What kind of application is External Links Tool?
We discovered the External Links Tool application after using an installer downloaded from a deceptive website, claiming that a browser extension may be outdated. After analyzing this app, we found that it generates ads (it functions as adware). Although, it is described as a tool that examines external links of domains.
External Links Tool in detail
While External Links Tool was present (added to our browser), it generated various advertisements. Those ads were promoting questionable websites and applications. It is important to mention that adware can generate ads used to promote various scams and other untrustworthy pages or even designed to cause unwanted downloads/installations.
Another problem with adware is that it can function as a browser hijacker - it can change the settings of a web browser. In such cases, adware/browser hijacker forces users to visit a certain address/use a fake search engine. It also keeps its settings unchangeable as long as it is present.
|Name||Ads by External Links Tool|
|Symptoms||Your computer becomes slower than normal, you see unwanted pop-up ads, you are redirected to dubious websites.|
|Distribution methods||Deceptive pop-up ads, free software installers (bundling), fake Flash Player installers, torrent file downloads.|
|Damage||Internet browser tracking (potential privacy issues), display of unwanted ads, redirects to dubious websites, loss of private information.|
|Malware Removal (Windows)||
To eliminate possible malware infections, scan your computer with legitimate antivirus software. Our security researchers recommend using Combo Cleaner.
More about adware
Adware can be capable of collecting browsing-related and even sensitive information such as passwords, credit card details, etc. Depending on the gathered data, it may be misused to steal identities, hijack online accounts, make fraudulent purchases, etc.
How did adware install on my computer?
External Links Tool is distributed via a deceptive website, suggesting that an extension installed on a browser might be outdated. Another page used to promote this adware claims that its installation is recommended. It is very common for adware to be distributed via fake/deceptive installers. Also, adware can often be found bundled with other software. It is included in downloaders or installers as an extra offer.
Adware gets installed alongside other software when users install that software without changing "Advanced", "Custom", or other settings provided in the installer. Sometimes, adware gets downloaded or installed after clicking on an advertisement designed to run certain scripts.
How to avoid installation of unwanted applications?
Always check downloaders and installers that have ticked checkboxes or settings like "Custom", "Advanced", and deselect unwanted apps before finishing downloads and installations. Use official pages and direct links as sources for downloading files and software.
Do not trust advertisements displayed on pages related to adult dating, gambling, and similar sites. The same applies to fake "Download" or similar buttons. They can cause unwanted downloads/installations and open malicious sites. If your computer is already infected with rogue applications, we recommend running a scan with Combo Cleaner Antivirus for Windows to automatically eliminate them.
Official page used to promote External Links Tool:
Deceptive pages used to promote External Links Tool:
Instant automatic malware removal:
Manual threat removal might be a lengthy and complicated process that requires advanced IT skills. Combo Cleaner is a professional automatic malware removal tool that is recommended to get rid of malware. Download it by clicking the button below:
- What is External Links Tool?
- STEP 1. Uninstall adware using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove rogue plug-ins from Google Chrome.
- STEP 3. Remove adware-type extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove malicious extensions from Safari.
- STEP 5. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for any unwanted applications, select these entries and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling the unwanted application, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.
Remove adware from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "More tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "External Links Tool", and other suspicious browser add-ons and remove them.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by external links tool, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins.
Computer users who have problems with ads by external links tool removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the ads by external links tool, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What harm can adware cause?
In most cases, adware affects computer performance (a computer operates slower while adware is present), diminishes the Internet browsing experience. In some cases, software of this type can invade privacy.
What does adware do?
Adware generates pop-ups, banners, coupons, or other types of advertisements. Additionally, it can hijack a web browser and gather information about its user.
How do adware developers generate revenue?
Typically, they use adware to promote various websites, services, products. The most popular way to monetize adware is to use affiliate programs.
Will Combo Cleaner remove External Links Tool adware?
Yes, Combo Cleaner will scan your computer and remove adware from the operating system/browser. It is often difficult to remove adware manually because its components remain in the system even when adware itself is no longer present/installed. Apps like Combo Cleaner removes adware and other unwanted software without leaving any leftovers.