PDFConverterHQ Toolbar Removal Guide

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Category: Browser Extensions

We have not had a Mindspark-developed toolbar in a while, but here it is. This newly released toolbar is called PDFConverterHQ Toolbar, and we recommend that you remove this infection as soon as possible. This innocent-looking browser extension/toolbar is set to heavily modify your browser’s settings and impose its promoted search engine on it, thus redirecting web traffic to a search engine that features questionable promotional links and making money for its developers. We firmly believe that keeping PDFConverterHQ Toolbar is a real danger to your computer’s security, so do not hesitate to uninstall it.

As mentioned, PDFConverterHQ Toolbar was released by a known malware developer called Mindspark Interactive Network Inc. This company masquerades as a legitimate one, but it is not — and we have been testing and reviewing its toolbars for years. Previously, we have written about several of this toolbar’s clones called FlightSearch Toolbar, SendFilesFree Toolbar, and GasGlance Toolbar. Like its predecessors, this new toolbar is distributed using malicious software bundles featured on shady software download-hosting websites, but it also can be downloaded by clicking an ad supplied by an adware program. Lastly, this program has a dedicated website at Free.pdfconverterhq.com that features installers for Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. So right from the beginning, this toolbar spells trouble. However, there is more.

PDFConverterHQ Toolbar is supposed to be a PDF and Doc converter capable of converting more than 30 file types that include RTF, TXT, PPT, JPG, BMP, and so on. It appears that this browser extension does have functional DOC and PDF converting tools, but the rest of its bookmarks are just links to third-party websites that we are not going to discuss in greater detail, because all of them are legitimate.

When you install it on Firefox, this toolbar’s installer will prompt you with a window that will offer to make Ask.com your default homepage and search engine. This Window’s checkboxes are marked by default. It will show the same window for Internet Explorer. The only difference is that the “Make Ask.com my default search engine” is unchecked. Chrome, on the other hand, is handled very differently. It will not ask you whether you want PDFConverterHQ Toolbar to modify the aforementioned settings. It will just modify them automatically.

It appears that PDFConverterHQ Toolbar is meant to provide a trivial but still somewhat useful function for novice PC users. Hence, this is how its developers try to prevent its getting uninstalled. PDFConverterHQ Toolbar is set to promote a custom Ask.com search engine that to our knowledge is configured to display custom search results that include third-party promotions. We want to warn you that not all of its promotions are legitimate. Therefore, by using PDFConverterHQ Toolbar’s promoted Search.ask.com search engine you can expose your computer to downloads of malicious software, such as Spyware, Trojans, Keyloggers, and so on.

We recommend deleting this program manually as a “temporary solution” to a problem you will have to return to. PDFConverterHQ Toolbar will make many modifications to your computer’s registry and various browser files. For example, this toolbar will create CLSID’s for Internet Explorer in Windows registry’s [HKLM|HKCU]\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer path. The CLSID looks like {0090C9D5-D952-4D5B-AB0D-02D7A9863F7E}. Therefore, manual deletion proves to be difficult, time consuming, and dangerous. In the example shown above, manual removal will require the deletion of more than 30 registry entries, and this is just for one file path alone. If you are using Google Chrome, then it will create files in %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Chrome\User Data\Default\Extensions\, %PROGRAMFILES(x86)%\PDFConverterHQ*, %USERPROFILE%\Application Data\PDFConverterHQ*, and %UserProfile%\Local Settings\Application Data\PDFConverterHQ. However, if you are using Firefox, the modifications will be different. Modifications for Firefox extend to HKLM\SOFTWARE, but showing the exact locations will take a lot of space, as they are located in very different places.

Therefore, we recommend that you get rid of PDFConverterHQ Toolbar using an anti-malware tool because the modifications this seemingly legitimate application performs are extensive and make your computer vulnerable to further infections. We have included a simple manual removal guide that will neutralize the immediate threat posed by this toolbar. However, we urge you not to ignore the leftover junk files and registry entries and that you fix them as well with an antimalware program.

Remove PDFConverterHQ Toolbar

Windows XP

  1. Click Start and open Control Panel.
  2. Select Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Locate the bad toolbar and click Remove.

Windows 7 and Windows Vista

  1. Click Start and open Control Panel.
  2. Select Uninstall a program.
  3. Locate the infection and click Uninstall.

Windows 8 and Windows 8.1

  1. Open the Charm bar and click Settings.
  2. Go to Control Panel and click Uninstall a program.
  3. Locate the application and click Uninstall.

Windows 10

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Click Control Panel and go to Uninstall a program.
  3. Locate the unwanted program.
  4. Double-click on it.
  5. Click Uninstall.

Remove PDFConverterHQ Toolbar from your browser

Google Chrome

  1. Press Alt+F.
  2. Select More tools.
  3. Click Extensions.
  4. Locate the extension.
  5. Click Remove.

Microsoft Internet Explorer

  1. Press Alt+X.
  2. Click Manage Add-ons.
  3. Click Toolbars and Extensions.
  4. Locate and Remove the add-on.
  5. Close.

Mozilla Firefox

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+A.
  2. Choose Extensions.
  3. Locate the toolbar.
  4. Click Remove.
Download Remover for PDFConverterHQ Toolbar *
*SpyHunter scanner, published on this site, is intended to be used only as a detection tool. To use the removal functionality, you will need to purchase the full version of SpyHunter.

PDFConverterHQ Toolbar Screenshots:

PDFConverterHQ Toolbar
PDFConverterHQ Toolbar
PDFConverterHQ Toolbar

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