This article has been created to explain what is the Linkey Search “virus: and how to make sure that it is fully gone from your Mac.
A very well known “virus” for Macs, called Linkey has been reported to change settings on the web browsers of victims and then display different types of advertisements and show third-party search engine (search.linkeymac.com). These types of programs are characterized by security experts as [wplinkpreview url=”https://sensorstechforum.com/remove-search-linkeymac-com-browser-hijacker/”]PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and the main idea behind them is to show different ads on your browser by changing it’s settings, including the default search page and home page. Usually such unwanted programs, like the Linkey “virus” may not be directly dangerous for your Mac. However, they may cause pop-ups, browser redirects, sponsored searchers another advertisements on your browser. These ads may lead to several unwanted websites, many of which may be of a scamming or a phishing nature. This may ultimately result in you becoming the victim of a malware attack or information theft, making Linkey as potentially harmful as a virus is. This is the main reason why you should read this article as it contains more information about how you can remove Linkey from your Mac thoroughly.
|Short Description||Linkey “virus” aims to modify the settings on your Mac’s web browser in order to get it to cause browser redirects and display different advertisements.|
|Symptoms||Your web browser begins to display various types of online advertisements, which results in slowing down of your PC.|
|Distribution Method||Bundled downloads. Web pages which may advertise it.|
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|User Experience||Join Our Forum to Discuss Linkey "Virus".|
Linkey Virus – How Did I Get It?
The main methods by which the Linkey unwanted program may spread on your Mac are the following:
- The program may come as a result of being bundled with other apps’ installers.
- The program may be added as a toolbar or any other similar add-on on your browser.
- A malware infection may have installed it on your Mac.
The most often used strategy for distribution of apps, like the Linkey browser hijacker however is to be included in the installers of third-party programs. These programs are often free and useful apps that users install often. Some of those free apps may include the Linkey “virus” to be posing as a free program which is added as an optional offer to your current install. And this “add Linkey as a free extra” install step may be hidden in the “Advanced” or “Custom” installation option, making this unwanted program thus more easy to miss.
Remove Linkey Virus from Your Mac
If you want to remove the Linkey virus from your Mac, you should follow the removal instructions underneath this article. They have been created so that they assist you in removing Linkey “virus” the most effective way. Furthermore, be advised that if you do not seem to be able to remove Linkey from your Mac, the best and most effective way that is most likely to work is to run a scan on your Mac, using a malware cleanup program. Such tool is guaranteed to be able to fix different errors and settings caused by Linkey and remove all of it’s components from your Mac plus make sure that it stays protected in real-time.
About the Linkey "Virus" Research
The content we publish on SensorsTechForum.com, this Linkey "Virus" how-to removal guide included, is the outcome of extensive research, hard work and our team’s devotion to help you remove the specific macOS issue.
How did we conduct the research on Linkey "Virus"?
Please note that our research is based on an independent investigation. We are in contact with independent security researchers, thanks to which we receive daily updates on the latest malware definitions, including the various types of Mac threats, especially adware and potentially unwanted apps (PUAs).
Furthermore, the research behind the Linkey "Virus" threat is backed with VirusTotal.
To better understand the threat posed by Mac malware, please refer to the following articles which provide knowledgeable details.
1. macOS More Susceptible to Adware and PUPs than Windows
2. XLoader Malware-as-a-Service Now Available for macOS for Only $49
3. XCSSET Mac Malware Targets Apple’s M1-Based Macs and macOS 11
4. macOS Backdoor Malware Linked to OceanLotus Hackers
5. The State of Apple’s Privacy So Far in 2021
Before starting to follow the steps below, be advised that you should first do the following preparations:
- Backup your files in case the worst happens.
- Make sure to have a device with these instructions on standy.
- Arm yourself with patience.
Step 1: Uninstall Linkey "Virus" and remove related files and objects
1. Hit the ⇧+⌘+U keys to open Utilities. Another way is to click on “Go” and then click “Utilities”, like the image below shows:
2. Find Activity Monitor and double-click it:
3. In the Activity Monitor look for any suspicious processes, belonging or related to Linkey "Virus":
4. Click on the "Go" button again, but this time select Applications. Another way is with the ⇧+⌘+A buttons.
5. In the Applications menu, look for any suspicious app or an app with a name, similar or identical to Linkey "Virus". If you find it, right-click on the app and select “Move to Trash”.
6. Select Accounts, after which click on the Login Items preference. Your Mac will then show you a list of items that start automatically when you log in. Look for any suspicious apps identical or similar to Linkey "Virus". Check the app you want to stop from running automatically and then select on the Minus (“-“) icon to hide it.
7. Remove any left-over files that might be related to this threat manually by following the sub-steps below:
- Go to Finder.
- In the search bar type the name of the app that you want to remove.
- Above the search bar change the two drop down menus to “System Files” and “Are Included” so that you can see all of the files associated with the application you want to remove. Bear in mind that some of the files may not be related to the app so be very careful which files you delete.
- If all of the files are related, hold the ⌘+A buttons to select them and then drive them to “Trash”.
In case you cannot remove Linkey "Virus" via Step 1 above:
In case you cannot find the virus files and objects in your Applications or other places we have shown above, you can manually look for them in the Libraries of your Mac. But before doing this, please read the disclaimer below:
1. Click on "Go" and Then "Go to Folder" as shown underneath:
2. Type in "/Library/LauchAgents/" and click Ok:
3. Delete all of the virus files that have similar or the same name as Linkey "Virus". If you believe there is no such file, do not delete anything.
You can repeat the same procedure with the following other Library directories:
Tip: ~ is there on purpose, because it leads to more LaunchAgents.
Step 2: Remove Linkey "Virus" – related extensions from Safari / Chrome / Firefox
Step 3: Scan for and remove Linkey "Virus" files from your Mac
When you are facing problems on your Mac as a result of unwanted scripts and programs such as Linkey "Virus", the recommended way of eliminating the threat is by using an anti-malware program. SpyHunter for Mac offers advanced security features along with other modules that will improve your Mac’s security and protect it in the future.
Quick and Easy Mac Malware Video Removal Guide
Step 4: How to Make Your Mac Run Faster?
Mac machines maintain probably the fastest operating system out there. Still, Macs do become slow and sluggish sometimes. The video guide below examines all of the possible problems that may lead to your Mac being slower than usual as well as all of the steps that can help you to speed up your Mac.
Linkey "Virus" FAQ
What is Linkey "Virus" on your Mac?
The creators of such unwanted apps work with pay-per-click schemes to get your Mac to visit risky or different types of websites that may generate them funds. This is why they do not even care what types of websites show up on the ads. This makes their unwanted software indirectly risky for your MacOS.
Can my Mac get a virus?
Yes. As much as any other device, Apple computers do get viruses. Apple devices may not be a frequent target by malware authors, but rest assured that the following Apple devices can become infected with a virus:
- Mac Mini
- Macbook Air
- Macbook Pro
What are the symptoms of Linkey "Virus" on your Mac?
There are several symptoms to look for when this particular threat and also most Mac threats in general are active:
Symptom #1: Your Mac may become slow and has poor performance in general.
Symtpom #2: You have toolbars, add-ons or extensions on your web browsers that you don't remember adding.
Symptom #3: You see all types of ads, like ad-supported search results, pop-ups and redirects to randomly appear.
Symptom #4: You see installed apps on your Mac running automatically and you do not remember installing them.
Symptom #5: You see suspicious processes running in your Mac's Activity Monitor.
If you see one or more of those symptoms, then security experts reccomend that you check your Mac for viruses.
What types of Mac threats are there?
According to most malware researchers and cyber-security experts, the threats that can currently infect your Mac can be the following types:
- Rogue Antivirus programs.
- Adware and hijackers.
- Trojan horses and other spyware.
- Ransomware and screen-lockers.
- Cryptocurrency miner malware.
What to do if I have a Mac virus, like Linkey "Virus"?
Do not panic! You can easily get rid of most Mac threats by firstly isolating them and then removing them. One reccomended way to do that is by using a reputable malware removal software that can take care of the removal automatically for you. There are many Mac anti-malware apps out there that you can choose from. SpyHunter for Mac is one of the reccomended Mac anti-malware apps, that can scan for free and detect any viruses, tracking cookies and unwanted adware apps plus take care of them quickly. This saves time for manual removal that you would otherwise have to do.
How to secure my passwords and other data from Linkey "Virus"?
With few simple actions. First and foremost, it is imperative that you follow these steps:
Step 1: Find a safe computer and connect it to another network, not the one that your Mac was infected in.
Step 2: Change all of your passwords, starting from your e-mail passwords.
Step 3: Enable two-factor authentication for protection of your important accounts.
Step 4: Call your bank to change your credit card details (secret code, etc.) if you have saved your credit card for online shopping or have done online activiites with your card.
Step 5: Make sure to call your ISP (Internet provider or carrier) and ask them to change your IP address.
Step 6: Change your Wi-Fi password.
Step 7: (Optional): Make sure to scan all of the devices connected to your network for viruses and repeat these steps for them if they are affected.
Step 8: Install anti-malware software with real-time protection on every device you have.
Step 9: Try not to download software from sites you know nothing about and stay away from low-reputation websites in general.
If you follow these reccomendations, your network and Apple devices will become significantly more safe against any threats or information invasive software and be virus free and protected in the future too.
More tips you can find on our MacOS Virus section, where you can also ask any questions and comment about your Mac problems.