Hijack Browser "Ask"


  1. Posts : 350
    Windows10 Home (x64) Version 1803
       #1

    Hijack Browser "Ask"


    Using Windows 10 current version. Will someone please help me to get rid of a hijack browser "Ask" which attached itself to my Google Chrome. I have tried several methods all of which have failed. I deleted Google Chrome and re installed it but "Ask" came back as well! As an OAP, I am finding it rather difficult so your help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
      My Computer


  2. Posts : 35,586
    Win 10 Pro (21H2) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #2

    Hi, there are guides on the internet - I searched for
    chrome ask remove

    How to Remove the Ask Toolbar from Chrome (with Pictures)

    And you might try one of these:
    Hijack Browser "Ask"-1.png

    In general there are two common methods of going back to a previous good state:
    - using Windows System Restore (which you need to configure to use in Win 10 - when restoring succeeds, great, but it has a reputation for not- and no harm done- just usually no change effected
    - using disk imaging routinely - so often recommended here, youtube videos and huge help document available.
    e.g. Macrium Reflect (free) to large enough external storage
      My Computers


  3. Posts : 350
    Windows10 Home (x64) Version 1803
    Thread Starter
       #3

    Hijack Browser "Ask"


    (Windows 10 current ) Thanks to Windows 10 Forums I am very pleased to say it got rid of "Ask" the hijack browser. I learned a big lesson, never to use systems on line on how to do this and that, they are bandits!

    Cheers RonBin (now 88)
      My Computer


  4. Posts : 25,090
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #4

    The Ask Toolbar is classed as a 'Potentially Unwanted Program/Application' (PUP/PUA) which is a form of malware rather than a virus. By default Windows Security does not detect or block PUAs except in an Enterprise environment, but PUA detection can be enabled in all editions from Home up. New for v2004 is a switch in Windows Security to turn on this Reputation Based Protection, but in 1909 and earlier it can be enabled with a .reg file.

    Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUA Protection in Windows 10

    Enabling PUA detection will block the Ask Toolbar and other malware from installing. I have had PUA detection enabled on all my machines for over three years now.
      My Computers


  5. Posts : 56,117
    Multi-boot Windows 10/11 - RTM, RP, Beta, and Insider
       #5

    This will clean out any extraneous toolbars and unwanted PUPS.

    https://www.malwarebytes.com/adwcleaner/
      My Computers


  6. Posts : 161
    Windows 10
       #6

    RonBin79 said:
    Using Windows 10 current version. Will someone please help me to get rid of a hijack browser "Ask" which attached itself to my Google Chrome. I have tried several methods all of which have failed. I deleted Google Chrome and re installed it but "Ask" came back as well! As an OAP, I am finding it rather difficult so your help would be very much appreciated. Thank you.
    This likely happened when you were installing something. Most browsers these days automatically block unauthorized configuration of the browser ie installing themes, add-ons etc. You'll often get a prompt in your browser if a website is asking you to install something which will affect your browser. The changes should NOT be automatic unless there is a bug in the browser and this is being exploited. In Firefox for example, you get a small notification window with a 'jigsaw piece' icon (used to represent adding extra stuff to the browser, extensions etc) that appears which asks you whether you want to install whatever has been requested from the website you visit. Best practices would suggest you ALWAYS refuse these requests. NEVER install or allow anyone or anything to change your browser unless you know 100% it is safe and you want it to happen.

    As for how this happened. It likely happened when you installed software on your computer. Free software especially can sometimes come with annoying 'freebies' like search toolbars like is the case with you. This happens because these companies have been paid to include this software in the installation, like a sponsorship in a way. A company sponsors the software and in return you have to include their software in the installation process. However, you ALWAYS should be given a choice to install it. If you're not sure always click the 'Custom/Advanced Installation' and go through what is being installed. You'll often be referred to different stages in the installation where each stage shows individual elements being installed. Here you'll often find the optional software, or better put, the annoying stuff you don't want! Just untick the box and viola you're good to go. Make a habit out of this and you shouldn't have to deal with this again. Another good practice is to find reputable software. This usually comes with practice though as after a while you get a feel for software installation and become suspicious when something doesn't seem right. Most reputable software won't bug you with this annoying crap you 99% probably do not want. And if they do include it they will MAKE SURE to notify you and make it very easy and obvious for you to not install it.

    Search toolbars and related software have always been the most popular type of annoying crap you encounter when installing stuff. It's gotten better over the years as standards on the internet have improved and people are more aware and completely against this sort of stuff from happening. Search toolbars were once king of the playground in a not so distant past where getting as many users to search using a specific search engine provider was important to push the reputation of these particular search engines. Now search engines are the dominant portal to accessing information on the internet they've died out. However, it's still a money maker for those who use the search toolbars. There are also click revenue based schemes as well where every referal to a particular search engine makes the referrer money.
    Bree said:
    The Ask Toolbar is classed as a 'Potentially Unwanted Program/Application' (PUP/PUA) which is a form of malware rather than a virus. By default Windows Security does not detect or block PUAs except in an Enterprise environment, but PUA detection can be enabled in all editions from Home up. New for v2004 is a switch in Windows Security to turn on this Reputation Based Protection, but in 1909 and earlier it can be enabled with a .reg file.

    Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUA Protection in Windows 10

    Enabling PUA detection will block the Ask Toolbar and other malware from installing. I have had PUA detection enabled on all my machines for over three years now.
    Bree said:
    The Ask Toolbar is classed as a 'Potentially Unwanted Program/Application' (PUP/PUA) which is a form of malware rather than a virus. By default Windows Security does not detect or block PUAs except in an Enterprise environment, but PUA detection can be enabled in all editions from Home up. New for v2004 is a switch in Windows Security to turn on this Reputation Based Protection, but in 1909 and earlier it can be enabled with a .reg file.

    Enable or Disable Windows Defender PUA Protection in Windows 10

    Enabling PUA detection will block the Ask Toolbar and other malware from installing. I have had PUA detection enabled on all my machines for over three years now.
    PUP is not specifically malware.
    The reason why there is a PUP category is because it's neither considered malware nor is it considered desirable. The category itself proves there was a need to create a group that didn't fall into the catch-all definition of malware because this would be inaccurate and make security software less effective. Why? Some people want software on their system that other people consider unwanted. That's why it's called 'Potentially unwanted software'. Someone may want a search toolbar in their browser while someone else may not. Malware, in it's catch-all meaning means malicious software. Potentially unwanted software, despite it being annoying, is often not malicious. Google is a privacy concern but their software is not malicious. If Google search was installed on most people's browsers without their consent very little people would object to it nor would they consider it malware. The goal may be gathering loads of data about you but the toolbar isn't there to maliciously harm you and/or your computer. Likewise, PUP is no different.
    If it was malware and fell into the broad definition of what the security community considers threatening, it would be considered malware and PUP category wouldn't exist. We use reputation scores as a rough estimate as to whether large amounts of people choose to remove what a security software considers PUP. Again, this is subjective and not conclusive as trends sway towards one product over another all the time. What might be PUP now might not be some months down the line.
    The category exists in order to create a new category of less serious and more annoying software, like search toolbars.
      My Computer


  7. Posts : 25,090
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #7

    supermammalego said:
    The category exists in order to create a new category of less serious and more annoying software, like search toolbars.
    However you categorise it, by default Windows Security/Defender does not protect against it until you enable PUA detection.
      My Computers


  8. Posts : 504
    Windows 10
       #8

    Check out Windows exe file associations

    Good luck
      My Computer


 

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