How Do I Remove a Search Engine Toolbar?

Search toolbars come in many flavors: some, such as the Google Toolbar or the Bing Bar, provide real value and are useful browser add-ons that you intentionally installed. Others -- and unfortunately, this is a growing list -- are bundled with software you download from the Web and are installed automatically without your explicit permission. Some of these include Babylon, Snap.do, Delta or even Yahoo. You can remove many of these from within your browser’s settings or in the Programs and Features Control Panel. Some, however, are a type of adware known as browser hijackers, and these are not easily removed without a malware or virus scan.

...
You can remove some search toolbars from within your browser’s settings.
credit: Image courtesy of Google

Internet Explorer

...
Disable toolbars in IE's settings.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

To access Internet Explorer toolbars, choose “Manage Add-Ons” from the Settings menu resembling a gear. Under “Add-On Types” in the left sidebar, choose “Toolbars and Extensions” to display a list of all add-ons and extensions available to Internet Explorer. Search for your toolbar, and then click “Disable.” Some toolbars come with helper add-ons, so be sure to disable anything related to the toolbar you want to remove.

Mozilla Firefox

...
Disable toolbars in Firefox's Add-Ons settings.
credit: Image courtesy of Mozilla

In Firefox, choose “Add-Ons” from the Settings menu resembling a gear. “Extensions” should be selected by default in the left sidebar; if not, select it to view all your extensions and add-ons. Find and select the toolbar you want to remove, and click “Remove.”

Google Chrome

...
Disable toolbars in Chrome's extensions settings.
credit: Image courtesy of Google

In Chrome, the add-on and extension options are available on the Settings page, accessed via the Settings icon resembling three horizontal bars. Click “Extensions” in the left sidebar to display all your Chrome extensions. Search for the toolbar you want to delete and click the trash can icon next to it.

Uninstalling Toolbars Using the Programs and Features Control Panel

...
Uninstall toolbars in the Programs and Features window.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Some toolbars install as programs -- not just browser extensions -- so you need to uninstall them from within the Programs and Features Control Panel. In the “Programs and Features” window, right-click the toolbar and select “Uninstall.”

Ridding Your Computer of Browser Hijackers and Other Malware

...
Use an anti-virus tool to identify and eradicate malware.
credit: Image courtesy of Symantec

If deleting the toolbar from within your browser and uninstalling it in Programs and Features does not have an effect, run a malware or virus scan. Many of these anti-virus programs detect Potentially Unwanted Programs as well as true viruses. Norton Utilities offers a free tool, Norton Power Eraser, designed to specifically delete browser hijackers such as Delta, Babylon, Snap.do, Search Assistant and others. Malwarebytes offers a free version of its anti-virus software that includes PUP detection. Another excellent tool is AdwCleaner, specifically designed to remove adware, toolbars, PUPs and hijackers. As with any anti-virus program, run just one at a time since they can interfere with each another if run simultaneously.