What is Ask Toolbar (Ask Toolbar virus)?
Ask Toolbar is a very controversial but legitimate toolbar developed by Ask.com for use alongside the Ask Search Engine. Ask Toolbar is a often mistakenly referred to as the Ask Toolbar virus, Ask Toolbar malware, Ask Toolbar spyware, and other names. Though Ask Toolbar is a legitimate add-on and extension for popular internet browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, and Internet Explorer there are many discrepnrensies with the Ask.com toolbar that should be noted. Many report that Ask Toolbar changes internet browser settings without direct consent, often targeting and entrapping unsuspecting victims to what some would call unethical terms of service and user agreements. Ask Toolbar changes the homepages, default/provided searh engine, and browser shortcuts of internet browsers that it attaches to as an add-on or extension, causing redirections to ask.com and other websites.
Many have also complained that Ask Toolbar may display unwanted in-text, pop-up, and pop-under advertisements, or suggest that Ask Toolbar is adware. Ask Toolbar is not adware, but the product may allow the serving of advertisements to it’s users from third-parties. If you are experiencing advertisements alongside Ask Toolbar, it is likely that a third-party browser helper object is installed to your computer system alongside Ask Toolbar or another product.
Is Ask Toolbar safe, is Ask Toolbar malware?
Ask Toolbar is not safe unless the add-on or extension is downloaded from Ask.com (toolbar.ask.com). Even then, using Ask Toolbar is a risk as there have been conflicting usage complaints, comments, and reports of Ask Toolbar installing unwanted software or “entrapping” victims to terms they would never agree with if presented properly.
The pimary concern and dangers that lay with Ask Toolbar is that an unethical third-party may utilize Ask Toolbar and the Ask.com brand as a mask or bundle Ask Toolbar with their malicious software in order to generate revenue.Third-parties may accumulate revenue each time they are able to install Ask Toolbar and other add-ons and extensions to individual computer systems.
Ask Toolbar is not malware, nor a computer virus, but is often referred to as Ask Toolbar malware, Ask Toolbar virus, or even Ask Toolbar spyware. Many also assume that most security experts would categorize Ask Toolbar as malware if the item was not branded as an Ask.com product due to copyright and privacy laws. Some claim that Ask Toolbar practices unethical marketing practices, social engineering, entrapment, and also state that Ask Toolbar is a very invasive browser add-on and extension. *Ask Toolbar does not provide malicious links and advertisements.
Why is my browser redirecting to Ask.com?
If your internet browser such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, or Internet Explorer is redirecting to Ask.com without consent, or if you notice the Ask Toolbar planted at the top of your internt browser window without permission, your computer may be infected with third-party adware, browser hijkacers, and spyware, you may have installed freeware, shareware, torrents, codecs, and other products online that may bundle Ask Toolbar with their product.
During the installation process of many forms of software, users are often given the opportunity to “opt out” of installing Ask Toolbar. For instance, the image below shows how Ask Toolbar may bundle with Java during the installation process, as the company Oracle (java) recommends installing the free browser add-on from Ask with their product. The installation process gives you the opportunity to check a box that says install the Ask Toolbar and make Ask my default search provider.
Though many software installments may give users the opportunity to avoid installing Ask Toolbar with their products, Ask Toolbar has been reported to install without consent. Other complain that unethical third-parties may make the installation process confusing and difficult to understand, which often entraps victims to unethical terms they would never agree with if presented in a clear and proper manner.
Ask Toolbar Removal Instructions (malware):
- Automatic Ask Toolbar removal - Scan your computer for malware and remove malware if found, followed by using free or full versions of cleaning and optimization software to automatically uninstall Ask Toolbar and repair internet browser settings.
- Manual Ask Toolbar removal - Use general uninstall instructions and tips to remove Ask Toolbar and third-party malware from your computer and installed internet browsers.
The options below can be used to automatically or manually remove Ask Toolbar and repair internet browser settings to stop unwanted browser start ups and redirections to ask.com and other websites. Aside from using the instructions provided below, another solution to remove Ask Toolbar and unwanted software from your computer would be to perform a System Restore (Windows) or System Refresh/Reset (Windows 8).
1. Automatic Ask Toolbar removal
In some scenarios third-party malware including adware, browser hijackers, spyware, and trojan horses may have included Ask Toolbar with their malware. In this case, third-party mawlare must be removed to stop the Ask.com redirect and other unwanted symptoms of Ask Toolbar.
1. Install the free or paid version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware software.
2. Once Malwarebytes is installed, run the program. If you are using the free version of Malwarebytes you will be prompted to update the database, please do so.
3. Open the first tab labeled “Scanner” and select the Perform full scan option. Click the Scan button to perform a full system scan. Malwarebytes will automatically detect malware infecting your computer system.
4. Once the full system scan is complete, Malwarebytes may prompt a message stating malicious objects were detected. Select the malicious objects and click the Remove Selected button to completely remove the malicious files from your computer (the image below shows a file that is NOT selected).
CCleaner by Piriform
CCleaner can be used to repair internet browser settings and uninstall stubborn Ask Toolbar software. CCleaner can automatically stop your browser from redirecting to Ask.com and other websites.
1. Install the free or paid version of CCleaner by Piriform and run the program.
2. Once installed, run the program and navigate to Cleaner > Windows/Applications and click the Analyze button. Afterwards, click the Run Cleaner button on the bottom right of the program interface.
3. Next, navigate to Tools > Startup and search through each tab starting from windows, internet explorer, etc., all the way to Content Menu, for additional suspicious entries and click Disable and Delete once anything is found. Look for anything that may contain “ask” in the title or filename.
4. If needed, to automatically uninstall Ask Toolbar and other unwanted software, navigate to the Uninstall tab and select Ask Toolbar for automatic deletion.
2. Manual Ask Toolbar removal
Use the instructions below to manually remove Ask Toolbar and other software from your computer that may be causing unwanted redirections, as well as remove Ask.com from your home page and search engine.
Ask Toolbar software may include: APN Ask Toolbar, Ask Toolbar Updater, IESalesProspectsToolbarInstaller_S-PV_tbr_sa_hpr_22.214.171.124 *Ask Toolbar installs multiple software and files at once that must be removed and uninstalled.
How to uninstall Ask Toolbar
The video and instructions below the video detail how to remove Ask Toolbar and troubleshoot common uninstall issues.
1. Access Windows Start Menu and navigate to the Control Panel.
2. Click Uninstall a program or Add and remove a program (depending on your version of Windows).
3. In the list of installed programs, search for Ask Toolbar and other suspicious third party programs. Uninstall Ask Toolbar and unwanted software by double clicking the program’s icon, or highlight the program in the list and click the Uninstall button/tab.
All browser windows must be closed to uninstall Ask Toolbar
Ask Toolbar may be difficult to manually uninstall, all internet browser windows need to be closed and Ask Toolbar may claim that browser windows, including Google Chrome windows are not closed and Ask Toolbar can not be removed. If this is the case, type Ctrl+Shift+Esc and navigate to the processes tab. KIll all process titled chrome.exe, etc.
Microsoft Internet Explorer (etc.): Ask Toolbar Uninstall
Ask Toolbar can be easily uninstalled from IE and other internet browsers by clicking the options button and selecting uninstall on the drop-down menu. Follow the instructions and please note, uninstalling Ask Toolbar may take a few minutes.
How to remove Ask Toolbar add-on and extension
Ask Toolbar may install as a standalone add-on or extension, alongside third-party browser attachments, or bundled inside a third-party browser attachment that causes browsers to start up on and redirect to http://ask.com. Removing third-party attachments often stops the Ask redirect.
It is suggested to Uninstall any unwanted programs and browser helper objects using Window’s Uninstaller or CCleaner prior to removing the browser attachment.
1. Type Ctrl+Shift+A.
2. On the Extensions and Plugin search for the Ask Toolbar addon and any suspicious add-ons and remove them if located.
Microsoft Internet Explorer
1. Click Tools and select Manage add-ons.
2. On the Toolbars and Extensions tab search for the Ask Toolbar addon and any suspicious addons and remove them if located.
1. Click on the Customize icon (wrench or 3 bar icon) next to the address bar and navigate to Tools > Extensions (or type chrome://chrome/extensions/ into the address bar).
2. Search for the Ask Toolbar extension and other suspicious extensions. Remove them by clicking the trashcan icon next to them.
How to remove Ask.com from your homepage
- In Mozilla Firefox navigate to Tools > Options or click Firefox in the top left corner and click Options > Options. Under the General tab remove Ask.com from the “Home Page:” field and replace it with your preferred home page URL.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools >Internet Options. Remove Ask.com from the Home Page field and replace it with your preferred URL.
- In Google Chrome click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings.Click “Set pages” under the On startup option. Remove Ask.com and replace it with your preferred URL.
How to remove the Ask.com search engine
- In Mozilla Firefox, click the small search magnify glass near the search box (not url/search field) and click “Manage Search Engines…”. Remove the Ask.com search engine from the list of search providers by highlighting the selections and clicking remove.
- In Microsoft Internet Explorer navigate to Tools > Manage Add Ons > Search Providers and remove the Ask.com search engine from the list.
- In Google Chrome, click the customize icon (wrench or 3 bars) and navigate to Settings > Manage search engines… click the X next to Ask.com to remove it as your search engine.
Please note, If www.ask.com is set as Google Chrome’s default search engine, add (or select) a new search engine (such as Google.com) and select the new search engine as the default search engine, then remove Frameseek.com by clicking the X next to it.
How to remove Ask.com browser shortcut
Ask.com may alter browser shortcuts on Windows operating systems. Use the instructions to remove the Ask shortcut from installed internet browsers.
1. Right click on a browser shortcut and select Properties.
2. On the shortcut tab, remove http://www.ask.com from the the target field and click OK. If your shortcut is pinned to the taskbar you have to unpin it first, then correct the shortcut in the start menu, and re-pin it to the task bar.