removing the norton internet security 2008 toolbar from firefox

I run Winbloze. I know, I know, but I have had a much better experience with Windows environments on my desktop than I have had with my Ti or my MBP. Windows comes with risks, so to help mitigate (again, I know, I know) those risks I use Norton Internet Security.

My subscription ran out a couple days ago, so I upgraded to NIS 2008. NIS 2008 includes anti-phishing protection, which I already have. NIS wants me to use its anti-phishing, so helpfully installs a toolbar in Firefox. It doesn’t tell me it’s going to do this, nor does it give me a choice, and there’s no way I can see to remove it from within NIS, only disable fishing protection. This pisses me off, so…

DO NOT WANT.

If this kind of behaviour pisses you off as well, and you want to stick with the built-in protection Firefox offers, you can remove the toolbar. Fire up your trusty file mangler, and head on over to the Firefox installation directory (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox). Under that directory is a subdirectory called “components”. In the “components” directory is a file called “coFFPlgn.dll”; move it somewhere safe and restart Firefox.

Toolbar gone!

Thanks Symantec, next time try providing it as an uninstallable plugin or, even better, an extension. Fucktards.

Update: Toolbar back! Every time you reboot, it “helpfully” restores the file. I have asked Symantec how I turn it off permanently. I think I know the answer already.

Update 2: Johan has a good workaround, as follows: After playing about for a bit I tried an old trick, close all instances of firefox, go to the components folder as mentioned above, and remove the coFFPlgn.dll file. Create a new empty file, name it the very same, coFFPlgn.dll and set it to be read only.

the null file is ignored by ffox, and marking it read-only will prevent Norton from over-writing it. works nicely for me. recommended. thanks, Johan!

110 thoughts on “removing the norton internet security 2008 toolbar from firefox

  1. Thank you KEV! It is a great feeling to finally get rid of Norton’s ridiculous toolbar.

    Cheers!

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  3. Kev,

    Thank you for sorting this out. I’ve been having trouble with Norton 360 and Firefox 3.0/3.0.1 and Google Notebook extension for Firefox. I couldn’t get the Firefox Process to stop, and had to kill it w/ Task Manager. If I didn’t kill the process, and started FF again, FF wouldn’t open my profile, so it was unusable.

    I thought I was left with two alternatives, turn off Norton 360 autoprotect or not use the Notebook extension. I knew the two were incompatible.

    Your post about removing the Norton 360 phishing toolbar and substituting a same name, 0 byte, read only file did the trick for now. I suspect it will stick through Windows XP SP3 shutdowns and startups.

    So I have auto protect and Notebook extension, but no toolbar, which I didn’t want and had Phishing detection turned off anyway.

    Good going!
    Skip

  4. See if the Norton Toolbar shows up in the Extensions list in Firefox (“Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions”) and disable it from there. See the Norton 360 forum thread, “Firefox processes will not end. All posted fixes tried” at
    http://community.norton.com/norton/board/message?board.id=Norton_360&thread.id=2267&view=by_date_ascending&page=3
    Quote from johna:
    Another way of removing the Toolbar is to go into Tools>Add Ons>Norton_Tool_Bar>Disable. This way you don’t have to uninstall the whole thing, just disable it.

  5. “Thanks Symantec, next time try providing it as an uninstallable plugin or, even better, an extension. Fucktards.”

    Fucktards indeed.

  6. Thanks for the fix. The Norton toolbar blew out my RoboForm2Go toolbar. Roboform support was clueless about the issue.

  7. Thank you so much for the workaround! I decided it needed to be removed since I discovered it would set the sanitizeOnShutdown (“Always clear my private data when I close Firefox”) setting to true every time Firefox starts. As a result we never had any history! (It may only happen with Firefox 3–I don’t think the problem started until then.)

  8. The Norton Tool Bar was making my life hell for the last 2 days. I was already looking at some other anti-Virus Programs to escape from it. If I would not have found this site, I would have deleted Norton entirely.

    Thanks!!

  9. Me agrees much. Super douchey not to give an option not to install, or to uninstall. Thanks for the sexy help.

  10. While using my brother’s computer, I have noticed that Norton consumes allot of resources, and wants to run updates about 8 times a day, so I was already annoyed with it. Then the Norton package detected my portable FireFox software and nailed a toolbar to that too.
    Modifying other programs without permission is inexcusable. I searched the menus and “help” files to no avail. I searched their website which says nothing on the subject, and had difficulty even finding any way to contact the company. Finally I found a phone number, and after 10 minutes of menus and transfers, I finally had the opportunity to ask someone “How do I remove the toolbar?”
    He proceeded to describe to me how I can hide the toolbar, and I said “I know how to hide toolbars – I want to REMOVE the toolbar. It was installed without my permission, and I have been searching the menus and helpfiles and I can’t find any information regarding the REMOVAL of the toolbar…”
    …Without another word, the bastard HUNG-UP on me!
    Indians are usually very polite, why did my question provoke such a response?
    What does Symantec GAIN by installing and keeping that toolbar on our browsers without our consent? It’s possible that they believe that it’s good advertising to have NORTON in bold letters on your browser, but I tend to suspect more sinister motives… I hope that some hackers wiser than I can figure out what’s going on.
    The workaround described here (Creating a null, read-only version of the offending file) seems to have worked perfectly, by the way. Thank you very much!

    But, as others have mused in this thread – I wonder what ELSE Nortin is doing without our knowledge…

  11. While using my brother’s computer, I have noticed that Norton consumes allot of resources, and wants to run updates about 8 times a day, so I was already annoyed with it. Then the Norton package detected my portable FireFox software and nailed a toolbar to that too.
    Modifying other programs without permission is inexcusable. I searched the menus and “help” files to no avail. I searched their website which says nothing on the subject, and had difficulty even finding any way to contact the company. Finally I found a phone number, and after 10 minutes of menus and transfers, I finally had the opportunity to ask someone “How do I remove the toolbar?”
    He proceeded to describe to me how I can hide the toolbar, and I said “I know how to hide toolbars – I want to REMOVE the toolbar. It was installed without my permission, and I have been searching the menus and helpfiles and I can’t find any information regarding the REMOVAL of the toolbar…”
    …Without another word, the bastard HUNG-UP on me!
    Indians are usually very polite, why did my question provoke such a response?
    What does Symantec GAIN by installing and keeping that toolbar on our browsers without our consent? It’s possible that they believe that it’s good advertising to have NORTON in bold letters on your browser, but I tend to suspect more sinister motives… I hope that some hackers wiser than I can figure out what’s going on.
    The workaround described here (Creating a null, read-only version of the offending file) seems to have worked perfectly, by the way. Thank you very much!

    But, as others have mused in this thread – I wonder what ELSE Nortin is doing without our knowledge…

  12. I have thoroughly tried every suggestion here and I cannot rid myself of the Norton 360 toolbar in Firefox 3. There are no listings inside of Firefox 3 for add-ons, extentions, etc. for any Norton product. Norton 360, of course, offers no direct option to unload the toolbar from Firefox 3 and none of the tricks listed here are working. So, I am uninstalling Norton and I will not load up another Norton product again. This load-up-my-pograms-without-permission crap is an old AOL trick and I never wanted anything to do with AOL and now Norton has been added to the list. I even tried, in vain, to use the Norton live tech chat feature on their website but the plugin asks to use IE 5.5 or higher. That is ridiculous. They just corrupted my Firefox 3 browser with their product but can’t seem to support Firefox 3 for a live chat? I sent a polite but matter-of-fact letter to Symantec HQ telling them they just lost a customer.

  13. I have successfully removed the Norton 360 toolbar even after reboot by removing the registry entry. Open regedit and type in the search Norton Toolbar and let it search, when it shows up delete it. No adverse effect with the 360 is noticed.

  14. Thanks to Kev on this post. I was having the same issue as Skip in that my Firefox 3+ process would not kill with Norton 360 installed. I didn’t figure out it was Norton 360 until I installed it on another computer and the same issue with Firefox appeared there as well. I was about to uninstall Norton when I ran across this post. Thus far after creating the read only coFFPlgn.dll file the issue is gone. Keeping my fingers crossed. Thanks all!

  15. i have nis09 and thers no “coFFPlgn.dll” in there … somebody got an idea?

  16. Stiller, it’s there in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Norton\{0C55…26E7}\Norton\coFFPlgn\components\

  17. The most effective way to deal with this is uninstall Norton completely and forget about it.
    Norton is not the only program available.

  18. in firefox i just went to tools>addons, then clicked on “extensions”, then clicked on “norton toolbar” and hit the “disable” button. seems to work so far…

  19. hi jeff,

    I believe that’s only available with NIS 2009. 2008 is a pain in the derriere :)

  20. Thanks very much for the uninstall trick. What a relief after my friend’s drunk girlfriend turned on my computer last night and hit ‘yes’ to the norton install popup that i had forgotten to take care of. (without asking what it was of course)

    I am in your debt sir.

  21. Here is whar the toolbar help says:

    Hiding and showing the Norton toolbar

    You can hide the Norton toolbar if you do not want to see the evaluation of every Web page that you visit. However, you will still be notified of suspicious and known fraudulent pages or if an error needs your attention.

    To hide or show the Norton toolbar:
    1. At the top of your browser window, click View.
    2. On the Toolbars submenu, do one of the following:
    3. Uncheck Norton Toolbar to hide the toolbar.
    4. Check Norton Toolbar to show the toolbar.

  22. RS: I’ve addressed this already. That just hides the display of the toolbar. It’s still loaded, still watching, and still consuming resources. That’s not what I want, along with a few others.

  23. Maybe someone can help me out here because I am completely stuck…

    I have Firefox portable on my flashdrive with U3. Has worked great for me. I recently put my flashdrive into my work computer, which contains the incredibly annoying Norton 360. It proceeded to install the phishing toolbar on my Firefox Portable.

    I followed every step listed above. First I removed the coFFPlgn.dll file (from my flashdrive…something like h://PortableApps/Firefox…Components/coFFPlgn.dll).

    Didn’t remove it. So I tried creating a blank one, and making it read only.

    Didn’t work.

    So then I found that there was a version of that DLL on the main computer harddrive (located at c:\Program Files\Common\…\browser\coFFPlgn.dll).

    So I removed that. No go. So I renamed a blank file with that name and made it read only. No go.

    When I put my flashdrive into my home computer it doesn’t appear at all, but whenever I put it into my work computer it is there…taunting me…

    Any help? Anyone know of this problem specifically with Firefox Portable?

  24. I develop PHP/MySQL applications and after installing/removing/installing/removing… :) N360/NIS2009, I lost the access to them.
    Unbelievable that Peter Norton with his know-how had made such a product…!

    And now how can I log (again) in to my applications? (I have no anti-virus installed and the problem remains…).

  25. Norton came pre-installed on my Lenovo. If Norton came pre-installed on your machine PLEASE CALL YOUR VENDOR AND COMPLAIN. If possible request an service ticket and make them remove it for you instead of removing it yourself.

  26. Kev,
    I know you posted this fix a couple years ago but I just found it and it worked perfectly! Thanks! Tomas

  27. The infamous coFFPlgn.dll was there, but MC-CAM’s good advice worked perfectly. Thanks Kev, MC and all!

  28. Thanks a bunch everyone who contributed. When I first started looking I just found the fix where you delete the two files {7BA52691-1876-45ce-9EE6-54BCB3B04BBC}-and- {8545daff-ad1e-493f-a37e-eed1ac79682b} in the FF extensions folder, but it’s only gone for that session. But when combined with the bogus read-only dll that did the trick. Thanks again. -ct

  29. Thanks everyone who contributed. When I first started looking I found the trick where you delete the two files {7BA52691-1876-45ce-9EE6-54BCB3B04BBC} and
    {8545daff-ad1e-493f-a37e-eed1ac79682b} from the extensions folder, but it’s only good for that session. But when combined with the read-only decoy dll it works perfect for me. Thanks again -ct

  30. Sorry for the double-post, I have NoScript and the 1st post didn’t show up. But just wanted to say I have Norton 360 which I just got as an upgrade to just the Antivirus because I thought it was a good deal. Anyway I just noticed that “Product Feedback” link at the top of the configuration screen and will be letting them know how surprised we are that we made it this far without that built-in self-healing capability. -ct

  31. OR you can just try to erase all the content of the file with the notepad and mark the file to read only. Before, make a copy in a safe place. That’s what i’ve done! hopw it works not just until next boot.

  32. All Symantec products are rubbish. Avoid like the plague. Anyone tried deactivating the we’ll-debit-your-VISA-card-by- default-to-renew-you-subscription scam? It doesn’t work. Following the news that vast numbers of VISA accounts were stolen by operatives in Symantec’s Indian callcenter,I’ve changed my card number and alerted my attorney. Symantec, you’ve been warned.

  33. If you have Windows 7… next to the URL bar is a image thing that sort of looks like a leaf. Right click on it, and there will be an option to remove the Norton Toolbar.

  34. Dan: That’s for newer versions of NIS. The specific version of NIS I’m talking about here is pretty stealthy, and the method you outline doesn’t apply (I believe) in removing it completely.

  35. I have Firefox, Vista and Norton 2009. I cannot find that dll file anywhere (can’t search for it in Vista, have gone to the files I have been directed to in here and don’t have Documents and Settings in Vista but want to remove the awful thing as I have disabled it but my Firefox now keeps crashing. Can anybody tell me where to find coFFPlgn.dll in Vista please, thanks so much for your time :-)

  36. I’ve got the same problem as Em, except that I run Norton 360. For the past few months, it didn’t show up, but all of a sudden, for the past three days, it won’t go away.

    And, as Em, this dll file isn’t there.

  37. EXACT same problem as Em.

    If I can’t resolve this soon, I’m deleting Norton and using something else.

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