Freecause Toolbar is a browser hijacker, which is promoted via other free downloads, and once installed it will add the Freecause Community Toolbar, change your browser homepage to search.conduit.com, and set your default search engine to Freecause Customized Web Search.
The Freecause Customized Web Search will display advertisements and sponsored links in your search results, and may collect search terms from your search queries. The Freecause Toolbar infection is used to boost advertising revenue, as in the use of blackhat SEO, to inflate a site’s page ranking in search results.
The Freecause Toolbar it’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.
Freecause Toolbar got on your computer after you have installed a freeware software (video recording/streaming, download-managers or PDF creators) that had bundled into their installation this browser hijacker. This browser hijacker is also bundled within the custom installer on many download sites (examples: CNET, Brothersoft or Softonic), so if you have downloaded a software from these websites, chances are that Freecause Toolbar was installed during the software setup process.
For example, when you install DivX Player, you will also agree to change your browser homepage to search.conduit.com, set your default search engine to Freecause Customized Web Search, and install the Freecause Toolbar.
However when you uninstall DivX Player from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you’ll have to remove Freecause Toolbar and search.conduit.com from your favorite web browser manually.
You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Freecause Toolbar. Be very careful what you agree to install.
Always opt for the custom installation and deselect anything that is not familiar, especially optional software that you never wanted to download and install in the first place. It goes without saying that you should not install software that you don’t trust.
How to remove Freecause Toolbar (Virus Removal Guide)
This page is a comprehensive guide, which will remove Freecause Toolbar from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
Please perform all the steps in the correct order. If you have any questions or doubt at any point, STOP and ask for our assistance.
STEP 1: Uninstall Freecause Toolbar programs from your computer
STEP 2: Remove Freecause Toolbar from your web browser
STEP 3: Remove Freecause Toolbar browser hijacker with AdwCleaner
STEP 4: Remove Freecause Toolbar virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
STEP 5: Double check for the Freecause Toolbar infection with HitmanPro
STEP 1 : Uninstall Freecause Toolbar program from your computer
- To uninstall Freecause Toolbar from your computer, click the Start button, then select Control Panel, and click on Uninstall a program.
If you are using Windows 8, simply drag your mouse pointer to the right edge of the screen, select Search from the list and search for “control panel“. Or you can right-click on a bottom left hot corner (formerly known as the Start button) and select Control Panel from there, then select Uninstall a program.
- When the Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstall a Program screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Search Protect by conduit, Freecause Toolbar, Password Box, Smileys We Love and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
Depending on which program has installed the Freecause Toolbar browser hijacker, the above program may have a different name or not be installed on your computer. If you cannot find any unwanted or unknown programs on your machine, then you can proceed with the next step.
STEP 2 : Remove Freecause Toolbar from your web browser
Remove Freecause Toolbar from Internet Explorer
- Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right), then click again on Internet Options.
- In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the Advanced tab, then click on the Reset button.
- In the Reset Internet Explorer settings section, check the Delete personal settings box, then click on Reset.
- When Internet Explorer finishes resetting, click Close in the confirmation dialogue box and then click OK.
- Close and open Internet Explorer.
Remove Freecause Toolbar from Mozilla Firefox
- Remove Freecause Toolbar extensions from Firefox.
At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
Select the Extensions tab, then remove Freecause 10.16.70.5, Smileys We Love, Value Apps and any other unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
- Reset your default search engine and homepage from Freecause Customized Web Search to their default.
To reset your search engine and homepage to their default, we will use the SearchReset extension.This add-on is very simple: on installation, it backs up and then resets your search preferences and home page to their default values, and then uninstalls itself. This affects the search bar, URL bar searches, and the home page.
You can download SearchReset from the below link, and then we will just need to install it to revert Firefox to its default settings.
SEARCHRESET DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open another web page from where you can download the SearchReset Firefox extension)
Remove Freecause Toolbar from Google Chrome
- Remove Freecause Toolbar extensions from Google Chrome.
Click the Chrome menu button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
In the Extensions tab, remove Freecause 10.16.70.1, Smileys We Love, Value Apps and any other unknown extensions by clicking the trash can icon.
Basically, if you have not installed an extension, you should remove it from your web browser.
- Set Google Chrome default search engine from Freecause Customized Web Search to Google.
Click the Chrome menu button, then select Settings and click on Manage search engines in the Search section.
In the Search Engines dialog that appears, select Google and click the Make Default button that appears in the row.
Search for Conduit in the Search Engines list, and click the X button that appears at the end of the row.
- Change Google Chrome homepage from search.conduit.com to its default.
Conduit has modified your Google settings to open their webpage whenever you start your browser, so we will need to revert this change.
Click the Chrome menu button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
STEP 3: Remove Freecause Toolbar browser hijacker with Adwcleaner
- You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
- Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the Scan button as shown below.
AdwCleaner will now start to search for Freecause Toolbar malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
- To remove the Freecause Toolbar malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the Clean button.
AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
STEP 4: Remove Freecause Toolbar virus from with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
- You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double-click on the icon named mbam-setup.exe to install this program.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK(This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
- When the installation begins, keep following the prompts in order to continue with the setup process, then at the last screen click on the Finish button.
- On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan, and then click on the Scan button to start searching for the Freecause Toolbar malicious files.
- Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for Freecause Toolbar as shown below.
- When the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware scan has finished, click on the Show Results button.
- You will now be presented with a screen showing you the computer infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has detected. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked), then click on the Remove Selected button.
STEP 5: Double-check for the Freecause Toolbar infection with HitmanPro
- You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
- Double-click on the file named HitmanPro.exe (for 32-bit versions of Windows) or HitmanPro_x64.exe (for 64-bit versions of Windows). When the program starts you will be presented with the start screen as shown below.
Click on the Next button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
- HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Freecause Toolbar malicious files.
- When it has finished it will display a list of all the malware that the program found as shown in the image below. Click on the Next button, to remove Freecause Toolbar adware.
- Click on the Activate free license button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
Your computer should now be free of the Freecause Toolbar infection.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Freecause Toolbar from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.