This is a bitch. I hate this extension. It displaces the Google search box in the Firefox navigation bar (upper right) with a crummy search (“powered by Google;” yeah right) that finds commercial sites instead of information. To use a real Google search you have to use put Google in your Bookmark toolbar and punch it everytime you want to google. And My Web Search slows down your searches and your computer. Where did it come from? You probably installed it without knowing it when you installed some funny face program that melts images. You want to get rid of it. I’ll show you how. These instructions are based on a 64 bit Windows computer, and I use Firefox and Windows 7 Home Premium.
There are two or three places you have to go to remove this steaming mess from a Windows computer.
1) your computer’s “uninstall” program aka “add/remove programs” aka “programs and features”; takes two minutes.
2) about:config in Firefox: 5 minutes
3) regedit program on your computer; this step also will require finding, installing and running a free program called Spybot. May or may not be needed, takes 90-120 minutes
First, go to your uninstall program or “add or remove programs”, which you reach from the start button and control panel, depending on your version of Windows. Remove/uninstall anything that says My Web Search. That won’t complete the job.
Next, open Firefox and type about:config in the navigation space at the top left side of the browser and hit return/enter if it doesn’t go there automatically. When the page comes up, punch the consent button that says yes, I promise to be careful.
Find the filter space, and there type myweb (“filter” basically means “find” or “search.”)
Several entries should come up. Put your cursor over each item in turn, do a right click, and select reset on all of the items in the list.
Restart firefox. if My Web Search is still there, go back and do the same thing again; this time try filtering for Myweb or mywebsearch or myway or Myway etc etc until you find the last culprit. Reset it as before.
Close and restart Firefox.
If the search box is still showing My Web Search, you have another couple of hours of work ahead.
Third and last: regedit/Spybot
Go on the internet and find and download Spybot Search and Destroy (free) and install and run that. It will take 15 or 20 minutes; go do some pushups, brush your teeth, order a pizza. When it finishes, Spybot will show you the 30 or so registry keys associated with My Web Search. You have to expand the Spygot window and the partition of it so that the complete character sequence (‘string”) of each bad key/file can be seen. Do not close Spybot or this window. You will need this list to tell a program named regedit which keys/files to delete.
Finding regedit (REGistry EDIT, get it?): click the start button and enter regedit in the “find” box just above the start button, and then hitting return/enter. That will open regedit and show an enormous list of files/registry keys, each of which is identified by a “name” or “string” of about 20 characters. You are interested only in certain files/keys contained in a directory/folder named Hkeys_classes_root. Within that directory, you have to find the Interface subdirectory/folder. All of the My Web Search registry keys are in this subdirectory.
How do you know which files/keys?
You have to look at the bad key list you generated with Spybot, and then find each of these in regedit, one at a time. So you want to have two windows: one shows the list in Spybot, the other showing regedit, so you can easily go back and forth.
There is a trick to this. Regedit is not very good at searching. You have to help it by directing it where to search ie select the Interface directory/folder as previously indicated. Select that directory/folder each time you search for a key/name/string.
You don’t have to copy the entire name/string from Spybot into regedit to find each bad key; entering a string of any 6 consecutive characters from each entry on the Spybot list of bad keys, into the regedit search/filter box will be enough. Then regedit will highlight a file/key that has a matching 6 character string; it will PROBABLY be the file you are looking for but you have to verify carefully by crosschecking to see that it matches the one in Spybot’s list. Then delete it. It will ask you if you want to delete the key and all its subkeys. Click yes. To delete 36 bad keys will take you a good hour or more.
That should have eliminated My Web Search. Close Spybot. Restart your computer and your browser. If My Web Search is still there, run Spybot again to make sure you got all the keys. If Spybot shows that you missed one, go back to regedit and get rid of it. If they are all gone, but My Web Search is still in your Firefox navigation search box, then you missed something in about:config. Go back to that and try different strings in the filter box, using caps, etc. until you find the culprit. Reset it as you did with the others, close Firefox, and reboot your computer.
Keep at it. It’s worth it.