There are lots of great free programs out there and no doubt you already have your share of them installed. Unfortunately, a good number of them also include tag-a-long programs or browser helper objects (BHO’s) – the reason you end up with extra toolbars and homepage changes for which you never intended.
The first line of defense is to pay close attention when installing any program and be weary of what is being added to your computer. Don’t hesitate to deselect items you don’t want or need. However, not all programs are upfront about what is being installed on your computer and you likely already have more than your share of extra junk in your browser. The fix for this is Toolbar Cleaner. A simple and small application, Toolbar Cleaner scans all installed browsers for extensions, addons, toolbars, and BHO’s, then lists them with the option to remove all or select items with one click.
To use Toolbar Cleaner, just download, install and run. Be careful though, even the Toolbar Cleaner installer comes with some bundled extra software. These offers are not hidden or deceptive, you just need to be paying attention during installation so you don’t end up with extra stuff. It isn’t surprising that free software has these “advertisements,” it is how they are able to offer the software without charge.
Running Toolbar Cleaner, all installed add-ons will appear for the browsers installed on your computer. If you aren’t sure what one is, just do a Google search to get more information. Select the items to be deleted and then click ‘Remove’. All selected items will be instantly removed. The program will then give you the option to run the control panel if you want to look for more unfamiliar programs in the “Programs and Features” panel to uninstall them. Once Toolbar Cleaner has done its job, you may find that the search engine definitions in the browsers need to be redefined and you have to change your homepage selection.
While Toolbar Cleaner isn’t the holy grail for cleaning out all the gunk that may be slowing down your computer, it is a one-stop-shop to see every extension and toolbar in all of your browsers and easily get rid of extra stuff. If you find that the area at the top of your browser is taking over and filled with items you don’t recognize or use, then Toolbar Cleaner is for you.