Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Too many toolbars?*

The other day I was looking at this fella’s screen and noticed that his Internet Explorer looked quite a bit different than what I was used to seeing, and so I took a closer look. It was different–the whole top half of his browser window was solid toolbars. He had the Google toolbar, the Yahoo toolbar, his ISP’s toolbar, a Merriam-Webster dictionary toolbar, a Dogpile toolbar, Alta Vista, some kind of stockticker, a weather report...and at least four or five others I can’t recall now.
I guess he wanted to be “well-informed.”

I can see how a person might want more options than to rely on Google, and Google alone, for search results–as good as Google is at that task. And I can also see the advantage that some of these toolbars provide in the way of pop-up blockers, and some include anti-spyware capability. I used to use the Merriam-Webster dictionary toolbar (occasionally) because I cannot spell without help [as I’m sure my regular readers can guess]. I can also understand how a guy (or gal) would want to keep an eye on his investments. But, come on, when is “enough” really “too much”?

Well in this particular fella’s case, it was when the pop-up blockers started to overlap and conflict with each other. He couldn’t get certain email attachments, nor, sometimes even regular webpages to open. Not to mention his viewing window was teeny…

Tip of the day: If you use multiple toolbars that have pop-up blocking, and/or a pop-up blocking utility, such as PopUp Cop, turn all but one of them off. And if you want to search multiple search-engines with a single click, use a metasearch engine or “metacrawler” which look in multiple sources with a single click. (Dogpile is one of these…though our friend didn’t seem to know it.) There are many such tools/toolbars available — one of the earliest was WebFerret — and they’re almost all free.

If you use IE 7, and are reluctant to add a toolbar, you can add search engines to the built-in search window as well as set the default (IE searches MSN by default). Open IE and click on the down arrow next to the magnifying glass in the search window. Now select “add more providers”, and follow the steps. Now you’ll have the ability to select who (where) you want to run the search on, but it will not search more than one at a time…but, at least you won’t have to retype your search string.

If you want to employ the KISS Principal, and reclaim your viewing window size, and yet want the features a toolbar can provide, like pop-up blocking and metasearching, I recommend using an all-in-one toolbar like the one listed below.

Today’s free link: Advanced Toolbar. “The Advanced Searchbar is a FREE award winning toolbar that enables you to search over 100 search engines and is loaded with features that make searching and browsing the Internet easier than ever. The Advanced Searchbar has more features than the Google, Yahoo and MSN toolbars combined. No other toolbar has as many features.”
BTW– the other toolbars mentioned are download links as well.

*Original posting 6/18/07

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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April 10, 2008 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, searching, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , ,


  1. Is there an “advanced toolbar” for IE8?


    Comment by Sonia Vanous | February 24, 2010 | Reply

    • Ms Vanous,
      I did not see anything that indicated that the Advanced Search Bar (toolbar) would not work with IE 8.
      The download page is here.


      Comment by techpaul | February 24, 2010 | Reply

  2. Thats true. It’s too much. Every software, Website are coming up their own toolbars with 90% of stuff you don’t use. It’s not only making your explorer clumsy but also is affecting the performance of the IE. Some softwares are so tricky, They will install a toolbar and never evn ask that option. Really bugging. Everytime it’s a pain to cleanup your IE by disabling the toolbars.


    Comment by Sujit Mahapatra | March 9, 2011 | Reply

    • Sujit Mahapatra,
      The policy of adding toolbars (and other unwanted ‘extras’) as part of an installer package is disgusting and shameful – a disgrace – and I have publicly scolded the industry for it.

      For all the good that does.

      Greed. That’s all it is.


      Comment by techpaul | March 9, 2011 | Reply

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