Even using the best practices, you can get hit with adware and toolbars (wait one while I duck out to Listerine my fingers).
The usual source? Deceptive installers and deceptive download portals. They’ll get you every time. They’ll switch home pages and search engines. They really come pretty close to malware, imo.
Anyway, you might get asked to help someone with multiple toolbars and adware crap on his box.
There are good programs for that: Adware Cleaner, PC Decrapifier and Toolbar Cleaner are good examples.
The program's batch file will search all installed software programs for strings such as "toolbar", "coupon" or "registry". All programs that match these strings are displayed afterwards in the program interface, and uninstalled one by one by the program. Its search parameters are loose…so it’ll choose both good and bad items. You make the choices of what to keep and what to remove. That’s a good thing since it will not tell you what’s good or bad.
If you wish to edit the batch file, you can tighten up the ‘false positives’.
Also, the latest version displays a list of all software that matches its search queries and a prompt that asks you whether you want to continue with the uninstallation of all programs. If you select yes, the program commences and will remove ALL the listed programs.. If you select no, you are asked to confirm the removal of each application individually. I’d suggest going with that option, if I were you.
The software is tiny: 7K.
While we’re at it, here are a few helpful links from gHacks:
1. How to remove the Babylon Toolbar: http://www.ghacks.net/2011/08/17/how-to-uninstall-the-babylon-toolbar-completely/
2. How to remove the Ask Toolbar: http://www.ghacks.net/2011/03/04/ask-toolbar-removal-how-to-uninstall/
3. How to remove the AVG Security Toolbar: http://www.ghacks.net/2012/09/07/how-to-uninstall-the-avg-security-toolbar/
4. Adware Cleaner: http://general-changelog-team.fr/en/
5. PC Decrapifier: http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/
6. Toolbar Cleaner: http://toolbarcleaner.com/