Security companies these days often add extensions, plugins and add-ons to web browsers. This is often done to add security information or controls to web traffic, but sometimes also to monetize search traffic.
The two big dogs Norton and Kaspersky do that for instance. Kaspersky adds the add-on Kaspersky URL Advisor to the Firefox web browser upon installation. As usual, these add-ons can be disabled but not uninstalled in the browser as they are not installed by the user directly in Firefox but outside of the browser. The Uninstall button is grayed out in Firefox.
We have criticized the behavior in the past, that Firefox allows installations of add-ons, and plugins by the way, without the user's consent. It probably would not be to difficult to display a notification if a program tries to install an add-on to give the user the choice to allow or disallow the installation.
Before we go into detail on how to uninstall the add-on, we would like to take a moment to explain what Kaspersky URL Advisor actually does.
From what we have gathered, the add-on checks websites against an online database to inform the user about its security rating and display an intermediary page if the target website is unsafe.
Some Firefox users have experienced slow downs and higher than normal memory usage in the web browser after the add-on was added to it.
Disabling the add-on in Firefox is sufficient in most cases. The add-on will not be loaded during Firefox startup and all the problems associated with it are gone as well.
Some users might prefer to remove it completely as it does not make sense to have the Kaspersky URL Advisor add-on listed in the extensions listing of the browser if it is disabled and not used.
A Mozilla help page gives instructions on how to uninstall extensions manually in Firefox. It begins by suggesting to look in the profile folder to see if the extension is listed as a folder. Deleting the folder while the web browser is closed removes the add-on from the web browser. The Kaspersky add-on unfortunately is not listed there.
The second tip listed in the guide suggests to check for global add-ons that are installed in the Mozilla folder instead. Windows users find the folder under Program Files usually, the path was C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\extensions on our Windows 7 Pro 64-bit system.
The directory contained three subfolders, one of them [email protected] which is the add-on Kaspersky URL Advisor. Close Firefox first. Cautious users should create a backup of the folder before proceeding, this can be done by left-clicking the folder and pressing CTRL-C. This copies it to the clipboard. Now open a second Windows Explorer instance and paste the folder into another location with CTRL-V.
Deleting the folder will remove the add-on from Firefox, it won't show up anymore in the Add-on Manager. And that's how you uninstall Kaspersky URL Advisor from Firefox. Have you noticed other add-ons that are installed without your consent?
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.