Remove Ask Toolbar & Search from your browser (Removal Guide)

What is "Ask Toolbar & Search" ?

Ask Toolbar & search engine are search tools provided by Ask Toolbar browser extension (add-on) is marked as browser hijacker because it modifies your browser search settings to “” and your homepage to “”. search tools are promoted during the typical (default) installation of other products. For example, if you install JAVA or MINDSPARK products, then the search engine and homepage are offered and installed by default during installation.



Why you should remove it?

The "Ask toolbar" is most probably installed on your computer without your knowledge and it hijacks your browser settings in order to use the Ask as your default search provider. Browser hijackers like this are quite often bundled in the installation files of other legitimate programs (software tools and other stuff). People go through the installation (of the legitimate software) without noticing that they are also installing additional software (like toolbars) that is not necessary for the legitimate software to run.

If you want to remove Ask search settings & Ask toolbar from your computer, then follow this guide:

How to get rid of  Ask Toolbar and Ask Search settings?

You can easily get rid of search settings by following the steps given below:

Step 1: Uninstall Ask Toolbar from your computer.

  • Open Windows Control Panel. In case you don't know how to do that, here is what you have to do:
    • For Windows 8: Simultaneously press "Windows” + “R" keys to open the RUN window.
      • In “RUN” window “Open” box,  type: control panel
      • Press Enter.
    • For Windows 7 or Vista: click at Start > Control Panel > Programs and Features.
    • For Windows XP click at: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs.
  • From the program list find and remove – uninstall – the following applications:
    • Ask Toolbar.
    • Uninstall all applications from "MindSpark Interactive Network" or “APN LLC publisher.

* Also uninstall any other unknown program.


Step 2. Remove Toolbar with AdwCleaner.

  • Download “AdwCleaner”  utility to your computer (e.g. your desktop).
  • After you download it, close all open programs and run AdwCleaner.
  • At the main window, press the “Scan” button and wait until the scan is completed.
  • Finally press the “Clean” button to remove all the entries it has found and restart your computer.


Step 3: Ensure that all settings and extensions are removed from your Internet browser.

Now that you have done that, you must clean your internet browsers from toolbars, plugins and extensions that are still in there, and also change the default search engine back to Google or to whatever you like to use. The instructions on how to do that are different for each browser. Here are detailed instructions for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome.

Internet Explorer

How to remove Ask Toolbar – search settings from Internet Explorer:

From Internet Explorer's main menu, click: the “gear” icon image_thumb3_thumb_thumb at the top right corner and choose “Internet Options”.

  • At "General" tab, delete the “” homepage from "Home page" box &  type your preferred homepage.
  • Then at the "Search" section, press the "Settings" button.
  • Click “Search Providers”:
    • Choose and "Set as default" the search provider you want (e.g. Google).
    • Then select the “Ask  (Web Search) search provider and click "Remove".
  • Click "Toolbars and Extensions" options at the left pane.
    • Disable the following extension(s):
      • Ask Toolbar
      • Also Disable any toolbar or extension from MindSpark Interactive Network publisher (e.g Search Assistant BHO, Toolbar BHO).
  • Close all Internet Explorer windows and restart your browser.


Mozilla Firefox

How to remove Ask Toolbar – search settings from Firefox:

From Firefox Main menu image_thumb4_thumb_thumb choose “Options”.

  • At “General” tab:
    • Delete the “” homepage from the “Home Page” box and type your preferred homepage.
  • Close Firefox options and then go again to FF main menu & choose “Add-ons”.
  • Click “Extensions” on the left pane.
    • Remove the following extension(s) from here:
      • Ask Toolbar.
      • Remove any extension from MindSpark Interactive Network publisher.
  • Close all open Firefox windows and restart Firefox.


Google Chrome

How to remove Ask Toolbar – search settings from Chrome:

  • Click on Chrome's menu image_thumb_thumb_thumb icon at the upper right corner and choose "Settings".
  • Look on "Startup" section and choose "Set Pages".
    • Delete the unwanted home page pressing the "X" symbol on the right.
    • Then set your preferred startup page (for example and press "OK".
  • Under “Appearance” section, check the “Show Home button” checkbox.
    • Click “Change”.
    • Delete the Ask homepage (e.g. “") from "Open this page" box.
    • Set your preferred webpage to open when you press the “Home page” button & press “OK”.
  • Under “Search” section press the “Manage Search Engines” button.
    • Choose and “Make Default” a different search engine (e.g. “Google”) than the “Ask” search engine.
    • Now select the “Ask” search engine and press the “X” symbol to delete it.
  • Finally, click at “Extensions” on the left pane.
    • Remove any of the following unwanted extensions by pressing the “recycle iconimage_thumb5_thumb_thumb at the right:
      • Ask Toolbar
      • Remove any extension from MindSpark Interactive Network publisher.
  • Restart Google Chrome


Step 4: Remove remaining malicious registry entries and files.

    • Download and install “Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free“. (Beware: at the last screen of installation, uncheck the box next to “Enable free Trial of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO” in order to use the free version of this GREAT software).
    • Run Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.
    • Update the Database.
    • Press the Scan Nowbutton and then wait until the scan process is finished.
    • When the scan is completed, select all items found and then press “Quarantine All”.
    • Restart your computer if needed and you ‘re done.

One final step: Restart your computer and perform a full scan with your antivirus program.

That’s all folks! It might sound like a lot of work, but in reality you’ll be free from the “” search settings and toolbar in less than 20 minutes, if you follow these instructions. Did it work for you? Please leave a comment in the comment section below or even better: like and share this blog post in the social networks to help spread the word about these really annoying crap Windows infections.

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