VAF Toolbar is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will add the VAFMusic Community Toolbar, change your browser homepage to search.conduit.com, and set your default search engine to VAFMusic Customized Web Search.
The VAF Customized Web Search will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The VAF Toolbar infection is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.
The VAF Toolbar it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.
VAF Toolbar got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker. This browser hijacker is also bundled within the custom installer on many download sites (examples: CNET, Brothersoft or Softonic), so if you have downloaded a software from these websites, chances are that VAF Toolbar was installed during the software setup process.
For example, when you install VAFPlayer, you will also agree to change your browser homepage to search.conduit.com, set your default search engine to VAFMusic Customized Web Search, and install the VAF Toolbar.
However when you uninstall VAFPlayer from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove VAF Toolbar and search.conduit.com from your favorite web browser manually.
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this VAF Toolbar. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.
How to remove VAF Toolbar (Virus Removal Guide)
This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove VAF Toolbar from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
STEP 1: Uninstall VAF Toolbar programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove VAF Toolbar from your web browser
STEP 3: Remove VAF Toolbar browser hijacker with AdwCleaner and Junkware Removal Tool
STEP 4: Remove VAF Toolbar malicious files with Malwarebytes and HitmanPro
STEP 1 : Uninstall VAF Toolbar program from your computer
- To uninstall VAF Toolbar from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel“. Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there, then select Uninstall a program.
- When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Search Protect by conduit, VAF Toolbar and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
Depending on what program has installed the VAF Community Toolbar, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.
STEP 2 : Remove VAF Toolbar from your web browser
Remove VAF Toolbar from Internet Explorer
- Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
- In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
- In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
- When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
- Close and open Internet Explorer.
Remove VAF Toolbar from Mozilla Firefox
- Remove VAF Toolbar extensions from Firefox.
At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
Select the Extensions tab, then remove VAFMusic 10.16.70.5 and any other unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
- Reset your default search engine and homepage from VAF Customized Web Search to their default.
To reset your search engine and homepage to their default, we will use the SearchReset extension.This add-on is very simple: on installation, it backs up and then resets your search preferences and home page to their default values, and then uninstalls itself. This affects the search bar, URL bar searches, and the home page.
You can download SearchReset from the below link, and then we will just need to install it to revert Firefox to its default settings.
SEARCHRESET DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open another web page from where you can download the SearchReset Firefox extension)
Remove VAF Toolbar from Google Chrome
- Remove VAF Toolbar extensions from Google Chrome.
Click the Chrome menu button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
In the Extensions tab, remove VAFMusic 10.16.100.4 and any other unknown extensions by clicking the trash can icon.
Basically, if you have not installed an extension, you should remove it from your web browser.
- Set Google Chrome default search engine from VAF Customized Web Search to Google.
Click the Chrome menu button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
Search for Conduit in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
- Change Google Chrome homepage from search.conduit.com to its default.
Conduit has modified your Google settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
Click the Chrome menu button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
STEP 3: Remove VAF Toolbar browser hijacker from your computer
To remove all the VAF Toolbar registry keys, files and folders from your computer, we will need to run a scan with the AdwCleaner and Junkware Removal Tool utilities.
Remove VAF Toolbar with AdwCleaner
The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer for VAF Toolbar malicious files and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.
- You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
- Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Search button as shown below.
The program will now start to search for VAF Toolbar malicious files that may be installed on your computer. When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the VAF extensions, files, and registry keys that have been detected.
- To remove the VAF Toolbar malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Delete button on the AdwCleaner screen.
AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
Remove VAF Toolbar hijack with Junkware Removal Tool
Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove VAF Toolbar virus from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Google Chrome.
- You can download the Junkware Removal Tool utility from the below link:
JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
- Once Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon as seen below.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
- Junkware Removal Tool will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to perform a scan for the VAF Toolbar.
Please be patient as this can take a while to complete (up to 10 minutes) depending on your system’s specifications.
- When the scan Junkware Removal Tool will be completed, this utility will display a log with the malicious files and registry keys that were removed from your computer.
STEP 4: Remove VAF Toolbar virus from your computer
Remove VAF Toolbar virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
- You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double-click on the icon named mbam-setup.exe to install this program.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
- When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process, then at the last screen click on the Finish button.
- On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan, and then click on the Scan button to start searching for the VAF Toolbar malicious files.
- Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for VAF Toolbar as shown below.
- When the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan has finished, click on the Show Results button.
- You will now be presented with a screen showing you the computer infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked), then click on the Remove Selected button.
Double-check for the VAF Toolbar infection with HitmanPro
- You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
- Double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Click on the Next button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
- HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for VAF Toolbar malicious files.
- When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the Next button, to remove VAF Toolbar adware.
- Click on the Activate free license button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
Your computer should now be free of the VAF Toolbar infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove VAF Toolbar from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.