Do you find yourself going to websites that you didn’t want to go to. Do you feel like your Internet Explorer is possessed and has a mind of its own? These could be some of the symptoms of having an unregulated Browser Helper Object attached itself to your Internet Explorer.
Browser Helper Objects were actually created by Microsoft itself. Their purpose was to allow add-ons to the Internet Explorer browser, however now independent malware developers are misusing this feature.
What is a Browser Helper Object?
A Browser Helper Object is a small dll file that is usually included with a program you may be installing. For Example Adobe Acrobat reader has a BHO that is installed so that you can read PDF documents through Internet Explorer. The Google toolbar is a Browser Helper Object and has a number of features. It can record where you have been on the internet , block popups, save bookmarks, and more..
Its the browser Helper Objects that did not ask your permission to be installed and are lurking in the background that are the problem. They can be collecting information about you. Have you ever seen the message that pops up and says your computer has a virus and you have to download a program immediately. That is a BHO. It sometimes costs $20 to $30. How do you think that message got into your computer?
If you visit a site that needs a BHO’s to display properly, it should ask if you want to download and install it. However if the BHO is downloaded and installed automatically without asking your permission, then your Internet Explorer security settings are too low. For example you will be prompted to install Adobe Flash Player to view sites that have flash animation.
How to see what BHO’s are installed in your Internet Explorer 7 (Windows XP SP2)
- Open Internet Explorer.
- Click on the Tools menu at the top.
- Choose Manage add-ons.
- Choose Enable or disable add-ons
Here you will see a list of BHO’s that are installed into Internet Explorer.
How to see if your Internet Explore problem is caused by a Browser Helper Object
You can start Internet Explorer without starting the add-ons. If the problem still occurs then the problem is with something else.
To start Internet Explorer without add-ons
- Go to your start menu in the bottom left corner. Click start.
- Choose All Programs from the bottom of the menu.
- Choose Accessories, then system tools.
- Choose Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) to start the program without add-ons.
How to remove BHO’s
My virus checker picks up Browser Helper Objects, including the Alexa toolbar. When found you can usually have the option to allow the BHO or remove it. There are some really great free virus checkers and computer cleaners available out there. Check out the links to free Download Software.
- To allow add-ons to run again, close Internet Explorer and restart it normally.
- You can also start Internet Explorer with out add-ons by right-clicking the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop and then clicking No Add-ons.
- Turn off System restore, remove BHO’s, then restart System Restore and create a new restore point. Start fresh.
- Make sure you have no unwanted BHO’s when upgrading from IE6 to IE7. They will be transferred with the upgrade.