DeskBar Adware

Also Known As: DeskBar PUP
Type: Adware
Distribution: Low
Damage level: Medium

DeskBar removal instructions

What is DeskBar?

The DeskBar desktop toolbar allows users to search the Internet and access certain websites directly from the desktop - "DeskBar is a "Desktop Toolbar" that resides at the top of your desktop giving you instant access to web search, weather, news and more." These promises often trick users into believing that this application is legitimate and useful, however, it is adware and a potentially unwanted program (PUP). Deskbar infiltrates systems during installation of other software and tracks Internet browsing activity.

DeskBar adware

The application collects information such as visited websites, viewed pages, search queries, and other browsing-related data. The recorded details (which can contain personally identifiable details) are later shared with collaborating third parties and may be misused to generate revenue. This situation could lead to serious privacy issues or even identity theft. In addition, DeskBar might display links to various websites containing infectious content - clicking them can result in further computer infections. Deskbar is distributed together with BrowserAir adware. Furthermore, when users attempt to search the Internet via this toolbar, they are redirected to the www-searching.com website, which claims to deliver improved search results. These claims are false. This webpage is simply an intermediary - users who visit it are redirected to bing.com. Note that bing.com is a legitimate website and is not associated with these adware-type applications. You are strongly advised to uninstall DeskBar from your system immediately.

DeskBar Privacy Policy regarding information tracking:

Except as provided in this Privacy Policy, only Company and our affiliates and service providers will have access to your personal account information. When you are on our site and are asked for personal information, you are sharing that information with Company and our affiliates and service providers. If personal data is to be collected and/or maintained by any company other than Company or its affiliates, we will try to notify you on the website or in an updated version of this Privacy Policy. If you do not want your data to be shared, you can choose not to allow the transfer by not using that particular service.

Other websites to which we link may collect personally identifiable information about you when you visit those sites. The information practices of other websites linked to our websites are not covered by this Privacy Policy.

DeskBar is similar to other adware-type applications (especially Web Bar) that claim to be legitimate and useful. These apps supposedly provide many useful features to enhance the Internet browsing experience, however, these fake promises are merely attempts to give the impression of trustworthy software. The purpose of FilesFrog, DNS Keeper, Unfollow Alert, and other similar apps, is to generate revenue for the developers by displaying ads, causing redirects, and collecting various system data. These applications provide no real value for the user.

How did DeskBar install on my computer?

The developers of DeskBar (Blue Labs, LLC) distribute this deceptive toolbar with the aforementioned BrowserAir adware, which infiltrates the system using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling'. This method allows developers to stealthily install their products during installation of regular (often free) software. Most users do not express enough caution when downloading and installing software, thereby inadvertently installing third party applications. Many users are unaware that bogus applications are concealed within the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings, go on to skip this section, thereby exposing their systems to risk of infection.

How to avoid installation of potentially unwanted applications?

Pay close attention when downloading and installing software. Both of these processes should be closely observed and all offers to download or install additional applications, declined. Use the 'Custom' or 'Advanced' settings - this will reveal any rogue apps listed for installation and enable you to opt-out. The key to computer safety is caution. Never rush the download or installation processes.

DeskBar adware installer set-up:

Official Deskbar adware installation setup

Screenshot of the DeskBar desktop toolbar:

Deceptive DeskBar desktop toolbar

Website promoting the DeskBar adware application:

Website used to promote DeskBar adware toolbar

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Quick menu:

DeskBar adware 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.

DeskBar adware uninstall via Control Panel

In the uninstall programs window, look for "DeskBar", "Search module", and "BrowserAir", select these entries, and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".

After uninstalling the potentially unwanted program that causes DeskBar ads, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. To scan your computer, use recommended malware removal software.

Remove DeskBar adware from Internet browsers:

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

Internet Explorer logoRemove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:

Removing DeskBar ads from Internet Explorer step 1

Click the "gear" icon Internet Explorer options icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer), select "Manage Add-ons". Look for any recently-installed suspicious browser plug-ins, and click "Remove".

Removing DeskBar ads from Internet Explorer step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the deskbar pup, 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

Google Chrome logoRemove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:

Removing DeskBar  ads from Google Chrome step 1

Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome options icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome), select "Tools" and click "Extensions". Locate "Search Module Plus v2", and other recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons, select these entries and click the trash can icon.

Removing DeskBar ads from Google Chrome step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the deskbar pup, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon Google Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.

Google Chrome settings reset step 1

After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.

Google Chrome settings reset step 2

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

Google Chrome settings reset step 3

Mozilla Firefox logoRemove malicious plug-ins from Mozilla Firefox:

Removing DeskBar ads from Mozilla Firefox step 1

Click the Firefox menu firefox menu icon (at the top right corner of the main window), select "Add-ons". Click "Extensions", in the opened window, remove all recently-installed browser plug-ins.

Removing DeskBar ads from Mozilla Firefox step 2

Optional method:

Computer users who have problems with deskbar pup 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 adware from safari step 1 - accessing preferences

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

removing adware from safari step 2 - removing extensions

In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.

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 adware from Microsoft Edge step 1

Click the Edge menu icon Microsoft Edge (chromium) menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.

Removing adware from Microsoft Edge step 2

Optional method:

If you continue to have problems with removal of the deskbar pup, 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 adware while downloading free software sampleCommonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.

Removal assistance:
If you are experiencing problems while trying to remove deskbar pup from your computer, please ask for assistance in our malware support forum.

Post a comment:
If you have additional information on deskbar pup or it's removal please share your knowledge in the comments section below.

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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Removal Instructions in other languages
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
DeskBar PUP 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 DeskBar PUP on your mobile device.
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