Danger level:  
  (10/100)

Swagbucks. How to delete? (Removal tutorial)

removal by Jake Doevan - - | Type: Browser Plugins

Swagbucks is a potentially unwanted program which usually affects Mac OS devices

Swagbucks toolbar

Swagbucks is a toolbar that falls into the category of potentially unwanted programs (PUPs). Researchers warn that it mostly targets to infect Mac OS computers and spreads via bogus ads on Facebook. Once installed, it alters browser settings and redirects people to a fraudulent search engine during daily browsing sessions. 

Name Swagbucks
Type Potentially unwanted program (PUP)
Targets Mac OS
Danger level  Medium
Distribution  It can infect the computer via bogus Facebook ad or travel inside the software-bundle
Symptoms It changes new tab URL, default search directory and homepage. Also, users are redirected to unreliable sites and receive an excessive amount of ads
Removal  Experts suggest using Reimage to uninstall Swagbucks safely

Usually, experts receive questions asking is Swagbucks safe since people cannot find trustworthy information online. Unfortunately, we can assure you that this potentially unwanted program can put your computer's security at risk by the following actions:

  • Might infiltrate the system with other potentially unwanted programs;
  • May redirect to shady websites where hackers distribute malware, spyware and other cyber threats;
  • Collects information about its users that might later be misused and lead to severe privacy-related issues.

Furthermore, even though Swagbucks virus is a common term online, this application cannot be categorised as a virus. However, it has a vast of negative features that might harm your computer. One of the main ones is data collection via tacking Cookies to display ads that would interest you.

Swagbucks toolbar

Once installed, Swagbucks app starts gathering non-personally identifiable information about its users. For example, browser history, clicked ads, device parameters, IP address, geolocation, etc. These details are used to customise advertisements that would lure you into clicking on them.

Unfortunately, Swagbucks ads might be potentially dangerous and either redirect to suspicious sites or directly start downloading malware on your system. Thus, we do not recommend using this toolbar or related applications. 

Swagbucks toolbar

In fact, we strongly advise you to remove Swagbucks from Mac and Windows. For that, please follow instructions provided at the end of this article. Note, that getting rid of this PUP might get complicated and dangerous. Therefore, pay extreme attention to the guidelines.

If you want to avoid the struggle with Swagbucks removal, get Reimage or another reputable anti-malware software and let it uninstall the potentially unwanted program and other applications related to it.

Learn how PUPs can reach your computer

Before talking about the prevention, one must understand how PUPs are distributed. Similar to other cyber threats, Swagbucks app travels inside software-bundles on infects the device via bogus ads. These are most common PUP spreading methods employed worldwide.

Bundling technique allows the developers to hide their untrustworthy products inside the installers of free programs. This way, people do not recognise that they are installing two apps instead of one. Even though such method is entirely legitimate, experts say it's highly unfair from the standpoint of novice computer users.

However, you can avoid PUPs and similar cyber threats if you pick Advanced/Custom settings instead of Quick/Recommended ones. These parameters will reveal additional installations which will be marked as pre-selected checkmarks. You must de-select them and scan your computer files with an antivirus.

Get rid of Swagbucks Mac version 

Even though this PUP isn't as dangerous as ransomware, Swagbucks removal can get tricky. This happens when people delay its elimination, and the program installs additional browser extensions, plug-ins, and add-ons. They are hidden deep inside the system and might be hard to identify.

Therefore, if this toolbar has been on your computer for several weeks now, we recommend you to remove Swagbucks only with a professional malware removal software. The list of recommended ones is displayed below. 

If you have just noticed the so-called Swagbucks virus on your system, you can get rid of it by following the guidelines at the end of this article. Remember that you will need to reset each of the affected browsers after the elimination as shown. 

If you want to uninstall Swagbucks toolbar automatically, you can use one of these programs: Reimage, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareWebroot SecureAnywhere AntiVirus, Malwarebytes Anti Malware Computer security experts recommend these programs because they can detect and remove potentially unwanted programs and viruses from your computer, including all dangerous and malicious components related to them. Besides, these programs guarantee immediate and ongoing system protection.

We might promote some affiliate products. An entire disclosure is provided in our Terms and Conditions. By Downloading any recommended Anti-spyware software to uninstall Swagbucks you accept our privacy policy and terms and conditions.
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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove infection using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Computer security experts recommend using Reimage to uninstall Swagbucks. Reimage scans the entire computer system and checks whether it is infected with spyware/malware or not. If you want to remove computer threats and secure your computer system, you should consider buying the licensed version of Reimage.
You can find more details about this program in Reimage review.
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To remove Swagbucks toolbar, follow these steps:

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Swagbucks toolbar in Windows systems

If Swagbucks has infected your Windows computer, you should search for additional programs that might support its potentially dangerous activity.

  1. Go to Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, open Add/Remove Programs).Go to 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, open 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open Quick Access Menu. Then click Control Panel and select Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, click on Windows icon in the lower left corner of the screen to open 'Quick Access Menu'. Then click 'Control Panel' and select 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Remove Swagbucks toolbar and programs related to it
    Now, take a look at the list of programs and find Swagbucks toolbar or other programs that you do not remember installing.
  4. Right-click on these programs and select "Uninstall." Then click OK to save changes. Right-click every suspicious program and select 'Uninstall'
  5. Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Windows shortcuts
    Right-click on the shortcut of Mozilla Firefox and click Properties. Right-click on web browsers' icon and click 'Properties'
  6. Now, go to Shortcut tab and find Target field. Then delete the URL that is associated with your virus. Open 'Shortcut' tab and erase 'http://isearch.babylon.com...' or other shady URL

Follow the same steps as explained above with all other shortcuts of Internet browsers, including Google Chrome and Internet Explorer. Please check Start Menu, Desktop, and taskbar to find all shortcuts.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Uninstall Swagbucks toolbar in Mac OS X system

Swagbucks on Mac OS X can be dangerous and infiltrate the system with other cyber threats. Thus, you must get rid of all unknown software from your computer before it starts damaging it.

  1. Users who use OS X should click on Go button, which can be found at the top left corner of the screen and select Applications. Click on 'Go' to open a drop-down menu and select 'Applications'.
  2. Wait until you see Applications folder and look for Swagbucks toolbar or any other suspicious programs on it. Now right click on every of such entries and select Move to Trash. Click on each malicious application and select 'Move to Trash'
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Delete suspicious browser add-ons
    Launch Internet Explorer, and then open IE by clicking on the Gear icon, which is located at the top right corner of the Internet browser. Then, click Manage Add-ons. Open browser menu and go to 'Manage add-ons'
  2. Manage Add-ons window will appear on your screen. Now, search for Swagbucks toolbar and other questionable browser add-ons. Right-click them on each of them and select Disable. To eliminate malicious applications, right-click on each of them and click 'Disable'
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Click the Gear icon at the top right corner of the Internet browser and then click Internet Options. Stay in General section.
  4. Now, delete malicious URL and enter Delete suspicious URL, type in your preferable site name and click 'Apply' to save
  5. Reset all Internet Explorer settings
    Click on Gear icon and then opt for Internet options. Then go to Advanced section.
  6. Click Reset.
  7. A new window appears, and then you have to tick Delete personal settings and click Reset to finalise Swagbucks toolbar removal. In 'Advanced' tab, click 'Reset'. Then tick 'Delete personal settings' and click 'Reset'.
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Microsoft Edge

Reset settings in Microsoft Edge (Technique No.1):

  1. Open Microsoft Edge browser, then click on More button, which is situated at the top right edge of the screen
  2. Select Settings from the drop down menu.
  3. When the Settings panel appears, find Clear browsing data section and hit Choose what to clear button. Open Settings and click on 'Choose what to clear' button
  4. Then mark all components that you wish to delete and after that hit Clear. Click 'Clear'
  5. Right-click the Start button (that has Windows logo on it) and choose Task Manager. Right-click the Start button again and choose 'Task Manager'
  6. Go to Processes tab and look for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and select Go to details. If there is no Go to details option, select More details and carry out previous instructions. Right-click on 'Microsoft Edge' and choose 'Go to details' option If 'Go to details' option does not show up, choose 'More details' instead
  8. Once Details tab appears, look for entries that contain Microsoft Edge name. Right-click on such individual entries and choose End Task option to terminate them. Locate all entries that relate to Microsoft Edge and click 'End Task'

Reset Microsoft Edge (Technique No.2):

In case the Technique No.1 did not help you to fix the problem, use advanced Edge reset option.

  1. Important: you must backup your files before you use these tips
  2. Locate this folder on your PC: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select all items in this folder and right-click with your mouse. Select Delete. Open Microsoft Edge folder on your PC, click every entry with the right mouse button and select 'Delete'
  4. Click on the Start button (that has Windows Logo on it) and in Search my stuff field, type in window power.
  5. With the right button of your mouse, click on every entry and select Run as administrator. Locate where Windows PowerShell is, right-click on it and click on 'Run as administrator' option
  6. Once you get Admin's rights, Windows PowerShell window should show up shortly. Paste this line:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and hit Enter. Copy and then paste the necessary command and hit 'Enter'

After completing these steps, Microsoft Edge should be Swagbucks toolbar-free.

WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Launch Mozilla Firefox, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Add-ons Extensions. Open browser menu and go to 'Add-ons'
  2. Now, locate Swagbucks toolbar and other suspicious extensions. Click Remove to eliminate them. Go to 'Extensions' and locate malicious browser add-ons. Hit 'Remove' button to delete each entry
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open Firefox menu (click the button at the top right corner), and go to Options General.
  4. Delete malicious URL and then enter the address of the website that you want to set as your homepage.
  5. Click OK to save the changes. Open 'General' tab and delete the URL from 'Home Page' field or just simply click 'Restore to Default'. Then click on 'OK' button to apply changes.
  6. Reset all Mozilla Firefox settings
    Click on the Firefox at the top left corner and then click the question mark. Then, select Troubleshooting Information. Open menu by clicking on the indicated icon and on '?'. Then select 'Troubleshooting Information'.
  7. Reset Firefox to its default state message should appear then. You will see Reset Firefox button. Click this button a few times and finalise Swagbucks toolbar removal. Hit 'Reset Firefox' button a few times
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Google Chrome

  1. Remove malicious extensions
    Launch Google Chrome, and then open menu (click a button at the top right corner). Then, go to Tools Extensions. Open browser's menu, then click 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Now, look for Swagbucks toolbar and other suspicious extensions and then click the trash icon to remove them. Find malicious extensions and click on the Trash bin icon to remove them
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open menu and select Settings.
  4. Find Open a specific page or set of pages under On startup section and click Set pages. Open browser's menu, then go to 'Settings' and select 'Set pages' under 'On startup' section
  5. An additional window should pop-up. Here, remove dubious URLs and add a new page that you wish to set as a homepage. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  6. Open Chrome menu and go to Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. Once you open browser's 'Settings', click on 'Manage search engines...' button
  7. In Search Engines..., configure default search engine settings. Remove untrustworthy ones. We advise you to leave only Google or another reputable website of your choice. Remove malicious search sites by clicking 'X'
  8. Reset all Google Chrome settings
    Open menu by clicking the button at the top right corner of Google Chrome, and go to Settings.
  9. Scroll down to find Reset browser settings button. Click on it. When in 'Settings', click Show advanced settings and then find 'Reset browser settings' button. Click on it.
  10. Click Reset to approve this action and finish Swagbucks toolbar removal. Click 'Reset' to finish the removal process.
WindowsMac OS XInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle ChromeSafari

Delete Swagbucks toolbar from Safari

Once the adware hijacks the system, it is hard to get rid of it. Note that you should uninstall all untrustworthy extensions and other add-ons from Safari.

  1. Delete suspicious browser extensions
    Open Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu at the top left of the screen. Once you do this, select Preferences. Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Preferences'
  2. Here, select Extensions and look for Swagbucks toolbar or other suspicious entries. Click on the Uninstall button to get rid each of them. Go to 'Extensions' and remove untrustworthy extensions
  3. If virus altered your homepage, change it:
    Open your Safari web browser and click on Safari in menu section. Here, select Preferences as it was displayed previously and select General.
  4. Here, look at the Homepage field. If it was altered by Swagbucks toolbar, remove unwanted link and enter the one that you want to use for your searches. Remember to include the "http://" before typing in the address of the page. Go to 'General' section and find Homepage field. Delete suspicious URL and replace it with a URL of your choice.
  5. Reset all Safari settings
    Open Safari browser and click on Safari in menu section at the top left of the screen. Here, select Reset Safari.... Click on 'Safari' and then select 'Reset Safari...'
  6. Now you will see a detailed dialog window filled with reset options. All of those options are usually checked, but you can specify which of them you want to reset. Click the Reset button to complete Swagbucks toolbar removal process. Select all checkboxes and click 'Reset'

About the author

Jake Doevan - Do not waste your precious time dealing with computer virus infections alone

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