Sunday, May 27, 2018
News Roundup

Solutions: Getting rid of Babylon Toolbar

I am using AOL on Windows 7 and keep getting a pop-up: "The 'Babylon Toolbar' add-on from Babylon Ltd is ready for use. Enable, Don't enable." I do not know what it is except that it is very annoying and I want it to go away permanently. What do I do?

Babylon Toolbar is adware that hooks into your Internet browser. You want it off your system. Go to Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs and uninstall it. Next, disable any Add-On it left behind in your browser. For Internet Explorer go to Tools, Manage Add-Ons and click to disable the Babylon toolbar if present. Also download and run a full scan with the free version of Antimalware MalwareBytes (www.tinyurl.com/2fwj868). This should remove it from your system. And be careful when installing any software, as they often load these add-on toolbars, making it known only in the fine print of the EULA, which of course everyone seems to ignore.

I upgraded to Internet Explorer 10 a few weeks ago. There is a particular website I use for work that is only compatible with version 9. I looked for the Compatibility setting/icon but was unable to find it. Is this possible on Internet Explorer 10?

I was curious about that myself. Internet Explorer had the Compatibility icon on the end of the address bar that when clicked would make the browser handle the website using settings from the previous version. It turns out that this setting is now within the little-used/little-known Internet Explorer Developer Tools. From Internet Explorer, click Tools, Developer Tools, or just press the F12 function key. This will display the Developer Tools window. Click the Browser Mode menu, then select the version that fits the version of compatibility you require, then close the Developer Tools window. You'll need to repeat this process, setting it back to version 10 when you've completed with that particular website. There are quite a few other interesting features within the Developer Tools such as a more extensive "clear cache" option.

I bought a laptop computer about a year ago. It's an HP Pavilion DM4 with Windows 7. It came with a program named "HP Support Assistant." It pops up a lot, saying it has downloaded updates for itself and other messages. I have never used it. I have Windows Security Essentials and MalwareBytes installed and use them at every bootup. Are you familiar with HP Support Assistant, and does it have any features that are useful? I'm ready to uninstall it.

As it so happens, I usually buy HP laptops, so I'm familiar with the HP Support Assistant. It helps to keep your laptop drivers up to date for the various components (network, video, sound, etc.). It can be useful but the frequent pop-ups can be annoying. This usually decreases with time.

One thing I always do is set the option where it prompts me before installing any updates. Unchecking the "Share data with HP" is also a good idea — not that it poses any particular danger, but there's no need to introduce more variables than necessary to your computing environment.

Send questions to [email protected] or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

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Published: 05/27/18