12.10.2008

Ask.com search Hijack

Ask.com appears to have dropped to a lower level of desperation; while installing another piece of software (BitTorrent, if you must know), I was prompted with an the option to install the ask.com toolbar.  I mistakenly hit next and then tried to go back, but it was too late- their craptastic software was installed.

1st issue I see here is that the default action for on this useless program (as well as on many similar products from Yahoo, Google, MSN, etc.) is to 'opt in' for the install instead of a default of 'opt out'- so a person mindlessly clicking the 'Next' button during routine installs will end up with several redundant search bars installed.

2nd issue is that when I uninstalled the ask.com toolbar via add/remove programs, it left the default search for the URL keyword field directing to Ask.com.  I tried the obligatory uninstall of Firefox and the purging of all 'ask.com' registry entries to no avail. 

Eventually I was able to find a resolution to this over at paperstreet:

  1. Open a new tab or window.
  2. Type “about:config” and hit enter, this brings up the all powerful settings of Firefox.
  3. Agree to the warning that you could mess things up
  4. Find keyword.url, you probably should not change anything else
  5. Double click and change keyword.url string to something else like: http://www.google.com/search?q=

So now I must thank 'ask.com' for their annoying browser hack by adding their root URL to my AdBlock filter list...

10 comments:

  1. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Did exactly the same thing, down to carelessly clicking yes on the BitTorrent pop up.

    Thank you so much. I hate ask.com so hard right now.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous2:17 PM

    It still installs - even if you click 'no'.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous12:50 AM

    Any insight as to how to remove this same problem on internet explorer?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous8:12 PM

    For IE, click run, type "regedit", OK,
    Edit Tab, select find, (or Ctrl +F)
    search for "ask.com". You will need to do this many times.
    For each entry replace ask.com with http://www.google.com/search?q=

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous9:43 AM

    I think ask really hijack,because ever I open firefox open the install window.Now I unninstalled the toolbar ,blocked ask by avast!home.But it still opens one more window of firefox with a ask search: toolbar ask.com.
    I hate ask

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anonymous12:36 PM

    Ask.com just made an enemy for life. I will never go to their site again in my life, now that this is fixed. Screw bittorrent for doing this to you as well. Not only did it always go to an ask search, but my computer would stall out for about 10 seconds each time I clicked or typed in an address.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks be to the internet! Ask.com was actually hijacking my browser when I clicked on links, too, and it made me FURIOUS. This will hopefully fix it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks. Could not understand why Ask kept showing results in Firefox

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey you should also write up if you know - how to remove the ask.com toolbar.

    ReplyDelete