When you browse the Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome support forums, or search on the web for issues associated with those browsers, you will sooner than later stumble upon issues with third party software installations in form of browser extensions and manipulations of the browser's main search engine and home page.
While there are not any official figures available, the sheer number of requests to restore default settings or remove toolbars suggests that it is one of the top issues that Internet users face these days.
There have been attempts to protects users from these threats. Google Chrome for instance does not support toolbars at all, and some browsers display a confirmation prompt when they notice extensions that third party tools installed in the browser.
It is actually not that difficult to get rid of third party extensions and toolbars, and to restore browser settings to their original values. While it does require some knowledge, it is usually done in a minute or less if the user knows what he is doing.
Most toolbars can be uninstalled from the Windows Control Panel (the majority of toolbars are only available for Windows).
IObit Uninstaller 3
IOBit Uninstaller 3 is currently available as a beta version as part of the company's flagship product IObit Advanced System Care 7 which is also available as a beta version. The program has been made available as a standalone program in the past, and it is likely that IObit will release it as that when the final version gets released.
The program is interesting to users who have troubles getting rid of browser toolbars, modifications or extensions that have been installed on their systems through third party software installations.
It displays a browser plug-ins tab after start that lists all installed browser toolbars, extensions and plugins in the interface. It covers the major browsers Google Chrome, Opera, Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows.
You can check the installed extensions and plugins for each browser individually, or access a general listing of all plugins and extensions installed in at least one of the supported browsers.
To remove a plugin, toolbar or extension, select it and click on remove afterwards. You can select multiple programs at once if you like and remove them all in one go.
IObit Uninstaller 3 will display a notification prompt if the browser the extension or toolbar is installed in is still running, so that you can close it to continue with the uninstallation.
One interesting feature here is the ability to remove a browser plugin from a single browser but keep it enabled in all other browsers.
As far as changes to a browser's search engine or home page go, this is covered by the program as well. A restore default settings button is available that will restore the default (not necessarily the user's search engine and homepage of the browser).
A user-based rating system is integrated into the uninstaller. It is not really that effective yet, with most extensions or plugins having received not a single rating. Some have on the other hand which you may use as a guideline.
The regular program uninstallation tab sorts displays them all, but also sorted by large programs, programs that have been infrequently used, recently installed and Windows Update. This too can be useful to remove programs based on certain criteria.
Batch uninstallation and a scan of the system after the removal of a program is supported as well, just like in previous versions of the application.
IObit Uninstaller 3 introduces several browser-related improvements that make sense at a time where many users fall victim to unwanted toolbar installations and browser modifications.
Keep in mind though that this is beta software right now. It may contain bugs and unsorted issues.
Update: the full version has just been released. The main change from the beta version is that it supports Windows 8, Windows 8.1 and Internet Explorer 11 fully.