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Uninstalling toolbars

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(added link to ghacks.net/2012/02/20 article to intro, moved "Toolbar settings" further down the page and removed outdated paragraphs on ZoneAlarm and WinAmp)
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Toolbar add-ons from third-party software providers can be installed in Firefox by visiting a website and clicking an "Install' link or, in some cases, by downloading and running a toolbar installer. Toolbars can also be added to Firefox when installing software that includes a toolbar as part of the installation process. Toolbar add-ons from third-party software providers can be installed in Firefox by visiting a website and clicking an "Install' link or, in some cases, by downloading and running a toolbar installer. Toolbars can also be added to Firefox when installing software that includes a toolbar as part of the installation process.
-'''Note:''' Be careful when installing or updating other applications, which may install a toolbar by default unless you deselect the toolbar option. For example, the [[Java]] installer can include a preselected option for the Yahoo! Toolbar for Firefox/Mozilla [http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/yahoo_toolbar.xml] and the Avira Antivirus installer may add the "Avira SearchFree Toolbar plus WebGuard" (Ask.com toolbar) to Firefox. [http://securitygarden.blogspot.com/2011/06/avira-antivir-adds-ask-toolbar-and.html] See [http://www.ghacks.net/2012/02/20/how-programs-trick-you-into-installing-adware-on-your-computer/ How Programs Trick You Into Installing Adware On Your Computer for more information and examples.+'''Note:''' Be careful when installing or updating other applications, which may install a toolbar by default unless you deselect the toolbar option. For example, the [[Java]] installer can include a preselected option for the Yahoo! Toolbar for Firefox/Mozilla [http://www.java.com/en/download/faq/yahoo_toolbar.xml] and the Avira Antivirus installer may add the "Avira SearchFree Toolbar plus WebGuard" (Ask.com toolbar) to Firefox. [http://securitygarden.blogspot.com/2011/06/avira-antivir-adds-ask-toolbar-and.html] See [http://www.ghacks.net/2012/02/20/how-programs-trick-you-into-installing-adware-on-your-computer/ How Programs Trick You Into Installing Adware On Your Computer] for more information and examples.
==Hiding toolbars== ==Hiding toolbars==

Revision as of 18:03, 24 March 2012

This article will help you remove unwanted third-party toolbars from Firefox. If you need help removing a search engine from the Firefox Search Bar, see the Search Bar article.

Toolbar add-ons from third-party software providers can be installed in Firefox by visiting a website and clicking an "Install' link or, in some cases, by downloading and running a toolbar installer. Toolbars can also be added to Firefox when installing software that includes a toolbar as part of the installation process.

Note: Be careful when installing or updating other applications, which may install a toolbar by default unless you deselect the toolbar option. For example, the Java installer can include a preselected option for the Yahoo! Toolbar for Firefox/Mozilla [1] and the Avira Antivirus installer may add the "Avira SearchFree Toolbar plus WebGuard" (Ask.com toolbar) to Firefox. [2] See How Programs Trick You Into Installing Adware On Your Computer for more information and examples.

Contents

Hiding toolbars

If you just want to hide an unwanted toolbar, you can open the Firefox "View -> Toolbars" menu and deselect the toolbar you wish to hide by clicking the checkbox to clear it (see Toolbar customization for more information).

Note: Starting in Firefox 4, the Menu bar is hidden by default on Windows 7/Vista. You can press the "Alt" key to temporarily show the Menu bar, then open the View -> Toolbars menu, or you can open the orange Firefox Button drop-down menu and go over to the Options sub-menu to de-select the toolbars you want to hide, as shown below.

Image:FirefoxButtonOptions.png

Removing toolbars

To uninstall an unwanted third-party toolbar from Firefox, use one of the methods listed below.

In some cases, you may also need to reset preference settings related to the toolbar after disabling or uninstalling it. In particular, toolbars that include an Internet search feature (such as the Ask.com Toolbar) change the default search provider by modifying the Keyword.URL preference. [3]

If the following instructions don't work, you should seek help from the toolbar provider.

Add-ons manager

Many third-party toolbars are installed as Firefox extensions, which can be uninstalled by going to the Firefox Add-ons manager ("Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions"), selecting the toolbar and clicking the 'Uninstall' button, then restarting Firefox. If the 'Uninstall' option is not working, restart Firefox in Safe Mode and try again. If you still can't uninstall the toolbar, use the 'Disable" option as a workaround, or see below for other solutions.

Uninstalling via Windows Control Panel

You may be able to remove the toolbar from the Windows Control Panel list of installed programs;

Windows XP/2000: "Start -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Change or Remove Programs" [4]
Windows 7/Vista: "Start -> Control Panel -> Programs / Uninstall a program (or Programs and Features)" [5] [6]
  • Ask toolbars, which include the older ZoneAlarm "Spy Blocker" toolbar and the "Avira SearchFree Toolbar plus WebGuard" toolbars provided by Ask.com, can be removed this way. [7] [[8]] For more information, see How do I uninstall the Ask.com Toolbar? at Ask Support, which includes a downloadable "ToolbarUtilityTool.exe" removal tool, if you have problems using the uninstaller from Windows Control Panel.

If you don't see a separate entry for the toolbar in the list of installed programs you may need to uninstall the program or program component that included the toolbar.

  • ZoneAlarm software now installs a Security toolbar powered by Conduit. If you later want to remove the toolbar, the easiest method is to uninstall ZoneAlarm and then do a custom installation and deselect the toolbar option. [9] [10] [11]
  • AVG antivirus software installation may include the AVG Security Toolbar as an add-on for Internet Explorer and Firefox. [12] [13] You can add or remove AVG features or components by selecting your AVG product (e.g., AVG 2012) in the list of installed programs and clicking the Change button. For example, to remove the AVG Security Toolbar from AVG 2012, click the Change button, select "Add or Remove Features", expand "AVG Add-Ons" within the Component Selection window, uncheck the AVG Security Toolbar component and finish the installation wizard. [14] [15]
  • CA (Computer Associates) Internet Security Suite includes the Website Inspector component, which adds the CA Link Advisor and CA Toolbar extensions in Firefox. You can remove the CA Link Advisor and CA Toolbar extensions by removing the Website Inspector component from CA Internet Security, as shown here. [16] (If entries for the removed CA add-ons remain in the Extensions list, exit Firefox, open the profile folder and delete the files "extensions.cache", "extensions.ini", "extensions.rdf", and/or "extensions.sqlite".)

Toolbar settings

Some toolbars can be uninstalled using the settings available within the toolbar itself. For example the Google Toolbar for Firefox can be uninstalled by clicking the "Settings" button in the Google toolbar or, in older versions, by clicking the "Google" logo. You can then choose "Help" and then "Uninstall." [17] Note: the Google Toolbar is no longer supported by Google for Firefox 5 and above (see Using Google Toolbar features without toolbars). Also, some versions of the Yahoo! Toolbar have a “Settings” button with an uninstall menu option. To see which version of the toolbar is installed, visit this Yahoo Help page. If you have a "Pencil" button, click "Uninstall" in the menu, enter any feedback, then click "Uninstall" and restart Firefox. [18]

Application settings

If the toolbar was added to Firefox when you installed another application, see if there is an option to remove or disable the toolbar within the application's own settings.

Manual removal

Some toolbars must be removed in steps, some of which may include manual file deletion. For example, if you want to remove a toolbar extension from the Firefox Add-ons Manager instead of just disabling it, you may need to find and manually delete the installation folder or files.

Babylon Toolbar: First remove the Babylon Toolbar from the Windows Control Panel list of installed programs, if listed (see above). Next, remove it from the Firefox "Add-ons -> Extensions" list and from the Search Bar "Manage search engines" list. You may also need to reset the keyword.URL preference in about:config (or see resetting preferences to reset all user preferences). Note: If the uninstall (remove) button for the Babylon Toolbar in the Firefox Add-ons -> Extensions list is greyed out, either use the "Disable" button as a workaround or else find and delete the Babylon Toolbar installation files from the installation directory\extensions folder (the Babylon Toolbar extension ID can be found in the "Help -> Troubleshooting Information" about:support page). For example, according to this recent Babylon Toolbar removal guide, on 64-bit Windows 7 you would manually delete the "ffxtlbr@babylon.com" folder located here: C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\extensions\ ffxtlbr@babylon.com [19] [20] [21] [22]

Norton Toolbar: Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security currently add an anti-phishing toolbar to Firefox. To remove the Norton toolbar in older versions (e.g., Norton 360 2.0) exit Firefox completely and remove (or rename) the file "coFFPlgn.dll" from the Firefox installation directory components folder (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components). [23] If the file is regenerated when you restart the computer, remove it again and in its place, create an empty text file (e.g., with Notepad), rename it "coFFPlgn.dll" and change the properties to "read-only". [24] [25] Note: In recent Norton toolbar versions (e.g., Norton Toolbar 4.5), "coFFPlgn.dll" is no longer added to the Mozilla Firefox components folder (related to bug 519357). Either disable the Norton Toolbar in Firefox from the "Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions" window, or else try the workarounds given here and here.

See also

External links