Today’s article is focused on InfoLinks. If you are reading this then I am sure you’d like InfoLinks quickly removed from your computer – and the removal guide at the bottom will do that just fine. However, please take a few additional minutes to read through the rest. Familiarizing yourself with how InfoLinks operates can help you spot and defend against similar threads in the future!
A quick glance at InfoLinks
InfoLinks belongs to a whole family of viruses dubbed Adware. The name is derived from the way it operates – by generating a large quantity of unwanted advertisements. Besides the usual offers for good deals and discounts you may also see some of the following:
- Downloads for programs updates
- Error messages about missing plug-ins
- Unable to see some videos unless you install a specific video player
- Offers for free programs (maybe even anti-malware)
REMEMBER! Everything that comes through InfoLinks is likely a scam of some sort. Adware like InfoLinks will aim at some of the following things:
- Generate views for someone and waste your time
- Entice you into spending money
- Install malware on your computer
In fact the ads will often be not even real and will link to some random site. They are generated by the virus on your own computer and targeted at your interests (InfoLinks will read your browsing&search history and try to “understand” you). There is also a good chance that your computer may be working slower then usual, because InfoLinks is using its resources to create those ads.
Some insight on how your PC was infected
First and foremost its important to understand that InfoLinks and similar Adware targets the human factor and not system vulnerabilities. This means that you likely installed it yourself, thinking you were installing something else entirely. Learning to spot suspicious files comes with experience, but they are a few very common methods used by Adware listed below:
- Hiding within another program’s installer – many programs offer additional installations with its installation package beside the main thing. Often, especially with freeware programs, these extras will contain adware. Fortunately most installers also give you control over what is installed – that is as long as you chose the advanced/expert installation option. It is a good idea to always go with it and deny installation on any extra utility you don’t really need or seems suspicious to you.
- Copy-cat download/torrent sites – many may appears legitimate, but they are not. What they do is they copy what you’ve typed into the search bar and generate a temp file with that exact same name. This nets them a 100% match and high visibility by search engines. Be wary of such files – easiest way to recognize them is to look at the file extension. A virus file will end with .exe or there will be an .exe file within an archive. DO NOT install .exe files unless you are sure you are installing something legitimate.
How to Remove InfoLinks
Our first step here is a reboot in Windows Safe Mode. If you already know how to do it, just skip this and proceed to Step 2. If you do not know how to do it, continue reading:
For Windows 98, XP, Millenium and 7 Users:
Restart your computer. To be sure you don’t miss the window of time when you need to press it, just spam F8 as soon as the PC starts booting. In the new menu, choose Safe Mode With Networking.
Proceed to Step 2.
For Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 Users:
Press the Windows Key and R at the same time. Select the Boot tab in the new window that appears.
Then check the Safe Boot option and click OK. Click Restart in the new pop-up.
Proceed to Step 2.
For OS X Users:
When you Mac is turned off, press the Power Button. After you hear the Startup Sound, immediately press and hold the Shift key until the Apple logo appears.
Proceed to Step 2.
InfoLinks has infected ALL of your browsers. Apply the steps separately for each one.
For Internet Explorer Users:
Open IE, then click —–> Manage Add-ons.
Find InfoLinks . Disable it.
If your Home Page is different from the usual, click —–> Internet Options>edit the URL box with your preferred search engine, and click Apply.
For Mozilla Firefox Users:
Open Firefox, click on (top right) ——-> Add-ons.
Hit Extensions next.
InfoLinks should be somewhere around here – Remove it.
For Google Chrome Users:
Start Chrome, click —–>More Tools —–> Extensions.
In Extensions, find the virus and select .
Click again, and proceed to Settings —> Search (the fourth tab), select Manage Search Engines. Remove anything but the search engines you normally use.
For Safari Users:
Open Safari, and click Safari —–>Preferences —–> Extensions—–>Uninstall the malware.
(Works for Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1)
You are now in the Control Panel. Search around for InfoLinks and anything else suspicious-looking. Uninstall it/them. Also, be extremely careful. Viruses often spend one last ditch effort to trick you into installing more of their kind. If you see a screen like this when you click Uninstall, choose NO:
This is perhaps the most important and difficult step, so be extremely careful. Open the Task Manager by right clicking on the Taskbar and choosing Start Task Manager.
Once it opens, choose the Processes Tab. Look at all of the processes in front of you and try to determine which ones are a virus. Google them or ask us in the comments and we will provide the best assistance we can. If the virus returns later on after you supposedly removed it, the reason is that you missed something here.
Right click on each of the virus processes separately and select Open File Location. Also, End the process after you open the folder. Just to make sure we don’t delete any programs you mistakenly took for a virus, copy the folders somewhere, then delete the directories you were sent to.
STEP 5 – Optimization
And that’s it. Well done for removing InfoLinks. We’ve prepared a short and sweet optimization guide, specifically designed for users who just removed a virus. It is completely free, you do not need to download anything, and it’s not very time consuming. If you are interested, you can check it out here.