Search Support

Avoid support scams. We will never ask you to call or text a phone number or share personal information. Please report suspicious activity using the “Report Abuse” option.

Learn More

Lolu chungechunge lwabekwa kunqolobane. Uyacelwa ubuze umbuzo omusha uma udinga usizo.

How do I get rid of Ask.com as address bar search?

  • 29 uphendule
  • 58 zinale nkinga
  • 70267 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu jamiesheerin

more options

Hi - I need to use Firefox because an online course only works with it. However, I will never use it for anything else unless I can get rid of Ask.com as my default address bar search. I have been through the support files and have tried everything. There is no Ask toolbar. There is no chromewebapp.sqlite file or user.js file (may be wrong on spelling as I'm doing this from memory). I reset keyword.url and changed it to http://www.google.com/search?q=. I reset that other file (something about stone...again, I'm doing this from memory!). I reset Firefox. I completely uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled it.

I believe this is connected to Norton Safe Search. However, the Norton Toolbar is disabled and Safe Search is disabled. I did want to be able to use the Norton Toolbar and never had this problem with it in the past.

Can you help or should I just go back to using Chrome?

All Replies (20)

more options

For address bar search issues, keyword.URL and disabling any bad extensions are the two key action items.

For keyword.URL:

  • Make sure keyword.enabled is true
  • To get the default secure Google search, you can right-click reset the keyword.URL preference and choose Reset, or run this add-on: SearchReset

If those haven't worked, could you check whether your connection is running through some kind of proxy?

You can check your proxy setting here:

(WIN) orange Firefox button (or Tools menu) > Options > Advanced
(MAC) Firefox > Preferences > Advanced
(LINUX) Edit > Preferences > Advanced

On the Network mini-tab, click the Settings button. Choose "No Proxy" and OK out. You might need to restart Firefox before this takes effect.

more options

Thank you for taking the time to answer my question. Unfortunately, Ask.com is still holding me hostage. I had tried the keyword.url fixes before. Changing the proxy setting did not work, either.

more options

Did you try this? It's from Norton's support page:

Q. Can I disable or enable Norton Safe Search?

A. Yes. You can disable or enable Norton Safe Search manually via the Norton Toolbar menu. To disable or enable Norton Safe Search, click on the Norton logo on the Norton Toolbar and select disable/enable Norton Safe Search from the drop-down menu.

Q. Does disabling Norton Safe Search leave me open to online threats?

A.No. You get the full protection offered by Norton Safe Web regardless of whether or not you disable Norton Safe Search. If you do disable Norton Safe Search, Norton Safe Web (the client component) will continue to annotate searches on Google, Yahoo! or bing.com. Norton Safe Search utilizes the same site safety ratings as Norton Safe Web—it just provides a customized search experience.

more options

Thank you again, but that was one of the first things I checked. I do not know how to completely eliminate the Norton Toolbar, however. Even a complete uninstall/reinstall of Firefox did not change that.

more options

Uninstalling/reinstalling firefox is not sufficient to wipe out profile configurations

for that you'll need to create a new profile:


create a fresh profile, make the settings changes desired, and compare to your current profile

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Category:Profiles

Assuming you use windows (I don't):

http://kb.mozillazine.org/Creating_a_new_Firefox_profile_on_Windows


If the problem is not present in a fresh profile migrate your settings to the new profile.

If the problem persists you might have a nasty malware infection. Interweb search "free tech support", but I recommend BleepingComputer.com ;) having been a volunteer once upon a time. They'll help you remove whatever nasties they find in a methodical, easy to follow step by step format -- at zero cost to you (zero financial cost. Zero privacy commoditization which is what adware/web-ads do)

scan Aztec Code to register a new BleepingComputer account

Okulungisiwe ngu moats

more options

Have you noticed any difference between single word and multi-word searches? For a single word, Firefox will try it as a domain, and your DNS provider can intercept that and return its own results page. For multiple words, if keyword.enabled=true, Firefox will send the query to the search provider specified by keyword.URL or, if that is blank, to Google.

If the problem only affects single word searches, the source of the problem is upstream, either in Windows or in your router, or at your ISP.

more options

You can try this:

Download Toolbar Cleaner (it's free) from http://toolbarcleaner.com/

Install it and CAREFULLY remove any Toolbar from browsers and delete entries in Windows startup profile.

I used Advance System Cleaner for cleaning of registry. I suggest you don't use/apply optimizations ASC offers.

You may uninstall both after the job is done.

Okulungisiwe ngu ambreesh

more options

Thanks, all, for the help. Toolbar Cleaner is nifty but had no effect. I'm not going to bother with a new profile.

It is only with single-word searches and I am not going to completely eliminate the Norton product from my computer, so it will have to stay as is.

more options

If you find it to be unbearable in the future, two further thoughts:

  • Some ISPs will turn off the search results feature upon request (e.g., Optimum).
  • You could change your DNS servers to OpenDNS or Google DNS. These will return a normal 404 to Firefox so that Firefox can then try a keyword search.
more options

Hello fdrdfm - sorry to be seeing this a few days late, but I believe I can help. We've got a very simple removal utility which will clear this up for you, as well as simple steps to reset your Firefox default search provider. You'll find all of that in our Help Center:

http://help.ask.com/link/portal/30015/30018/Article/1/How-do-I-remove-the-Ask-com-Toolbar

If I can help with anything else, please feel free to get in touch with me via the Contact links in the Help Center.

more options

Hi EricFromAsk.com, the original question says "There is no Ask toolbar."

The poster's problem is that instead of returning a 404 for a bad host name, the ISP is returning a page of Ask.com search results. Without changing DNS providers, it can be difficult to restore the intended behavior (divert 404 to a Google search).

more options

It's not too likely an ISP is forcing any type of search provider; this is more likely a local browser setting in conjunction with Norton Safe Search, as mentioned in the original post. In that case, resetting Firefox's default search provider (as outlined in my article) will quickly and easily resolve it.

more options

A good test for DNS hijacking by the ISP is to try different DNS servers.


Try to reset prefs on the about:config page that refer to ask.com.

  • Open the about:config page via the location bar and do a search for ask.com via the Search bar at the top of the about:config page.
  • Reset all ask.com related prefs that appear bold (user set) via the right-click context menu to their default values.

Start Firefox in Safe Mode to check if one of the extensions (Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Extensions) or if hardware acceleration is causing the problem (switch to the DEFAULT theme: Firefox/Tools > Add-ons > Appearance).

  • Do NOT click the Reset button on the Safe Mode start window or otherwise make changes.
more options

I found this thread because I was having the same issue. What happened to me was Ask.com hijacked my Firefox during some kind of Java, or Flash update. I forgot to uncheck the box to make Ask my default search engine.

But I hate Ask.com. Everyone does. So I ignored it for a few weeks. Then I went about looking for the plugin to uninstall. There is no plugin.

The solution was laughably simple. In the search bar at the top right corner of the browser window, you will see the hated Ask logo. There is an arrow next to it that will drop down a menu of search engines. Pick your poison.

Because lets face it: Chrome is OK. But it's not Firefox. And Explorer just plain SUCKS.

more options

Hi, For anyone else out there that is still trying to get rid of the Ask bar: I use Mozilla, and, like digitaldiogenes, above, Ask hijacked Firefox during a Java update, though I was ultra-careful not to tick boxes, but there you go.

I tried the dropdown menu in the Ask searchbar to get my old search engine back; trouble was, it wasn't showing (I had Bing and Yahoo... but no Google). SO: there is a good tutorial on Youtube, right here, that takes you through what you need to do. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tSNe-n9MCEM

It was only after I'd followed these instructions to the letter that Google reappeared in the Ask searchbar dropdown menu, alongside Ask, Bing, Yahoo, Amazon (??). Once you have your engine back, you can then ask the Firefox search-engine manager to "remove" Ask - worked for me!

Good luck.

Okulungisiwe ngu Cosma

more options

I tried everything but only one thing worked. I uninstalled Mozilla Firefox and installed it again. It was very quick and simple.

more options

Dont' try anything that someone from ask.com says here in these forums. It won't work and will only make matters worse.

more options

Hi Bob - Fortunately, you're very wrong about that. I've personally helped a lot of people change browser settings and uninstall our toolbar. While millions of people use our search tools happily, we know they're not everyone's cup of tea.

As always, I'm available via the Ask Help Center if anyone would like to get in touch.

more options

So i was having the same problem, Ask tool bar would not uninstall. it was getting bothersome. so i went to uninstall programs, removed it there. Also went into extensions/addons and removed it there and still did not work. so i took advice from this site and clicked on the search icon in the upper right corner of the viewing screen, clicked "manage search engines". Now mozilla firefox is unresponsive, it does nothing. When you type something to search and hit enter, nothing happens, its unresponsive. -i would like to know why. never had any problems with ask but this seemed to be deeper than just a search engine. -i would like to get firefox up and running again, even a reinstall didnt have any effect.

more options

fdrfdm,

i've had the same issue for some time, and only now realized how to fix it. i, too, have tried resetting the "keyword.URL", removing plug-ins, uninstalling, and re-installing, but if you're just looking to use Google as your default address bar search option, there seems to be a pretty simple quick fix.

1. in your firefox address bar, type "about:config" and hit enter. 2. on the page that loads, in the search field, type "keyword". 3. on the resulting hits, make sure the "keyword.enabled" is set to value "true". Otherwise, right click on it and select "Toggle". 4. right click "keyword.URL" and select "Modify". 5. enter value "https://www.google.com/#q=" and click OK.

that worked for me. hopefully, it works for you, too.

best, ori

  1. 1
  2. 2