So of lately, I've had to warn my users to watch out for unwanted programs that are coming in with Adobe Flash and Java updates. Adobe seems to be pushing Google's Chrome and Java with the Ask.com Toolbar. I admit that it could be much worse because both instance simply require an uncheck during some point of the update process, but on a large scale, prevention is better than confrontation.

Any suggestions?

  • Is this just for installing the program or updating does it too? – user142485 Aug 31 '12 at 21:26
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    Updating does too. – Chad Harrison Aug 31 '12 at 21:37
  • I do not see a way around this; you can not even block the download site that it comes from because it is a prepackaged set of the two programs and you get a different package if you uncheck the box first. You could download the update that doesn't include the bonus software and push it out to everyone or go to the download site, uncheck the box, click download now, copy the link and have everyone install from that link. – user142485 Aug 31 '12 at 21:55
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    The quick answer: Ninite Pro – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 1 '12 at 3:31
  • @techie007 This actually endded up being my answer! Thx for the point out. If you add, I'll accept as the answer. – Chad Harrison Sep 13 '13 at 15:13

If you download from those sites, there is no way to stop them from asking you to install their ware. You will have to refuse every time.


The answer is Group Policy, but as with all security it's a fine line between usability and security. For the Ask toolbar you can simply disable add-ons in IE (provided it's v6 or above) by doing the following (from KB883256):

  1. Click Start, click Run, type gpedit.msc, and then click OK.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration (or User Configuration) → Administrative Templates → Windows Components → Internet Explorer → Security Features, and then click Add-on Management.

As for Chrome, you have a bazillion options in Group Policy to prevent installs, or run-times, or simply change users to non-admins. Sadly not too easy on this one.

Took me a bit to figure out how my users (small base) kept getting the Ask toolbar and Chrome (I don't mind the latter as long as it doesn't add toolbars, change search options, or homepage in IE).


Ask toolbar is often bundled with java. And Oracle company do this nasty thing, which really sucks. There is a ask toolbar petition on https://www.change.org/petitions/oracle-corporation-stop-bundling-ask-toolbar-with-the-java-installer, sign the petition and aks oracle stop bundling. My laptop get this nasty toolbar last week, and i have to search a lot to remove it completely. Finally removed it with the help of a ask toolbar removal guide: http://www.virus-delete.com/en/guides/browser-hijacker-removal/20130814-how-to-remove-ask-search-toolbar-through-isafe-virus-removal-tool.html.

But is it possible to punish Oracle for its nasty deeds?


Unfortunately, you need to deal with this on a host-software-by-host-software or piggybacking-by-piggybacking-sofware basis.

The most frequent complaints I hear, is the Ask Toolbar bundled with Java.

To disable the installation of bundled software with the Java installer/updater, see this Q&A: How can I prevent Ask.com Toolbar from being installed every time Java is updated?

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