Last updated on December 20th, 2013
"Zwinky” toolbar is a browser hijacker application because, upon installed on your computer, it modifies your default web browser settings to “ask.com” search settings (dts.search.ask.com/sr) and changes your homepage to “search.ask.com”. “Zwinky Toolbar” is recognized by known antivirus programs as a "Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP)" and may contain and install malicious programs on your computer, like adware, toolbars or viruses.
The "Zwinky Toolbar” is distributed by “MindSpark Interactive Network” in order to earn money by redirecting web searches to advertisements from unknown publishers or by displaying annoying pop-aps at your Internet browser.
The “Zwinky Toolbar” is commonly bundled inside freeware software which are downloaded -and installed- from known internet sites like “download.com (CNET)”, “Softonic.com”, etc. Please be careful at installation options when you install free software so that you don't accidentally install additional unwanted software or toolbars.
To uninstall “Zwinky Toolbar” & remove "ASK Web Search” settings from your computer, follow the removal instructions given below:
How to get rid of “Zwinky” toolbar ” from your computer:
Step 1. Uninstall unwanted software from your computer.
1. To do this, go to:
- Windows 8/7/Vista: Start > Control Panel.
- Windows XP: Start > Settings > Control Panel
2. Double click to open
- Add or Remove Programs if you have Windows XP
- Programs and Features if you have Windows 8, 7 or Vista.
3. In the program list, find and Remove (Uninstall) these applications :
- Zwinky Toolbar (MindSpark Interactive Network)
- Any other application that belongs to “MindSpark Interactive Network” publisher.
- Any other application that belongs to “Ask.com” publisher.
- Any other unknown application.
Step 2: Clean Adware & Unwanted Browser Toolbars.
1. Download and save “AdwCleaner” utility to your desktop.
2. Close all open programs and Double Click to open ”AdwCleaner” from your desktop.
3. Press “Scan”.
4. When the scan is completed, press “Clean” to remove all the unwanted malicious entries.
4. Press “OK” at “AdwCleaner – Information” and press “OK” again to restart your computer.
Step 3. Remove potentially unwanted programs (PUPs) with Junkware Removal Tool.
1. Download and run JRT – Junkware Removal Tool.
2. Press any key to start scanning your computer with “JRT – Junkware Removal Tool”.
3. Be patient until JRT scans and cleans your system.
4. Close JRT log file and and then reboot your computer.
Step 4. Ensure that “Zwinky Toolbar” and “Ask.com” homepage & search settings are removed from your Internet Browser.
How to remove “Zwinky Toolbar” from Internet Explorer.
1. From Internet Explorer main menu, click: "Tools " and choose "Internet Options".
2. At “General” tab, delete the unwanted homepage “home.tb.ask.com” from “Home page” box & type your preferred homepage (e.g. www.google.com)
3. At “Search” section, press “Settings” in Search section. *
Notice*: If you want to modify search settings in Internet explorer while in main Internet Explorer window, just press the “Gear” icon (on the top right corner) and choose “Manage Add-ons” .
4. On "Search Providers" options, choose and "Set as default" a search provider other than the “Ask Web Search” provider.
5. Then choose the “Ask Web Search” provider and click Remove.
6. Choose “Toolbars and Extensions” on the left pane and then select and Disable all toolbars and extensions from “MindSpark Interactive Network” publisher.
- Search Assistant BHO
- Toolbar BHO
7. Close all Internet Explorer windows and restart your browser.
8. Proceed to Step 5.
How to remove “Zwinky Toolbar” from Google Chrome.
2. Find the "On startup" section and choose "Set Pages".
3. Delete the "home.tb.ask.com" from startup pages by pressing the "X" symbol on the right.
4. Set your preferred startup page (e.g. http://www.google.com) and press "OK".
5. Under “Appearance” section, check to enable the “Show Home button” option and choose “Change”.
6. Delete the “search.ask.com” entry from “Open this page” box.
7. Type (if you like) your preferred webpage to open when you press your “Home page” button (e.g. www.google.com) or leave this field blank and press “OK”.
5. Go to "Search" section and choose "Manage search engines".
6. Choose your preferred default search engine (e.g. Google search) and press "Make default".
7. Then choose the Ask.com search engine “search.tb.ask.com" and remove it by pressing the "X" symbol at the right.
Choose "Done" to close "Search engines" window.
8. Choose "Extensions" on the left.
9. In “Extensions” options, remove the “Zwinky” unwanted extension by clicking the recycle icon on the right.
10. Close all Google Chrome windows and proceed to Step 5.
How to remove “Zwinky Toolbar” from Mozilla Firefox.
1. Click on “Firefox” menu button on the top left of Firefox window and go to “Options”.
2. In “General” tab, delete the unwanted homepage: “http://home.tb.ask.com” page from “Home Page” box & type your preferred homepage (e.g. http://www.google.com).
Press “OK” when finished.
3. From Firefox menu, go to “Tools” > “Manage Add-ons”.
4. Choose “Extensions” on the left and then remove the unwanted “Zwinky” extension by pressing the "Remove" button.
5. Choose “Plugins” on the left and set the unwanted “MindSpark Toolbar Platform” plugin to “Never Activate“ (Disable).
6. Close all Firefox windows and restart Firefox.
7. Proceed to the next Step.
Step 5. Clean your computer from remaining malicious threats.
Download and install one of the most reliable FREE anti malware programs today to clean your computer from remaining malicious threats. If you want to stay constantly protected from malware threats, existing and future ones, we recommend that you install Malwarebytes Anti-Malware PRO:
1. Run "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware" and allow the program to update to it's latest version and malicious database if needed.
2. When the "Malwarebytes Anti-Malware" main window appears on your screen, choose the "Perform quick scan" option and then press "Scan" button and let the program scan your system for threats.
3. When the scanning is completed, press “OK” to close the information message and then press the "Show results" button to view and remove the malicious threats found.
4. At the "Show Results" window check – using your mouse's left button- all the infected objects and then choose the "Remove Selected" option and let the program remove the selected threats.
5. When the removal of infected objects process is complete, "Restart your system to remove all active threats properly"
6. Continue to the next step.
Step 6. Clean unwanted files and entries.
Use “CCleaner” program and proceed to clean your system from temporary internet files and invalid registry entries.*
*If you don’t know how to install and use “CCleaner”, read these instructions.