Avoiding Browser toolbars

What are browser toolbars ?

Browser toolbars are add-ons that sit inside popular internet browsers, such as Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.  They are often bundled with downloaded software and installed unknowingly.

Legitimate makers of browser toolbars use them to track users, view their latest activity, or see who’s online at any given moment, what buttons users click on toolbar, what keywords they use, and what they search for. (Source)

Other toolbars are actually spam or even keystroke loggers that offer themselves up as toolbars.  Learn how to avoid Browser toolbars.


Toolbar overload

Click on this picture to zoom in

Ridiculous: You can hardly see the webpage for the toolbars!


How do I avoid browser toolbars ?

When downloading and installing software, you can no longer just select “Express/Standard/Normal” install. This almost guarantees you will also receive a free, unwanted toolbar.

Using Custom Install

You need to select “Custom install” instead. Ignore statements made about it being un-preferred or for advanced users – the only ‘advanced’ thing you need to do is un-tick a box or two, and click “Next” a few times…


As you step through the installation process, look out for check boxes such as “Include useless toolbar” and “Change my Homepage to useless.com” and un-tick them. In this example we need to click “Decline” aswell.

Unticking 'useless toolbar' option

In the above example, downloaded from the popular C-Net Download.com, selecting “Standard Install” would have also installed the Ask toolbar, and changed your internet start & search settings to Ask.com.


What happens if you have multiple browser toolbars installed? (as shown above)

1. Your internet browser runs very slowly when first loading all of the toolbars.

2. Your internet surfing habits are being collected, transmitted and stored.

3. The browser toolbars may try to update often, even if the browser itself is at the latest version.

4. Your PC is likely to be infected with a malicious browser toolbar.


How do I get rid of browser toolbars?

Browser toolbars can be removed using a number of methods – this is dependant on the type of toolbar.

1. Legitimate toolbars can be disabled within the browsers settings, and are also likely to have an uninstall feature in the Control Panel / Add-Remove Programs list.

2. If you have malicious toolbars that you can’t uninstall with step 1, try a virus scan – this may find and remove it.


If these methods fail to remove the browser toolbar, then its time to contact Tailormade IT Solutions for further assistance.


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