Remove Ask Toolbar and Ask.com Search (Uninstall Guide)

Ask offers a web search engine (ask.com) and toolbar which are being promoted via other free programs and once installed on your computer, they will hijack your browser homepage and replace your default search engine.
[Image: Ask toolbar and search]

Ask Toolbar and Search got on your computer after you have installed another free software or add-on that had bundled into their installer this browser hijacker. For example, when you install Java,the Ask will install its toolbar, set your browser homepage to ask.com and change your default search engine to nl.ask.com.
However, when you uninstall Java from your computer, your web browser’s default settings will not be restored. This means that you have to remove the Ask toolbar and search from your favorite web browser manually.
[Image: Ask Toolbar installation via Java installer]

You should always pay attention when installing software because often, a software installer includes optional installs, such as this Ask 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.

Ask Toolbar and Ask.com – Virus Removal Instructions

STEP 1 : Uninstall Ask Toolbar from your computer

In this first step, we will try to identify and remove any malicious program that might be installed on your computer.

  1. To uninstall Ask Toolbar program from Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7, click the “Start” button, then click on the “Control Panel” menu option.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows Start Menu]
    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.
    [Image: Control Panel in Windows 8]
  2. When the “Control Panel” window opens click on the “Uninstall a program” option under “Programs” category. This option is shown by the arrow in the image below. If you are using the “Classic View” of the Control Panel, then you would double-click on the “Programs and Features” icon instead.
    [Image: Uninstall a program]
  3. When the “Programs and Features” or the “Uninstall a Program” screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Ask ToolbarAsk Toolbar Updater, Ask  Updater and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
    [Image: Ask Toolbar uninstaller]
    Depending on what program has installed the Ask Toolbar, 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.

If you are having issues while trying to uninstall the Ask Toolbar, you can use Revo Uninstaller to completely remove this unwanted program from your machine.


STEP 2 : Remove the Ask Toolbar residual damage from your browser

Ask Toolbar has installed several browser extensions, has changed your homepage to search.ask.com, and has changed your default search engine.

Remove Ask Toolbar and Ask.com from Internet Explorer

  1. Remove Ask Toolbar add-ons from Internet Explorer. Open Internet Explorer, then click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right) and then  select Manage add-ons.
    [Image: Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer]
    From the Toolbars and Extensions tab, select Ask Toolbar, askBar BHO and any other unknown extensions, then click on Disable.
    [Image: Ask Toolbar Internet Explorer Add-ons]
  2. Set Internet Explorer default search engine from Ask Search to Bing.
    To change your default search engine, click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] , select Manage Add-ons, and then, under Add-on Types, click Search Providers.
    Select Bing and click on Set Default.
    [Image: Ask Search engine Internet Explorer]
    Search for Ask.com in the Search Providers list, and click on Remove to get rid of this search engine.
    [Image: Remove Ask Search engine from Internet Explorer]
  3. Change your Internet Explorer home page from ask.com to its default
    To change your home page, click on the gear icon [Image: Internet Explorer gear icon] , select Internet Explore options, and in the General tab,under the Home page section, click on Use default to restore Internet Explorer default home page. [Image: Set Internet Explorer to its default homepage]

Remove Ask Toolbar and Ask.com from Mozilla Firefox

  1. Remove Ask Toolbar extension from Firefox.
    At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
    Firefox addon menu
    Select the Extensions tab, then remove Ask Toolbar and any other unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
    [Image: Ask Toolbar Firefox extension]
  2. Reset your default search engine and home page from Ask.com 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)
    [Image: SearchReset extension]

Remove Ask Toolbar and Ask.com from Google Chrome

  1. Remove Ask Toolbar extensions from Google Chrome.
    Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu  button on the browser toolbar, select Tools and then click on Extensions.
    Google Chrome Extensions
    In the Extensions tab, remove (by clicking on the Recycle Bin) the Ask Toolbar and any other unknown extensions from Google Chrome.
    [Image: Ask Toolbar Chrome extension]
  2. Set Google Chrome default search engine from ask.com to google.com .
    Click the Chrome menu 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.
    [Image: Ask Search engine in Chrome]
    Search for Ask.com in the Search Engines list, and click the X that appears at the end of the row.
    [Image: Remove Ask.com Search from Chrome]
  3. Change Google Chrome homepage from ask.com to its default.
    The Ask Toolbar 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 Chrome menu button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
    [Image: Change Google Chrome homepage to its default]

STEP 3: Remove Ask Toolbar and Search.Ask.com with AdwCleaner

The AdwCleaner utility will scan your computer and web browser for the Ask Toolbar malicious files, browser extensions and registry keys, that may have been installed on your computer without your knowledge.

  1. You can download AdwCleaner utility from the below link.
    ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
  2. Before starting AdwCleaner, close all open programs and internet browsers, then double-click on the AdwCleaner icon.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Icon
    If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
  3. When the AdwCleaner program will open, click on the “Scan” button as shown below.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Scan button
    AdwCleaner will now start to search for the Ask Toolbar malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
  4. To remove the Ask Toolbar malicious files that were detected in the previous step, please click on the “Clean” button.
    Picture of AdwCleaner Clean button
  5. 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. AdwCleaner will now delete all detected adware from your computer. When it is done it will display an alert that explains what PUPs (Potentially Unwanted Programs) and Adware are.Please read through this information and then press the OK button. You will now be presented with an alert that states AdwCleaner needs to reboot your computer.
    Please click on the OK button to allow AdwCleaner reboot your computer.

STEP 4: Remove Ask Toolbar virus from with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free

Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free uses industry-leading technology to detect and remove all traces of malware, including worms, Trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware, and more.
It is important to note that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware works well and should run alongside antivirus software without conflicts.

  1. You can download download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware from the below link.
    MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
  2. Once downloaded, close all programs, then double-click on the icon on your desktop named “mbam-setup-consumer-2.00.xx” to start the installation of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware setup program]
    Picture of User Account Control You may be presented with a User Account Control dialog asking you if you want to run this file. If this happens, you should click “Yes” to continue with the installation.
  3. When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard]
    To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Final Setup Screen]
  4. Once installed, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will automatically start and you will see a message stating that you should update the program, and that a scan has never been run on your system. To start a system scan you can click on the “Fix Now” button.
    [Image: Click on the Fix Now button to start a scan]
    Alternatively, you can click on the “Scan” tab and select “Threat Scan“, then click on the “Scan Now” button.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Threat Scan]
  5. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now check for updates, and if there are any, you will need to click on the “Update Now” button.
    [Image: Click on Update Now to update Malwarebytes Anti-Malware]
  6. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for the Ask Toolbar virus. When Malwarebytes Anti-Malware is scanning it will look like the image below.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware while performing a scan]
  7. When the scan has completed, you will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected. To remove the malicious programs that Malwarebytes Anti-malware has found, click on the “Quarantine All” button, and then click on the “Apply Now” button.
    [Image: Remove the malware that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has found]
    Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
  8. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now quarantine all the malicious files and registry keys that it has found. When removing the files, Malwarebytes Anti-Malware may require a reboot in order to remove some of them. If it displays a message stating that it needs to reboot your computer, please allow it to do so.
    [Image: Malwarebytes Anti-Malware while removing viruses]
    After your computer will restart, you should open Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and perform another “Threat Scan” scan to verify that there are no remaining threats

STEP 5: Double-check for the Ask Toolbar infection with HitmanPro

HitmanPro is a second opinion scanner, designed to rescue your computer from malware (viruses, trojans, rootkits, etc.) that have infected your computer despite all the security measures you have taken (such as anti virus software, firewalls, etc.). HitmanPro is designed to work alongside existing security programs without any conflicts. It scans the computer quickly (less than 5 minutes) and does not slow down the computer.

  1. You can download HitmanPro from the below link:
    HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
  2. 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.
    [Image: HitmanPro start-up screen]
    Click on the “Next” button, to install HitmanPro on your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro setup options]
  3. HitmanPro will now begin to scan your computer for Ask Toolbar malicious files.
    [Image: HitmanPro scanning for malware]
  4. 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 Ask Toolbar virus.
    [Image: HitmanPro scan results]
  5. Click on the “Activate free license” button to begin the free 30 days trial, and remove all the malicious files from your computer.
    [Image: HitmanPro Activate Free License]

Your computer should now be free of the Ask Toolbar infection. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the Premium version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future, and perform regular computer scans with HitmanPro.
If you are still experiencing problems while trying to remove Ask Toolbar from your machine, please start a new thread in our Malware Removal Assistance forum.

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THE 411 ON ME

FC Barcelona fan, Starbucks addicted and super geek.
I am the creator and owner of MalwareTips.com
My area of expertise includes malware removal and computer forensics. I'm active in the various online anti-malware communities where I do researches for new malware threats as they are released.
I live in Bucharest (Romania), where I run my own local computer repair shop.
I repair both hardware and other operating systems related issues, however most of my business is malware related problems.

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  • firoozeh

    thank you so much, I was able to clean up my desk top without having to beg anyone. You are lifesaver

  • Wendy Jackson

    Thank you very much. I have been asking and asking people if it is safe to download tools if I have Norton 360. Never have gotten a response. In five years, you are the first person to do so and I am eternally grateful. Thank you very much. It is nice to know that Adwcleaner and Norton 360 will not conflict. May our sweet Lord in Heaven bless you for this wonderful service you are providing. God Bless You.

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello Wendy,
    All these tools do not offer real-time protection, they are nothing more than clean-up tools. So, yes, it is safe to download and run them with Norton 360 installed. :)

  • ViVI

    Wow, thank you so much! If you just follow all the steps, you’ll won’t have that stupid ask anymore!

  • FireDemand99

    Thanks man, the AdwCleaner removed basically ALL THE !$($&#!(&%#! ASK %!(#&%(@$!#$ stuff! Thanks so much! :)

  • plain jane

    Good. All these steps did not work, but together, they seem to have helped a lot. Very grateful!

  • Boas

    Good, AdwCleaner worked for me, whereas Hitman pro didn’t work as they no more provide with free license and malwarebytes did not remove Ask in my case.
    Thanks for the help!

  • Odie

    Thank you sooooo much for your help! It worked :)

  • Eduardo Armada

    you rock guys!!

  • Google > Ask

    die ask die!!! thank you for your help!

  • Michelle

    I try to uninstall it but its written “an unknown program needs access” if I decline it doesn’t uninstall.

    • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

      Hello,
      Please go ahead with the other steps.. AdwCleaner should remove this infection without any problems.

  • mywebsec

    Thank you so much

  • Srdjan

    Thanks Stelian u made my day, week, month :) This is first time that something went so smooth online 4 me. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RiSQ_fpbsTc

  • Moggs

    Thank you very much. It took some time to find your post because Ask – kept redirecting my questions to dead websites. treacherous bastards.

  • Karl Castillon

    Hey Sir! Just followed you :) Thanks

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello,
    You should select Yes, so that you may uninstall the unwanted program.
    Stay safe!

  • Paulo Felipe Kanno Vieira

    Thank you guy.
    Just here I could unninstall “Ask Toolbar” sussessfully!

  • Yuki

    Clear steps!! Thanks for your great help!! XD

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello,
    Lets try to remove this infection:
    STEP 1: Run a scan with AdwCleaner
    1. Download AdwCleaner from here: http://general-changelog-team.fr/fr/downloads/finish/20-outils-de-xplode/2-adwcleaner

    2.Close all open programs and internet browsers.

    3.Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.

    4.Click on Clean button. Your computer should restart.

    STEP 2: Run a scan with Junkware Removal Tool

    1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/download

    2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

    3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications

    Next, please run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro as see in this guide.
    Stay safe!

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello Pam,
    Lets try to remove this infection:
    STEP 1: Run a scan with AdwCleaner
    1. Download AdwCleaner from here: http://general-changelog-team.fr/fr/downloads/finish/20-outils-de-xplode/2-adwcleaner

    2.Close all open programs and internet browsers.

    3.Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.

    4.Click on Clean button. Your computer should restart.

    STEP 2: Run a scan with Junkware Removal Tool

    1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/download

    2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

    3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications

    Next, please run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro as see in this guide.
    Stay safe!

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello Pam,
    Lets try to remove this infection:
    STEP 1: Run a scan with AdwCleaner
    1. Download AdwCleaner from here: http://general-changelog-team.fr/fr/downloads/finish/20-outils-de-xplode/2-adwcleaner

    2.Close all open programs and internet browsers.

    3.Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.

    4.Click on Clean button. Your computer should restart.

    STEP 2: Run a scan with Junkware Removal Tool

    1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/download

    2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

    3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications

    Next, please run a scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and HitmanPro as see in this guide.
    Stay safe!

  • Faiza

    Thank You soooo much. Ask.com is a lil bee eye tea sea ayche

  • Content Reader

    Works beautifully!

  • Annie

    Wow! I can’t thank you enough… I would have never solved this problem without your solution. Many many many thanks!!!!

  • Alison

    Thank you!

  • kostas.g

    Thank you very much. My problem solved with exactly those steps you described and at the end with Adwcleaner. I did’t know about you. From now on i’ll be stuck with your advices. Thank you very much who being there and make for us the net more secure. My regards…

  • pjr245

    THANK YOU!! Brilliant advice.

  • cdhock

    Finally I found you. Your step-by-step instructions helped me be shed of ask.com!

  • DC Pike

    You are BRILLIANT! I barely know how to plug this think in and you were able to walk me thru this nitemare. I send appreciation thru the stratosphere to you!! Thankx man

  • Marco

    bloody Ask toolbar!!! I hate it!!!

  • Kaye

    Thanks so much for your help. People like you make the internet a wonderful place.

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello,

    Can you run a scan with Junkware Removal Tool

    1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/download

    2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

    3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications

    Then run again a scan with AdwCleaner.
    Waiting for your reply to see how everything is running…

  • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

    Hello Michelle,
    Did you uninstall both Ask programs?
    Did you run AdwCleaner? If no, please run AdwCleaner (as seen on STEP 3) to remove this infection!

    Next please run Junkware Removal Tool:

    1.Download Junkware Removal Tool to your desktop from the below link:

    JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL : http://thisisudax.org/downloads/JRT.exe

    2. Double-click on the JRT.exe icon to start this utility.

    3. The tool will open and start scanning your system. Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications.

    Waiting for your reply! Stay safe!

  • xenxen

    THANK YOU SOO MUCH!! IT HELPED.. :)

  • Doreen

    THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH!!!! I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of it! I uninstalled it, yet it was still there! I am so glad that this was the first site I clicked on. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

  • Tony

    thanks! I hadn’t realized Ask.com lowered itself to being malware status.

  • Jay C. White Cloud

    A simple THANK YOU!!!

    I am glad you came up first when I asked Google for help with getting “Ask” of my machine. Now if I can just figure out the rest of the crap stuck on here…

    Regards,

    jay

  • Russ Moore

    Once again you’ve saved the day :)

  • Karen

    ADWCleaner took the Ask.com toolbar and a bunch of other garbage off my computer!! Thank you so much! I had the same issue where Control Panel was telling me to close all Chrome windows although they were all closed. THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

  • sigal

    thank you very much!
    the AdwCleaner solved my problem, i was unable to uninstall “ask toolber” because it kept telling me to close all browsers, and I did, but it didn’t allow me to uninstall.

  • Lavelle

    Thanks this helped me so much Ask.com was really getting on my nerves. I will tell more people about this website.

  • Wills

    Thank you for shared knowledge on eliminating this crap. Worked really well.

  • sarina56

    Thanks, this worked for me and I had tried everything before i found your page. I’ve shared your link with some others having the same problem. youre fantastic, thank you.

  • Heather Jenkins

    Your smart. Thank you very much. It worked.

  • Boogeyman

    Steps to remove the Ask Toolbar:

    Click on ‘Customize and Control Google Chrome’ (the button on the top right with 3 horizontal lines)
    Then click on ‘View background pages’
    Select the Ask.com Toolbar and click on the ‘End Process’ button.
    You will get a pop up, click on the cancel (X) button on that pop up.

    :)

  • Sam

    I’m on Google Chrome and I don’t get the little rubbish bin icon.

    • http://malwaretips.com/ Stelian Pilici

      Hello Sam,
      Did you uninstall the Ask program?
      Next, you can download and install avast! Browser Cleanup tool. Then go to the Google Chrome tab, and disable any unwanted or unknown extensions, then click on Reset to default settings button.

  • Emdad Shaon

    It works….thanks

  • Nicole

    Thanks so much for this. Stupid Ask.com Java update…the ONE time I forgot to check the box all hell breaks loose.

    This AdwCleaner works great!

    • Mats

      Thank you very much! Adw Cleaner works fine.
      Finally: Excellence in stupidity Ask.com is dead .
      I will be more careful next time…

  • PetPeeved

    Ask.com are a nasty bunch. I went to windows uninstall page & didn’t find it,there were other ways online showing how to delete it.The important thing is to close all browser windows firstly,then reboot ,or Ask.com will flood you with a large pack of rootkits & malware. I was told to look for Ask in taskmanager. Nothing.Doing an “online ESET deep test for 2 hours,the only malware they found was OF COURSE : Ask.com

  • cat

    Thanks very much for this post – helped me get this rubbish off my computer when it sneakily installed itself!