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
Ask has installed two programs (Ask Toolbar Updater and Ask Toolbar) which we will need to uninstall from your computer.
- To uninstall Ask Toolbar program from your computer,click the Start button, click on Control Panel,the select Uninstall a program. (Add or Remove Programs for Windows XP users).
If you are a Windows 8 user, 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.
- Search and uninstall Ask Toolbar Updater and Ask Toolbar from your computer.
On some computers these programs might be renamed or missing, search for any program developed by Ask or unknown applications, and uninstall them from your computer.
STEP 2 : Remove the Ask Toolbar residual damage from your browser
Ask Toolbar has installed several browser extensions, has changed your homepage to nl.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 registry keys with AdwCleaner.
- You can download AdwCleaner from the below link.
ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download AdwCleaner on your computer)
- Before starting this utility, close all open programs and internet browsers.
- Double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
- Click on Delete, then confirm each time with Ok.
- Your computer will be rebooted automatically. A text file will open after the restart.
- NEXT, double click on adwcleaner.exe to run the tool.
- Click on Uninstall, then confirm with yes to remove this utility from your computer.
STEP 4: Run a computer scan with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
- You can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free from the below link, then double click on it 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. DO NOT make any changes to default settings and when the program has finished installing, make sure you leave both the Update Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware and Launch Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware checked, then click on the Finish button.
- On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer.
- Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer as shown below.
- When the Malwarebytes scan will be completed, click on Show Result.
- You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware has detected.Please note that the infections found may be different than what is shown in the image. Make sure that everything is Checked (ticked) and click on the Remove Selected button.
STEP 5: Run a computer scan with HitmanPro
- Download HitmanPro from the below link, then double click on it to start this program.
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a new web page from where you can download HitmanPro)
- HitmanPro will start and you’ll need to follow the prompts (by clicking on the Next button) to start a system scan with this program.
- HitmanPro will start scanning your computer for malware, as seen in the image below.
- Once the scan is complete,you’ll see a screen which will display all the infected files that this utility has detected, and you’ll need to click on Next to remove these malicious files.
- Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove all the malicious files from your computer.