Getting rid of browser toolbars and plugins can sometimes be not as easy as uninstalling a program from the operating system.Programs like Toolbar Cleaner or manual instructions to remove toolbars like the Ask Toolbar or the Babylon Toolbar are the way to go in this case to make sure that every trace of a toolbar is removed from the system.
Avast recently integrated a browser cleanup tool in its newest antivirus software version - currently available as a release candidate and soon to be released - which offers another option to users to remove persistent toolbars from web browsers.
The program is also available as a standalone application that you can run to do the job, which is an excellent option if you use another resident security software on your system.
Avast's browser cleanup tool is compatible with all recent 32-bit and 64-bit versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system starting with Windows XP Service Pack 2 to Windows 8. The program can remove programs and plugins from Microsoft's Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome. Opera and other web browsers are unfortunately not supported by it, as are not development versions of Chrome or Firefox.
All you need to do is to run the program on your computer and wait for it to finish the scan of supported web browsers installed on your system. The program will automatically use the local language, and there is no apparent option to change it anywhere in the program. That's why you the screenshot below is in German.
So what can the Browser Cleanup Tool help you with? It can help you remove browser toolbars and plugins from the system that either have a bad reputation based on community ratings, or that aggressively modify system settings.
The program detects major toolbars such as the Ask toolbar, Babylon Search toolbar or the AVG Security toolbar and many minor toolbars and plugins. If it finds them, it will display them under summary right after the scan. Here you can click on buttons to remove all add-ons - that is plugins and toolbars listed here - from all web browsers they are installed in, or remove select items from browsers.
You can alternatively click on a browser on the left to only manage that browser's plugins and toolbars. Note that plugins is used synonymous for browser plugins and extensions, and that the program hides items with good ratings by default. Uncheck the option to hide plugins with good ratings to display all items installed in the browser.
Here you can also reset the default home page and search provider of each browser individually.
If you are running Avast 8 you can alternatively open the program with a click on Security > Tools > Browser Cleanup > Start Avast Browser Cleanup now.
If you have troubles with plugins, extensions or toolbars installed in one of the supported browsers, then you may want to run Avast's Browser Cleanup Tool to get rid of them permanently on your system. (via Techdows)
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats (video ads) or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.