Uninstalling toolbars

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This article will help you remove unwanted third-party toolbars from Firefox. If you need help removing a search engine from the Firefox Search Bar, see the Search Bar article.

Toolbar add-ons from third-party software providers can be installed in Firefox by visiting a website and clicking an "Install' link or, in some cases, by downloading and running a toolbar installer. Toolbars can also be added to Firefox when installing software that includes a toolbar as part of the installation process.

Note: Be careful when installing or updating other applications, which may install a toolbar by default unless you deselect the toolbar option. For example, the Java JRE 6 installer can include a preselected option for the Yahoo! Toolbar for Firefox/Mozilla [1] [2] and the Comodo Firewall installer may add the Comodo SafeSurf (Ask.com) toolbar to Firefox. [3] [4]

Removing toolbars

If you just want to hide an unwanted toolbar, you can open the Firefox "View -> Toolbars" menu and deselect the toolbar (see Toolbar customization - Firefox for details). To uninstall an unwanted third-party toolbar from Firefox, use one of the methods listed below.

In some cases, you may also need to reset preference settings related to the toolbar after disabling or uninstalling it. [5] [6] In particular, toolbars that include an Internet search feature (such as the Ask.com Toolbar) change the default search provider by modifying the Keyword.URL preference. [7]

If the following instructions don't work, you should seek help from the toolbar provider (e.g., the Google Toolbar Help Forum).

Add-ons manager

Many third-party toolbars are installed as Firefox extensions, which can be uninstalled by going to the Firefox Add-ons manager ("Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions"), selecting the toolbar and clicking the 'Uninstall' button, then restarting Firefox. If the 'Uninstall' option is not working, restart Firefox in Safe Mode and try again. If you still can't uninstall the toolbar, use the 'Disable" option as a workaround.

Toolbar settings

Many toolbars can also be uninstalled using the settings available within the toolbar itself, for example:

Google Toolbar: The Google Toolbar for Firefox can be uninstalled by clicking the "Settings" button in the Google toolbar or, in older versions, by clicking the "Google" logo. You can then choose "Help" and then "Uninstall." [8]

Winamp Toolbar: The Winamp Toolbar can be uninstalled using the toolbar settings menu ("Settings -> Uninstall"). If you cannot access the toolbar settings because Firefox does not start, use Firefox Safe Mode to uninstall the WinAmp Toolbar using the Add-ons manager (see above). [9] [10]

Yahoo! Toolbar: To see which Yahoo! Toolbar version is installed, visit this Yahoo Help page If you see a "Pencil" menu in the toolbar, click "Uninstall", enter any feedback, then click "Uninstall" and restart Firefox. [11]

ZoneAlarm Spy Blocker (Ask.com) toolbar: If you install ZoneAlarm and do not uncheck the "Spy Blocker" toolbar option, the Spy Blocker toolbar for IE and Firefox will be installed, which includes the Ask.com searchbar. [12] To remove this toolbar, click on the ZoneAlarm logo in the toolbar to open a drop down panel that includes an uninstall function. [13].

Uninstalling via Windows Control Panel

You may be able to remove the toolbar from the Windows Control Panel list of installed programs;

Windows XP/2000: "Start -> Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs -> Change or Remove Programs" [14]
Windows 7/Vista: "Start -> Control Panel -> Programs / Uninstall a program (or Programs and Features)" [15] [16]
  • Ask.com toolbars (including Comodo "Safe Surf" and ZoneAlarm "Spy Blocker") can be removed this way. [17][18].

If you don't see a separate entry for the toolbar in the list of installed programs you may need to uninstall the program or program component that included the toolbar.

  • The Google Web Accelerator program adds a toolbar to Firefox. You can uninstall the Google Web Accelerator from the Windows Control Panel "Add or Remove Programs" list. [19]
  • CA (Computer Associates) Internet Security Suite 2008 includes the Website Inspector component, which adds the CA Link Advisor and CA Toolbar extensions in Firefox. [20] You can remove the CA Link Advisor and CA Toolbar extensions by removing the Website Inspector component from CA Internet Security, as shown here. (If entries for the removed CA add-ons remain in the Extensions list, exit Firefox, open the profile folder and delete the files "extensions.cache", "extensions.ini", and "extensions.rdf". [21]

Other solutions

Application settings

If the toolbar was added to Firefox when you installed another application, see if there is an option to remove or disable the toolbar within the application's own settings.

Manual removal - Norton Toolbar

Norton 360 and Norton Internet Security currently add an anti-phishing toolbar to Firefox.

  • To remove the Norton toolbar in older versions (e.g., Norton 360 2.0) exit Firefox completely and remove (or rename) the file "coFFPlgn.dll" from the Firefox installation directory components folder (usually C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\components). [22] If the file is regenerated when you restart the computer, remove it again and in its place, create an empty text file (e.g., with Notepad), rename it "coFFPlgn.dll" and change the properties to "read-only". [23] [24]
  • In recent Norton toolbar versions (e.g., Norton Toolbar 4.5), "coFFPlgn.dll" is no longer added to the Mozilla Firefox components folder (related to bug 519357). Either disable the Norton Toolbar in Firefox from the "Tools -> Add-ons -> Extensions" window, or else try the workarounds given here and here.

See also