Written by Tomas Meskauskas
Damage level: Medium
LinkSwift removal instructions
LinkSwift is a potentially unwanted application distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling'. This browser add-on installs together with free software downloaded from the Internet and is compatible with Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. It claims to enhance users' Internet browsing experience by displaying coupon ads, website ratings, and by adding other features, which supposedly "make your time on the web worthwhile". Note that while such added functionality may seem legitimate, many computer users refer to LinkSwift as a virus or malware. These negative associations are made since Internet users often install LinkSwift inadvertently without their consent. Furthermore, this browser plug-in generates various intrusive ads.
After successful browser infiltration, LinkSwift generates coupon ads, search ads, and pop-up ads. Be aware that clicking on these advertisements is not recommended as they may lead to serious security and privacy issues. This browser plug-in is not a virus or malware, however, it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application or adware, and therefore, you are advised to remove it from your system.
LinkSwift is similar to other potentially unwanted applications marketed using free software downloads, including DiamonData, Web Layers, BrowseFox, and many others. At time of testing this adware, it was bundled together with VLC media player. Note that VLC is an open source program and is not associated with any adware. Deceptive free software download websites exploit the popularity of this free program in order to proliferate adware and generate revenue from Internet users who fall for such trickery and go on to install potentially unwanted browser add-on on their computers. To be safe when downloading VLC, or any other popular free program, use the official developers' websites. Today, the majority of free software download websites use 'download clients', which often promote installation of free browser add-ons. In many cases, these download clients are deceptive and do not display the 'decline' button prominently (a button allowing the user to opt-out of the installation of promoted software). To avoid installation of unwanted browser add-ons, be attentive when dealing with freeware downloads. A strong indication of the presence of LinkSwift are "LinkSwift Ads" and "Powered by LinkSwift" advertisements when browsing the Internet. To eliminate this browser extension, follow the removal instructions provided.
Windows 7 users:
Click "Start" ("Windows Logo" in the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose "Control Panel". Locate "Programs and Features".
Windows XP users:
Click "Start", choose "Settings" and click "Control Panel". Locate and click "Add or Remove Programs". Locate "Programs and Features".
Windows 8 users:
Right-click in the screen’s bottom-left corner, select Control Panel. In the opened window choose "Uninstall a Program".
In the uninstall programs window, look for "LinkSwift", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling LinkSwift, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
Remove LinkSwift from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove LinkSwift from Internet Explorer:
Click "Tools" (or the gear icon in Internet Explorer 9), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "LinkSwift" and disable it.
If you continue to have problems with removal of LinkSwift, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click "Start", click "Run", in the opened window type "inetcpl.cpl". In the opened window click the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type "inetcpl.cpl" and click enter. In the opened window click the "Advanced" tab, then click Reset.
Remove LinkSwift from Google Chrome:
Click on the wrench or bars icon (top right of the screen), select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "LinkSwift", select it and click the trash can icon.
If the LinkSwift extension is greyed-out and you cannot remove it ("This extension is managed and cannot be removed of disabled"), follow this removal guide - how to remove a managed Google Chrome extension?
Remove LinkSwift from Mozilla FireFox:
Click "Tools" (at the top of the window), select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and disable this add-on: "LinkSwift".
If you have problems with the removal of LinkSwift, reset your Mozilla FireFox settings to default.
Open Mozilla FireFox, at the top left corner of the main window click "FireFox", in the opened drop down menu choose Help and then click on Troubleshooting Information, in the opened window click the "Reset FireFox" button.
LinkSwift Ads is an adware program that tracks user's Internet browsing and generates intrusive online advertisements. Most commonly adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate user's Internet browsers through free software downloads. Internet users should know that nowadays most of free software download websites are using download clients to manage their freeware download process, unfortunately some of the mentioned download clients don't properly disclose the fact that advertised browser plugins or toolbars will be installed together with the free program that users have decided to download.
Download clients and installers that are used to distribute adware commonly hide the “decline” button that can be used to opt-out of installing the advertised potentially unwanted applications. Some of the malicious free software download websites doesn't allow to download the chosen freeware if users decide to decline the installation of promoted software. Notice that the safest source for downloading free software is it's developers website. Screenshot of the free software download clients that are used in LinkSwift Ads distribution:
To avoid installation of LinkSwift Ads be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. If your download is managed by a download client be sure to decline installation of promoted browser plug-ins and toolbars:
When installing the already downloaded free program choose “custom” or “advanced” installation options – this step will reveal all of the potentially unwanted applications that are being installed together with your chosen free program:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove LinkSwift Ads from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.