What Is Google Toolbar Notifier And How To Get Rid Of It

I used to use Google Toolbar with Firefox and Internet Explorer because it has some useful features that I use often and it helps me to connect to my Google account. However, that looks like a decade ago. Everything in the toolbar is now in Google Chrome, and IE usage has dropped dramatically.

However, if you have difficulty with IE or prefer using Firefox, then Google Toolbar may be useful for you, even though it hasn’t been updated since 2012! In addition, the toolbar installs several services into your Windows system.

One of the processes that came with older versions of the Google Toolbar is GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe. It’s a Windows service that runs all the time to make sure Google is your default search engine!

Currently, I personally don’t think it’s necessary to have a Windows service to ensure that my default search provider stays the same. I don’t think I’ve ever had to manually change it back to Google.

To be fair, the reason they do this is because the malware will hijack your browser and change the search engine to some spyware infected search engine. However, it is an unnecessary service.

Thankfully, Google has realized this and no longer includes this extra service when you install toolbars for IE and Firefox. Instead, there is an option called Use Google as my default search engineonly check when you open Chrome.

Now I usually ask people to disable startup programs with MSCONFIG, but strangely, Google Toolbar Notifier keeps coming back even when I uncheck it in MSCONFIG. So how can you actually prevent the service from starting up?

Turn off Google Toolbar Notifier

Step 1: Open Internet Explorer or Firefox and click Setting button (or wrench icon) on the far right of the Google Toolbar. Then click Option.

google toolbar notifier

Step 2: Click Than then uncheck the box that says “Set and hold search settings for Google” Under “Search and browse settings notifier by name” heading.

search settings notifier

Click OK and restart your browser window. Note that the latest version of the toolbar does not have the options shown above. Now you can open Processes tab in Task Manager and you will no longer see GoogleToolbarNotifier.exe the process is running.

In newer versions, although the Google Toolbar Notifier does not run as a separate process, it still exists in the folder structure when you install the toolbar. If you go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Googleyou will still see the folder there.

If you try to delete it while IE or Firefox is open, it won’t let you delete it because it’s in use. This is why I feel that Google may simply be running the toolbar notifier process inside another process.

toolbar notifier folder

However, if you close IE/Firefox, then you can delete the GoogleToolbarNotifier folder. It doesn’t seem to adversely affect anything with the Google toolbar, so if you really want to make sure it’s gone, delete the folder. With the newer version, there is nothing you can uncheck in the settings to stop the notification process.

It should also be noted that newer versions of the Google Toolbar will show up as GoogleToolbarUser_32.exe progress. That’s a pretty straightforward process name!

the process of using the google toolbar

You may also notice that the Google Updater service always runs like GoogleUpdater.exe. You can also stop this process from running using the usual method of MSCONFIGthen click Service and uncheck Google Update Service.

In newer versions of the toolbar, it’s called Google Update Service (gupdate.exe and gupdatem.exe).

google update service

The Google Updater service just keeps checking to make sure your Google products are up to date. If you’re like me, you do this yourself every few weeks and don’t really need a service that consumes your CPU resources! Interesting!

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