How To Uninstall The Oracle Java “Ask Toolbar” From Your Mac

I updated Java on my Mac OS X system and suddenly there’s an Ask toolbar in Google Chrome?What the heck?? How do I remove this malware?

I think it might be a bit much to call this malware as I don’t think it’s actually doing anything evil or bad to your computer or your browser, but the way that it’s installed as part of the Oracle Java 8.0 update is definitely more than a bit questionable. You do have to okay the install as part of updating your own Java runtime on your Mac system, but I expect that most people are just going to click thru the process without realizing what they’re saying “yes” to, so…

What’s frustrating is that it turns out that not only does the Ask toolbar get installed, but your default search engine is switched from whatever you have set up to too. Not good, it’s not a very good search engine and in any case, that’s something you should do consciously, not something that’s done on the sly.

To start, when you go through the install, you will have to click past this window:

do you want to install the ask toolbar as part of oracle java runtime update mac os x yosemite

So it’s not like they’re entirely hiding the process from us users. Then again, I think this is relatively recent and that previous Java updates were a lot more sly about the process. In any case, if you did install the “Search App by Ask” and the Ask Toolbar, next time you’re on a Web page in your Google Chrome browser, it’ll look like this:

search toolbar by ask / java / mac macbook imac

Definitely not to my taste. If I wanted my Web browser to look like a PC’s browser with its half-dozen toolbars, well, I’d be on a PC not a Mac system. :-)

To uninstall the toolbar from your Google Chrome system, click on the gears icon on the right side of the Ask toolbar.


Dave Taylor
About Dave Taylor
Dave Taylor has been involved with the Internet since 1980 and is internationally known as an expert on both business and technology issues. Holder of an MSEd and MBA, author of twenty books and founder of four startups, he also runs a strategic marketing company and consults with firms seeking the best approach to working with weblogs and social networks. Dave is an award-winning speaker and frequent guest on radio and podcast programs.

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