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.
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 LocalCrimeWatcher, Motitags, 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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- What is ProductRecallAlert?
- STEP 1. Uninstall ProductRecallAlert Internet Explorer Toolbar applications using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove ProductRecallAlert redirect from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove ProductRecallAlert homepage and default search engine from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 4. Remove ProductRecallAlert redirect from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
ProductRecallAlert toolbar removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
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.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
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.
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:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" 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".
Change your homepage:
Click on the "gear" 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:
Click on the "gear" 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".
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.
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.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "ProductRecallAlert".
Change your homepage:
To reset your homepage, click on the Firefox menu (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.
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, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click Safari menu, then select Preferences...
In the preferences window select the Extensions tab. Look for any recently installed suspicious extensions and uninstall them.
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.
In the preferences window select Search tab and make sure that your preferred Internet search engine is selected.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge 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:
Click the Edge 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:
To change your default search engine in Microsoft Edge: Click the Edge 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 near it and select "Disable".
If you continue to have problems with removal of the productrecallalert virus, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
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.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
A 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.
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