There are many ways you can search the web without going directly to a search engine. These free browser toolbars provide direct access to search engines from within your browser. Most include pop-up ad blockers. Some provide free Spyware detection.

toolbars for browsers

Here’s a list of the browser toolbars we recommend:

Yahoo! Toolbar Companion
This is the one we use! Find and uninstall programs on your PC that may be considered spyware. Stop most types of pop-up ads before they pop up.

  • Search bar with suggestions & vertical search options
  • Yahoo! Bookmarking
  • Connection to Yahoo! Mail & My Yahoo!
  • Direct Links to Yahoo! Answers & Yahoo! Games
  • Anti-spy optional plugin

Google Toolbar
As you type a search query into the new Toolbar’s search box, you’ll see a list of useful suggestions based on popular Google searches, spelling corrections and your own Toolbar search history and bookmarks.

  • Search bar with suggestions & history
  • Links to news and other vertical search options at Google
  • Ability to save pages to Google favorites
  • PageRank indicator (optional at install)
  • Pop-up blocker
  • Spell check for forms (and auto-correction features)
  • Autofill for forms (to automatically insert common personal information)
  • Send-to feature (used to email, post to Google’s Blogger platform, or send an SMS with a URL)
  • Search highlighting of referral keywords
  • Optional features also include the ability to use translate, vote on pages (unclear what Google does with this data), and add other vertical search and custom buttons


MSN Toolbar
Search the web, start MSN Hotmail, or open MSN Messenger – all without leaving the page you’re on. Find email messages in seconds from Microsoft Outlook or Outlook Express. Fill out forms and web site passwords in one click.

  • Search bar with suggestions and vertical search options (including some external properties)
  • Direct news links to MSNBC sources
  • Link to gallery for additional buttons and options
  • Direct links to MSN portal content
  • Search term highlighting and snapshot highlighting
  • Maps links for addresses on a page
  • Hotmail/Microsoft/Outlook Email link and sending options
  • Windows Live Spaces blog/publish options
  • Direct links to Live Messenger

Alexa Toolbar
Alexa could not exist without the participation of the Alexa Toolbar community. Simply by using the toolbar each member contributes valuable information about the web, how it is used, what is important and what is not. This information is returned to the community as Related Links, Traffic Rankings and more.

  • Search options with the major engines
  • Info bar on sites visited
  • Traffic rank and trend data
  • Related sites list
  • Popup manager
  • Direct links to Amazon &
  • Print button

Ask Toolbar
Search the Web, your desktop or your email directly from your browser using the Ask Toolbar. Personalize your search experience with saved locations, your local news and read the latest news in your toolbar.

  • Search bar
  • Search term highlighting
  • News search & news links
  • Resize content
  • Weather link
  • Pop-up blocker
  • Maps links
  • Shopping links
  • Links to “MyStuff” at
  • Additional buttons available with customization