What is bitguard.dll?

BitGuard's alert window when trying to change browser settings
BitGuard's alert window when trying to change browser settings

BitGuard, by PerformerSoft LLC, is a piece of software designed to prevent changes to various web browser settings, such as the home page and the search settings. BitGuard is often installed along with the Babylon Toolbar and the Delta Toolbar.

BitGuard is bundled with free downloads, such as RocketPDF and in downloads from CNET's Download.com. In many of the bundled installs of BitGuard that I've looked on, it is poorly disclosed, if at all, that BitGuard is part of the install bundle and what functionality BitGuard has.

BitGuard's two bitguard.exe processes in the Task Manager
BitGuard's two BitGuard.exe processes in the Task Manager

If you have BitGuard installed on your system, you will see two BitGuard.exe processes running in the Windows Task Manager. One of the BitGuard.exe processes is running under the user's account and the other is running under the SYSTEM user. If you kill one of the BitGuard.exe processes, BitGuard will immediately restart the killed process.

BitGuard in the Add/Remove programs dialog
BitGuard in the Add/Remove programs dialog

If BitGuard notice a change in one of the browser-related settings it monitors, it will pop-up an alert dialog in the bottom right corner of the screen saying:

Browser Change

It appears there is an attempt to change your default search engine or your homepage or interfere with your browsing experience.

Do you approve these changes to be made?

The dialog has a number of usability problems: It does not disclose that BitGuard popped up the dialog, which can make it difficult for users if they want to uninstall the search settings protection. Another usability problems is that the dialog neither inform the user exactly which settings was protected, nor what the new settings values would be, if the user choose to accept it. In addition, the dialog does not inform the user which program that attempted to change the browser settings.

BitGuard implements the blocking feature by registering its bitguard.dll file under the AppInit_DLLs setting in the Windows Registry. This means that bitguard.dll will be loaded by each Microsoft Windows-based application that is running on the machine. You will probably see bitguard.dll loaded into the majority of the processes running on your system, even the processes that does not make any changes to browser settings.

The BitGuard service
The BitGuard service

When installed, BitGuard also adds a Windows Service to the computer. This allows BitGuard.exe to start before the user logs on. The service is configured to restart automatically in case BitGuard.exe is killed.

On October 16 2013, I uploaded the BitGuard.exe file to the scanners at VirusTotal. 11 of the 47 anti-virus scanners detected the file. The classification ranged from Trojan to a Potentially Unwanted Program.

If you have additional information about the file, please share it with the FreeFixer users by posting a comment at the bottom of this page.

Vendor and version information [?]

The following is the available information on bitguard.dll:

Product nameApplication Manager
Company namePerformerSoft LLC
File descriptionProtector
Legal copyrightCopyright 2012
Private build2,6,1673,238
Product version2,6,1673,238
File version2,6,1673,238
Special build2,6,1673,238

Here's a screenshot of the file properties when displayed by Windows Explorer:

Product nameApplication Manager
Company namePerformerSoft LLC
File descriptionProtector
Legal copyrightCopyright 2012
Private build2,6,1673,238
Product version2,6,1673,238
File version2,6,1673,238
Special build2,6,1673,238

Digital signatures [?]

bitguard.dll has a valid digital signature.

Signer nameMediaTechSoft Inc.
Certificate issuer nameGo Daddy Secure Certification Authority
Certificate serial number047346d0687ab1

VirusTotal report

21 of the 48 anti-virus programs at VirusTotal detected the bitguard.dll file. That's a 44% detection rate.

ScannerDetection Name
AhnLab-V3 Downloader/Win32.MultiDL
AntiVir APPL/BProtector.Gen
Avast Win32:BProtect-A [PUP]
AVG Bprotect.C
BitDefender Gen:Variant.Adware.BHO.Bprotector.1
Comodo Application.Win32.bProtector.KA
DrWeb Adware.BGuard.28
ESET-NOD32 a variant of Win32/bProtector.A
F-Secure Gen:Variant.Adware.BHO.Bprotector.1
Fortinet Adware/Fam.NB
GData Gen:Variant.Adware.BHO.Bprotector.1
K7AntiVirus Riskware
K7GW Riskware
Kaspersky Trojan-Downloader.Win32.MultiDL.r
Malwarebytes PUP.Optional.PerformerSoft.A
McAfee Artemis!4708CBD3A820
McAfee-GW-Edition Artemis!4708CBD3A820
MicroWorld-eScan Gen:Variant.Adware.BHO.Bprotector.1
Sophos BProtector
Symantec Adware.GoonSquad
VIPRE InstallBrain (fs)
21 of the 48 anti-virus programs detected the bitguard.dll file.

bitguard.dll removal instructions

The instructions below shows how to remove bitguard.dll with help from the FreeFixer removal tool. Basically, you install FreeFixer, scan your computer, check the bitguard.dll file for removal, restart your computer and scan it again to verify that bitguard.dll has been successfully removed. Here are the removal instructions in more detail:

  1. Download and install FreeFixer: http://www.freefixer.com/download.html
  2. Start FreeFixer and press the Start Scan button. The scan will finish in approximately five minutes.
    Screenshot of Start Scan button
  3. When the scan is finished, locate bitguard.dll in the scan result and tick the checkbox next to the bitguard.dll file. Do not check any other file for removal unless you are 100% sure you want to delete it. Tip: Press CTRL-F to open up FreeFixer's search dialog to quickly locate bitguard.dll in the scan result.
    Red arrow point on the unwanted file
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the scan result and press the Fix button. FreeFixer will now delete the bitguard.dll file.
    Screenshot of Fix button
  5. Restart your computer.
  6. Start FreeFixer and scan your computer again. If bitguard.dll still remains in the scan result, proceed with the next step. If bitguard.dll is gone from the scan result you're done.
  7. If bitguard.dll still remains in the scan result, check its checkbox again in the scan result and click Fix.
  8. Restart your computer.
  9. Start FreeFixer and scan your computer again. Verify that bitguard.dll no longer appear in the scan result.
Please select the option that best describe your thoughts on the removal instructions given above

Free Questionnaires

Folder name variants

bitguard.dll may also be located in other folders than c:\progra~2\bitguard\261673~1.238\{c16c1~1\. The most common variants are listed below:

Other files also named bitguard.dll

bitguard.dll (196 votes)

Hashes [?]


What will you do with bitguard.dll?

To help other users, please let us know what you will do with bitguard.dll:

What did other users do?

The poll result listed below shows what users chose to do with bitguard.dll. 68% have voted for removal. Based on votes from 78 users.

User vote results: There were 53 votes to remove and 25 votes to keep

NOTE: Please do not use this poll as the only source of input to determine what you will do with bitguard.dll.


Please share with the other users what you think about this file. What does this file do? Is it legitimate or something that your computer is better without? Do you know how it was installed on your system? Did you install it yourself or did it come bundled with some other software? Is it running smoothly or do you get some error message? Any information that will help to document this file is welcome. Thank you for your contributions.

I'm reading all new comments so don't hesitate to post a question about the file. If I don't have the answer perhaps another user can help you.

Roger Karlsson writes

1 thumb

bitguard.dll appears to be a new variant of the "Browser Protector" software. I've posted more information here:


# 16 Sep 2013, 12:25

Roger Karlsson writes

1 thumb

I've posted a video tutorial on how to delete the BitGuard software here:


# 27 Sep 2013, 0:05

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