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How do I get rid of annoying toolbars?

14
Mar
2013

Question of the week:  A toolbar suddenly appeared in my browser. I tried to uninstall it through the Control Panel, but it’s still there. How can I get rid of it?

Have you installed free software lately? Sometimes toolbars and other unwanted add-ons are included in free downloads. Most of the time, but not always, you have the option to skip installing the toolbar, but if you rushed through the screens, you may have missed it.

Some toolbars have useful features, but since browsers integrate many of the same features, they are redundant. Most of these can be easily uninstalled. Google Toolbar, Ask.com Toolbar, Windows Live Toolbar, Blogger Toolbar fit this group.

There is another group of toolbars that have malware bundled with them. We asked our users which “shady” toolbars they have had to deal with.

graph 2

 

These “shady” toolbars – or rather the malware attached to them – can mine for personal data, redirect your searches, give you viruses and trojans, hog your system’s resources, and open backdoors for cybercrooks. Our survey shows that the majority of people weren’t even aware that “shady” toolbars can do these things. Some indicators that you have a malicious toolbar installed include:

  • System slowdownsgraph 3
  • Random shutdowns
  • Slower and/or erratic searches
  • Searches lead to infected websites
  • Popup messages
  • Desktop background that doesn’t change
  • Messages which warn of infection (not from avast!)

So now to answer your question –

How can I get rid of an unwanted toolbar?

avast! Browser Cleanup is a new feature available in each of our 4 products – avast! Free Antivirus, avast! Pro Antivirus, avast! Internet Security, and our new avast! Premier.  It will show you a list of your browser toolbars, together with their user rating, and will give you the option to disable them, or to fully remove them. It will also give you the option to restore your browser’s settings, such as your homepage and default search provider.

To start the avast! Browser Cleanup just click the button and it will check all your installed browsers for added toolbars.

browser cleanup

If no additional toolbars or other add-ons are detected, your browser status will be reported as “Clean”.

browser cleanup clean
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