How to Uninstall the Ask Toolbar

Once upon a time, (formerly Ask Jeeves) was primarily a search engine and was even competitive with the likes of Google and Yahoo.

Sadly, in the years since then, Ask hasn’t aged so well.

In 2005 Ask was acquired by a company named InterActiveCorp, an umbrella organization that owns many other popular websites like, and

InterActiveCorp is also notorious for pushing toolbar downloads through many of its properties, the most well known of which is the Toolbar.

Ask Toolbar and altered Homepage

Ask Toolbar and altered Homepage

While this toolbar is not technically malware, since it does ask permission to install, it is most commonly installed as part of the installation process for other programs. Computer users who aren’t paying close attention or don’t understand the software installation process often install the Ask Toolbar without realizing they’re doing so.

Once installed, the Ask toolbar takes up screen space in your web browser, changes your homepage and redirects your searches so that they use This generates lots of advertising revenue for Ask and InterActiveCorp. So, as you can see, the whole point of the toolbar is the drive traffic to websites owned by InterActiveCorp.

How to Remove the Ask Toolbar

The Ask toolbar can, for the most part, be uninstalled like any other program. Just make sure all browsers that have the Ask Toolbar are closed or the uninstall process will not work.

First, open your Control Panel. On Windows 7, this can by done by clicking the Start button and then clicking Control Panel.

From the Control Panel, click “Uninstall a program”. This will load a list of programs that can be uninstalled.

Find “Ask Toolbar” in the list. It should be near the top since the list is sorted alphabetically.

Right-click “Ask Toolbar” and select “Uninstall”. This will run the uninstallation program that will remove the Ask Toolbar.

Follow the steps in the uninstall program, and the Ask Toolbar will be gone when it is finished.

If the Ask toolbar changed your homepage and search page, you’ll need to change those to the settings you would like. How to change these settings is a little different for each web browser so that’s an article for another day.

Do you have a problem with your computer you need help removing? ZookaWare computer experts are online 24/7 for remote technical support and can solve any software problem. Guaranteed!

How to Reset Internet Explorer

2014-05-30 15_41_27-Meet your new browser - Microsoft Windows - Internet ExplorerIf you use Internet Explorer as your primary web browser, you’ve probably managed to pick up an unwanted toolbar or browser addon here and there during your travels around the web.

While toolbars and browser addons aren’t as bad as viruses and other malware, they can still be an annoyance, invade your privacy, and be a total pain to remove if you’re not sure how.

What I’m about to show you is the easy way to remove any toolbars and unwanted browser junk thats causing problems in Internet Explorer on your computer. We’re going to just remove everything from internet explorer and reset all of its settings and configurations as if it had just been freshly installed. This has the benefit of removing unwanted nastiness, but can also remove setting you actually want to keep. So if you have a toolbar you actually do like or a browser addon you need for a particular website you visit, this strategy may not be best for you.

Honestly though, if you’re not sure whether or not that warning applies to you, it probably doesn’t and you can reset your browser without issue.

The first step in the reset process is to open Internet Explorer. If Internet Explorer is so badly clogged up on your computer that you can’t open it, there is an alternative method, which is to open Control Panel, then open the Network and Internet Category, and then finally click Internet Options. This will open the same menu that I’m about to explain how to open in Internet Explorer. From inside Internet Explorer click the Gear icon near the top right of your screen, and then select Internet Options from the menu that appears.Internet_options From the Internet Options menu click on the “Advanced” tab. It should be the tab at the very end. At the bottom of the Advanced tab, you’ll see a button that says “Reset”. If you’re ready to reset your Internet Explorer to the way it was when you first started using it, click this button. You’ll also have to click a button asking if you’re sure you want to do this, but after that it will reset. You may also see a checkbox that offers to “Delete personal settings”. If an unwanted program has changed your homepage or search page you may want to check this box to reset them also. Resest_IE_2 After the reset process is finished, you’ll have to restart Internet Explorer. The next time you run Internet Explorer is should be in the same state it was when it was new. Are browser toolbars, unwanted addons and homepage hijackers driving you nuts? ZookaWare Remote Technical Support technicians are available 24/7 to help with any computer problem.

Free Tool Blocks CryptoLocker From Stealing All Your Files

CryptoLocker desktop background shown after infection

What would you do if every important file on your computer was suddenly gone? And the only way to get those precious files back was to pay an anonymous internet criminal hundreds of dollars to return them? That’s the situation thousands of individuals and organizations worldwide have lived through in the past few months.

Ransomware is a particularly evil type of malware that encrypts data on your computer so you can no longer access it.  The key to decrypt your files is held by whoever is in control of the ransomware software, and they expect you to pay a hefty fee to get that decryption key from them.

The most widespread ransomware infection going around lately is called “CryptoLocker”. Once of computer if infected with CryptoLocker it silently encrypts files using 2048-bit public key encryption. After the victims files are encrypted, CryptoLocker displays a notice on the infected computer’s screen notifying the user they must now pay a ransom in order to get their files back.

Normally security experts say you should never pay fees demanded by malicious programs, but that’s not the case here. CryptoLocker’s 2048-bit encryption is unbreakable by any existing technology unless you’re willing to wait about 6 quadrillion years. If you want your files back any sooner you’re stuck paying the ransom.

So far it looks like many people have chosen to pay. We’ve been able to track more than $25,000 in fees CryptoLocker has managed to pull in so far, but the real total is likely several times greater.

If your computer hasn’t fallen victim to ransomware like CryptoLocker yet, there are a few steps you can take to minimize your chances of infection and the damage caused if your computer does somehow become infected.

First and foremost, make sure you’re using up to date antivirus and anti-spyware software. While this software cannot protect from all malware at all times it can at least be a very effective first line of defense.

Using a free tool called CryptoPrevent you can block the normal entry points used by CryptoLocker and prevent it from being able to run on your computer at all.

You should also have recent backups of all of your important files. This protects you in the event of ransomware infections, hardware failures, user error, and any other event leading to data loss. Ideally these backups should not be stored on your computer, or any device that can be written to by your computer like USB drives and external hard drives.

An online backup service is the easiest and most effective way to ensure you have secure copies of your files.  Look for an online backup service that stores multiple versions of your files. That way you can recover them even if they’ve recently been changed which is what happens when CryptoLocker and other ransomware encrypt or overwrite your files.

ZookaWare offers our own unlimited online backup program called CloudZooka which saves multiple versions of files when they are backed up, but other backup programs may also work.

Using the steps above you can minimize the effects of CryptoLocker and just about any other kind of ransomware malware. With a very small amount of preparation, you can save yourself the heartache, hassle, and financial pain that comes with a ransomware infection.

Easily Remove Browser Toolbars With This Free Tool

I think we’ve all been there at some point: We’re installing some new software program, maybe not paying as much attention as we should be, clicking “Next” or “I agree” as fast as we can just to get through the software installation process. The next time we open up our web browser, however, we’re greeted with an obnoxious toolbar.

Browser toolbars aren’t simply benign annoyances either. Beyond simply taking up space on your screen and potentially slowing down your browser’s responsiveness, they track your actions online and sell that information that whomever will buy it. That’s their business model, for the most part. You’re not the customer of adware and other malware, you’re the product being sold. Or at least your information is.

It’s normally possible to go into your browser and manually remove unwanted browser toolbars, rogue addons and search engine redirectors. But it’s a tedious, time consuming process, and you need to know where to look to make the changes. This is especially true if you have more than one browser. Removing half a dozen toolbars and rogue toolbars can easily become an hour long ordeal if you’re having to try to clean up multiple browsers.


I fix a lot of computers. A LOT of computers. All that time spent manually removing toolbars adds up quick. So lately I’ve been using a tool called “AdwCleaner” to automate the process. AdwCleaner stands for “Adware Cleaner”, but it’s not your typical malware removal tool. You don’t download new detection updates for it like you would for SpyZooka or MalwareByte’s. It’s very specialized for removing a specific set of very persistent malware and Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) like browser toolbars. It’s a very powerful tool, and very good at what it’s intended for, but it’s not something you’d want to run every day. You’re not given a lot of options on what AdwCleaner removes. If it finds a program or toolbar that is in its detection list, it will remove the offender without consulting you first. Also, after removing any malware, it forces you to restart your computer, which allows it to ensure that the malware processes aren’t started again.

If toolbars are making your browsing cluttered and slow, you may want to give AdwCleaner a try. It’s very simple to use, just run the program and click the “Delete” button to remove any detectable malware on your system.

AdwCleaner can be downloaded at