Have you recently noticed that your browser is behaving strangely and is aggressively broadcasting different ads, pop-ups, banners and sudden page-redirect links all over your screen? If yes, then most probably your computer has been invaded by a special type of software known as Browser hijacker. The Browser hijackers are applications which tend to latch onto popular browsers (such as Chrome, Firefox, Explorer or other browsing programs) and try to spam them with different commercial messages and to promote certain websites, tools, services or products on the PC screen while you are browsing. In order to do that, most of these applications tend to install some new homepage domains, toolbars or search engine components inside your default browsing program which, once you begin to use, will start to redirect you to some sponsored ads or web locations. Linkangood.com could be seen as an example of an application which operates in the above-described way, thus, we can call it a Browser hijacker. According to the reports of some users, this application is a source of difficult-to-remove ads and undesired browser changes. In the next paragraphs, you can read more about this software and the methods you can use to deal with it. How difficult to handle and how dangerous could a Browser hijacker like Linkangood.com be? Let’s find out.
Linkangood.com – a security threat or a mere browsing irritation?
Applications such as Linkangood.com, www1.ecleneue.com, Site-great.xyz are commonly encountered all over the Internet – mostly in different software bundles, free download links, torrent sites, shareware or freeware platforms and inside spam messages. These pieces of software can easily become part of your system and add themselves to any browser if you skip the customization options of the installer that contains them. The moment they get installed, they usually start messing with the browsing settings (aka hijacking your browser) in order to be able to initiate automatic page redirects and to generate various aggressive ads. These applications may also replace your default search engine or homepage domain with some other sponsored tools and force you to use them even though you have never agreed to that. Naturally, such changes and possible redirect processes may seriously interfere with the way you normally surf the web and may easily lead to irritation and frustration for the time they are active. What is more, you may not have the chance to reverse the newly imposed settings and get your browser back to normal unless you fully uninstall the source of the unpleasant activities.
From what we’ve just said above, you may easily conclude that having Linkangood.com or a similar application on your PC might not be the nicest thing. However, despite being an annoying Browser hijacker, this type of software is not as dangerous as a real virus: a Ransomware infection or a Trojan horse threat are definitely more problematic types of software than a hijacker. Compared to the awfully malicious pieces of software that we’ve just mentioned, Linkangood.com is just a mere browsing irritation. Normally the browser hijacker is not a tool for system corruption and is not created to perform criminal deeds of any kind. Its purpose is to advertise and to promote certain sponsored links, websites and offers on your screen while you are browsing. Such an activity could be annoying but certainly cannot damage anything on your computer. In fact, there is no law or regulation which forbids the online advertising methods that the browser hijackers employ. Practically, they are legal tools that serve the needs of the online marketing industry. If you have a close encounter with a malware from the rank of a Trojan horse or a Ransomware cryptovirus, however, you will definitely have to deal with some serious consequences – something that’s much more unpleasant than a simple ads invasion on your screen.
Why are applications like Linkangood.com referred to as potentially unwanted?
Despite not having the harmful abilities of a real virus, the browser hijackers are commonly referred to as potentially unwanted. Most reputed security experts would generally advise you to uninstall applications like Linkangood.com and remove their ads and homepage or search engine components instead of keeping them on the computer. But why is that if they are not that dangerous? Well, as you may already know, most hijackers can be very bothering and irritating. They may prevent you from surfing the web effectively by constantly redirecting your actual searches to some sponsored advertising materials and unfamiliar web locations which may not be related to what you are looking for. What is more, such applications may try to serve the marketing needs of their developers by collecting data about your search queries and trying to analyze your online behavior. Additionally, by forcing you to click on randomly displayed third-party links, pop-ups or ads of questionable origin, the hijackers may contribute to your exposure to potential security hazards. For these reasons, we also would advise our readers to consider uninstalling applications like Linkangood.com from their system. Besides, having all the nagging ads and browser changes removed will allow you to restore your normal browser settings.
Medium (nowhere near threats like Ransomware, but still a security risk)
Automatic page-redirects and annoying ads, pop-ups and banners may disturb your normal web surfing.
This program may be installed from a program bundle, a free download, an automatic setup pack, torrent, ad, spam.
The following guide is only for windows users, it will help our readers get rid of the unpleasant Linkangood.com software. Follow the instructions and complete each step for best results. If you have any questions, feel free to ask them using our comment section down below.
Preparation: Entering Safe Mode and Revealing Hidden Files and Folders
Before you proceed with the actual removal instructions, you will need to take two extra steps in order to ensure that the guide has maximum effect.
For best results, we advise our readers to boot into Safe Mode prior to attempting to remove Linkangood.com. If you do not know how to do that, here is a separate How to Enter Safe Modeguide.
Also, in order to be able to see any potentially undesirable files, you should reveal any hidden files and folders on your PC – here is how to do that.
Removing Linkangood.com From Windows
Step 1: Checking the Task Manager
Before we start deleting files related to Linkangood.com we want to make sure that all services related to the viruses are killed before we proceed.
Open your Task Manager by using the Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys and go to the Processes tab. Look for any suspicious processes. For example, any unfamiliar process that uses high amounts of RAM and/or CPU. If you aren’t sure if a certain process comes from malware, tell us in the comments.
Right-click on any process that you consider shady and select Open File Location. Delete anything from the file location of the process.
Step 2: Disabling Startup programs
Use the Winkey + R keyboard combination to open the Run search bar and type msconfig. Hit Enter and in the newly opened window, go to the Startup tab. There, look for suspicious entries with unknown manufacturer or ones that have the name Linkangood.com on them. Right-click on those, and select disable.
Step 3: Uninstalling unwanted programs
Go to Start Menu > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program. Click on Installed On to sort the entries by date from most recent to oldest and look through the programs that come at the top of the list. Right-click on any entries that appear shady and unwanted and then select Uninstall to remove them from your PC. If you see the name Linkangood.com in the list of programs, be sure to remove the software without hesitation.
Step 4: Checking for shady IP’s
Open your Start Menu and copy-paste notepad %windir%/system32/Drivers/etc/hosts in the search bar. In the notepad file, look below Localhost and see if there are any IP addresses there. If there are some, send them to us in the comments and we will tell you if you should take any action.
You will also have to uninstall any undesirable browser extensions from your browser programs. Here’s how to do that for some of the more popular browsers:
Getting rid of Linkangood.com from Chrome
Open Chrome and open its main menu. Go to More Tools > Extensions. Look through the list of extensions and uninstall any that you think could be suspicious. To remove them – click on the trash can icon next to each extension.
You can also use a specialized Chrome CleanUp tool if you cannot manually remove a certain extension. Here is an article where you can learn more about the CleanUp tool.
Removing Linkangood.com From Firefox
Open Firefox and go to its Menu. Select the Add-ons button.From the left panel, select Extensions and take a look at the different entries. Remove any of the that might be unwanted.
Removing Linkangood.com From Windows Internet Explorer
Once you open your IE browser, click on the Tools button at the top-right corner of the program and from the drop-down menu select Manage Add-ons. Check each one of the four different groups of add-ons and search for anything that seems undesirable. If you find anything, click on it and them select Remove.
Removing Linkangood.com From Windows Edge
Open the main menu of Microsoft Edge and go to Extensions. Find the extensions that you believe could be unwanted and right-click on them. Then, select Uninstall.
Step 6: Checking the Registry Editor
Open the Run search bar again and type regedit in it. Hit Enter and once the Registry Editor opens press Ctrl + F. In the search field type Linkangood.com and click on Find Next. Tell us in the comments if any results came up when you searched for Linkangood.com in your PC’s Registry.
Step 7: Deleting recent entries
For this step, you will have to open your Start Menu and copy-paste the following lines, one by one:
Hit Enter after each one to open a file directory. In the directories, delete the most recent entries that you find there. In the Temp folder, delete all files.
Step 8: System Restore
In order to be fully sure that the unwanted software has been removed from your machine, you can also try using a Restore Point to roll back your system its last stable configuration. However, in order to do that, you would have to previously had had a restore point created. On most systems, such points get created automatically but this isn’t always the case.
If you want to learn how to configure System Restore and how to manually create Restore Points, follow this link.
Open your Start Menu and type System Restore.
Click on the first result – a setup wizard should open.
Read the brief description of the process and select Next.
Now, choose a restore from the presented list. You can also check the Show more restore points option in order to reveal any other restore points that might be saved on your PC.
Click on Scan for affected programs to see what programs will get deleted or restored after you use the Restore Point. (optional)
Click on next and take and then select Finish.
A warning window will appear telling you that once the process starts, it shouldn’t be interrupted. Select Yes and be patient as this might take some time. Do not do anything on your PC throughout the duration of the process.
Step 9: Windows Refresh/Reset
Use this method only if nothing else has worked so far as it is a last resort option. If you do not know how to do it, this separate guide will give you the information that you need.
Daniel Sadakov has a degree in Information Technology and specializes in web and mobile cyber security. He harbors a strong detestation for anything and everything malicious and has committed his resources and time to battling all manners of web and mobile threats. He has founded MobileSecurityZone.com, a website dedicated to covering the top tech stories and providing useful tips for the everyday user, in an effort to reach and help more people.