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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- When the “Programs and Features” or the “Uninstall a Program” screen is displayed, scroll through the list of currently installed programs and uninstall Ask Toolbar, Ask Toolbar Updater, Ask Updater and any other recently installed or unknown programs from your computer.
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
- Remove Ask Toolbar add-ons from Internet Explorer. Open Internet Explorer, then click on the gear icon (Tools for Windows XP users) at the top (far right) and then select Manage add-ons.
From the Toolbars and Extensions tab, select Ask Toolbar, askBar BHO and any other unknown extensions, then click on Disable.
- Set Internet Explorer default search engine from Ask Search to Bing.
To change your default search engine, click on the gear icon , select Manage Add-ons, and then, under Add-on Types, click Search Providers.
Select Bing and click on Set Default.
Search for Ask.com in the Search Providers list, and click on Remove to get rid of this search engine.
- Change your Internet Explorer home page from ask.com to its default
To change your home page, click on the 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.
Remove Ask Toolbar and Ask.com from Mozilla Firefox
- Remove Ask Toolbar extension from Firefox.
At the top of the Firefox window, click the orange Firefox button, then select Add-ons.
Select the Extensions tab, then remove Ask Toolbar and any other unknown extensions from Mozilla Firefox.
- 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)
Remove Ask Toolbar and Ask.com from Google Chrome
- Remove Ask 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 (by clicking on the Recycle Bin) the Ask Toolbar and any other unknown extensions from Google Chrome.
- Set Google Chrome default search engine from ask.com to google.com .
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 Ask.com in the Search Engines list, and click the X that appears at the end of the row.
- 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 button, then select Settings and click on One the New Tab page in the On Startup section.
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.
- 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 the Ask Toolbar malicious files that may be installed on your computer.
- To remove the Ask 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. 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.
- 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)
- 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.
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.
- When the installation begins, you will see the Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Setup Wizard which will guide you through the installation process.
To install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware on your machine, keep following the prompts by clicking the “Next” button.
- 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.
Alternatively, you can click on the “Scan” tab and select “Threat Scan“, then click on the “Scan Now” button.
- Malwarebytes Anti-Malware will now check for updates, and if there are any, you will need to click on the “Update Now” button.
- 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.
- 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.
Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image.
- 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.
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.
- 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)
- 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 Ask 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 Ask Toolbar virus.
- 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 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.