Toolbars are the source of so many problems that users complain about for their computers. Here is the lowdown on what toolbars are all about and what you can do about them.

What are toolbars?

When you use your internet browser, do you notice that the size of the pages keeps on reducing and there are half a dozen search boxes on top? Toolbars are a simple bar below your browser’s address bar which contains a search bar and a bunch of icons for downloads functions and links to other websites. Depending on what kind of websites you visit, you will have anywhere from one to a dozen toolbars on your browser.

The search bar offers custom search engines. You can type in search terms on them and get results just as you do on Google, Yahoo or Bing. The icons placed by their side allow you to download things like MP3, screen savers, wallpapers etc.

Where do they come from?

Toolbars can be installed on to your browser from a variety of courses. The most common source is free download sites that you go to for downloading things. You may have been to a site that gives you a free photo editing service or maybe even dating service. These sites automatically install toolbars inside Internet explorer or Firefox.

Toolbars can also come from software that you install on your computer. Many a time, when a website gives you software for free, you are asked whether to install custom toolbar. Although, you don’t require it, you may forget or ignore to uncheck the boxes. This leads to many of the toolbars that magically appear without you even knowing about them.

Why they are bad?

The most visible trouble with toolbars is that they drastically reduce the screen space to view web pages. They make you scroll more than usual just to read content. Another bad thing that happens to your browsers is that they get really slow as there are more and more toolbars. Not only that they take ages to just start and even slow the computer down while the browser is running.

The worst part of toolbars however, is that they often contain links to malware. They download all kinds of viruses, spyware, and key loggers etc., which can track your private data and use them for malicious purposes. Needless to say, unless you know that you want a toolbar from a trusted source, it has no place on your browser.

How to remove them?

If you use Internet explorer, toolbars come installed as separate applications. Use your preferred uninstaller to do this. You can use Revo Uninstaller to complete remove all traces of toolbars as well as other software. If you don’t want to install yet another application, try Iobit Uninstaller, which is a simple executable that you can run even from flash drive.

If you use Mozilla Firefox, toolbars typically are installed as extensions. You can go to the extensions section and then remove them from there. The best solution is to not let toolbars be installed on your PC in the first place. Install an add-on like WOT for both Firefox and Google Chrome. It will give you a warning when you visit a suspicious website.