Removing the Search Helper Extension and Bing Bar

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Note: This article only applies to the Windows operating system.

Did you just open Firefox to find the Search Helper Extension and Bing Bar had been installed even though you didn't install them? Well, you're not crazy. Microsoft's latest Windows Update (KB982217) installs these in Firefox for everyone who's previously used Windows Live Toolbar, MSN Toolbar, Windows Live Essentials or the Bing Bar. These extensions make Bing your default search engine and add other functionality. If you'd like to remove these and change your search provider back, the rest of this article will explain how to do that.

Note: This is not to be confused with the Search Helper - Enhance Google extension which lets you open Google search results in multiple tabs.

Remove the Bing Bar from both Firefox and Internet Explorer

(The uninstaller doesn't give you the option of only removing it from one browser)

  1. From the menu at the top of the Firefox window, select File and then select the Exit menu item.
  2. From the Start menu, select Control Panel and open Add or Remove Programs (Windows XP) or Programs and Features (Windows Vista or Windows 7)
  3. Select Bing Bar from the listed programs and click Remove (Windows XP) or right-click and select Uninstall (Windows Vista or Windows 7)
  4. Follow the steps in the Bing Bar uninstaller.
Note: This will remove the extensions but your search provider and home page may have also been changed. To set your home page see How to set the home page and to set your search provider see Switching search engines.

Disable the Bing Bar and Search Helper Extension in Firefox only

  1. From the menu at the top of the Firefox window, select Tools and then select the Add-ons menu item.
  2. In the Add-ons window, click on the Extensions panel.
  3. Find Bing Bar and Search Helper Extension in the list and click Disable for each of them. Then click the Restart Firefox button.

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Note: This will disable (not remove) the extensions but your search provider and home page may have also been changed. To set your home page see How to set the home page and to set your search provider see Switching search engines.
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