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Note: The solution to this problem has been updated at the end of the post.

I have been told that it's not becoming of a Christian soul to consign others to Hell, even in jest, regardless of the magnitude of their transgressions. Ultimate judgment does not rest in our hands, and in the end, we all fall short.

Heck, however, ruled over by Phil, the Prince of Insufficient Light, is another matter.

©1989 United Features Syndicate

Every now and then, some piece of crap software that I install brings an unpleasant and unexpected "bonus" along with it: the infestation of my browsers with "Bing."

My home page gets changed, my search engines get shuffled, my URL search bar default is hijacked, and I'm gifted with an unasked-for toolbar.

And mind you, I'm very careful when installing things to uncheck all the little extras that many packages hope you'll opt-in for.

Surely people who write such installation packages deserve to spend Eternity in Heck.

If you're a Firefox user and this has happened to you, here's how to exorcise the demons.

1) Close Firefox, and via Control Panel, navigate to "Uninstall or Change a Program". I'm using Win7 Professional, but all recent Windows operating systems have some variation of this. Look for and nuke anything that says "Bing" in it. This should get rid of the Bing toolbar.

2) Open Firefox, go to Tools/Add-ons. Look at both "Extensions" and "Plug-ins" and clobber anything that says "Bing" in it.

3) Next to your URL bar you'll see something that looks like this:

By clicking on the little triangle, you'll get a drop-down menu. Choose the option that says "Manage Search Engines."

If Bing is there, make another option your default search engine, move it to the top, and delete Bing. Delete it hard, and sing "My Way" while you do it.

4) This is the tricky one, because it's buried deep. If you type key words in your URL bar, you'll be redirected to some Bing search helper.

This will return the default URL search results to Google. If you want another search engine here, you'll have to hunt around for the appropriate string - Google is all I ever use.

That should do it. If you execrate Bing as much as I do, perhaps you will find this useful if you have ever been "Bung."

You're welcome.

I have discovered that the problem is a bit more involved, but not terribly difficult to rectify.

In about:config, search for "conduit." Right-click on every entry and select "reset." That should do it. Apparently conduit came along with uTorrent, and is devilishly difficult to get rid of as it doesn't appear as an official add-on.

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May. 3rd, 2012 04:41 pm (UTC)
Isn't Bing a Micro$oft product?
May. 3rd, 2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
Yup. It's amazing just how much reach and how many "partners" M$ has. =>.<=
May. 5th, 2012 01:26 pm (UTC)
It is. And despite my using the tricks I've listed above, somehow that keyword.URL string keeps being reset. It's almost like Microsoft has infected me with a virus...
May. 7th, 2012 07:54 am (UTC)
I wonder if it's the "Bing Bar updater" service that does that. You'll probably want to look for that in "Computer Management" -> "Services and Applications" -> "Services". If there's any service with a name or description that starts with "Bing", you'll want to double-click it, click the "Stop" button, and then set the startup mode to "Disabled".

There may or may not also be Bing-related startup entries in your Windows registry. A tool like "Hijackthis" will zap those easily enough, or you can dig through the registry manually with Regedit if you know where to look. (That being "Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Run" within both "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE" and "HKEY_CURRENT_USER".)


The Old Wolf

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