Sunday, 25 August 2013

What is vGrabber and how do I get rid of it?

What is it? vGrabber is best described as a browser hijacker and/or malware (malicious software)

How is it spread? It's typically promoted via browser pop-ups which entice the viewer to install it. It's also known to be piggy-back installed along with other free software.

What happens if it gets installed on my machine? Once installed it will most likely do the following: add the vGrabber Toolbar to your browser, change your browser's homepage and default search engine to Furthermore you’ll notice the appearance of random pop-up adverts and you'll be spontaneously redirected to a whole bunch of rather unsavoury websites featuring misleading content. Some of what you see will be fairly standard, some of it will be adult oriented. There'll also be more invitations to install apps that are likely to contain more malware. So, understandably, vGrabber is not something to ignore or to think of as harmless.

So lets look at how to get rid of vGrabber...

1. Uninstall the vGrabber toolbar and, if there, any of the other items you see in this screenshot using Control Panel -> Add/Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Control Panel -> Uninstall a program (Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8).

2. The vGrabber toolbar can be uninstalled like any other browser add-on or extension. The uninstall process differs slightly depending on which browser you are using. I've provided the steps for the most commonly used browsers as follows...

Internet Explorer

Click the Start menu.
Select Control Panel.
Click Uninstall a program under Programs. (Or click Programs and Features.)
Right-click the relevant toolbar and select Uninstall.


Click the Firefox button (or Tools menu) at the top of the browser window.
Select Add-ons.
Select Extensions.
Click the Disable or Remove button for the relevant toolbar.


Click the Chrome menu  (or wrench icon) at the top of the browser window.
Select Settings.
Select Extensions.
Find the vGrabber and/or search conduit toolbar and click the Remove button .

3. Use a malware removal tool to perform scan of your pc. Malwarebytes antimalware and Hitman Pro are both good for carrying out this task. I've also just tried Junkware Removal Tool which, based on my own testing, also seems to be effective at clearing vGrabber as well as a bunch of other similar junk from an infected pc.

That should do the trick. But let me know if you've followed these steps and haven't been able to get rid of vGrabber. I'll be interested to know in case I need to update these instructions.