How to avoid the Ask Toolbar offer when you are installing Java

When you are installing Java on your Windows system or update the application when a new version is released, you may receive an offer to install the Ask Toolbar along with it.

If you have denied the offer once, chance is that you will do so in the future which means that it is not really necessary that it is being displayed to you whenever you install or update Java.

The Ask Toolbar itself has no connection to Java, and not installing it does not affect Java in any way. But if you don't notice that, you may end up with the toolbar installed on your system.

Besides installing a toolbar, it will also make Ask.com the default search provider, the browser home page and the new tab page.

Tip: If you have installed the toolbar, make sure to read our detailed guide on how to remove it again on your system.

There are two options to block the sponsored offer from being displayed to you.

java ask toolbar installation

Download the full offline installer

The offer seems to only ship with the net installer and not with the offline installers that you can use instead. The main difference is that the net installer needs an Internet connection during installation to download the most recent files, while the offline installer ships with everything included right away.

You find all offline installers for Java listed on this page.

The only thing that you need to make sure is that the downloaded offline installer is the latest version. This is usually the case if you have downloaded the setup file recently, but if it has been download some time ago, you may want to check the page again to make sure that it is still the most recent version.

You can use the installer as well if an update is available.

Modify the Windows Registry

java sponsors

You can add information to the Windows Registry that disables the sponsored offers that you receive during Java updates or installations (thanks Tcat for making me aware of that).

Here is what you need to do to make this happen:

  1. Tap on the Windows key, type regedit and hit the enter key afterwards.
  2. You may receive an UAC prompt that you need to accept with yes.
  3. If you are using a 32-bit version of Windows, go to  HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\JavaSoft
  4. If you are using a 64-bit version of Windows, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\JavaSoft
  5. Right-click on JavaSoft and select New > String.
  6. Name the string SPONSORS.
  7. Double-click the new string afterwards and change the value to DISABLE.

You can download this small Registry file if you do not like to manipulate the Registry manually. Just download it and run it on your system to add the information to both locations in the Registry: java-sponsor.zip (529 downloads)

Summary
Article Name
How to block sponsored offers during Java installation or update
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Description
Provides you with two options to block sponsored offer installations during Java installations on Windows PCs.
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Responses to How to avoid the Ask Toolbar offer when you are installing Java

  1. Anonymous May 5, 2014 at 8:16 am #

    Also see this page for the latest releases.

  2. Tia May 5, 2014 at 9:17 am #

    Nice post

  3. Q May 5, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I found the tip for the marker to disable ads via Windows Registry value is quite interesting.

    Martin, the "java-sponsor.reg" text file provided as a member file of the "java-sponsor.zip" ZIP archive is improper if it is to represent a Windows Registry NT 5/6 merge file. The file should be of Unicode encoding and its contents should end as a blank line.

  4. idiot101 May 5, 2014 at 12:57 pm #

    I use https://ninite.com/ to avoid this. Very useful for a new installation of Windows. Not for people who need the installation files.

    • Gyffes May 6, 2014 at 4:13 pm #

      Big props to Ninite. In addition to providing a wealth of software options that install one-after-another, by design it rejects every Toolbar and similar add-on offer for you, silently.

    • Zeus May 6, 2014 at 9:58 pm #

      Yup, Ninite is a lifesaver. Installs programs, avoids toolbars. It's like the Windows equivalent to running "Update" on Ubuntu. Keeps all your software up to date with one click. And while small, their library covers pretty much all the essentials, other than Flash.

  5. Davin Peterson May 5, 2014 at 2:25 pm #

    Don't you hate it when freeware also comes with other software? If you go through the installation process too fast, it will automatically install other unwanted software. So, check each screen before clicking accept or next.

  6. Adrian May 5, 2014 at 2:33 pm #

    As Idiot101 said just use Ninite.com. You can create a one time update package that includes Java, Flash, web browsers, media players, etc. Run the Ninite installer once a week to check for updates.

  7. InterestedBystander May 5, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    Ninite is interesting. If I used Windows at home I'd try it, but Linux system updates already fulfill most of the functions of Ninite.

    It seems to be an increasingly common dynamic: corporations look for ways to profit by including ads, toolbars, or sponsored "extras" with websites, or software, or -- in this case -- software updates. Someone else finds a way to help users automatically avoid the ads, toolbars, or "extras". It seems to me very much like co-evolution in an organic ecosystem.

    • Zeus May 6, 2014 at 10:02 pm #

      I find it kind of depressing they feel they have to. I wish PC software would try app pricing. $1-5 seems a lot more realistic than the "$30 or I add toolbars" mentality. Obviously with Java, it's not going to happen. But programs that are seen as *useful* rather than *necessary* might have some luck with a lower price point.

  8. Sylvio Haas May 5, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    Hi, Martin
    Is there an analogue way to avoid the installation of
    Google search tool and Chrome browser that comes
    together with Flash Player updates? Two times I
    downloaded updates for Flash Player and there was
    no way to avoid them, I had to uninstall the browser.
    (Google is already my search tool). Here is what I
    downloaded:
    install_flashplayer13x32ax_gtba_chra_dy_aaa_aih
    Thank you.

  9. Sylvio Haas May 5, 2014 at 4:47 pm #

    Thank you.

  10. Dwight Stegall May 5, 2014 at 4:49 pm #

    There is no reason to install Java in the first place. It is the most insecure technology of all. If your favorite site still uses it look for another site that doesn't or ask them to use something else. I haven't used Java for years and have had no problems on any websites.

    • Martin Brinkmann May 5, 2014 at 4:59 pm #

      I think it is difficult to convince some sites, especially corporate sites, to use something else. If your bank's website requires Java, you cannot really do anything about that short of moving your account to another bank which seems like overkill.

      There are also some great apps that require Java, but you can thankfully block the browser integration on Windows in the new versions, so that is not much of an issue anymore.

    • jeff May 5, 2014 at 8:35 pm #

      Yes, for some people there is. Some very good applications use Java, such as certain media streaming apps. It's not just about websites.

      You can install it clean (via Ninite.com) and then disable it in your browsers.

    • clas May 6, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

      yes, I am Java-free for six months now and dont miss it a bit.

      • p3t3r May 31, 2014 at 11:39 am #

        Isn't Java mandatory for running OpenOffice? Or do i confuse it it with Java Runtime Environment?

        I love to use small systems with maximum effect. So i would be glad to remove Java. For example: I have created and set up several Websites with Joomla, just using a netbook.

        Have a nice weekend

        p3t3r

      • Martin Brinkmann May 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm #

        No it does not require Java. It does use Java for some features, such as the HSQLDB database engine but if you do not use those, then you don't need Java installed.

  11. JUHAX69X May 5, 2014 at 5:13 pm #

    Thanks Martin, for this article. Blocking Ask on Java update like this, looks very usefull for Me.
    Thanks also for those, who mentioned Ninite. com. I was totally forgot that page. Very usefull too...

  12. jeff May 5, 2014 at 8:33 pm #

    Just go to Ninite.com, tick the Java checkbox, and the big green install button. Save the tiny installer for easy updates. Easy peasy, and no crapware installed.

  13. Arthur May 9, 2014 at 1:48 am #

    Martin. Would it be worth mentioning Unchecky as another potential solution?

    http://www.ghacks.net/2013/11/27/unchecky-protects-unwanted-third-party-offers-software-installations/

    • Martin Brinkmann May 9, 2014 at 9:12 am #

      Unchecky may help as well, but I don't like that you need to run it all the time in the background. I think it is easy enough to implement the Registry change to block sponsored offers.

  14. mysticgeek May 15, 2014 at 5:03 am #

    The way i always install software like this, and other free utilities that try to cram crapware down your throat is simply download them from Ninite.com

    The installer will uncheck the extra toolbars and other crap automatically.

    • clas May 15, 2014 at 12:05 pm #

      good one, thanks. ninite

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