. After that Reset Your Chrome Settings.

If the guide doesn’t help, download the anti-virus program we recommended or try our free online virus scanner. Also, you can always ask us in the comments for help!


About the author


Lidia Howler

Lidia is a web content creator with years of experience in the cyber-security sector. She helps readers with articles on malware removal and online security. Her strive for simplicity and well-researched information provides users with easy-to-follow It-related tips and step-by-step tutorials.

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