Mindspark toolbar

Also Known As: Mindspark Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: <strong>Medium</strong>

Mindspark toolbar removal instructions

What is Mindspark toolbar?

The Mindspark company develops various toolbars and extensions for Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox. Internet users can download these browser plugins from their homepage, however, they commonly install together with free software downloaded from the Internet, or via deceptive banner advertisements. Many Internet users report that Mindspark toolbars were installed on their Internet browsers without their consent. Such unwilling installation can be caused by freeware 'download clients', which advertise browser plugins during the download phase of the chosen software. Mindspark toolbars are also advertised on various download websites via banner ads. These promote the browser extensions and display download buttons. Thus, Internet users often download these toolbars in the belief that they are downloading free software.

Mindspark homepage

After successful installation, the Mindspark toolbar modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the default search engine and homepage to ask.com or mywebsearch.com To avoid installation of such adware (also termed 'potentially unwanted applications'), Internet users should be attentive when downloading free software. If you are offered installation of browser toolbars together with your chosen free software, opt-out by clicking the 'decline' button. Whilst Mindspark toolbars are not related to virus or malware infections, they cause unwanted browser redirects, and thus, you are advised to eliminate them from your Internet browser/s.

Mindspark toolbars are similar to other browser plugins, which cause redirect issues, including, for example, babylon toolbar and delta search toolbar amongst many others. Commonly, Internet users install this adware without their consent and consequently experience unwanted browser redirects. Another problem with such browser toolbars is that they install together with browser 'helper objects', which prevent users from rolling back the modified browser settings to their defaults. The best way to avoid installation of these browser extensions is to download free software directly from the developers' websites. Also, when already installing freeware, choose the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options - this will reveal any hidden installation options, such as bundled toolbars, etc. If you have unwillingly installed any of Mindspark's toolbars, use the removal guide provided to eliminate them from your Internet browser/s.

The following is a list of known Mindspark-powered toolbars:

Allin1Convert
Astrology
Audio to Audio
Better Career Search
Bring Me Apps
Bring Me Sports
Bring Me Sports Rugby
Bring Me Sports Tennis
CelebSauce
Conservative Talk Now
Coupon Alert
Coupon Xplorer
Crazy for Crafts
Crazy for Cricket
CursorMania
Daily Bible Guide
Daily Dollar Guide
Daily Fitness Center
Daily Wellness Guide
Dictionary Boss
Easy Home Decorating
Election Tracker
Fantasy Football Boss
File Share Fanatic
Gardening Enthusiast
iHeartAudioBooks
Motitags
ProductRecallAlert
IWON
Know the Bible
Maps Galaxy
MarineAquarium Lite
MetroWhiz
MMA in Motion
Mortgage Hawk
My Car Companion
My Daily Runway
My Image Converter
MyFunCards
MyScrapNook
MyWebface
Package Tracer
PetsHarmony
Play Pop Trivia
PopularScreensavers
Product Recall Alert
Quotation Cafe
Radio Rage
Reading Fanatic
Recipe Hub
Recipe Kart
Homework Simplified
Inbox Ace
LocalCrimeWatcher
FreeBillPayAlert
Reference Boss
Retrogamer
Round Up Radio
SafePCRepair
Sample Sale Dash
SmileyCentral
Soccer Inferno
Suddenly Music
Television Fanatic
Total Recipe Search
Translation Buddy
Utility Chest
VacationXplorer
Video Download Converter
Video Scavenger
Weather Blink
Webfetti
Your Local Lotto
Your Video Chat
Zwinky
Film Fanatic
From Doc To PDF
GasGlance
Headline Alley
How to Simplified

Quick menu: Quick solution to remove Mindspark Virus

Mindspark toolbar removal:

Windows 7 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 7

Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.

Windows XP users:

Accessing Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP

Click Start, choose Settings and click Control Panel. Locate and click Add or Remove Programs.

Windows 10 and Windows 8 users:

Accessing Programs and Features (uninstall) in Windows 8

Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.

Mac OSX users:

Uninstall app in OSX (Mac)

Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.

Mindspark toolbar uninstall

In the uninstall programs window: look for programs with publishers designated as Mindspark Interactive Network, select each and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling potentially unwanted toolbars (which cause browser redirects to the home.tb.ask.com or mywebsearch.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software. Remove all entries that this program detects to ensure your PC is clean from any possible spyware and malware infections.

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Mindspark toolbars removal from browsers:

Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Intenret Explorer extensions

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for toolbars and browser helper objects with publishers designated as Mindspark Interactive Network. Select these entries and click "Remove".

Change homepage:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Intenret Explorer homepage

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Internet Options", in the opened window remove home.tb.ask.com or mywebsearch.com and enter your preferred domain, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer.

Change default search engine:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Intenret Explorer default search engine settings

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". In the opened window select "Search Providers", set "Google", "Bing" or any other preferred search engine as your default and then remove "Ask Web Search" or "My Web Search".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the mindspark toolbar, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.

Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows XP

Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 7

Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.

Reseting Internet Explorer settings to default in Windows 8 - accessing

In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - Internet options advanced tab

Click the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - click the Reset button in the Internet options advanced tab

Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Internet Explorer settings to default on Windows 8 - confirm settings reset to default by clicking the reset button

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Google Chrome extensions

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate Mindspark related browser add-ons (you can refer to the list of all known toolbars developed by this company), select it/them and click the trash can icon.

Change homepage:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Google Chrome homepage

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Settings". In "On startup" section click "set pages", hover your mouse over home.tb.ask.com or mywebsearch.com and click the x symbol. Now you can add your preferred website as your homepage.

Change default search engine:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Google Chrome default search engine settings

To change your default search engine in Google Chrome: Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Settings", in the "Search" section, click "Manage Search Engines...", remove "Ask.com" or "Mywebsearch.com" and add or select your preferred domain.

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the mindspark toolbar, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Tools. From the opened menu, select Extensions. In the opened window, select Settings (at the left corner of the screen). Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Show advanced settings… link.

Resetting Google Chrome setting to default - accessing settings

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset browser settings button.

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - advanced settings

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Google Chrome settings to default - confirm that you want to reset Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Firefox extensions

Click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove Mindspark related browser plugins.

Change homepage:

Mindspark toolbar removal from Mozilla Firefox homepage

To reset your homepage, click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) then select "Options", in the opened window remove home.tb.ask.com or mywebsearch.com and enter your preferred domain.

Change default search engine:

In the URL address bar, type about:config and press Enter.
Click "I'll be careful, I promise!".
In the search filter at the top, type: "mindspark"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with mindspark toolbar removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.

Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, firefox menu icon in the opened menu, click the Open Help Menu icon, firefox help menu

Resettings Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing settings window

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - accessing

In the opened window, click the Reset Firefox button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - clicking the

In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Resetting Mozilla Firefox settings to default - confirming settings reset

Internet Explorer Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox Safari

safari browser logoRemove malicious extensions from Safari:

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...

removing browser hijacker from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.

Removing browser hijackers from safari step 3 - changing homepage

In the preferences window select General tab and make sure that your homepage is set to a preferred URL, if its altered by a browser hijacker - change it.

removing browser hijackers from safari step 4 - changing the default Internet search engine

In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.

Optional method:

Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...

resetting safari step 1

In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.

resetting safari step 2

Summary:
declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sample 1A browser hijacker is a type of adware that alters user's Internet browser settings by changing one's homepage and default Internet search engine to some unwanted website. Most commonly this type of adware infiltrates user's operating system through free software downloads. While browser redirects might seem as a low risk security infection, computer users should know that the websites to which they are being redirected to commonly contain deceptive online advertisements and the Internet search engine that is presented in such websites might return shady Internet search results. Using such websites for one's daily Internet searches might easily end up in privacy issues, identity theft or malware infections.

A computer that is affected by a browser hijacker is exposed to high risk security infections. To prevent further privacydeclining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sample 2 and security issues it's recommended removing any Internet browser settings altering adware as soon as possible. To avoid installation of mindspark virus be very attentive when downloading and installing free software.

If your download is managed by a download client be sure to opt out of installing advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine. Some of the mentioned free software download clients don't allow downloading the chosen free program if user decides to decline installation of it's offered toolbars, in such cases it's recommended to cancel the installation and look for an alternative download source.

Symptoms indicating that your Internet browsers are affected by a browser hijacker: your homepage and/or default Internet search engine is changed, appearance of new toolbars, slow performance of Internet browsers, new Bookmarks or Favorites added, you can't change your homepage or default search engine, you see online ads on your screen that are not served by the website, you get redirected to pages you never intended to visit.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove mindspark virus from your Internet browsers, please ask for assistance in our malware removal forum.

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About the author:

I am passionate about computer security and technology. I have an experience of 10 years working in various companies related to computer technical issue solving and Internet security. I have been working as an editor for pcrisk.com since 2010. Follow me on Google+ to stay informed about the latest online security threats.

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