Internet Explorer is the main target for dodgy and unwanted extras and unless you are very careful when installing a free program you downloaded, the chances are that something will be added to Microsoft's browser. Whether it is targeted because it is easy to install add-ons or because it is on every Windows PC is unknown.
Related: Clean up and reset Internet Explorer
Firefox and Chrome users are not spared and they can also find that unwanted extras have been added and it is common for all the browsers you have installed on a computer to become infected with an add-on or extension. What can you do about it?
These extras can be removed if you are an expert user that knows how these things work, but not everyone is and expert. Wise Plugin Manager is a free utility that enables anyone to clean up their web browsers and no special knowledge is required.
It is straightforward to use and down the left hand side of the window is a list of the four most popular web browsers, Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox and Opera. Only the installed ones are enabled and ones that you do not have are dark and cannot be selected.
Click Internet Explorer and there are tabs for BHO (Browser Helper Objects), Toolbars, Context menu (when you right click on a web page), and All, which shows everything.
Select a tab and Wise Plugin Manager lists all the items installed in the browser. On the BHO and Toolbars tabs are on/off switches next to each item and these are used to enable or disable them. There is also a trash can icon and this is used to remove an item. Context menu items cannot be turned on or off and there is just a trash can to delete them.
Ratings are shown for common plugins and there is a details link to get more information about a plugin. The details link wasn't a lot of use for the items I looked at and the utility probably needs a bigger and more enthusiastic community posting comments and ratings for it to be useful.
Select Chrome and there are tabs for Extensions, Plugins and All. The Extensions tab didn’t show anything even though I have extensions, which is strange. Chrome provides easy extension management so it isn’t a problem. Plugins are listed and can be deleted.
Wise Plugin Manager is not perfect and the junkware that is often bundled with software downloads does more than just install add-ons and toolbars into browsers. This tool will not clean up everything and I prefer to manually clean up, but then I am a geek with fairly good technical knowledge. If you don’t know what is installed in your web browsers, this utility will tell you, and if you don’t know how to remove browser junk, this will help.
Title: Wise Plugin Manager
Size: 1.8 MB