Linkey virus (www.linkeyproject.com)
The Linkey virus (also found as Linkey Project virus, Linkeyproject virus, www.linkeyproject.com redirect virus, Linkey Toolbar, Linkey by Aztec Media Inc., etc.; though not technically a computer virus) is potential malware categorized as a browser hijacker and spyware that downloads and installs to a Microsoft Windows computer and attaches to popular internet browsers including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Microsoft Internet Explorer as a browser add-on, browser helper object (BHO), and extension with or without user consent.
The Linkey add-on and extension titled is used to promote the Linkey Search Engine (Linkeyproject.com) and default-search.net. The Linkey virus changes internet browser settings including the home page (start page), default browser search engine (managed, provided), and new browser tab settings causing unwanted browser redirections to Linkeyproject.com, Yahoo.com, search.conduit.com, and other websites.
Once Linkey Software such as Linkey and Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc. and is installed the applications will begin to reformat existing internet browser settings and will use tactics to collect sensitive user information including data manually submitted online such as your full name, home address, telephone number, email address, browser activity and history, and more. Linkey malware may also use techniques to collect purchase information or persuade victims to purchase non-beneficial software via search results and third-party adware applications that may have bundled with Linkey software.
The Linkey browser extension for Google Chrome has permission to access all the data on your computer and the websites you visit and access your tabs and browsing activity.
If spyware alike Linkey and Linkey Settings Manager by Aztec Media Inc. is installed on your computer and attached to your internet browser you are at risk of cyber crimes involving credit theft, extortion, identity theft, and more. Though these crimes are rare given the initial scenario, this particular category of malware leaves users at a higher risk.
The Linkey Project Search Engine (linkeyproject.com) and other search engines used display sponsored search results from Yahoo.com, bing.com, conduit.com, and others, and are not considered a legitimate standalone search engines.
How does Linkey malware get onto a computer?
Linkey software and other items used to promote the Linkey Project redirect virus can be manually and voluntarily installed from a variety of questionable websites including Download.com and Softonic. Linkey often bundles with suspicious third-party freeware and shareware.
Some users are given the opportunity to accept or decline an offer to install Linkey and change their home page and search engine to the Linkey Project website; However, the request to decline the offer is often ignored or represented in a confusing manner and Linkey software downloads and installs without direct permission.
If Linkey malware is installed, there is likely additional third-party potential malware on your computer system. Linkey and other applications primarily bundle with third-party items without user consent or knowledge.
How to remove the Linkey virus
- Automatically remove Linkey - Scan for and automatically remove Linkey and third-party malware
- Manually remove Linkey - Remove/Uninstall Linkey and third-party malware (if necessary)
- For Tech Support - Call 1-888-986-8411 and they will kindly assist you with removing this infection
1. Automatic Linkey virus removal
Use the instructions below to automatically remove Linkey and third-party malware, as well as automatically remove unwanted search engines from your installed internet browsers.
We highly recommend writing down the toll free number below in case you run into any issues or problems while following the instructions. Our techs will kindly assist you with any problems.
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1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, make sure to do so.
3. On the first tab labeled “Scanner” select the Perform full scan option and click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting the computer system.
4. Once the malware scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a notice stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected) or click the Delete button to remove quarantined files.
CCleaner can be used to automatically repair internet browser settings startup up settings, and uninstall the Linkey hijacker and associated third-party software.
1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform.
2. Once installed, open the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found.
4. To automatically uninstall Linkey by Aztec Media Inc. (Settings Manager, etc.) and other unwanted programs, navigate to the Uninstall tab and search for Linkey in the list of installed programs. Uninstall the unwanted software as selected by clicking the Run Uninstaller button.
2. Manual Linkey virus removal
Use the instructions below to manually uninstall Linkey and third-party software using generic Microsoft Windows removal procedures.
How to uninstall Linkey (by Aztec Media Inc.)
1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.
2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program.
3. In the list of installed programs search for Linkey by Aztec Media Inc. (or other Publisher) and other potentially unwanted software such as Settings Manager that often installs with Linkey. Once located, double click the unwanted programs or highlight them in the list and click the Uninstall button.
4. A window may appear that says “You may not have the necessary permissions to use all the features of the program you are about to run. You may run this program as a different user or continue to run the program as the current user.” You can do as the window says, use the current user to remove the program (which is recommended) or enter the admin password to uninstall Linkey software.
How to remove Linkey add-ons and extensions
Use the instructions to remove Linkey add-ons, extensions, plug-ins, and additional toolbars. Please note, it will be necessary to remove multiple third-party items.
1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions.
2. Search for the Linkey extension and remove it by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the Linkey add-on and remove it.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.
2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the Linkey add-on and remove it if located.
How to remove Linkey Project Search Engine
It may be necessary to remove default-search.net.
- In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove the Linkey Project search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove the Linkey Project search engine from the list.
- In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to the Linkey Project search engine to remove it.
Please note, If http://www.linkeyproject.com/ (etc.) is set as Google Chrome’s default search engine, add (or select) a new search engine (such as Google.com) and select the new search engine as the default search engine, then remove the unwanted search engine by clicking the X next to it.
How to remove Linkey Project Homepage
It may be necessary to remove default-search.net.
- In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove Linkey Project from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove Linkey Project from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
- In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings.Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove Linkey Project and replace it with your preferred URL.