What is Browser Helper Object?

A Browser Helper Object, or BHO, is just a small program that runs automatically every time you start your Internet browser. Usually, a BHO is installed on your system by another software program. For example, Go!Zilla, the downloading utility, installs a BHO created by Radiate (formerly Aureate Media); this BHO tracks which advertisements you see as you surf the Web.

BHO is not visible on your internet explorer , so sometimes it's difficult for you to know that your computer is having a bad BHO.

What does Browser Helper Object do?

The technical answer is "anything", but generally, it will have something to do with "helping" you browse the Internet. They are designed to provide more features that your internet explorer can not do. For example, Google Toolbar help you to search quickly,automatically detect website language and provide you the translation options.

On the other hand, there are now many toolbars which is considered as a "ad-ware" or "spyware": they do things like monitor the websites you visit and report this data back to their creators.

They can also routinely conflict with other running programs, cause a variety of page faults, run time errors, and the like, and generally impede browsing performance.

What's the symptom of a bad BHO ?

If you experience some of the followings , it looks like you have bad toolbar installed:
- internet explorer start up takes longer than normal.
- When you start internet explorer , homepage has changed to some websites that you don't know.
- You can not open some web pages , or the time to load a web page is too long.
- You see the browser automatically open some websites that you don't open.
- The overall internet perforamce is worst than before.

How can a BHO be installed on my computer and how to avoid it?

Most of toolbar is a part of a software , for example , when you install Yahoo Messenger , it will give you the option to install toolbar or not.

So, to avoid bad toolbar installed on your machine , when you install anything, please read all the options they provide on the screen , you should select the customize options , avoid just clicking "Next" and OK. When you select the customize option , it will allow you to select whether you install the toolbar or not.

Can I remove Browser Helper Object?

Of course, you can. It's ok to remove any toolbar/bho , but before you delete any toolbar, you should make sure that you don't use it. Even if you accidentally remove a toolbar that you use it quite often, it will not stop you from surfing the internet, it just give your browser back to standard. For example , if you remove Acrobat Reader Helper Object , it just doesn't allow you to view pdf files directly on browser , instead , it will allow you to download that pdf file and view it in Acrobat Reader window instead of internet explorer window.

To remove toolbar/ BHO , there are some ways that you can do it - please see it here.

 

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