Malicious toolbars are a form of online virus that secretly install themselves on your machine without your knowledge or permission; they are installed when you click on pop-up advertisements or through what is termed a ‘drive-by installation’ (programs that exploit flaws in your browser and operating system and are automatically installed on your computer when you visit certain websites).
Once these toolbars are installed on your system, they can generate a substantial amount of fake pop-ups that adversely affect your PC’s functioning and web surfing activities, change your browser’s homepage and redirect you to other sites (creating a portal for malicious spyware and adware) or even monitor your internet activity and deliver the saved information to a remote third party server or hacker for devious purposes.
Although there are numerous legitimate toolbars that are designed to enhance your web browser’s functionality, there are also several malware toolbars that disguise themselves as honest-looking and may even come packaged with other unwanted programs that perform harmful functions on your PC.
However, getting rid of these malicious toolbars is a fairly simple process. Removing these common exploits is now easier than ever. Follow the steps given below to remove malicious toolbars from your PC and regain control.
Removing/Uninstalling Malicious Toolbars Manually
Step 1 – Uninstall the toolbar from your PC
Click the Start button, select Control Panel and click on Uninstall a Program. Once the Uninstall or change a program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of installed programs and uninstall any recently installed or unknown toolbars. As a general rule, make it a point to uninstall any installed program you come across whose purpose you are unaware of or ones that you do not recall installing yourself.
Step 2 – Remove the toolbar from your web browser
For Internet explorer:
- Open Internet explorer, click on the gear icon at the top far-right (or Tools for users with Windows XP) and then click on Internet Options.
- Once the Internet Options dialog box opens up, click on the Advanced tab and then click the Reset button.
- In the Reset internet explorer settings section, check the Delete Personal Settings box and then click on Reset.
- Click on Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK once internet explorer finishes resetting,
- Finally, restart Internet explorer by closing it and opening it again.
For Mozilla FireFox:
- Open Firefox, Click the Firefox button at the top of the window and select Add-ons>Extensions.
- Once the Extensions tab opens up, search and remove any extensions associated with malicious toolbars or other unknown extensions.
- Now click the Firefox button again go over to the Help sub-menu. (For users with windows XP, click the Help menu and select Troubleshooting information).
- In the upper right corner of the troubleshooting information page, click the Reset Firefox button.
- Move forward by clicking Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens up
- Firefox will automatically close and reset; once it’s done, a window listing the imported information will appear. Click Finish.
For Google Chrome:
- Open Google Chrome, Click on the menu button (in the top right section) on the browser toolbar, select Tools and click on Extensions.
- In the Extensions Tab, click on the recycle bin (icon) to remove any toolbar-associated or unknown extensions. Again, if you have not installed an extension yourself, remove it from your browser.
- Next, reset Google Chrome as the default search engine:
- Click on the menu button (in the top right section) on the browser toolbar, select Settings and under the Search section, click on ‘Manage Search Engines’
- In the dialogue box that appears, select ‘Google’ as your default search engine by clicking ‘Make Default’ and delete any unwanted or unknown search engines/toolbars that appear on the list.
Step 3 – Scan Your Pc with trusted antivirus software
Despite following the simple instructions given above, ensuring complete removal of malicious toolbars and stopping pop-up advertisements from displaying on your computer necessitates scanning your system using advanced anti-spyware definitions to successfully detect and remove any malware that may have been installed on your computer without your consent or knowledge and may pose a threat to your system’s security is recommended.