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How to remove ask.com from firefox default search engine (Reverting changes done by Ask.com to firefox)

Thanks to that weird marketing strategy in which the products are added to our systems that we don’t opt for. Some times we are not even asked for it, and if asked, then the option selection box is so strategic that it usually gets missed, and ofcourse, its already ticked, checked to that the user opted to install that supplementary software that he don’t even know is going to make his life hell in next few minutes.

One such thing happened to me last days when i installed the utorrent for downloading some torrent files on my windows seven on macbook. Well, although it wasn’t the first time to use utorrent honestly! but being in a hurry, i didn’t notice the option where they were telling(won’t say it asking! as it was already checked) that i have opted to install the ask toolbar, ask.com as my default search engine and God knows what else! So anyway, as google being our favorite past time on net! i was severely frustrated to know that ask.com is just there every where. I use firefox usually for my daily tasks online (version 3.5 currently).

So how to get rid of Ask.com toolbar from firefox and remove it completely as the search engine from your system? Here are the steps required to completely disable Ask.com toolbar and revert the changes it made to your computer.

How to remove ask.com search engine from Firefox

1. Disable Ask.com toolbar from firefox

I was able to disable the ask.com toolbar from firefox 3.5 by simply going to the:

Tools > Add-ons

and clicking disable next to ask.com toolbar

2. Change my homepage to blank or Google instead of Ask.com

Well, that was easy, but the ask.com set as my homepage? well, thats solved by going to:

Tools > Options.. (main)

and simply changing the value from the drop down for when firefox starts

You can either select it to be a homepage, that you can set in the Home page field below it or else you can select it to be an empty page or so on.

3. Changing / Removing firefox default search engine from Ask.com to Google.com or others

Well, last two were pretty simple, we went into the tools pane and got it all done easily! But this part, changing the default search engine to some thing else, from ask.com is a bit tricky part. Here you go how to do it:

  1. write in the addressbar: about:config
  2. ff-1It will show you are warning that, this might void your warranty and that you promise you will be careful etc. Simply carry on by clicking I’ll be careful, I promise! It will take you to a place with a list of preferences and their values etc.ff-2
  3. In the filter field, type: ask.com and it will filter out the preferences with either name or values containing the term ask.com in them. In my case, it showed two fields, one extension.snipit.chromeURL with the value: http://toolbar.ask.com/toolbarv/askRedirect?o=13925&gct=&gc=1&q={searchTerms}&crm=1 and other preference name: keyword.URL with value of http://toolbar.ask.com/toolbarv/askRedirect?o=13925&gct=&gc=1&q=ff-3
  4. Select keyword.URL from the Preference Name column and replace the value in it with this one(to convert to google.com as default search engine): http://www.google.com.pk/search?q= ff-4
  5. Hit ok. Now we have set our default seach engine to google.com. You don’t need to restart your firefox (tested in case of firefox 3.5) to make these changes work.

So this was how to change the odds done by Ask.com to your system FORCEFULLY. And next time, keep your eyes open for such TRAPS!

You don’t have ask.com as the search engine for your firefox, as default atleast.

19 Responses to How to remove ask.com from firefox default search engine (Reverting changes done by Ask.com to firefox)

  1. Sparc

    minor type there when u said “Select keyboard.URL… ” it should be keyword.URL :)

    • Nabeel

      Sparc, thanks alot for the correction! i have updated the article now. :)

  2. Sparc

    err I mean, “typo” :P

  3. Luke

    Thanks, brilliant solution, have my google search back!

    • Nabeel

      I am glad to know that it was helpful :) You are most welcome.

  4. Jim

    This fix doesn’t work for me. I can change my keyword:URL back to Google, and it works fine until I close the browswer. However as soon as I re-open Firefox, keyword:URL reverts to Ask.com.

    Any thoughts on how to fix?

    • Nabeel

      make sure that you disable the ask.com toolbar and addon for firefox too

  5. Me

    I am having the same problem as Jim.

    • Nabeel

      did you disable ask addon for firefox?

  6. Me

    There is no ask addon for Firefox.

    • Nabeel

      Can you please tell me how did ask.com was added to your firefox so that i can reproduce this and then try to fix it on my system?

  7. Andrew Pelt

    Sweet blog. Just enough information.

    • Nabeel

      thanks andrew

  8. Mico Lauron

    Thank you so much! This one was really helpful. I owe you one!

    • Nabeel

      you’re welcome… I accept paypal :p

  9. ramesh

    Thanx for the solution bro.

    If they have let me know of Ask.com some other way.. I atleast would have looked at it.. when I felt google did not work properly. Now, that they have done this, I will never use Ask.com in my life again. :)

    • Nabtron

      yap, cheap tactics by ask.com ruin their name, all money making and market catching gimmicks

  10. thanks

    Thanks, this ask.com shit drove me mad! However in about:config just type ask.com in filter and right click on dound elements with reset (last option in context menu) will do the job.

    • Nabtron

      welcome buddy! and thanks for the tip to remove ask.com search engine from firefox

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