How do I get rid of Bing?

The Bing toolbar is apparently showing up unexpectedly for some people. I'll look at important terminology and how to get rid of the Bing toolbar.

I have to be honest – this question threw me for quite a loop. But after I’d received it for about the third or fourth time it was clear I had to figure out what was going on.

My initial reaction? Bing’s a web site – “http://bing.com” – it’s not something you “get rid of”. If you don’t like Bing, well then just don’t visit that web site.

It couldn’t be that simple, so I must be missing something.

What I was missing, of course, was that what people were really asking about was the Bing toolbar.

I hate to say it, but terminology matters. A lot.

So to be clear:

  • Bing: Microsoft’s search engine, available at “http://bing.com”  It’s a direct competitor to Google.com.
  • Bing toolbar: software that is installed into your browser to add an additional toolbar to make using Bing easier.

You don’t get rid of Bing, you get rid of the Bing toolbar.

Fair enough, except that Microsoft, once again, doesn’t help when they use their own terminology incorrectly.

Getting the Bing Toolbar

One way to get the Bing toolbar is directly from Microsoft:

Downloading the Bing toolbar
The confusion begins right away as this one page uses three distinct terms to refer to the Bing toolbar:

  • Bing toolbar (on top)
  • Bing Bar (center title)
  • Bing (the “Get Bing Now” download button)

The last one is the worst offender. No wonder people are confused.

Since people seem to be surprised by the appearance of the Bing toolbar, I’m going to assume that it shows up in other ways as well. The most common culprit for toolbars in general is as a pre-checked “also install” option when you’re installing something else completely unrelated. In the rush to get whatever that is installed, people just click “Next” until the install starts, not realizing that in doing so they’ve also explicitly asked for the Bing toolbar.

Regardless of how, it’s installed.

Let’s get rid of it.

Hide the Bing toolbar

Here’s the toolbar in Internet Explorer after its default install:

The Bing toolbar

The easiest way to hide it is to click the “X” to its left:

Bing toolbar close button

Click on that and you’ll get this dialog:

Bing Bar disable Addon confirmation

As you can see it’s asking if you’re sure you want to disable the Bing Bar add on. “Bing Bar BHO” is just the Bing Bar add-on (BHO is Browser Helper Object). At the same time you’re given the option of disabling other add-ons that were part of the Bing Bar install.

Click Disable and it’s gone.

Gone, but not forgotten.

If you click on the Internet Explorer Tools menu, and then click on Manage Add-ons menu item you’ll see that Bing is still listed as a disabled, but present add-on:

Bing Bar listed in Internet Explorer's Manage Addons list

You can re-enable the Bing toolbar here if you wish. (You also could have come here to disable it in the first place.)

Uninstall the Bing Toolbar

As you can see above, hiding the Bing toolbar doesn’t really remove the Bing toolbar. For that we need to go elsewhere.

In Control Panel, click on ProgramsPrograms and Features to get to the Uninstall or change a program list:

Bing toolbar as shown in Control Panel

And there it sits. Even though we’ve disabled it, it remains installed.

Right click on it:
Bing with Uninstall option shown

And click on Uninstall.

After a few confirmations:
Bing toolbar Uninstall Complete

Final Thoughts about Bing and its Toolbar

As I’ve written about before, the practice of “drive by installs” of toolbars and other software is both annoying and sadly common. In my opinion, it’s really just another form of advertising in most cases. Whenever you install software, any software, you need to pay very close attention to all the options that are offered, and make sure that you are installing only what you want.

In actually downloading and installing the Bing toolbar for this answer, I was quite amazed at how much was downloaded. This is not a lightweight install, and for that reason if no other I would strongly recommend against it. It’s just not worth it, in my opinion.

However, that’s just my opinion. It’s also a safe toolbar – as long as you get it from Microsoft or other reputable source it’s not going to come with malware or the like.

Just make sure that it’s something you do want.

And if you get it somehow, and you decide you don’t want it, just uninstall it using the steps above.

Update: Getting Rid of the Bing Search Provider

I’ve added a new article on getting rid of one trace of Bing that the above article doesn’t address: the search provider. That’s the tool that powers the search box typically in the upper right of your browser window. See How do I
really get rid of all of Bing? for more.

There are 68 comments:

  1. thomas mitchell Reply

    Some toolsbars have to remain installed for the software to work. Such as the Zone Alarm toolbar. In this case all you can do is simply hide it but leave it installed

  2. Robert Waller Reply

    One of the worst offenders I have found for installing this toolbar is from the following website: http://shark007.net/win7codecs.html

    I was wondering how the Bing toolbar kept getting on to my system, until I found out about it being loaded with the codecs from this software install, and there is nothing in the install instructions about it.

  3. Nick Reply

    Not only Microsoft does this. I keep running across the same kind of thing with MacAfee, Yahoo, NCH. I just switch off all these unwanted toolbars and ignore them. In fact there’s also a whole list of search engines now on my Google search box that I also ignore. I also use Adblock, which is great, so I hardly ever see an advert nowadays. However I think it only runs on Firefox. Practically the only reason I open IE now is to delete the history (which persists in tracking everything I do on my computer). I’m seriously considering uninstalling it. However very occasionally I run across a website that doesn’t work properly on Firefox.

  4. Oliver Jenner Reply

    As someone who prefers the attractivness of this toolbar (and Internet Explorer 8 to anything else)
    I personally can’t see why anyone would want to remove it.
    Google / Opera / Safari etc – may be faster, but they ALL look ameturish and TOO simplistic (cartoon like) for me.

  5. Marty Wolfson Reply

    There is another example of Bing “infestation” that does not involve a toolbar: some months ago, in Firefox, Bing started popping up when an incomplete url is entered into the address box. For example, if I typed “New Jersey Lottery” and hit enter, formerly the browser would bring up the page it assumed I wanted. Now, I get a Bing page and I’m guessing some of your complaints may refer to this. I prefer the browser’s original behavior and would revert if I knew how or maybe switch to another search engine but it’s nothing I can’t live with in the long run.

  6. Chirs Hansen Reply

    In some instances such as the Adobe Reader, Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Shockwave Player, and Java Install there will be a box that you need to remove the checkmark (click the box) or you will install the toolbar. I want the programs, just not all those toolbars.

  7. Official Windows Crash Test Dummy(R) Reply

    Another place that Bing lurks is in the “Manage Search Providers” option next to the Search Box.
    1)Left-click on the arrow to the right of the Search Box.
    2)Scroll down to “Manage Search Providers.”
    3)Left-click on “Manage Search Providers.”
    4)If your preferred search provider, e.g., Google, is there, make sure your favorite is the default.
    5)Delete Bing.
    6)If your preferred search provider, e.g., Ask.com, is not there, then in the lower left-hand corner left-click on “Find more search providers.”
    7)Choose a search provider. You can have more than one provider, but only one can be the default.
    8)In the window that pops up, check “make this my default..”
    8)Then click “Add.”
    9)Once you have more than one search provider, make sure one other than Bing is the default.
    9)Delete Bing.

    With Microsoft, nothing is ever easy.

  8. Terry Hollett Reply

    To many toolbars can also drag down your internet speed. I’ve had a number of people come to me over the years complaining about a slow internet, and the problem is all the toolbars, one woman had 5. With IE7 and higher its easy to disable most toolbars.

    Just rest IE. Open up Internet Explorer, click on Tools then Internet Options. When the Internet Options box appears. Click the Advanced tab. Under Reset Internet Explorer settings, click Reset. A box opens up – Then click Reset again. When Internet Explorer finishes resetting the settings, click Close then close again. Restart Internet Explorer.

    It might not uninstall them but it does disable them.

  9. TwoBears Reply

    I use Windows XP and do not have the trail described as Control Panel/Programs/Programs and Features. Is that A Windows7 item?

    Go to control panel’s add/remove programs.

    Leo
    02-Sep-2010

  10. Christy Reply

    I don’t have the X beside the toolbar nor is Bing Bar listed in my program features. So how would I go about disabling and uninstalling this add on?

    Use the add-on manager in Internet Explorer on the Tools menu.

    Leo
    29-Sep-2010

  11. Harold Hagar Reply

    Bing toolbar is a parasite if you get close to Bing it will attach itself to your computer. It has gotten on my computer twice and my wife’s once. It was very hard to geet rid of the first time, but I finally got it uninstalled. When my wife got Bing toolbar on her computer about 2 weeks ago, I went to Control panel to try to uninstall it. It was not listed as Bing. We finally found it. It was listed as Silverlight. It has changed names again. I can’t find it on my computer this time.It is not listed as Bing or Silverlilght either one. There is several listings of Microsoft, but I’m afraid to delete any of them for fear of deleting the wrong thing. Microsoft that Bing toolbar was theirs. They have even talked bad about it. They use to call a terrible Parasite that someone put on internet. I just want to know how to get rid of it now.

    Bing and Silverlight are two different things (though it wouldn’t surprise me if the Bing toolbar required Silverlight). Here’s an article on Silverlight: What is Silverlight, and do I need it?

    Leo
    04-Oct-2010

  12. Ron Reply

    How do I get rid of bing on my mac iBookG4? I use Safari.

  13. Dee Reply

    We tried “NO”, “NO THANK YOU”, and every negative response we could when prompted by Microsoft BING about installing this piece of trash. Nothing worked. It was installed anyway. Thank you Leo for saving our sanity and advising us how to get rid of this Microsoft maggot for good! Cheers!

  14. Lynn Perry Reply

    Hello, Unfortunately, there is no Bing listed in the IE Add on manager (or in the Firefox Add on manager either). There is no x to close the irritating toolbar, and although I can reset Google as my search engine, in Firefox when I click the Tab + to create a new tab I get a giant Bing searchbar in the middle of the page. And NO way to get rid of it that I can find… yet. It’s a pestilence! Like the Adobe Download Manager. Every time you turn around, there it is! Urk!

    LyP

  15. Lynn Perry Reply

    Oh my gosh I just found it! In Firefox, it’s called something like Search 1.2 toolbar, and it’s in the Add on’s list. The description says something like ~search enhanced with Bing~. Uninstalled that, and no more giant Bing in the middle of my new tabs. Just comforting blank space. Ahhhh!

    Thanks, Leo! This helped me! I left a tip in your tip jar. Enjoy your latte!

    LyP

  16. Mary Reply

    This is not my problem. I can ignore the BING searchbar if I choose to. I realize that. My problem is that when I open an email, the text of the email immediately disappears and is replaced by a bing searchbox. The only way I can read my email is to go to forward or reply and read the text in the outgoing mail. I cannot, however,open any links when I do this. It is as if BING has taken over my computer.

  17. mr.nice guy Reply

    SOME of us people like myself have windows 7 ultimate x64 that didnt download or visit any sites of bing BUT yet we have a bing search bar so how the hell ya get rid of it?
    all the information here has been useless

  18. Adela Reply

    Thank you so much Leo for the clarification on removing thisi Bing Bar. I was able to follow your clear instructions and uninstalled it from my Control Panel but…..it’s still on my home page screen, though Google (my preferred home page) is still up above. But Big occupies my whole screen and I hate it. Happen to know why though uninstalled it’s still on my screen? Thanks again! Adela

    It sounds like in addition to the toolbar Bing also set itself as your browser’s home page. Simply go to google.com, then in Tools -> Internet Options -> General set your home page to be the current page (or explicitly set it to http://google.com).

    Leo
    11-Dec-2010

  19. Annie Reply

    in reference to “get rid of Bing,” downloading bing was a prerequisite for going on line. I thought you would find it interesting to know I have a brand new laptop and I could not bypass the “download bing” window to get on line. So I was forced to download bing. ugh! thanks for your help :)

  20. Aaron Reply

    I am having similar issues with Bing, where I receive a message every time I open IE8 that states “A program has corrupted……….and is attempting to reset default search engine to….blah, blah, blah”. Then the “Manage IE add ons” window opens automatically, but does not allow me to disable, much less remove Bing as a search engine option. I even re-installed IE8 last night and clicked “Install without Bing” and it is still there. None of the suggestions from this article are even available to me as the buttons to disable are greyed out and useless. Any other ideas? Getting quite fed up.

  21. Amber Reply

    I disabled the Bing toolbar, Uninstalled the toolbar correctly and under task manager it still has Bing Bar showing up when I start up my computer that disappears after a few minutes. In internet explorer I can still go to view, then toolbars and it is still listed. Yet when I go to uninstall Bing bar it is not listed under programs and features. How do I get rid of this thing???

    I’d be interested in knowing if Revo Uninstaller helps: Revo Uninstaller – Uninstall Things That Won’t

    Leo
    18-Jan-2011

  22. walt Reply

    got a new computer with Windows 7-did the uninstall, unchecked everything imaginable…yet there it is-the Bing Toolbar…what is MS up to with this tactic?

  23. walt Reply

    see my last comment..it is not the tool bar in your example- it is the search engine bar- upper right on your screen..

  24. Don Godfrey Reply

    I had the same thing. Go to Tools, Internet Options, Search, Settings, select Bing then click remove. It’s gone.

  25. LINDA Reply

    My issue is different. When I go to AOL and try to open any email it immediately goes to a bing search bar and I cannot read any emails. Any ideas on this?

  26. Vantrumpeter Reply

    Can’t get rid of Bing Toolbar BUT you ab click on the word Bing just above and to the left of the Toolbar THEN on the next page click of Preferences in the upper right hand corner…fill in the ‘fields’ as you like BUT most of all complete Search Language ‘limiting’ your search to some esoteric langauge like Serbian…you will NEVER et another Bing ‘take over’ as you use another Search Engine! I hate Bing!

  27. ITLB Reply

    The toolbar is also called “Search Toolbar” in add and remove programs making it difficult to associate with Bing.

  28. Russ Reply

    I have tried everything to get rid of bing search engine and have failed. Everytime I open msn e-mail, I scroll down and msn-bing search engine drops down at the top using up a portion of my screen as a wider drop down tool bar. On my 8″ laptop this sux. I really am dissatisfied with msn for letting this happen.

  29. steve Reply

    Bing is coming up as my home page, I’ve tried changing it back to Yahoo through Tools…Internet Options etc…I’ve deleted the ToolBar software……I’ve deleted from Manage Search Providers and it still comes as my home page. Has anybody had this same problem? How do I get rid of it?

  30. Gerry Walker Reply

    I GOT RID OF BING by conducting Search and including all hidden files. It was in a number of them, Temp.Internet, Cookies and in Documents. I went to each area, manually deleted each file or cookie, closed down and rebooted and VOILA it’s gone. And my computer is much, much faster loading etc.

  31. Marcel Reply

    In my tryings to get rid of Bing I got so far as:
    Under show:
    “all Add-ons” When I click there,Bing comes on next page showing windows 9 and telling me that if I click on downloag I will acept Bing.
    I do not dare .So how can I take Bing out.

    Microsof and Bing semms to be the same person. Help……please.

  32. Van Reply

    Leo FYI, they have another name for it. In my computer it was called productivity bar. The word “Bing” is not any where to be found.

  33. Kathleen Reply

    AHA – after much frustration I found that it’s called the “Start Now Toolbar.” I HATE Bing.

  34. Reggie Reply

    This is a good answer to the wrong question. Firefox no longer requires typing “http: . . . etc” in the address bar. The browser anticipates where you want to go with helpful suggestions. If it doesn’t know, it defaults to a search engine. Mine has always defaulted to Google, which I like, but for some reason now defaults to Bing. I don’t like the Bing software, and I really don’t like that this function was highjacked without my knowledge or consent, and that I’m unable to get away from it. I now default to Chrome instead of Firefox to browse, though I like Firefox, and unless I can solve this problem, I’m just going to uninstall. I’ve tried every suggestion I have read about so far and can find no trace of Bing on my computer, but like hepatitis, it won’t go away from Firefox.

  35. leo sears Reply

    I have uninstalled Bing, but it still appears bing maps and translator is still my accellerators. how do I get rid of those?”

  36. lUCY Reply

    I do not like bing where did it come from and you know where I think it should go!!!!! trash it please

  37. Diane Reply

    when I try uninstalling I get a box from AGV asking if I trust this program and then it looks like it’s trying to install not uninstall – what a nuisance this is – I assume I should just let it do what it’s doing and hope it’s uninstalling?

  38. Diane Reply

    my apologies…I did preview my comment but not till I submitted did I realize I hadn’t said it was the bing toolbar I was trying to uninstall and I didn’t thank you for having the answer to my question as to what it is and how to get rid of it!

  39. Mark J Reply

    @Diane
    Many programs run the installer to uninstall the program, so it often looks like you are installing rather than uninstalling. If you allow the program to run you should eventually get an option to uninstall.

  40. Riku Reply

    None of this really helped. It was all for internet exploror. I have firefox. I also went to my control panel and did as instructed. Bing isn’t showing up. My E-Mail is {email removed} if you have any other ideas

  41. Riku Reply

    Nevermind about my previous comment. I figgered it out. I think what a lot of people are missing is that the bing toolbar is also titled the “Start Now” toolbar. That’s why I couldn’t initially find it.

  42. Tom Short Reply

    Your comments on Bing are good but they only apply to IE and I run firefox. Any suggestions? Bing bar is not showing up on my list of programs that can be uninstalled.

  43. Ken Foat Reply

    I did a Bing search for google and got it, When I entered my google search, it just transcribed it to the bing bar. I’m ok now, but I believe Microsoft orchestrated this (shysters).

  44. Merlyn Corcoran Reply

    thank you, Riku! that toolbar was so annoying and I couldn’t find it on my Programs until I saw your post calling it Start Now.

  45. mona Reply

    I hate BING. It is useless. I don’t care for clicking on a story – thinking I am going to actually read the story I clicked on only to be lead to several hundred articles relating to the story to choose from. And these links all has “click here to see more” and IT takes you to hundred of links to choose from. I choose NOT to use BING and am about to choose NOT to use MSN all together.

  46. William Schuerman Reply

    Unable to uninstall “bing”. Keep getting message “cannot remove bing bar right now. Try to uninstall later. ‘ I have been trying to uninstall for months. I have gone into programs and everything. Stii I can’t get bing off mty computer.

  47. mike mercurio Reply

    when I highlight a name in an article to get more info on that name, a dropdown box appears and there is a box to click that says search with bing.
    How do I change that to Google?

    I don’t know that you can – I believe that’s provided by the Bing toolbar. You might try uninstalling that and adding Google’s instead, but can’t guarantee that it’ll work.

    Leo
    03-Feb-2012
  48. Jan Reply

    I have Internet Explorer, OPTIMIZED for BING and MSN…Please tell me, HOW do I get rid of that? I just want Internet Explorer. Had NOTHING but trouble since Bing Showed up. Why would anyone want BING?

  49. Nicholas Reply

    I HATE BING!!! IT’S LIKE AN UNINVITED, INVASIVE PARASITE. HOW I GOT IT IS ANYONE’S GUESS. BUT NOW THAT I’M INFECTED I CAN’T GET “CURED,” NO MATTER WHAT I DO. SHOULD I JUST THROW MY I-MAC OUT THE WINDOW?

    FRUSTRATED AND ANGRY,
    NAP

  50. Elicia Reply

    I want to get rid of Bing that is at the top right side of the top bar in IE 8.

    In your figure in the section titled “Hide the Bing toolbar” in the picture this obnoxious Bing bit is shown just above and to the right of what you have circled. That is the “bing” I want to get rid of, but have not been able to figure out how to do this.

    Thanks,

    Elicia

    You have Bing configured to be your search provider. That’s addressed in the last paragraph of the article you’re commenting on.

    Leo
    22-Jul-2012
  51. Greg Reply

    The only way to get rid of Bing is to buy an Apple omputer which is what I am going to do ASAP.

  52. Alan Reply

    hi Leo
    following the latest MS updates, the BINGBAR re-installs itself automatically, even after I’ve uninstalled it (TWICE!). Is there a way of stopping it from installing itself every time I remove it?
    cheers.

  53. Larance Ingepold Reply

    I have a few iMacs but only one has the BING crud on it. Can, and if so, will you offer directions on removing BING completely?

  54. rr1024 Reply

    to get rid of bing permanently stop using IE and all forms there off.

    IE is a crap browser anyway, also IE even the new one has massive security holes at allow hackers to view your raw data sent to secure websites via https i.e. credit card numbers, addresses ect.

    STOP USING IE PEOPLE, THE SOONER THE BETTER

  55. Sharon Reply

    I HATE,HATE BING WITH A PASSION. It’s irritating and frustrating. need to get RID of BING?

  56. hope johnson Reply

    i do not just hit next and it is not in programs in my control panel. i have looked everywhere to try and find how it got into my computer ( by the way i do not use explorer) and i use a google search i can’t get rid of and it brings ads with it. apples cost, too much any help will be appreciated.

  57. neita shaw Reply

    I have windows xp and was able to get rid of Bing tool bar in my add remove programs but I have a free registry cleaner Winaso and it showed over nine hundred files or junk left behind. The reg cleaner only lets you clean ten at a time so it will take me forever to get rid of them !

  58. Mark J Reply

    @Neita
    Registry cleaners often do more harm than good. What’s the best registry cleaner?
    If you do feel you need to run a registry cleaner, a better choice would be to use one of the ones Leo recommends in the article in the above link. Most, if not all of those registry cleaners that claim to find hundreds of registry problems and offer to clean all of your problems for a fee are scams.

  59. Karen Reply

    First I removed Bing and Ask from Internet Options and they still came back. So I went to their websites and told them they were not to ever show up in my PC again, and that worked.

  60. Tom Dickerson Reply

    I thought I had it made when I read this. I went to control panel then Programs, programs & features. Then came the punch line! Bing was not listed. I tried everything to bring it up, no luck. I have internet explorer 9 on windows 64 bit Windows 7 home edition. Do you have any other ideas? I have had ask leo for years on my computer. I just got a new computer monday, and I have not installed you yet.

  61. William Roberts Reply

    I find Bing to be the most annoying search engine out there. It is so intrusive because it shows up uninvited on my computer from a variety of unknown sources. It is for that reason that I refuse to use it. If they had simply been honest in promoting their product then I would have had more interest. But slimey tactics turn me off every time. No Bing for me — ever.

  62. Rob Reply

    I have Bing coming up on my Mac, none of your original advice works.

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article. Seriously. You'd be shocked at how many people make comments that prove they didn't.
  • Comment only on the article. If you have a new, unrelated question start with the search box at the top of the page.
  • Don't post personal information. Email addresses, phone numbers and such will be removed.

VERY IMPORTANT: because of a rise an comment spam that's making it through our filters any comments that do not add to the discussion - typically off topic or content-free comments - run a very high risk of being flagged as spam and removed.

If you have a new question unrelated to the article above, ask it on the Ask Leo! ask-a-question page.