ProductRecallAlert Toolbar

Also Known As: ProductRecallAlert Virus
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

ProductRecallAlert toolbar removal instructions

What is ProductRecallAlert toolbar?

ProcuctRecallAlert is a potentially unwanted application developed by Mindspark Inc. It is compatible with Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. This browser extension claims to inform Internet users of government product recalls, food safety issues, provide access to expert shopping tips, and more. Although this kind of functionality may seem legitimate, users should be aware that it is categorized as a potentially unwanted application or adware. This add-on infiltrates browsers using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling' and causes unwanted Internet browser redirects to home.tb.ask.com. Furthermore, this plug-in tracks users' Internet browsing activity by recording search queries, default language settings, browser types, IP addresses, and other information.

ProductRecallAlert Toolbar

Most current freeware download websites, such as softonic.com or download.com, use 'download clients' in order to monetize their free services. Download clients are small programs, which manage the download process of freeware and offer installation of advertised browser add-ons along with the chosen software. Internet users who recklessly download and install programs may inadvertently install ProductRecallAlert toolbar or other similar extensions on their Internet browsers. At time of research, this toolbar was also distributed using deceptive banner ads, which appeared in various free software download websites.

There is a great deal of other adware, which infiltrates browsers via freeware downloads. Examples include LocalCrimeWatcherMotitags, and FreeBillPayAlert. Commonly, plug-ins such as ProductRecallAlert add no real value for Internet users and, in fact, diminish Internet browser performance and lead to serious privacy issues or malware infections. Mindspark Inc. has developed over a hundred similar potentially unwanted browser extensions. Here is a general removal guide, explaining how to eliminate them. To avoid installation of such adware, pay close attention during the installation phase of freeware. To avoid adware infections, choose the 'Advanced' or 'Custom' installation options, rather than 'Quick' or 'Typical' - in this way, you will be able to opt-out of installation of potentially unwanted applications. Users who have already installed the ProductRecallAlert toolbar should follow this removal guide to eliminate it from their Internet browser/s.

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Quick menu:

ProductRecallAlert 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.

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar via control panel

In the uninstall programs window: look for "ProductRecallAlert Internet Explorer Toolbar", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program (which causes browser redirects to the home.tb.ask.com website), scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

ProductRecallAlert toolbar removal from Internet browsers:

Video showing how to remove browser redirects:

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Internet Explorer step 1

Click on the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "ProductRecallAlert", "Toolbar BHO", and "Search Assistant BHO", select these entries and click "Remove".

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Internet Explorer step 2

Change your homepage:

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Internet Explorer step 3

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 and enter your preferred URL, which will open each time you launch Internet Explorer. You can also enter "about: blank" to open a blank page when you start Internet Explorer.

Change your default search engine:

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Internet Explorer step 4

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, then remove "Ask Web Search".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the productrecallalert virus, 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

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Mozilla Firefox step 1

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 "ProductRecallAlert".

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Change your homepage:

Removing ProductRecallAlert toolbar from Mozilla Firefox step 3

To reset your homepage, click on the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Options", in the opened window remove home.tb.ask.com and enter your preferred URL, which will open each time you start Mozilla Firefox.

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: "home.tb.ask.com"
Right-click on the found preferences and select "Reset" to restore default values.

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with productrecallalert virus 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 Help.

Accessing settings (Reset Firefox to default settings step 1)

Select Troubleshooting Information.

Accessing Troubleshooting Information (Reset Firefox to default settings step 2)

In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.

Clicking on Refresh Firefox button (Reset Firefox to default settings step 3)

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

Confirm your want to reset Firefox settings to default (Reset Firefox to default settings step 4)

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

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) logoRemove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate any recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, and remove them.

Change your homepage and new tab settings:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 2

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Settings". In the "On startup" section look for the name of the browser hijacker and click "Disable".

Change your default Internet search engine:

Removing browser hijackers from Microsoft Edge step 3

To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Privacy and services", scroll to bottom of the page and select "Address bar". In the "Search engines used in address bar" section look for the name of the unwanted Internet search engine, when located click the "Disable" button near it. Alternatively you can click on "Manage search engines", in the opened menu look for unwanted Internet search engine. Click on the puzzle icon Microsoft Edge (Chromium) puzzle icon near it and select "Disable".

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the productrecallalert virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 1

In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 2

Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.

Microsoft Edge (Chromium) reset step 3

  • If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.

Summary:

declining installation of browser hijackers while downloading free software sampleA browser hijacker is a type of adware infection that modifies Internet browser settings by assigning the homepage and default Internet search engine settings to some other (unwanted) website URL. Commonly, this type of adware infiltrates operating systems through free software downloads. If your download is managed by a download client, ensure that you decline offers to install advertised toolbars or applications that seek to change your homepage and default Internet search engine settings.

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

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About the author:

Tomas Meskauskas

Tomas Meskauskas - expert security researcher, professional malware analyst.

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

PCrisk security portal is brought by a company RCS LT. Joined forces of security researchers help educate computer users about the latest online security threats. More information about the company RCS LT.

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Software uninstall instructions
Malware activity

Global malware activity level today:

Medium threat activity

Increased attack rate of infections detected within the last 24 hours.

QR Code
ProductRecallAlert Virus QR code
A QR code (Quick Response Code) is a machine-readable code which stores URLs and other information. This code can be read using a camera on a smartphone or a tablet. Scan this QR code to have an easy access removal guide of ProductRecallAlert Virus on your mobile device.
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