is a file related to MyWebSearch
, one of many browser toolbar add-ons
(to include MyWay
, MySearch) created and distributed by Ask Jeeves
. It is often bundled with "free software
" such as wallpaper and screensavers offered by third party software vendors and part of the Fun Web Products suite of utilities (Smiley Central, Cursor Mania, FunBuddyIcons, FunWebProducts, MyFunCards, My Mail Stationary, My Mail Signature, PopSwatter, Popular Screensavers, Webfetti, My Way website portal, etc). The toolbar is also aggressively offered via annoying banner ads and pop ups advertised on third party web sites that target kids. For a more detailed overview, refer to the Ask Jeeves Software Review
conducted by Sunbelt Software Research Center.
MyWebSearch and MyWay were pre-installed on new Dell computers
starting in November 2004 as reported in The Pharmer In The Dell
. Dell had a link to "What is the Dell MyWebSearch Home Page?
" but it has since been redirected to The "Dell My Way" Home Page
. Dell now uses the "Dell Search Assistant
" where they address many of the same concerns previously addressed in the redirected link.
Although MyWebSearch is not technically spyware, the program uses tracking cookies
and transmits information regarding search requests performed through the toolbar's search facility. Some anti-virus and anti-malware programs detect the toolbar
as a non-viral threat
(i.e. not-a-virus:AdTool.Win32.MyWebSearch) or Potentially Unwanted Program
, while others (Spybot, MBAM, Ad-aware...) may detect or remove individual files files (i.e. MWSBAR.DLL) and registry entries. However, even after these security tools detect and remove files/registry entries, remnants may still be found from time to time during subsequent scans.
When that occurs, it's not unusual to receive a "Cannot find...
", "Error loading...
or "specific module could not be found
" message. Windows is trying to load the MSWBAR.DLL file but cannot locate it since the file was mostly likely removed during an anti-virus or anti-malware scan. However, an associated orphaned registry entry
remains and is telling Windows to load the file when you boot up. Since the file no longer exists, Windows will display an error message
. You need to remove this registry entry so Windows stops searching for the file when it loads.
To remove MyWebSearch, please follow the instructions for How do I "uninstall" the My Web Search toolbar?
To remove the Search Assistant, please follow Dell's Search Assistant removal instructions
Alternatively, MyWay.com offers the My Web Search Bar Uninstaller
for software installed on Dell and other vendor computer. Another alternative is MS-MVP Kelly Theriot's MyWaySearchAssistant Uninstaller
If that still does not resolve the error, download and use Autoruns
- Create a new folder on your hard drive called AutoRuns (C:\AutoRuns) and extract (unzip) the file there. (click here if you're not sure how to do this. Vista users refer to these instructions.)
- Open the folder and double-click on autoruns.exe to launch it.
- Please be patient as it scans and populates the entries.
- When done scanning, it will say Ready at the bottom.
- Scroll through the list and look for a startup entry related to the file (MSWBAR.DLL) in the error message.
- If found, right-click on the entry and choose delete.
- Reboot your computer and see if the startup error returns.