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…


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. Gentlemen, i have another idea…
    I think the problem is with the mozilla, because they don’t put any rules about plugins, like chrome ? If you look on your extensions window, you’ll see a lot of no removable extensions, like norton, microsoft .net, etc… So, let’s start to use another brownser while mozillas’s foundation don’t do anything about this…

  2. I too would like to remove the Norton Basterds Toolbar completely. My problem is…I don’t know how to make an empty file. Can you help me do that? Thanks.

  3. Ok, after trying to clean up my browser a bit. No need to delete files or anything.
    If you open a FF window, go to the View menu. Then under ‘Toolbars’ you just click on what options you want to appear. If it is in the window it is ticked, so simply untick the Norton Toolbar.

    I have just had a Norton and it did not reactivate the toolbar at all.

  4. For those of you running Windows 7 with Norton Anti-Virus, your file will have been (sneakily) moved from C:/Program Files/Firefox/ to C:/Program Files/Norton Security Suite/Engine/

    But be warned — even with administrator privileges, Symantec has the bloody nerve to deny you access to the files on YOUR computer! The only way to replace it with a null file seems to be starting your computer up in Safe Mode.

    Fuck you, Symantec, for saying I can’t do stuff on MY computer! (Plus, Norton is extremely invasive… their automatic installation of this toolbar without your permission is just one example.)

  5. I had Norton tech support in my machine remotely for over 2.5 hours last night and they could not remove the toolbar. Like all of you I am disgusted. This the replacement for McAfee from Comcast. It is neither as strong or user friendly. I do not like their intrusive tactics in to my pc.

  6. When you say create a new empty file, do you mean a .dll file? I have no idea how to make a .dll file. Can I make a word file and CALL it .dll and set it to read only? If not, can you SEND me the empty file you are referring to so I can use it?

    I want this thing gone too. It pisses me off!

  7. I’ve NIS for several years (the real stuff, not the 360 version). I alternated with BitDefender and Kaspersky in the past. I’m pretty happy with all, and all have their issues. This year I just tried all of them again because I needed to have some “free period” on my second PC during 2 months until my old NIS subscription expired on the first one and I can start with a fresh “1 user 3 PCs” pack.

    I was about to choose BitDefender which I like very much the interface and higher clarity. I dislike a lot the NIS interface, it’s useless, everything is always one more click further, more advertising like than efficient, and it’s an insult to the intelligence for “advanced” users. I saw my second PC somehow experiencing short periods (no longer than a couple of seconds) with everything frozen from time to time, I suspect BT to be the source. So I left with NIS for on more year.

    However I think it’ll be the last one.

    After I reinstalled the new package, it started to impose me the shortcut on the desktop, in the start menu, and the Firefox toolbar. I cannot find an option to prevent them to reappear at each reboot after I’ve manually removed them (deletion of XP shortcuts, unchecking of the toobar entry in FF). I’m tired of such clowns that see the customer’s PC like a field where they can do what they want without asking and confirming. It’s supposed to be to “protect” basic users, to prevent them deleting something that is critical for their well being. Actually it’s just a lazy programmer’s practice, a practice that consists to not include small code that is needed to offer appropriate options in the installation program and in the interface.

    What I also saw is about the “block unused ports” option nightmare. I needed to open an additional port, so I added a rule to “allow incoming” traffic on that port, but I was not working, my PC was sending TCP SYN/RST responses to SYN requests from the requester (without a network analyzer you cannot know what NIS is doing silently). So I looked at the 250 pages user manual. Nothing on “blocking unused ports”, just that it exists and if you want to allow a port, you need to stop this feature. Well that’s nice, you declare a new port use in the rule, but it’s not enough…! you must also disable the protection on all the unused ports… At least this is what you understand with the very few data on this feature. That’s incredible !

    I don’t agree with people that say NIS is bad, and doesn’t detect malware or abnormal traffic. It’s just not what I see, but there are reasons to dislike NIS, and that’s related to the way it is unfriendly to understand and customize. The next in my pick list for next year will probably be BitDefender. So guys at BT, please solve these small freezes, and that’ll be great to me !

  8. OMG! I can not believe how many people keep posting the same stupid suggestion to hide the toolbar after it was addressed that this was not the issue been discussed! Why do they bother posting a suggestion when they are obviously not reading the answers is beyond my comprehension! I stumbled upon this thread because after Norton 360 expired (yeah!) I decided to uninstall it due to constant reminders to renew and no way to deactivate the stupid alerts. It did not uninstall entirely, (what a surprised!)it has a couple folders hidden in the program files and documents, it denies me access to deleting them and keeps resetting to making them inaccessible after I click for it to allow changes from everyone. I hate this product and the company who created it. It acts like a virus itself and will have to be removed by an antimalware program, it seems. I can make the folder mentioned above “read only” but the Norton 360 folder still remains after that. I want everything that says Norton and Symantec gone! I will ask my daughter to remove it, the way she did with Spybot. I hate you Norton!

  9. time for a class action suit against norton for invasion of privacy

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