Installers hall of shame

The original topic this page is duplicated from is located at Installers Hall of Shame (Unwanted add-on) – Calendar Of Updates. Below is the original list created by CoU member weaselthatbites and posted by Donna. Post any new installers not listed here that install crapware and we will investigate and then add them to the list.

  • 4 shared Desktop – 4 shared Toolbar
  • Ad-Aware – Google Chrome
  • Adobe Flash PlayerMcAfee Security Scan
  • Adobe ReadereBay Desktop shortcuts/iTunes
  • Adobe Shockwave PlayerNorton Security Scan
  • Aero Fox addon for Firefox – Ask toolbar
  • AnVir Task Manager – Registry Cleaner Pro
  • Any Video Converter – Google Chrome
  • AOL Instant MessengerAOL Toolbar
  • Apple’s Software UpdaterSafari Browser, QuickTime, iTunes
  • Applian FLV PlayerYahoo Toolbar
  • Ashampoo Internet Accelerator – MyAshampoo toolbar & MyAshampoo Web Search
  • Ashampoo Registry Cleaner – MyAshampoo toolbar & MyAshampoo Web Search
  • Ashampoo Office – MyAshampoo toolbar & MyAshampoo Web Search
  • Auslogics BenchTown – Auslogics/Ask toolbar, homepage
  • Auslogics Disk Defrag – Auslogics/Ask Toolbar, Ask Homepage and default search engine
  • Auslogics Duplicate File Finder – Auslogics/Ask Toolbar, Ask Homepage and default search engine
  • Auslogics Registry Cleaner – Auslogics/Ask Toolbar, Ask Homepage and default search engine
  • Auslogics Registry DefragAuslogics/Ask Toolbar, Ask Homepage and default search engine
  • Auslogics System Information – Auslogics/Ask Toolbar, Ask Homepage and default search engine
  • AV Music Morpher – Dealoi toolbar/Yahoo! search settings/PC-fix 2011
  • Avast Antivirus – Google Chrome/Google defaults
  • AVG Free AntivirusAVG Security Toolbar/Yahoo Search
  • AVG LinkScanner (standalone) – AVG Security Toolbar/Yahoo! Toolbar
  • Avira Antivir – Ask toolbar
  • Bad Shortcut Killer – Bing toolbar & search/homepage change
  • Badoo Desktop – Badoo Startpage/Badoo Search
  • BitCometGoogle Toolbar
  • BitDefender Anti-Phishing Free EditionAsk Toolbar
  • BitTorrent 6.1.2Ask Toolbar
  • BlueGriffon – SweetIM Homepage/Search
  • BurnAware Free – Ask Toolbar
  • CCleaner– (standard installer) Yahoo Toolbar/Google Chrome
  • CDBurnerXP – Ask toolbar – Also offering SpywareTerminator and Uniblue Registry Booster
  • Chit Chat for Facebook – Plura Processing, SweetIM Homepage/Search, RelevantKnowledge
  • ChrisTV Lite 5.50 – ChrisTV Toolbar/Relevant Knowledge adware
  • ClamWin – (source)
  • Cnet Download WrapperPlease see here
  • Comodo Firewall ProAsk Toolbar
  • Comodo Internet Security, Antivirus & FirewallCOMODO Hopsurf/Ask Toolbar, search, HopSurf Homepage
  • Corel Paint Shop Pro XYahoo! Toolbar but not pre-checked
  • CPU-Z – Ask Toolbar,  Screenshot and info here
  • CSMenu –
  • Cyberlink BD Advisor – Google Toolbar
  • Cyberlink PowerDVD 8Google Toolbar and BETA of Moovielive
  • Daemon ToolsSearch tool and sponsor ad module
  • DefragglerYahoo Toolbar
  • Digsby instant messenger – Assorted adware/spyware
  • DivXYahoo Toolbar/Norton Security Scan
  • Driver Sweeper 2.6.0 by Phyxion – AOL toolbar,  OpenCandy
  • Duplicate Cleaner – Bing Toolbar (IE & Firefox) & Search Helper Extension 1.0 (Firefox)
  • DVD Video Soft Free Studio – Ask Toolbar/Search/Homepage
  • DVDStyler – kikin (see here)
  • DVDx – Ask Toolbar
  • ExtractNow 4.59 and higher – Real Player
  • Fixbee – Searchqu toolbar/Homepage/
  • FotoMorph and FotoMix – Facemoods Toolbar
  • Foxit Reader 3.0 – FoxIt toolbar, changes default search to, eBay Desktop shortcuts
  • Free Download Manager – Software Informer bundle
  • Free YouTube to MP3 Converter – DVDSoft Toolbar/Search Engine
  • Freecommander – Ebay shortcuts
  • Freemake Audio & Video converters – Funmoods Toolbar/Homepage/Search
  • FormatFactory 2.10 (and higher) – Ebay shortcuts
  • FormatFactory 2.15 (and higher) – Ask toolbar
  • GameVance – Ask Toolbar/The Weather Channel Desktop
  • GetGo Download Manager – Ask Toolbar
  • Glary UtilitiesAsk Toolbar
  • GOM Player – Google Toolbar/Ask Toolbar
  • Google Talkno addon but will change default search setting of IE
  • Google EarthPre checked Google Chrome installation
  • Hotspot Shield – Hotspot Shield Community Toolbar from Conduit
  • HP Deskjet –  HP Bing Bar
  • ICQ 6 and above – ICQ Toolbar, ICQ Homepage, Search Engine
  • IE7Pro – Offering ProgSense. Installed Grab Pro Toolbar (using Ask search)
  • IMMUNET 2.0 Cloud antivirus “free” – Ask toolbar No longer included!
  • IM ToolPack – Crawler toolbar
  • ImgBurn – Ask Toolbar and Uniblue Desktop icons
  • Incredimail – MyStart Homepage and Search
  • IObit Advanced SystemCareYahoo Toolbar (Selecting no will still do changes on the system)
  • IObit Malware Fighter – IObit toolbar, Advanced SystemCare, Protected Folder
  • IOBit Security 360 – IObit/Conduit toolbar
  • IOBit Smart Defrag – Yahoo Toolbar/Search
  • IrfanViewGoogle Toolbar for IE/Google Desktop Search/Google Chrome
    • Installer also links to Uniblue
  • IsoBuster – Toolbar
  • iTunesQuickTime, AppleSoftwareUpdate, AppleMobileDeviceSupport64, Bonjour64, MobileMe64
  • IZArc – RegistryBooster
  • Java Runtime Environment (JRE) 6 Update 10 and aboveYahoo Toolbar, Java Quick Starter, Live Search for Windows Toolbar, Bing Toolbar, OpenOffice installer
  • Jzip – jZip.Toolbar  <- Malware! – See here
  • K-Lite Mega Codec Pack – StartNow Toolbar/Homepage/Yahoo Search
  • KMPlayer – Pandora TV
  • LinkLister – Harmony Hollow Software Toolbar
  • Logitech Setpoint Logitech/Yahoo! Toolbar
  • ManyCam Virtual Webcam – Ask Toolbar and Norton Security Scan
  • Maxathon  – Facebook Sidebar Plugin/Kingsoft PC Doctor
  • McAfee Site Advisor – Sets Yahoo! as default browser search
  • MediaCoder – Registry Reviver (see here)
  • Mediaget2 – OfferBox browser
  • Miro 2.5 – Ask toolbar
  • MooO Connection Watcher – Autocomplete Pro
  • MP3 WMA Converter– Yahoo Search and Delio Comparsion Shopping Toolbar
  • MyPhoneExplorer – Ebay shortcuts/OpenCandy
  • Nero 9 Lite Free – Ask Toolbar
  • Nero Burning Rom – Ask Toolbar
  • Office Live add-in – Silverlight
  • OpenCandy – Assorted third party software/spyware
  • PalTalk – Ask Toolbar
  • Panda Cloud AV – Yahoo Search Assistant
  • PC Wizard 201# – Ask Toolbar
  • PDF X-Change PDF Viewer – Tracker/ASK Toolbar
  • PC Tools Firewall PlusGoogle Toolbar and Threatfire
  • PhotoFiltre – Ask Toolbar
  • Photoscape – Google Chrome
  • Picpick – Ask Toolbar, SweetIM
  • PowerISO – AVG Security Toolbar
  • PrimoPdf – Paltalk
  • Quick Media Converter HD – Ask Toolbar, Ask Search, Ask Homepage
  • Quicksys RegDefrag – Toolbar
  • RapidTyping – Bing Toolbar
  • RealPlayer – Google Chrome
  • RecuvaYahoo toolbar < Offers Slim version without toolbar (Recuva Builds)
  • Risingware Fast Start Genie – Fast Start Genie & Risingware i-Desktop
  • Secusimple Protect My Disk – SweetIM browser search/homepage
  • Shockwave PlayerNorton Security Scan or Google Toolbar
  • SIW(System Information for Windows) Crawler Toolbar
  • SkypeGoogle Toolbar/The Browser Highlighter
  • Spiderplayer – Bing Toolbar
  • Spyware DoctorGoogle Toolbar
  • Spyware TerminatorWeb security guard, Crawler
  • StarBurn – StarPort DVD-ROM Emulator & SaveTubeVideo tools
  • Sun Java RE (online installer) – Google Toolbar
  • Sun Java –, MSN Live Toolbar
  • Sun Java update – McAfee Security Scan Plus
  • Thoosje Sidebar – Amazon or eBay Toolbar
  • Threatfire – Google Toolbar
  • Toolbar Cleaner – Anti-phishing Domain Advisor/MyStart Homepage
  • TrillianAsk Toolbar and Weather Channel Desktop
  • UnlockerBing Bar and eBay Desktop shortcuts
  • µtorrent – µtorrent Toolbar & changes homepage and search engine
  • Vdownloader Plus – Ask Toolbar
  • Veoh Pedia PlayerYahoo toolbar, search engine change & search protection
  • VSO Image Resizer – Ask Toolbar
  • WeatherBug – Ask Toolbar
  • Webroot SoftwareAsk Toolbar
  • Wildfire CD Ripper – Torrent toolbar – Download Energy
  • Winamp – Winamp Toolbar
  • Windows Live Installer – Windows Live Toolbar and Sign-in Assistant
  • Windows Update – Windows Genuine Advantage Notification – (pre-checked, not required, should not be high-priority)
  • Windows Steady State – Windows Live Toolbar
  • WinMate– Babylon toolbar/search/homepage
    • WinMate also installed iolo System Checkup with no warning!
  • Winzip – Registry Booster
  • Wise Disk Cleaner – Ask Toolbar
  • Wise Registry Cleaner – Ask Toolbar
  • xp-AntiSpy – eBay shortcuts/toolbar
  • xplorer2Lite – Conduit toolbar
  • Yahoo! Instant Messenger – Yahoo! toolbar, with ‘Yahoo! Search Protection’ and homepage change to Yahoo!
  • ZoneAlarm – Conduit toolbar



28 Responses to “Installers hall of shame”

  1. soybean Says:

    Hi evilfantasy, err, Kevn. Looks like a very thorough list. Actually, I wouldn’t mind these software makers bundling a toolbar with their product if they would make the default setting to not include the toolbar, rather than installing the toolbar unless the user unselects it. This would prevent many users from inadvertently installing the toolbar.

    I don’t consider all these toolbars crapware; some of them, yes, but not all of them. And, I would generally recommend not installing more than one toolbar at a time. I’ve seen computer users with 3 or more toolbars installed and that can definitely have a negative impact on a system. Even if no negative impact on performance, it creates a cluttered application window. And, only installing one at a time makes troubleshooting easier if a toolbar is causing a problem.

    I have a Compaq notebook PC with the Yahoo toolbar. The toolbar was installed when I bought the computer and I never removed it. I’m not saying I particularly like it; I just haven’t found it bothersome and have not bothered to remove it. But, I may remove it; I really don’t use it much. I see it’s presence in two places, a search box on my web browser and a search box on my Windows Vista taskbar. Oddly, if I use the search box on the taskbar, two things happen. A browser window opens with search results; that’s OK. And, HP Total Care Advisor also launches; this, I don’t like. So, I avoid using the search box on the taskbar but may occasionally use the one on the browser toolbar.

    Well, perhaps I went off on a tangent discussion there. Getting back to the main issue of those software makers embedding a toolbar with their applications, I think we probably can not expect them to discontinue the practice. Let’s face it, there’s a financial reason behind this, and I don’t think we can fault the software makers for seeking some financial return for their efforts. But, again, I’d like to see that default setting always set so that the toolbar is not installed by defualt.

  2. Kevin Says:

    Yea thw fact that they are pre-checked and that they use language like “this useful addition” or describe it as a “security feature” is what really is the worst. They should just be honest and call it what it is. A toolbar.

  3. Registry Cleaner Review Says:

    I found your blog on google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future. Thanks!

  4. Thomas Says:


    Your blog is GREAT and I have learned a lot from it. Also, thanks for helping me on ComputerHope! 🙂 I found that when installing AdAware anniversary edition, the default option is to install the Google Chrome web browser. I took a picture of it using Snagit, and put it on my site. Here the link to the screenshot.


  5. Joe hennerty Says:

    Hey what’s going on. Always good info here.


  6. Achugh Says:

    Good stuff…It is aweful when you are just doing an installation in hurry and end up installing something that is strictly not required…have ended up installing these idiotic toolbars along with the applications…and it is a pain to go back and uninstall them…

  7. Brian Says:

    Great list! I never install any toolbar other than Google Toolbar, which I already have but I installed from Google themselves and not an installer. I never install Yahoo! or Ask Toolbar, though its annoying to have to uncheck “I accept the license terms” and “Set my home page” everytime. The main software I’m installing usually doesn’t have license agreements pre-checked though random toolbars usually do.

    I would also like to update that Digsby instant messenger no longer has assorted Adware/Spyware however has Digsby Tooblar (aka Ask Toolbar) and bundles a research module, both checked by default.

    Keep up the good work! 🙂

  8. wombat Says:

    IObit now carries Conduit toolbar. I use Vista/Firefox, and it won’t let me avoid it at 360 new version install time, and it won’t let me delete it once installed.

    It hijacks my settings, it uses a limited Google version. An anti adware/spyware program that sets up an adware, and profits from it (even though I am a paying customer) is an odious, dicey move by any vendor.

    I can’t get rid of it yet supposedly if I pay for spybot, it will fix it. Anyone have a way to do it in the Registry?

  9. Smite Evil Says:

    Please add all installation wrappers infected with “open”candy

  10. Smite Evil Says:

    IF developers really believe they are offering a choice with informed consent then they will offer TWO binary builds for windows: one infected with “open”candy and one not-infected.

  11. DonnaB Says:

    Hi Kevin,

    Noticed that Comodo Firewall is pre-checking for use of SecureDNS Servers and the Install COMODO GeekBuddy option which is a remote access program. I found that to be rather disconcerting for non savvy users.

    Have a nice day.


  12. John Says:

    please check MyPhoneExplorer 1.8.1
    contains opencandy (and maybe ebay shortcuts!?)

  13. Jeff Says:

    Shark007s Codec pack installs both the bing and toolbars with no option to not install them. It also wants to install WeatherBug, but allows you to deselect it via a checkbox.

  14. Mike Says:

    AusLogic’s Duplicate File Finder really messed up my machine. It installed toolbars, hijacked my browser’s home page, and hijacked the search engine. And I never noticed any way to opt out of all that crap.

  15. NN Says:

    aTube is a video music Downloader and converter // Ask tool bar (and does not tell anything else than installing original profile in 7 seconds) no boxes to uncheck

  16. zeeshan1153 Says:

    RelevantKnowledge is not virus. It is a research software that is installed with user’s permission and
    can be uninstalled from the control panel. It relies on its members to gain valuable insight into Internet
    trends and behavior. Read more about it on our website
    Users are asked to participate in periodic surveys – completely voluntary – and may be rewarded for
    their participation. Also, by participating users take part in a good cause: RelevantKnowledge donates
    a tree for every user’s participation. It’s easy to uninstall it if you are not satisfied. If you have any
    questions, we encourage you to contact us at

    Thank you,

    Relevant Knowledge Support Team

  17. Jer Says:

    anything a toolbar can do, the location bar can do better.. (with the know-how to customize its behavior to your needs)

    I cant stand a cluttered browser. I’ve been spoiled by the luxury of efficiency..

    • Kevin Says:

      Thanks for the comment Jer. A little more of a description would be nice though. So far all I use in my Location bar is Flagfox.

  18. warblefly41 Says:

    Generally toolbars should not be installed. For example, I unwittingly installed sweetim when I set up Camtasia and the former broke my account.However, this was how I learned about Chrome – it was installed when I set Avast up. That’s the only exception.

  19. Martijn Weisbeek Says:

    Interesting list you have here 😉

    Oracle’s Java installer currently also installs the Ask Toolbar by default.
    So if you got this toolbar recently, a Java update might be to blame.

  20. Dumb Bunny Says:

    uTorrent tries to load toolbar and forces other offers when you decline

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