Crawler Search and Toolbar
The Crawler toolbar is a free add-on for Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. The program is distributed by Crawler, LLC, the vendor of Spyware Terminator, a program that provides spyware protection which can be used as antivirus program powered by ClamAV. The Crawler toolbar provides a pop-up blocker, auto-complete for online forms, browser skinning and a Meta search engine. It provides search results from Yahoo and Bing search engines. Find in the next sections of this article why people want to remove the Crawler toolbar and how to permanently remove it from your computer.
Why the Crawler Toolbar is Unwanted
Some Internet users have asked themselves how to remove the Crawler Search from web browser because they did not expect to have the Crawler toolbar for IE and Firefox after installing another program. This is because some software installers are bundled with the Crawler toolbar that additionally modifies the search and home pages of web browsers. Examples are the setup files of Spyware Terminator and IMTool Pack which are bundled with the Crawler toolbar because the said programs are also owned by Crawler, LLC.
There is an option to opt out of installing the Crawler toolbar but the problem is there is no option to cancel or modify the installation preferences once the computer user mistakenly clicked on the "Next" button. Another issue is when you unchecked the option to make Crawler.com as search provider, the installer continues to add it in the search provider list in IE and FF, in addition to making it as default search engine.
This type of installation method is unacceptable since the developer of the software is obviously pushing the installation of the toolbar and search provider. The end-user cannot even click on the "X" option to cancel the installation and as you can see in the above screenshot. There is no option to go back to the previous installation options either.
Some people also dislike the long list of sponsor ads when using Crawler Search before they can view the actual search results:
Privacy conscious users are not comfortable that the Crawler Search is connecting the search actions to a third-party company, an advertising network without the end-users' consent:
Note that the Crawler toolbar in Spyware Terminator program includes a Web Security Guard feature that provides anti-phishing protection. The toolbar that is bundled in IMTool Pack and the standalone Crawler toolbar installer does not include Web Security Guard. The end-user license agreement (EULA) of the Crawler toolbar installer only mentions that logs of websites that you visits and computer user information is sent to Crawler servers if Web Security Guard is installed, but it mentions nowhere that the program will send search actions to a third-party company * if only the toolbar exists on the computer (without the Web Security toolbar).
* pbid.pro-market.net is an advertising network that Crawler Search communicates with when using their toolbar. The above Fiddler screenshot clearly shows that a sample search action is not only sent to Crawler server but also to pbid.pro-market.net.
Removing Crawler Toolbar and Search
The annoyance to end users by the Crawler toolbar is similar to that of the Ask toolbar which is being pushed by many software developers. Below are the steps for removing the Crawler Toolbar on Windows:
- Close Firefox and Internet Explorer
- Open Add or Remove Programs utility from the Control Panel
In the list of installed programs, locate to select Crawler toolbar or Crawler toolbar with Web Security Guard:
- Click the Remove or Uninstall button
The toolbar uninstallation window will be displayed. Simply check Next button to proceed to removing the toolbar
Put a check in the boxes before "Restore Internet browser's default home page" and "Restore Internet browser's default search settings"
Click Uninstall and then close the Add or Remove Programs when the confirmation on removal is displayed:
Extra Steps in Removing Crawler Search
The process of removing Crawler Search from Internet Explorer and Firefox requires a few extra steps to permanently clean the computer from the unwanted toolbar. This is because a browser setting continues to have Crawler.com as search provider even after opting to restore the previous browser search settings. When you're done removing the toolbar, proceed to remove Crawler.com from IE and Firefox as follows:
For Internet Explorer users
- Open Internet Explorer and click the Tools menu
- Select "Manage add-ons" and select "Search providers" at the left pane
- Make sure that Crawler.com is not configured as default search provider. Otherwise, select another search engine and make it as default search provider before proceeding to next step
- Highlight Crawler.com in the list of search providers and then click "remove".
For Firefox users
- Open your Firefox browser and then select the drop-down arrow to "manage search engines"
- Select Crawler in the list of search providers and then click "remove"
- Close Firefox.
If the above steps won't help in removing the unwanted browser changes by Crawler, proceed to using the steps below to remove the Crawler Search from your web browser:
For Internet Explorer users
- Open Internet Options and select the Advanced tab
- Click the Reset button under Reset Internet Explorer settings
- Click OK to apply the changes.
For Firefox users
- Click Start and click All Programs
- Click Mozilla Firefox and then click Mozilla Firefox (Safe Mode)
- Put a check in the box before "restore default search engines"
- Click make changes and restart so that the browser will restart and apply the changes to the search providers to be used by Firefox.
If you need help to removing Dogpile search in IE and Firefox, click the linked article.
- Screenshots taken by the author, courtesy of Crawler and Microsoft.
- Information based on testing done by the author.