how to get rid of My Web Search
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helpcomputing vs. one infected laptop - round #2

It looks like our remaining problem centres around two possible leftovers from the virus. Something like the final grenades, rolled into the room, left by the dying virus!

They are not quite viruses these, but here's where we are:

All users
Stubborn IE toolbar called My Web Search

Infected User
Unable to open any files, File Associations have been lost so that the computer no longer knows what to use to open any file.

Stubborn IE toolbar called My Web Search

It may not have been installed by the rogue virus we battled (see rogue antivirus) but It wants to be the default search and it won't take no for an answer. We upgraded IE to 8, and took the opportunity to set the search provider to Google.

Then a pop-up from My Web Search tells us that it has prevented us from changing the default search! On restarting IE, a pop up from IE itself tells that it has detected that My Web Search is being stubborn. IE allows us the chance to keep using Google, which we take.

My Web Search pops up again to tell us that it won't have it - it won't let Google be the default search. But Microsoft wins the day because we'd clicked on a setting whereby IE will prevent any further changes.

What is My Web Search?

But clearly, we've got to find out more about the My Web Search - like why does it exist?

Well, as annoying as it is, it is a bona fide toolbar. It's just that it is associated with other software that's usually unwanted and annoying, such as Cursor Mania. All the more annoying when it installs software without asking you. It apparently does track data and sends it back to a server, and like most other add-on tool bars, will slow your use of Internet Explorer.

So it's time to get rid of it. But if it's as annoying to get rid of as it was to tell it that it wasn't the default search, then we are in for a fight.

We understand that Ad-Aware will remove it.

Ad-Aware is an anti-adware and anti-spyware program, a program that is similar to AV's but searches instead for 'infections' like My Web Search.

But we'd like to see what happens when we roll our sleeves up. We may not win this one. Fight!


We uninstalled My Web Search and it promised to go once we'd rebooted. What a liar! Whilst it was no longer challenging for Default Search, it was still there, as an option.

So we went in, slashing, in a controlled way, of course. We uninstalled Driver Detective and Favorit - some programs which just didn't need to be there. And this leads us to another top tip:

If a pop up offers to update your drivers for any particular benefit -
don't! Remember the old saying. You don't get anything for nothing. Nothing in life is free. And these organizations either want to charge you for a driver that should be free, or they want to leave something else on your computer.

We deleted the folders
MyWebSearch and FunWebProducts. These are associated with My Web Search. Maybe this will help in getting shot of the toolbar.

Lastly, we'll use Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer to see if My Web Search is lurking there. And yes, there it was, under Search Providers. Though 'Not Enabled', we'd had enough of it and it had to go.
Will that be enough to defeat My Web Search?

It was!

But our previous work was only good for that logged on user. We found that for another user, My Web Search was still around. And it was back complete with its side kick, the home page Search Solver.
So we'd have to do the same for all the other users\logons of this computer, but all we would need to do is to log on as each user and adjust the Internet Explorer settings.

Click here to find out how we dealt with the infected user login and the lost file associations.

If you and your computer are in or around London, we could help!