Chances are, there’s some Google software lurking on your machine if you’re a user of Microsoft Windows. Google’s software, some of it running constantly in the background, will “phone home” to Google’s servers with several bits of information: a unique identification number, your operating system version, default language, and the status of whatever Google software is installed, plus who knows what else. Like an invasive parasite, Google’s “updater” program will remain on your system even after you’ve told it to uninstall.
Here’s how to get rid of it.
- First, close all open applications, and then set a System Restore point. Go to Start > Control Panel > System Restore. Choose Set Restore Point. Proceed once this is finished.
- Go to Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs.
- Scan the list for Google Software, including any of the following:
- Google Toolbar
- Google Desktop
- Google Earth
- Picasa Web Albums
- Google Gears
- Google Talk
- Google Chrome
- Google Updater
- Google Video Uploader
- Google Lively
- Whenever you find a Google application, uninstall it. Be sure to complete each uninstallation wizard. A Google web page may open at the end of the uninstall in your browser
asking for feedback. You can ignore this, or tell Google you’re boycotting their products because they lack privacy safeguards. It’s up to you.
- Once you have finished uninstalling all the Google applications you can find, click Start > Run and type msconfig.
- Click the Startup tab, look for anything that contains “Google” and uncheck it.
- Now click the Services tab. At the bottom, there is a checkbox that says Hide All Microsoft Services. Click this.
- Look for “Google Update Service” and anything else with the word “Google”. Uncheck the box next to anything that says Google.
- Now click Apply, then okay. You will be prompted to restart Windows; do so.
- When Windows comes back up, go to Start > Run. Type services.msc
- Look down the list for Google Update Service. Verify that this service is marked as Disabled. If it is not, right click on it, choose Properties, and find the dropdown menu that is labeled Startup Types. Change the type to “Disabled”. Click OK.
- Now go to Start > Control Panel > Scheduled Tasks. You should see a couple tasks there with “Google” in the name (like “GoogleUpdateTaskMachineCore”). Right click on each, go to Properties, and uncheck the box that reads “Enabled …. ” Click OK. This will stop the tasks. Now right click again, but this time choose Delete, and OK the confirmation prompts. This will erase the tasks from your machine.
- Next, we need to erase Google’s tracks from the System Registry, if they exist. Go to Start > Run and type in regedit. This will open the Registry Editor. Browse to the following subkey: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run\
- In the right pane, locate the value named “Google Update”, right-click the name and select Delete. Click Yes to confirm the deletion. When finished, close the Registry Editor.
You should now be rid of the updater. Restart again. When Windows comes back up, hit Ctrl + Alt + Delete to bring up the Task Manager. Go to the Processes tab and hit the G key. If you don’t find any Google crapware running, you have succeeded in disabling it.
You may as a last resort do an exhaustive search of your machine for any files in your system folders that have “Google” in the name, and deleting those, if you wish.