Severity scale:  
  (9/100)

Istbar Tool. How to remove? (Uninstall guide)

removal by Olivia Morelli - - | Type: Adware

Istbar Tool is a dangerous program that initiates serious havoc on the affected computer system

Istbar Tool virus
Istbar Tool virus is a program that people install on the computer unwantedly because it distributes using deceptive marketing techniques.

Istbar Tool — a potentially unwanted application from the developer Integrated Search Technologies that gets installed on the browser without users' consent. After clicking on various windows that it displays, victims are redirected to insecure sites, like online gambling domains or sites filled with adult content. The app also pushes its victims into downloading other rogue tools, typically fake optimizers, that are working on swindling the money from inexperienced PC users. The behavior of Istbar adware significantly affects the performance of your device and diminishes your time online because it runs even if there is an adblocker installed. Unfortunately, in addition to adware functionalities, this malicious intruder has also been attributed to other types of malware.

Name Istbar 
Type Adware
detected as JS Istbar
Category Potentially unwanted program/adware/virus
Symptoms Installs questionable extensions, delivers advertisements, causes redirects
Distribution Software bundles, deceptive ads
Removal Use Reimage for general cleaning after you uninstall Istbar

If Istbar virus has already appeared on your system, the first thing you should note is that it cannot be trusted and left on the device for too long. For the infiltration, it mostly relies on a deceptive marketing technique called bundling[1]. Any program that comes together with software bundles can hardly be trusted because it relies on this method to hide from the victim and infiltrate the computer without being noticed.

Additionally, such malware tends to edit the computer's registry to start its work upon every computer's reboot and make sure that commercial content is delivered continuously to your screen. These ads can be dangerous as they can redirect you to highly suspicious sites seeking to increase their web traffic.

Istbar.exe – the first sign of infection

The main payload of this intruder is Istbar.exe, which is launched every time your device is loaded. Also, you can find additional files on the system:

  • IstBar_DH.dll;
  • istbar.dll;
  • istbarcm.dll;
  • istdownload.exe;
  • cmctl.dll;
  • istbarcm.dll;
  • ysbactivex.dll.

However, the virus can also be found as TrojanDownloader:JS/Istbar.AI or JS Istbar because it has been actively using Javascript to disable certain system's components and launch its malicious ads.[2] The association with the trojan horse[3] should not be taken carelessly. The threat can also install additional unwanted ActiveX components.

Take care of Istbar Tool removal from the system as soon as possible because you cannot be sure that additional intruders won't be installed while this virus is hiding in your PC system. Use Reimage or other similar anti-malware tools to see if there is anything malicious on your PC system. 

We understand that you want to forget about all of this intrusive content and redirects without any delay. That's why we prepared a guide down below which is going to answer the question how to remove adware Istbar from the system manually. The whole process is not difficult – you just need to understand that a full system scan is crucial after you install this malware to make sure that all malicious components are gone.

The automatic removal is the best option because additional malware is removed this way. When your system is thoroughly scanned and cleaned, you can work on your PC as normal again. Researches[4] always note that occasional system scan improves the performance of your computer significantly.

Software bundles distribute all kinds of intruders

Probably deceptive marketing technique that is known the most for distributing cyber intruders is software bundling. This method is widely used to spread all potentially unwanted programs that annoy people in a major way. You should think about the possibility of getting unwanted applications and choose Advanced or Custom installation options every time. 

Unfortunately, people tend to skip through steps during these processes and this way they keep the system at risk. During Default or Quick installations, you agree to every additional piece like an extension, plug-in or toolbar. Then your system starts to run slow and crash from time to time due to background processes. Pay more attention and be cautious about additional programs.

Istbar Tool removal should be a quick process if you use reputable tools

When it comes to PUPs and more serious viruses, you need to be cautious and employ tools designed to eliminate such threats from the system with only one click. Istbar Tool removal requires professional tools because of the additional associations with trojans and other cyber threats. A full system scan detects all possible intruders and improves the speed of your device and the whole functionality.

If you think that you can remove Istbar Tool manually, follow the guide given below carefully because by removing the wrong system's files you can lead your PC into serious issues. We also recommend resetting web browsers to default to go back to normal browsing routine. 

You can remove virus damage automatically with a help of one of these programs: Reimage, Malwarebytes MalwarebytesCombo Cleaner, Plumbytes Anti-MalwareMalwarebytes Malwarebytes. We recommend these applications because they detect potentially unwanted programs and viruses with all their files and registry entries that are related to them.

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What to do if failed?
If you failed to remove virus damage using Reimage, submit a question to our support team and provide as much details as possible.
Reimage is recommended to remove virus damage. Free scanner allows you to check whether your PC is infected or not. If you need to remove malware, you have to purchase the licensed version of Reimage malware removal tool.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Malwarebytes.
Alternative Software
Different security software includes different virus database. If you didn’t succeed in finding malware with Reimage, try running alternative scan with Combo Cleaner.

To remove Istbar Tool, follow these steps:

WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle Chrome

Erase Istbar Tool from Windows systems

Remove adware Istbar from Windows with the help of the following guide:

  1. Click Start Control Panel Programs and Features (if you are Windows XP user, click on Add/Remove Programs). Click 'Start -> Control Panel -> Programs and Features' (if you are 'Windows XP' user, click on 'Add/Remove Programs').
  2. If you are Windows 10 / Windows 8 user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once Quick Access Menu shows up, select Control Panel and Uninstall a Program. If you are 'Windows 10 / Windows 8' user, then right-click in the lower left corner of the screen. Once 'Quick Access Menu' shows up, select 'Control Panel' and 'Uninstall a Program'.
  3. Uninstall Istbar Tool and related programs
    Here, look for Istbar Tool or any other recently installed suspicious programs.
  4. Uninstall them and click OK to save these changes. Right click on each of suspicious entries and select 'Uninstall'
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle Chrome

Uninstall Istbar Tool from Internet Explorer (IE)

  1. Remove dangerous add-ons
    Open Internet Explorer, click on the Gear icon (IE menu) on the top right corner of the browser and choose Manage Add-ons. Click on menu icon and select 'Manage add-ons'
  2. You will see a Manage Add-ons window. Here, look for Istbar Tool and other suspicious plugins. Disable these entries by clicking Disable: Right click on each of malicious entries and select 'Disable'
  3. Change your homepage if it was altered by virus:
    Click on the gear icon (menu) on the top right corner of the browser and select Internet Options. Stay in General tab.
  4. Here, remove malicious URL and enter preferable domain name. Click Apply to save changes. Delete malicious URL, enter your desired domain name and click 'Apply' to save changes
  5. Reset Internet Explorer
    Click on the gear icon (menu) again and select Internet options. Go to Advanced tab.
  6. Here, select Reset.
  7. When in the new window, check Delete personal settings and select Reset again to complete Istbar Tool removal. Go to 'Advanced' tab and click on 'Reset' button. Now select 'Delete personal settings' and click on 'Reset' button again
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle Chrome

Get rid of Istbar Tool from Microsoft Edge

Reset Microsoft Edge settings (Method 1):

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge app and click More (three dots at the top right corner of the screen).
  2. Click Settings to open more options.
  3. Once Settings window shows up, click Choose what to clear button under Clear browsing data option. Go to Settings and select 'Choose what to clear'
  4. Here, select all what you want to remove and click Clear. Select 'Clear' button
  5. Now you should right-click on the Start button (Windows logo). Here, select Task Manager. Open the start menu and select 'Task Manager'
  6. When in Processes tab, search for Microsoft Edge.
  7. Right-click on it and choose Go to details option. If can’t see Go to details option, click More details and repeat previous steps. Right-click 'Microsoft Edge' and select 'Go to details' Select 'More details' if 'Go to details' option fails to show up
  8. When Details tab shows up, find every entry with Microsoft Edge name in it. Right click on each of them and select End Task to end these entries. Find Microsoft Edge entries and select 'End Task'

Resetting Microsoft Edge browser (Method 2):

If Method 1 failed to help you, you need to use an advanced Edge reset method.

  1. Note: you need to backup your data before using this method.
  2. Find this folder on your computer: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Packages\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe.
  3. Select every entry which is saved on it and right click with your mouse. Then Delete option. Go to Microsoft Edge folder on your computer, right-click every entry and click 'Delete'
  4. Click the Start button (Windows logo) and type in window power in Search my stuff line.
  5. Right-click the Windows PowerShell entry and choose Run as administrator. Find Windows PowerShell, right-click it and select 'Run as administrator'
  6. Once Administrator: Windows PowerShell window shows up, paste this command line after PS C:\WINDOWS\system32> and press Enter:
    Get-AppXPackage -AllUsers -Name Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register $($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml -Verbose}
    Copy and paste a required command and press 'Enter'

Once these steps are finished, Istbar Tool should be removed from your Microsoft Edge browser.

WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle Chrome

Eliminate Istbar Tool from Mozilla Firefox (FF)

Change your browser settings to default to get rid of the additional extensions:

  1. Remove dangerous extensions
    Open Mozilla Firefox, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Add-ons Extensions. Click on menu icon and select 'Add-ons'
  2. Here, select Istbar Tool and other questionable plugins. Click Remove to delete these entries. Select 'Extensions' and look for malicious entries. Click 'Remove' to get rid of each of them
  3. Reset Mozilla Firefox
    Click on the Firefox menu on the top left and click on the question mark. Here, choose Troubleshooting Information. Click on menu icon and then on '?'. Select 'Troubleshooting Information'
  4. Now you will see Reset Firefox to its default state message with Reset Firefox button. Click this button for several times and complete Istbar Tool removal. Click on 'Reset Firefox' button for a couple of times
WindowsInternet ExplorerMicrosoft EdgeFirefoxGoogle Chrome

Remove Istbar Tool from Google Chrome

Follow the guide and eliminate changes initiated by Istbar Tool virus:

  1. Delete malicious plugins
    Open Google Chrome, click on the menu icon (top right corner) and select Tools Extensions. Click on menu icon. Select 'Tools' and 'Extensions'
  2. Here, select Istbar Tool and other malicious plugins and select trash icon to delete these entries. Look for malicious entries and delete each of them by clicking on the Trash bin icon
  3. Click on menu icon again and choose Settings Manage Search engines under the Search section. When in 'Settings', select 'Manage search engines...'
  4. When in Search Engines..., remove malicious search sites. You should leave only Google or your preferred domain name. Click 'X' to remove malicious URLs
  5. Reset Google Chrome
    Click on menu icon on the top right of your Google Chrome and select Settings.
  6. Scroll down to the end of the page and click on Reset browser settings. When in 'Settings', scroll down to 'Reset browser settings' button and click on it
  7. Click Reset to confirm this action and complete Istbar Tool removal. Click on 'Reset' button to complete your removal

About the author

Olivia Morelli
Olivia Morelli - Ransomware analyst

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References