How to Remove "DotComToolbar"
Click Here for the latest Symantec Security Response dealing with the DotComToolbar.
If you're looking for detailed instructions on how to remove the dotcomtoolbar from your computer, you have come to the right place.
To UnInstall DotComToolbar
1. Uninstall DotComToolbar through your Windows control panel
2. Launch Internet Explorer
(If a string similar to the one below appears (it will quickly appear and then disappear), you still have bit's of the DotComToolbar installed on your computer.
String: (will quickly appear and disappear in your address bar)
To Uninstall the DotComToolbar “Hidden” Application
Windows XP users:
1. Stop the "redirect*.exe" service in TaskManager (processes)
2. Delete the "redirect*.exe" files in c:/windows
3. Remove the "redirect*.exe" in your startup registry
You can click here to install and use the free “Registry Cleaner” to delete this from your registry. Note: No spy ware or adware is installed when you use “Registry Cleaner.”
4. Reboot Your Computer
5. Launch Internet Explorer (the toolbar should be successfully removed)
After performing these steps on my girlfriend's computer the toolbar continually keeps "magically" reinstalling itself on her computer. If you experience the same problems on your computer, I recommend you contact the maker of the program.
UPDATED INFORMATION 2/29/04
The uninstall process above may not effective at completely removing DotComToolbar and neither are Spyware removers.
The reason is that DotComToolbar modifies the browser "host" file that always takes the browser to DotComToolbar's page for reinstall if you successfully uninstall and think you are done (very sneaky snakes). So to really remove it:
1. Download/Install AdAware if you have not already done so.
2. Close any open browsers, then use Start> ControlPanel> Add/Remove Programs to uninstall DotComToolbar
3. Run AdAware to remove remnants left by uninstall.
4. BEFORE browsing anywhere (which will only reinstall DotComToolbar), you must find the "Host" file (correct, no extensions such as .txt or .log, just "host").
In WindowsXP it is located in the following directory:
If you cannot find it try searching your c: drive for anything that has the following letters in it: "auto.search.msn.com" without the quotes.
These tricky devils even try disguising themselves as Microsoft MSN.
5. Delete that "host" file and the problem is now resolved.
If you see other entries in this file you think may be legitimate, you can, instead, open the file with notepad and remove the line that says: 18.104.22.168 auto.search.msn.com.
This is the line that redirects your browser to DotComToolbar's server and reinstalls their Spyware without your knowledge.
The creator of DotComToolbar’s name is Peter and he runs two web sites you may want to stay away from: findthewebsiteyouneed.com and dotcomtoolbar.com.
If you need to contact Peter, his e-mail address is: email@example.com
What Is SpyWare?
Spyware is a generic term describing a variety of different software applications that snoop on an Internet user's activities.
Spyware is often installed and run without the user's knowledge and can do everything from capturing and secretly distributing the information typed on a computer keyboard to giving a remote attacker total access to an Internet-connected computer.
The programs have become more common on users' computers and are often bundled with peer-to-peer, file-sharing software like Kazaa, or installed on the sly in "driveby downloads" when users visit a Web site set up to distribute the programs.
In recent months, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has joined other government and industry groups in warning about the prevalence of spyware programs.
If you're not careful when using the web, you could end up installing a harmful program on your computer without even knowing it!
Programs's like "LimeWire”, “Kazaa" and "Gator" are ‘adware’ supported. (A company that supports this is the "GAIN Network".)
This means they are free to use, but at what cost?
In exchange for your installing and using the free software, you give the makers of the program permission to spy or "track" your whereabouts on the web, or permission to pop-up advertisements which the makers of the program think are best suited to your interests.
One of these programs is called "DotComToolbar", which once installed, will add a toolbar to your Internet Explorer web browser.
It also changes your home page to "findthewebsiteyouneed.com" and installs a hidden application on your computer which the makers of DotComToolbar uses to track sites you've visited and to also take "credit" or commissions for purchases you make through various web sites; with absolutely no effort on their company's part.
For your safety, I recommend installing:
1. Pop Up Stopper - Stops banners from popping up without your permission for free (spyware/adware free)
2. Windows Messenger Service Ad Blocker - This free software blocks Messenger Service pop-up ads (a new form of unwanted intrusive advertising gaining popular today). This version is compatible with Windows NT, 2000, and XP. (spyware/adware free)
For More information on Spyware, visit:
To Learn Just How Intense SpyWare Is, What It Is, and to see Exactly How Easily Your Personal Information Can Be Captured,
take a look at this monitoring program called “Spector Pro” at
My boss has a copy of it secretly installed on all of our computers at work. So be careful what you do on your companies computer!