Microsoft flags Ask toolbar as unwanted and dangerous

From this month on, all versions of Ask.com’s infamous browser toolbar except the very last will be detected as unwanted software by Microsoft security products and removed.


This move is the result of Redmond giant’s decision to do away with programs with browser search protection functionality – i.e. programs that restrict or limit the users’ control over their search provider.

“This browser modifier is offered to the user when bundled with other programs. Upon installation, you are prompted to install Search App by Ask,” the company explains the toolbar’s problematic behavior.

“When another program attempts to change the home page, default search, or new tabs setting, older versions of this browser modifier displays the following warning that there have been changes in the Internet Explorer settings and attempts to revert you back to the Ask home page.”

The search protection functionality in the newest version of the toolbar has been removed so that it complies with the new rules.

In the past, the Ask toolbar was usually pushed onto PC Java users every time the software needed updating, and it has been long considered unwanted software by many users.