, screensavers and browser extensions
come bundled with other free third-party software (often without the knowledge or consent of the user). These can often be the source of various issues and problems to include Adware
, browser hijacking
which may change your home page and search engine, and user profile corruption
Toolbars and add-ons install themselves in various areas of your operating system to include your browser and Windows Registry. Since some of their componets and behavior are determined to be harmful, anti-virus and anti-malware tools may detect and remove them as Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)
Since installation sometimes occurs without your knowledge, folks are often left scratching their heads and asking "how did this get on my computer
." Even if advised of a toolbar or Add-on, many folks do not know that it is optional and not necessary
to install in order to operate the program. Some toolbars and Add-ons can be removed via Add/Remove Programs
or the Programs and Features
in Control Panel, so always check there first.
Alternatively, you can use a third-party utility like Revo Uninstaller Free or Portable
and follow these instructions
for using it. Revo will do a more thorough job of searching for and removing related registry entries, files and folders.Note: Not all programs show up in Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features. Some will have their own uninstaller by vendor design which can be found in the program's folder. Look for an uninstall icon (shortcut) from within its program group or open Window's Explorer, manually navigate to the program's folder itself, and look for an uninstaller file (i.e. uninstall.exe).
If the program is not listed in Add/Remove or Programs and Features, and there is no uninstaller in the program's folder, the next place to check is your browser Add-ons.