Mindspark Toolbar is a browser hijacker that is commonly bundled with a variety of free software that you can download from the Internet. Mindspark Toolbar is considered a browser hijacker because it changes your web browser’s home page to and default search provider to search.ask.com without your permission.
What Is Mindspark Toolbar?
The Mindspark Toolbar is frequently categorized as a browser hijacker because it takes control of the Web browser and does things the user may not have specifically requested. For example, even if you set your “home” page, Mindspark Toolbar will display its own site (http://home.ask.com/). Or when you try to get to Google or Bing to perform a search, the browser will redirect to Mindspark Toolbar Search (search.ask.com). A toolbar will also appear at the top of your browser window.
It’s technically not a virus, but it does exhibit plenty of malicious traits, such as rootkit capabilities to hook deep into the operating system, browser hijacking, and in general just interfering with the user experience. The industry generally refers to it as a “PUP,” or potentially unwanted program.
How Did I Get the Mindspark Toolbar?
Perhaps you installed a free software that had bundled within their installer the Mindspark Toolbar, such as Language Learning, ClickDownload, DealFinder, Yontoo or FBPhotoZoom. Any of these products can install the Mindspark Toolbar. What’s even more likely is that you installed some other application which came with the Mindspark Toolbar search bar and you didn’t notice when it got installed—you failed to uncheck it as an optional ride-along during the install process of something you actually wanted. Several applications distributed on CNET’s download.com have Mindspark Toolbar bundled in, for example. When installed, it hooks itself into Windows, Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome, making it difficult to remove.
You can find some of the known Mindspark Toolbar in the below list:
Audio to Audio
Better Career Search
Bring Me Apps
Bring Me Sports
Bring Me Sports Rugby
Bring Me Sports Tennis
Conservative Talk Now
Crazy for Crafts
Crazy for Cricket
Daily Bible Guide
Daily Dollar Guide
Daily Fitness Center
Daily Wellness Guide
Easy Home Decorating
Fantasy Football Boss
File Share Fanatic
Know the Bible
MMA in Motion
My Car Companion
My Daily Runway
My Image Converter
Play Pop Trivia
Product Recall Alert
Round Up Radio
Sample Sale Dash
Total Recipe Search
Video Download Converter
Your Local Lotto
Your Video Chat
From Doc To PDF
How to Simplified
How to remove Mindspark Toolbar (Virus Removal Guide)
STEP 1: Remove Mindspark Toolbar from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome with AdwCleaner
In this first step we will run a scan with AdwCleaner to remove Mindspark Toolbar browser extension from Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome.
- You can download AdwCleaner from the below link:
ADWCLEANER DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the AdwCleaner utility on your computer)
- When AdwCleaner has finished downloading, please double-click on the AdwCleaner.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. Once you double-click on the icon the AdwCleaner program will open and you will be presented with its start screen as shown below. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run AdwCleaner, please allow it to run.
- Now click on the Scan button in AdwCleaner. The program will now start to search for Mindspark Toolbar adware that may be installed on your computer.
When it has finished it will display a notepad screen that contains a log file of all the Mindspark Toolbar extensions, files, and registry keys that have been detected.
- To remove Mindspark Toolbar malicious files that were detected in the previous step, click on the Clean button.
AdwCleaner will now prompt you to save any open files or data as the program will need to reboot the computer. Please do so and then click on the OK button.
STEP 2: Remove Mindspark Toolbar browser hijacker with Junkware Removal Tool
Junkware Removal Tool is an utility which will remove Mindspark Toolbar files, folders and registry keys from your computer.
- Junkware Removal Tool is a powerful utility, which will remove Mindspark Toolbar extensions and malicious files from your computer.You can download Junkware Removal Tool from the below link.
JUNKWARE REMOVAL TOOL DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will automatically download the Junkware Removal Tool utility on your computer)
- When Junkware Removal Tool has finished downloading, please double-click on the JRT.exe icon that now appears on your desktop. If Windows prompts you as to whether or not you wish to run Junkware Removal Tool, please allow it to run.
- The program will now start, and at the Command Prompt, you’ll need to press any key to start scanning for the Mindspark Toolbar hijacker.Please be patient as this can take a while to complete depending on your system’s specifications.
- Once the scan will be completed, Junkware Removal Tool will display a log with the files that were removed from your computer.
STEP:3 Remove Malwarebytes Anti-Malware virus with Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free
Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free utilizes Malwarebytes powerful technology to detect and remove all traces of malware including worms, trojans, rootkits, rogues, dialers, spyware and more.
- Download the latest official version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free.
MALWAREBYTES ANTI-MALWARE DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download Malwarebytes Anti-Malware Free)
- After you have downloaded Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, double-click on mbam-setup.exe file to start the installation process and then follow the prompts to install this product.
- On the Scanner tab, select Perform quick scan and then click on the Scan button to start scanning your computer for any possible infections.
- Malwarebytes’ Anti-Malware will now start scanning your computer for Mindspark Toolbar malicious files as shown below.
- When the scan is finished a message box will appear, click OK to continue.
- You will now be presented with a screen showing you the malware infections that Malwarebytes Anti-Malware has found on your computer.
Make sure all the infected objects are Checked (Ticked) for removal and then click on the Remove Selected button to remove them.
STEP 4: Double-check for Mindspark Toolbar infection with HitmanPro
HitmanPro is a cloud on-demand scanner, that uploads unknown files to the a scan cloud where are analyzed using the anti-virus programs of 5 different vendors (Bitdefender, Emsisoft, G-Data, IKARUS and Dr. Web).
- You can download the latest official version of HitmanPro from the below link.
HITMANPRO DOWNLOAD LINK (This link will open a download page in a new window from where you can download HitmanPro)
- Double click on the HitmanPro.exe file to start the HitmanPro and then follow the prompts to start a system scan with this program.
- HitmanPro will start scanning your system for Mindspark Toolbar. Depending on the the size of your hard drive, and the performance of your computer, this step will take anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes.
- Once the scan is complete,a screen displaying all the malicious files that the program has found will be shown as seen in the image below.After reviewing each malicious object click Next.
- Click Activate free license to start the free 30 days trial and remove Mindspark Toolbar virus.
- HitmanPro will now start removing the infected objects, and in some instances, may suggest a reboot in order to completely remove the Mindspark Toolbar from your system. In this scenario, always confirm the reboot action to be on the safe side.
(OPTIONAL) STEP 5: Reset Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome to their default settings to remove Mindspark Toolbar
If you are still having issues while trying to remove Mindspark Toolbar from Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome, we will need to reset your browser to its default settings.
Reset Internet Explorer to its default settings to remove Mindspark Toolbar
- Click on the Gear icon, also known as the Action or Tools menu, located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select Internet options.
- Internet Explorer’s Internet Options dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. Click on the Advanced tab, circled in the example below.
- The Advanced Options tab should now be displayed. Towards the bottom of this tab is a section labeled Reset Internet Explorer settings. Click on the Reset button, found within this section.
- The Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog, shown in the example below, should now be displayed. Place a check mark next to the Delete personal settings option, highlighted in the example below, then click on the Reset button to initiate this process.
Reset Mozilla Firefox to its default settings to remove Mindspark Toolbar
- Click on the Firefox button, located in the upper left hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears hover your mouse cursor over Help button as seen in the example below. At this point, a sub-menu should appear to the right. Next, click on the Troubleshooting Information option.
- Firefox’s Troubleshooting Information page should now be visible, displayed in a new tab or window. To reset your browser to its default state, click on the Reset Firefox button.
- A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, Asking if you want to reset Firefox to its initial state. To initiate the process, click on the Reset Firefox button.
Reset Google Chrome to its default settings to remove Mindspark Toolbar
- Click the Chrome menu Chrome menu on the browser toolbar, located in the upper right hand corner of your browser window, then select Settings.
- Scroll down to the bottom to click Show advanced settings.
- Scroll down to the bottom of that page and click Reset browser settings to reset Chrome to its default settings.
- A confirmation dialog should now be displayed, asking if you want to reset Chrome to its initial state. To initiate the process, click on the Reset button.
Your computer should now be free of the Mindspark Toolbar. If your current anti-virus solution let this infection through, you may want to consider purchasing the PRO version of Malwarebytes Anti-Malware to protect against these types of threats in the future.