Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
It's all too easy for browser toolbars to accumulate to an almost unusable collection. We'll look at how to prevent, and remove, browser toolbars.
I have 7 different tool bars - I only want to keep Google and Yahoo. How do I get rid of the others? I'm a new user so please tell me the simplest way to do it.
There are two ways to do it, and both are pretty simple.
There's a third way that's perhaps the most appropriate, and also very simple, but most people don't think to do it.
That's never to allow the toolbars to install in the first place.
I've seen some pretty messed-up browsers. You have 7 different toolbars? Yes that's a lot, but it's small time compared to some. Imagine an screen where more than half of what would be the browser window is taken up with toolbar after toolbar after toolbar.
You can't convince me that anyone would actually want that many toolbars.
How does it happen? I've written about it before: buried in the default options when you install some unrelated piece of software is a checkbox that says "Yes, I do want the whizbang toolbar from spamco!" or something like that. The toolbar has nothing to do with the application that they're installing - it's pure marketing. People don't pay attention and simply accept all the default options. After installing a few applications (or in some cases even just updates) they find their browser overloaded with toolbars.
1: The right solution - prevention.
Pay attention when installing software or updates. UNcheck options that offer you toolbars and other "stuff" that you don't need or want.
Read Why do I suddenly have another toolbar in my browser? for how, and why this happens, and what you need to be looking for.
2: The quick solution - don't display them.
In most browsers on the View menu, there's a Toolbars submenu. In there you'll find a list of most of your toolbars, with checkmarks. Simply uncheck those you no longer want to see.
It's quick and simple, but there are two problems with this approach:
even though you can't see them, the toolbar and the software that implements it is still around, using up memory, and perhaps even interfering with your browser
not all toolbars show up in that list
But it's quick and easy, and perhaps it's enough for you.
3: The practical solution - uninstall them.
This is still pretty easy, but it takes just a little more work.
Close your browser, and go to Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs (XP) or Control Panel, Programs and Features (Vista and 7). Look for the name of the toolbar in the list of installed software. Once you find it, click on Remove or Uninstall.
(In Firefox, some toolbars may actually be browser add-ons, so be sure to look in Firefox's add-on manager for the equivalent uninstall opportunity.)
This should remove the toolbar, and all it's supporting software, from your machine.
Note that I said "should". This is where many toolbars are notorious for being "bad citizens". They intentionally make it difficult to remove them, often by not even having an uninstall option.
In such a case your options are to use an uninstallation utility like Revo Uninstaller, attempt a System Restore to a time prior to when the toolbar appeared, or restoring to a backup taken prior to the toolbar's appearance.
And yes, those options are increasingly not simple.
That's why the best option of all is #1: prevention.
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