Beware! The Java Updater installs the Ask Toolbar

I had to update Java this morning and I was in a hurry. I clicked through the first page of the install wizard without really looking and then remembered I should have paid attention and noticed it said it would install the app. Grrr.

Java Updater
(Here’s a screenshot I captured a few months ago)

I could have cancelled it but I ploughed on. However there was no sign of the extension after the install. When I restarted it, Chrome reported that the extension “Search App By Ask v2” was added!

Search App By Ask v2

I did not enable it of course, and checked my search engine settings. The site had been added, but was not set as the default engine. Gone with that then!

I hate that Oracle put a browser toolbar in the install of the Java runtime. I wonder how many kids who installed Java to run Minecraft have this toolbar installed now?

By Donncha

Donncha Ó Caoimh is a software developer at Automattic and WordPress plugin developer. He posts photos at In Photos and can also be found on Twitter.

5 replies on “Beware! The Java Updater installs the Ask Toolbar”

I must be getting very complacent. I updated Filezilla and faced with what looked like the usual T&C page in the installer I clicked Accept. The second page of the install wizard asked me to install some 3rd party software which I declined and then it said it was downloading my software..

About five minutes after installing, a window popped up saying it was scanning my machine. It was something called “PC Utilities Pro Optimizer Pro” which Filezilla had installed. Luckily, I only had to uninstall it in the usual manner to get rid of it.


It’s something which is getting much more common, even with software that is hobbyist or open source in nature. I think some download sites might add the extra stuff as well?

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