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Browsing through Firefox's Add-ons list, I've discovered that there is one named Google Update, which I don't remember installing.

How did it get on Firefox's list of installed Add-ons, or plugins, and what is it doing there?

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You might have gotten the add-on, and probably an independent "Google Updater" program as well, installed by installing one of Google's programs, such as Google Earth or Chrome. Information from Google is available here, and a rather critical discussion of the phenomenon, and a way to download the programs without the updater is available here (Obsolete).

The updater can be deactivated and uninstalled. See here (unrecoverable, dead link) for instructions from Google for uninstalling it, or here for instructions about how to seek out and vanquish every trace of it. Uninstalling the add-on from Firefox might not do much without such a measure, but by all means do that as well.

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    The "instructions from Google" are no longer there. – RomanSt Jan 18 '12 at 15:02
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    Links are not working and answer leaves me completely confused. What does Google Chrome and Google Earth have to do with Firefox? – still_dreaming_1 Jun 3 '13 at 23:24
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    And this is exactly the reason you shouldn't just answer with links. Thanks for the (currently) useless answer. – Jesse Jul 2 '13 at 20:05
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    And ? What is it ? – Nicolas Barbulesco Sep 23 '13 at 13:27
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    This is not an answer. It is not self contained and merely points at where the answer can be found. Some of the links have already died, others will most likely die before people stop trying to find the answer to this question. Good answers on stack exchange stand on their own, with links only for further information. Accepting 'answers' which only link to the actual answer does a disservice to every other person who might want the question answered. Voting up (or in cases like this, not voting down) answers like this is similarly a disservice to people who actually want to solve this problem. – Mark Booth Feb 9 '14 at 11:29
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I like to get rid of this invasive malware but keep Chrome's ability to do a manual update, when I request one. To that end, delete just the plugin DLL (the name varies for sneaky reasons) which resides in the user profile folder (on Windows systems).

You can find the plugin location by opening a Firefox tab and entering about:plugins in the address input. It will list the plugin, for example, like so:

Google Update

File: C:\Documents and Settings\User Joe Bloggs\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Update\1.3.21.99\npGoogleUpdate3.dll
Version: 1.3.21.99
Google Update

(Note that the plugin must be enabled to be visible.)
Just delete that DLL and restart Firefox.


I like to use CCleaner to automatically kill this DLL. Do that by creating or adding to CCleaner's winapp2.ini file. Add a section like so:

[Google Update Firefox plugin]
LangSecRef=3026
Default=True
FileKey1=%APPDATA%\..\Local Settings\Application Data\Google\Update|*GoogleUpdate*.dll|RECURSE
FileKey2=%ProgramFiles%\Google\Update|*GoogleUpdate*.dll|RECURSE



Finally, "How To Stop Automatic Plugin Installations In Firefox" details how to fight this outrageous malarkey by Google, Microsoft, Apple/iTunes, etc.

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This addon updates all Google software. It is typically installed when you install Chrome. You can disable it and manually update your Google software. You should also note you most likely have a Google Update service running, and a task scheduled to run.

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    "Updates all Google software" What what what? What does Google software have anything to do with a Firefox plugin? Firefox is not Google software and I highly doubt you need Firefox to be installed in order to keep your Google software up to date... – still_dreaming_1 Jun 3 '13 at 23:29
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    @INTPnerd what it has to do with Firefox is that it is yet one more chance for the Google software to be started, in case the user has tried to disable it through Startup, Task scheduler, and the Google Update process. – MattBianco Oct 22 '14 at 10:19
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The same thing happened to me. I remembered that I'd recently installed Adobe Reader - they added Google Chrome optionally to their download but it's selected by default. You need to uncheck it before downloading.

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The Firefox Google Update plugin is installed when you download and install any one of Google's desktop programs. The Google Update Plugin helps keep your desktop Google programs updated. You can find more information on the Google Update Plugin over at http://latestversionplugin.com.

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