vGrabber is a browser hijacker. Browser hijacking is often referred to or accused of being a drive-by download. This term is used for a virus or software that installs itself on your computer’s system completely without your knowledge or your permission. You may well think that you would never give a virus or malicious software permission to download themselves on your PC in the first place but believe me; the creators of malware (malicious software) definitely have their ways and means of sneaking things past you. This is most commonly done when you download software or shareware from the internet and the creator will slip some ambiguously worded small print into the License Agreement saying that vGrabber Toolbar and vGrabber Customized Web Search will be installed along with downloaded software.
vGrabber may be an extremely annoying internet pest that wastes no time in taking advantage of your computer system if it is not properly protected. They will optimistically label themselves as a ‘Browser Help Object’ however don’t be fooled as they’re more about helping themselves than helping you increase your productivity levels.
The number one thing you’ll probably notice at first if your browser has been hijacked by vGrabber is that you will constantly be redirected to a whole bunch of rather unsavory websites featuring misleading content - some of it fairly standard, some of it quite shocking. Naturally if you are at home with your partner or in the office surrounded by colleagues this can be extremely embarrassing and often pretty difficult to explain to an enraged boss or spouse! And let’s not even think about a scenario where you’re searching the internet for topics to help with your child’s homework.
The silver lining of the browser hijacking cloud is that it’s usually pretty easy to tell when you’ve been attacked. It is likely that your regular homepage has been changed so that you are sent to a site that is filled with adverts and you’ll often be bombarded with pop-up adverts too, for instance search.conduit.com.
The not so silver lining is that vGrabber toolbar and similar browser help objects normally include some sort of spyware or adware too: software programs and components that monitor your internet use and read your browser history so that they can create a profile on you and your browsing habits in order to send you even more targeted advertising.
But surely not all BHO’s (Browser Help Objects) are bad? Well, no they’re not and some reputable companies use them too. For instance, the Google Toolbar includes a Browser Help Object as part of its installation. It’s true that some components of the Google Toolbar are able to transmit data back to Google about your internet usage but this is clearly explained before you install the toolbar and you have the option to disable the ‘feature’ without it affecting Google’s search function.
On the opposite end of the scale, an example of an unwanted BHO is vGrabber of course. Naturally the authors of these unwanted toolbars and BHO’s don’t want you to remove them and they’ll make it as difficult as possible for you to do so. If you don’t uninstall and delete a browser hijacking program correctly you may find that certain programs on your PC no longer work or that you are no longer able to connect to the internet. Nice!
This is a very real threat so I suggest removing vGrabber and related programs from your computer.
So how can you prevent against having your browser hijacked by vgrabber in the first place? One thing that is crucial in guarding against hijacking as well as other forms of malware is to install a good anti-malware scanner on your computer which will provide extra protection against these in internet scourges. Also, do not download software from shady sites and read the License Agreement very carfully. Getting click-happy ain't gonna make your computer speed up. To remove vGrabber from your computer, please follow the removal guide below. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below. Good luck and be safe online!
Written by Michael Kaur, http://deletemalware.blogspot.com
vGrabber removal instructions:
1. First of all, download recommended anti-malware software and run a full system scan. It will detect and remove this infection from your computer. You may then follow the manual removal instructions below to remove the leftover traces of this browser hijacker. Hopefully you won't have to do that.
2. Uninstall vGrabber toolbar from your computer using the Add/Remove Programs control panel (Windows XP) or Uninstall a program control panel (Windows 7 and Windows 8).
Go to the Start Menu. Select Control Panel → Add/Remove Programs.
If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, select Control Panel → Uninstall a Program.
If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for "control panel".
Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control panel from there.
3. When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and remove the following:
- Vgrabber v1.5 Toolbar
- Video Downloader
- Video Downloader version 2.0
- Search Protect by conduit
- also other applications you have recently installed.
Simply the application and click Remove. If you are using Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click Uninstall up near the top of that window. When you're done, please close the Control Panel screen.
Remove vGrabber from Google Chrome:
1. Click on Chrome menu button. Go to Tools → Extensions.
2. Click on the trashcan icon to remove the vGrabber Toolbar Chrome extension:
3. Click on Chrome menu button once again. Select Settings.
4. Click Set pages under the On startup.
Remove vGrabber Web Customized Search by clicking the "X" mark as shown in the image below.
5. Click Show Home button under Appearance. Then click Change.
Select Use the New Tab page and click OK to save changes.
6. Click Manager search engines button under Search.
Select Google or any other search engine you like from the list and make it your default search engine provider.
Select vGrabber Web Customized Search from the list and remove it by clicking the "X" mark as shown in the image below.
Remove vGrabber from Mozilla Firefox:
1. Open Mozilla Firefox. Go to Tools → Add-ons.
2. Select Extensions. Remove vGrabber Toolbar extension. Close the window.
3. In the URL address bar, type about:config and hit Enter.
Click I'll be careful, I promise! to continue.
In the search filter at the top, type: vgrabber
Now, you should see all the preferences that were changed by vgrabber. Right-click on the preference and select Reset to restore default value. Reset all found preferences!
Remove vGrabber from Internet Explorer:
1. Open Internet Explorer. Go to Tools → Manage Add-ons.
2. Select Toolbars and Extensions. Remove vGrabber Toolbar Internet Explorer add-on.
3. Select Search Providers. First of all, choose Live Search search engine and make it your default web search provider (Set as default).
4. Select vGrabber Web Customized Search and click Remove to remove it. Close the window.