Getting Rid of Unwanted Toolbars and Search Engine Browsers

Getting Rid of Unwanted Toolbars and Search Engine Browsers


Google Images – public Domain

If you want to learn how to get rid of unwanted toolbars and search engine browsers, read on.  How many times have you unwittingly downloaded toolbars that you don’t want, or have had your preferred search engine hijacked?  As savvy as I am about this, I STILL manage to do it from time to time.  Any time you download software from the internet, there’s a strong probability that you will also download unwanted tool bars, or have your search engine hijacked.  When your search engine is “hijacked”, it means that when you open your browser, your preferred browser such as Google or Yahoo doesn’t open, but instead you get something like   This is the particular one I struggled for 2 hours on a Saturday morning trying to remove.

Here is what I found out during my struggle.  These are not malware or virus issues.  So therefore you don’t need to buy cleaning software to remedy your problem.  Sometimes I think the browser hijackers are the same culprits who have created the software/cleaners to fix it.  Don’t be tricked into buying this software.  Generally it starts off as being free software.  However once it scans your computer and finds the gazillion ‘errors’, it then requires you to upgrade to a paid version of the software in order to ‘clean’ your computer.

As well as ridding myself of, I also managed to rid myself of a particularly stubborn toolbar I acquired because I wanted to know who was un-friending me on Facebook.  I had received some kind of message from FB telling me that 3 people un-friended me which piqued my curiosity enough to download this software to tell me who is un-friending me.  Turns out it couldn’t even tell me the 3 people who did because I hadn’t downloaded the software yet; it could only tell me who was doing it going forward.  Sheesh!

Toolbar Removal:  If you don’t know already, toolbars usually can easily be removed from your control panel in the ‘add/remove program’ section.  Once you open your programs you can search for the unwanted toolbar and remove it.  This generally works fine for most toolbars, and only if you recognize the name of it.  Toolbar creators are clever enough to disguise the name so that you can’t remove it.  Also, sometimes as is the case with the FB social networking toolbar, even after going through the removal process from add/remove programs, the toolbar does not go away.

If you cannot remove an unwanted toolbar from your add/remove programs, try using this toolbar cleaner which worked for me:

Toolbar Cleaner

I promise you won’t get anything you don’t want when you download this cleaner.  At least I can verify that I did not get any unwanted crap along with it.  Obviously you won’t get an unwanted toolbar, because it’s a toolbar cleaner!

Get your Search Engine Back:  You cannot simply change your default browser by the traditional method of using the internet options button on your browser.  (I could not with that pesky browser.)  You must use the advance settings from within your own browser.  Here’s how to do it from the top 3 browsers:


This link specifically mentions the browser I was having trouble with, but it will also tell you how to reset your browser defaults so that you will get back the default browser of your choice, regardless of which unwanted default browser you wound up with unintentionally.

I hope this information makes your day like it did mine yesterday.  It wouldn’t hurt to keep the info on hand in case you’re like me, smart and stupid at the same time!

Jeanette Flint-Zalfini:  10/28/2012

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Jeanette has 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren and lives with her significant other. She shares her home in the Southern California Los Angeles area, with a long-haired Dachshund (Auggie-doggie), a long-haired Chihuahua (Toby) and Sneaker, our cat. Jeanette's pets not only bring her immense personal joy, but also provide her with great inspirational writing material. She works for the American Red Cross and looks forward to retiring in December, 2014. Writing is one of her greatest passion among many; dancing, golfing, reading, and everything computer/internet related.

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