A friend of mine has a computer shop and earlier today I was looking at a laptop with him that had a bunch of issues including three different toolbars being installed in Internet Explorer. Having this many toolbars installed will only slow things down. I recommend having one toolbar at most installed and personally I prefer the Google Toolbar because I use so many different Google applications and Google won’t attempt to display a bunch of unwanted data in the top of your Internet Explorer browser window.

Error Uninstalling Ask Toolbar:

When attempting to uninstall the Ask Toolbar on Windows Vista using the Programs & Features application available via the Vista Control Panel we were receiving an error. The error was complaining that all Internet Explorer windows should be closed before attempting to uninstall the Ask.com Toolbar. An image of the error along with the exact error text are both displayed below.

Ask Toolbar Uninstall Error:

Ask Toolbar Uninstall Error: Close Internet Explorer Windows

Ask Toolbar Uninstall Error Text: All Internet Explorer browser windows should be closed in order to complete the uninstallation. Please close all Internet Explorer browser windows. Click OK if you are ready to proceed with the uninstallation.

This obviously sounds easy enough and should be resolved by closing any open Internet Explorer windows however there were not any applications running at the time we were attempting to uninstall the Ask Toolbar. So to resolve the issue you can check the running processes via the Task Manager and close any running applications there. The below directions will assist in closing any rogue Internet Explorer processes.

Close Rogue Internet Explorer Processes:

  1. Open Task Manager: Click Cntrl-Alt-Delete at the same time to open the Windows Vista menu screen where you will need to select Start Task Manager. This will launch the Windows Vista Task Manager.
  2. View Processes: Click the Processes tab once the Vista Task Manager is running to show a list of processes and displayed in the below image.

    Vista Task Manager End iexplorer Process

  3. End Internet Explorer Processes: As you can see in the above image there is one iexplore.exe process showing which means there is one rogue Internet Explorer process. Highlight the process and click the End Process button located at the bottom right of the Processes tab in the Vista Task Manager. This will kill the Internet Explorer rogue process.

Once the iexplore.exe process has been stopped you can proceed with uninstalling the Ask Toolbar. There is a chance you may run into other issues so if that is the case search Question Defense for other hints at removing the Ask Toolbar.


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28 Responses to “Uninstall Ask.Com Toolbar Issue: All Internet Explorer Browser Windows Should Be Closed”
  1. Cannot Uninstall says:

    I am visiting your articles whenever I have free time

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Cannot Uninstall,

    Thanks for the heads up. I hope you enjoy the articles.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  2. Byrnie says:

    Hey, i still can’t unistall, i keep getting the “all internt explorer windows should be closed” message, even when i end all the iexplorer processes in the task manager. ): any advice?

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Byrnie,

    There is something that is keeping an explorer window open in the background or something that is making the uninstall script think so. I would try booting into safe mode and removing the ask toolbar that way. When you boot into safe mode make sure to not even include Networking Support and then try to remove it with every application shut down before you do try. Hope that helps.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  3. Matt says:

    I am having the same problem as Byrnie. I have even attempted killing nearly every process running and I still get the error… I even unchecked the “Install Toolbar” box when installing Trillian. I tried many times to uninstall the toolbar, even uninstalled Trillian and still can’t get rid of the stupid toolbar… Frustration rising……

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Matt,

    I would suggest booting into Safe Mode without Networking Support. Make sure no programs start automatically and then attempt to uninstall the Ask toolbar. Would love to hear if this resolves the problem and if it doesn’t let us know and we will try to provide some more suggestions.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  4. Bryan says:

    I tried this method. Windows 7 does not allow installing/uninstalling in safe-mode. Luckily that was a quick registry fix. Once I got Windows Uninstaller working it said the same exact thing; with only three processes running.

    I suspect this toolbar just doesn’t want to be uninstalled. Are there any programs that would force it to uninstall. Or should I just delete the files and clean my registry?

    Thanks

    Bryan

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Bryan,

    I haven’t had to remove the Ask Toolbar on Windows 7 yet so I am not 100% sure. It should however be very similar to removing the Ask Toolbar from Windows Vista though from your comments above that does not appear to be the case. You could try something like the Windows Cleanup Utility to see if that works. When you do settle on a solution we would love to hear what it is so others can benefit from the solution.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  5. Bryan says:

    I ended up using Revo Uninstaller

    http://download.cnet.com/Revo-Uninstaller/3000-2096_4-10687648.html

    It’s a useful little program.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Bryan,

    Great! Thanks for letting us know how you were able to uninstall the Ask Toolbar on Windows 7.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  6. jenniferberres says:

    try this alt f4 :)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello jenniferberres,

    I haven’t verified this personally but not sure that it will work if you are having errors uninstalling the Ask Toolbar. Regardless thanks for the input and providing others a possible way to combat this issue.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    Jade Reply:

    I downloaded Easy Duplicate File finder because I wanted to erase duplicate music files that I have on my computer. Thought the program was free and only downloaded it because it was recommended by CNET. After downloading it seem to do a great job of finding duplicate files, however, it only would delete 10 of the dups (which I could have done myself). Anyway, after uninstalling the program I noticed I had a new Ask.com toolbar within my browser, which I know for a fact I declined when I installed the program.

    After trying many times to delete the toolbar it would say something about being an administrator…then I realized that I wasn’t let the “unidentified program” to have access… but once I clicked details it showed it was the ask.com uninstaller.

    Then once I allowed it access I kept getting the error code Alex wrote above, “: All Internet Explorer browser windows should be closed in order to complete the uninstallation…” But like many of you I didn’t have any open.

    I tried the taskbar fix and tried to end the process iexplorer.exe… however that wasn’t listed in my process list… so as I was reading this guide I came to Jennifer’s quick fix. I really didn’t know what it would do cuz i’m not familiar with the Alt F4 command.

    But Thanks Jennifer that did the trick and allowed me to finally uninstall Ask.com.

    Hopefully it is totally removed.

    Thanks Alex for the great site and thanks to Jen and other’s for their helpful and thoughtful responses. :-)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Jade,

    No problem. Glad you were able to get your issue resolved.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  7. foopets123 says:

    but alex it doesnt matter try using windows xp

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello foopets123,

    Not sure what doesn’t matter or what using Windows XP has to do with.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  8. just helping says:

    ——————————————————————————————————————
    TRIED & TESTED IN WINDOWS 7
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    IF ALL THOSE TIPS DOESN’T WORK AND ASK TOOLBAR STILL IN YOUR SYSTEM(COMPUTER). TRY STEPS BELOW – TRIED AND TESTED (MYSELF)! THANKS
    (FYI : works for all installed programs listed in UNINSTALL OR CHANGE PROGRAM not just for ask toolbar)
    ——————————————————————————————————————
    Click Start, and then click Run.
    In the Open box, type regedt32, and then click OK.
    In Registry Editor, locate the folsorryalowing registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
    In the left pane, click the Uninstall registry key, and then click Export on the File menu.
    In the Export Registry File dialog box that appears, click Desktop in the Save in list, type uninstall in the File name box, and then click Save.
    Each key listed under Uninstall in the left pane of Registry Editor represents a program that is displayed in the Currently installed programs list of the Add or Remove Programs tool. To determine which program that each key represents, click the key, and then view the following values in the details pane on the right:
    DisplayName: The value data for the DisplayName key is the name that is listed in Add or Remove Programs.

    -and-

    UninstallString: The value data for the UninstallString key is the program that is used to uninstall the program.
    After you identify the registry key that represents the program that you removed but which is still displayed in the Currently installed programs list of Add or Remove Programs, right-click the key in the left pane of the Registry Editor window, and then click Delete.

    Click Yes in response to the “Are you sure you want to delete this key and all of its subkeys?” message.
    On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.
    Click Start, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.

    In the Currently installed programs list, verify that the program whose registry key you deleted is no longer listed.
    Do one of the following:
    If the program list is not correct in Add or Remove Programs, double-click the Uninstall.reg file that you saved to your desktop in step 5 to restore the original list of programs in the registry.

    -or-
    If the program list is correct in Add or Remove Programs, right-click the Uninstall.reg file on your desktop, and then click Delete.
    ——————————————————————————————————————

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello just helping,

    Thanks so much for adding such a detailed solution if the steps in the article don’t work. I am confident others will be in the same scenario and find your tips very helpful~!

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  9. Lq says:

    Thanks for your tip on removing ask dot com spyware.
    Killing iexplorer.exe was the solution.
    I’m very disappointed with Nero see their product packaged with this toolbar. Maybe they’re running out of business that they have to rely on this crappy adware to earn money?

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Lq,

    No problem. Glad you got your issue resolved. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  10. shaian says:

    sorry for my bad English.
    Pandora toolbar doesn’t uninstalled. ” just helping” solution is not work for this case. it is about change registry key to bring back a program to the add/remove list!! but this damn toolbar is listed and doesn’t removed. plz help. someone must write a program for removing this spyware. it makes me crazy.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello saian,

    No worries on the English… Completely understandable so good job!

    .. Anyhow I have never had the Pandora toolbar installed but I would suggest trying these steps that I took from eHow.

    1. Press the “Windows” key or click on the “Windows” icon in the bottom left corner of the desktop toolbar to open the “Start” Menu.

    2. Click on “Control Panel,” found on the right side of the menu.

    3. Open the “Add or Remove Programs” utility.

    4. Locate “Pandora Toolbar” from the list of installed programs. Right-click on the Pandora Toolbar listing, then select “Uninstall” from the right-click menu.

    5. Follow the on-screen instructions to completely remove the Pandora Toolbar from your system. You may need to restart your web browser to finalize the changes

    Hope that helps.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  11. Amy says:

    Thank you so much. I’m always VERY nervous about trying any fixes…because I know so little about computers. But closing all iexplore processes worked!! Thanks so much!

    [Reply]

  12. Jos says:

    Thank you, was very helpful!!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Jos,

    No problem. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  13. hmvannoy says:

    I was having issues removing the Ask! Toolbar that installed without consent when Java automatically updated yesterday. I stumbled upon this thread while searching for a way to overcome the objection (it kept telling me to close all Chrome browsing windows when none were open). I tried all of the tricks previously listed: Revo Uninstaller (and Advanced Uninstaller Pro 11), F4, the Uninstall String tip, etc. The only thing I did not try was Safe Mode since I am operating on Windows 7. Finally, I decided to check my task manager one last time-nothing was there. I tabbed over to the processes tab, next to the default “applications” tab that it brings up, and there it was: “Chrome 32″ something or another listed. I ended the process, and viola! I was able to uninstall Ask! Just wanted to give others that may be having the same issue the trick that worked for me. Hope it helps–somebody! :)

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello hmvannoy,

    Awesome. Thanks so much for taking the time to add the above tip. It will definitely help others!

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  14. Jane says:

    Thank you. This information was very helpful because it worked.

    [Reply]

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