Remove Ask.com as Default Search in URL Field

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The Problem

Somehow ask.com toolbar was installed on my computer recently. It defaulted all automatic searches in the URL field to their engine. Not that there is anything completely wrong with ask.com, but I simply prefer Google’s results.

I wanted to go back to Google search results for any mistypes in the URL bar and other search features. However, removing the toolbar as a program, removing the program directory, and resetting all defaults in Firefox / Internet Explorer did not allow to to escape their results. Trust me I tried everything in each programs options, to no avail.

Ask.com Solution

Editors Note (December 18, 2008) – Ask.com formally responded. Pretty cool.

Peter, I’m a Product Manager at Ask. Changing your default search settings is simple with some browsers and more complex with others. We created a tool to simplify the process of removing Ask as the default search engine in your browser address bar. Please click on the URL listed below and run the file to remove Ask from your address bar. If you still experience issues after running this tool, please send an email to AskToolbarBugs@ask.com

Link to the executable file:
http://media.ask.com/media/toolbar/tools/AskSearchUtility.exe

I’m sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you. Chris

 

My Solution

Internet Explorer 6 (presumably 7 too)

  1. Go to Control Panel in Windows itself
  2. Click on Internet Properties
  3. Click on General
  4. Click on Search settings
  5. Set new default and delete ask.com

Firefox

  1. Open a new tab or window.
  2. Type “about:config” and hit enter, this brings up the all powerful settings of Firefox.
  3. Agree to the warning that you could mess things up
  4. Find keyword.url, you probably should not change anything else
  5. Double click and change keyword.url string to something else like https://www.google.com/webhp
  6. Note that you cannot just put in the web site domain, you must put in the parameters before your search query. So find your favorite search engine, do a search and grab all the text up to your actual search results. So that a search for “test” in Google returns this, https://www.google.com/search?q=test, but all you need to input into the keyword.url field is https://www.google.com/webhp

Finally, yes I know you can also manage default pages via the default settings under Tools > Options and also Manage Search Engines for the default search area, but those do not remove the default search if something is typed in wrong in the URL line. I mistype a lot or use the URL field to get the No. 1 listing automatically. I believe this is in the only way to stop ask.com and other search engines from becoming your default URL search choice.

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