Dwight Watt - Newspaper Article #190 3/6/2013

Question: What are add-ons and how do I remove them?


Add-ons are specialized programs that get added to your Internet browser. The programs are supposed to improve your browsing experience on the Internet. Different add-ons will help different people but having a number of add-ons can slow your browsing experience and your ability to work easily with email on the web interfaces. Popular add-ons are toolbars by different places like Ask, Google, Yahoo, etc.; search bars by similar groups, pop-up blockers and security toolbars. Add-ons are always running when the browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) is running.

You can go on sites on the Internet and download add-ons you want to use. Most often though people get add-ons when they are downloading and installing other software. Anti-virus programs will include options for add-ons, email programs will install add-ons, and Microsoft Office likes to install add-ons. The big problem is that most often now these are opt out options meaning you have to watch as you are doing downloads and installations to uncheck the boxes for these add-ons. I have seen many machines where people had five or more toolbars and hardly any area left for actually looking at web pages.

You can remove add-ons easily from Internet Explorer. Go to the Tools menu option and choose Manage Add-ons then go down the list and disable any add-ons that you do not want running. If you go to use a web page that needs an add-on that you disabled you can either choose to enable if prompted or use these same steps and enable it. Disabling add-ons will not damage your browser so try this. If you do not want the add-on on your machine any longer go to Control Panel, Program and Features and click on the add-on and uninstall it.

The process is similar for other browsers but usually under options in the Edit menu. The majority of browser use is still Internet Explorer currently.. If you are using a different browser you can email me with name and I will send directions for it.

I have seen people’s PCs using Yahoo (where ATT and Bellsouth accounts are located now) email speed up in e-mail after disabling a number of add-ons.