Column: Windows 7 PC invaded by two programs that can't be removed
Questions: Two programs - "YTD Downloader" and "Search Module" - have invaded my Windows 7 PC and can't be removed. When I try to uninstall either, I get a message, "You must close all Chrome windows," but there aren't any open. Help.
Answer: There appears to be malware embedded in your copy of YTD Video Downloader. I use it myself to download YouTube videos and it works fine. You may have installed it from one of the sites that add unnecessary or even malicious code to otherwise useful software. Note: Always go to the home site of any software you are installing, for instance www.ytddownloader.com.
Your copies of these programs purposely make it difficult to remove themselves. They contain adware and browser hijackers that attempt to direct how you browse, where you go on the internet, etc. When using the normal Windows 7 or 8 uninstalls, the message returned is indeed "Please close all Chrome windows." I opened Windows Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and found there were a couple of open Chrome processes. But as I expected, closing them did not allow the software to be uninstalled.
But there is a powerful free uninstaller available that can frequently remove such undesirable software. It is called Revo Uninstaller, and can be found here: www.revouninstaller.com/revo_uninstaller_free_download.html. There is also a Pro version available for $39.25 that offers lots more features, but at least in this case we didn't need the extra function it offers. So I downloaded Revo Uninstaller and installed it. Installation is simple. After downloading, just double click on the file name, click Yes to Windows Security question, and Install.
Installation is very fast. Upon completion it will automatically run and present you with a list of icons representing all your installed programs. I chose each program in turn, and specified Advanced uninstall. That takes longer, but uninstalls more completely. When I was done, the problem was solved. Both programs were completely removed from the system and browsing control was returned to the operator. I'll touch on this issue, among others in an upcoming Prescott Computer Society meeting.
The Prescott Computer Society (PCS) is a PC-based users group founded in Prescott over 25 years ago. Its monthly Saturday meetings help you get more out of your computer while keeping it safe from virus attacks. For further information, visit www.PCS4me.com. Email questions for future columns to PCSquestions@gmail.com.