Remove browser plug-ins
A browser plug-in expands Web browser's functionality by doing things like installing specific toolbars, or adding buttons, links or useful functions (like pop-up blocking). Legitimate browser plug-ins are not only harmless, but also very handy — including the Google Toolbar, MSN Search Toolbar, Macromedia Flash or Adobe Acrobat Reader plug-ins.
But not all browser plug-ins are created equal.
Some plug-ins are malicious and will slow your system to a halt. Similar to spyware, adware and browser hijackers, they can be installed without explicit user consent and often do not provide any functional uninstall feature. Some malicious browser plug-ins even have integrated, innocent-looking toolbars that trick users into leaving parasites on their system. They can, among other things:
- Change your browser's default home and search pages to predetermined Web sites without your permission.
- Redirect your browser to a site whenever you type in an email address or perform an Internet search — for no obvious reason.
- Modify browser settings to add insecure resources to the trusted sites list.
- Degrade overall browser stability and performance.
- Offer no fully functional uninstall feature.
Malicious browser plug-ins affect mostly Microsoft Internet Explorer browser. (Though less prevalent threats are designed to compromise other popular browsers.)
How to remove a browser plug-in
Unfortunately, most browser plug-ins cannot be removed by antivirus software. To remove them, you will need to utilize special spyware removal tools. These products can scan the systems and detect and eliminate most privacy risks. Powerful spyware removers include real-time monitors that prevent the installation of known risks and unauthorized system modification.