[Windows] Remove toolbars and other bloatware with Force Byte Detector, a portable program

Force Byte Detector protectedIf you’re not careful while browsing the internet you can contract a lot of different things on your computer. Some of those things include viruses, malware, spyware and more. Perhaps one of the most annoying things that can be installed is various toolbars and browser add-ons. Of course, you do actually have to confirm installation, but sometimes the software can be a bit sneaky or low-key about it. There are a lot of protection tools for removing all the big offenders, but not much out there for removing the toolbars. Force Byte Detector is a Windows application that not only helps you cleanup such offenders, it also helps protect your system from any further installations.

What is it and what does it do

Main Functionality

Force Byte Detector conduit foundForce Byte Detector is a maintenance and security tool that helps protect and cleanup your computer from pesky browser toolbars. It can also scan for questionable programs and scripts too. It’s portable which means you can run the executable as soon as you have it downloaded to your system.


  • Scans and protects against browser helper objects and toolbars, scripts and more
  • You can choose between manual or automatic operation for the cleanup function
  • Easy to use, and setup
  • Force Byte Detector UIPortable and lightweight


  • The cleanup function is useful, but it’s not quite as comprehensive as a tool like CCleaner
  • When software is detected, no information is given other than the developer name
  • Doesn’t work on Windows XP
  • Needs to be run with admin access


Force Byte Detector check for updatesIt’s worth noting that this application is only compatible with Windows Vista and newer versions of the OS. In addition, it must be run with administrator privileges or elevated access otherwise it will not work properly. If you do not run it with elevated access the application will prompt you to restart.

The first time you run the application it will prompt you to check for updates to the software. Most likely there will be nothing to download, but it doesn’t hurt to check. The application will then spit you out to the main menu, which displays the types of protection offered by the program. At the very top are three separate tabs: protection, cleanup and settings. Obviously, the protection tab is where you start and cleanup is for the removal tool.

On the protection screen you scan for questionable content. It will cycle through various software removal tools, most of which I was surprised were found on my own computer. To enable realtime protection, you need to navigate to the settings menu and then turn it on. Then all of the security status information on the protection screen will be updated. Normally it shows a red cross next to all of the items on the protection tab, but after being enabled they all turn to green check marks.

Force Byte Detector Manual cleanupWhen running the cleanup process you can enable manual or automatic cleanup depending on which you prefer. Manual cleanup will allow you to choose what is scanned and cleaned, while automatic just handles the entire process for you. If you choose the manual option, you will have three pages of settings to enable most of which have to do with simple maintenance or cleanup tasks. For example, the options include clearing browser history, error reports, log files, prefetch data, and more.

Force Byte Detector regoptimizer foundWhile the scan and protect features work great, I personally would like to see a little more information on some of the flagged programs. During testing, when Force Byte Detector turned up something all it presented was the name of the offending software developer. There was no way to see what software was actually found on the computer, nor was there a way to see what it’s used for. That leads me to wonder if something necessary –at least in regards to my personal needs- was removed from my system.

The cleanup tool is a bit lacking when compared to tools like CCleaner and similar software. That being said, it’s certainly a nice touch and adds a little extra support for anyone that does choose to use the application.

Conclusion and download link

Force Byte Detector conduit foundForce Byte Detector is a simple security and maintenance tool that helps you remove questionable software from your computer. More specifically, it’s designed to help remove and protect from inline browser packages like toolbars and more. It can also help protect against malicious scripts and programs. It is totally portable and lightweight, using just under 12MB of RAM while running. Unfortunately, you need at least Windows Vista or higher to run the software and it needs to be started with administrator access or else it won’t work properly.

Overall, if you’re looking for a simple tool to help you remove some of those pesky browser toolbars, this one is a viable option. Other toolbar removers include avast Browser Cleanup, AdwCleaner, Toolbar Cleaner, and SlimComputer.

Price: Free

Version reviewed:

Supported OS: Windows 8/7/Vista

Download size: 2.42MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 0/46

Is it portable? Yes

Force Byte Detector homepage

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  • Seamus McSeamus

    [@Steve] CNET is probably the last place you want to download from these days.

  • Steve

    Not all crapware can be denied. CNET is particularly bad at forcing crapware on you.

    Example: I downloaded a program and started to install it. Twice it asked me to install the same crapware. I declined. Then, partway through the installation it FORCED me to accept crapware before the install would continue. I accepted the first crap, but then it required me to accept another piece of crap. At that point I stopped.

    Luckily, I have GoBack and was able to undo all the ***** that CNET tried to shove on my system.

    CNET isn’t what it used to be.

  • Briley Kenney

    [@Ashraf] [@Mann Ray] Ashraf is not the only writer for the site. That being said, we review apps for several platforms on a daily basis. The simple fact is that freeware comes with crap most of the time and yes apps are subjective, meaning some will be useful to some people and others will not. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

    It’s also naive to think that we would produce that much content on a daily basis and not at least once come across some software you don’t like or agree with.

  • Ashraf

    [@Frank D] You would be surprised at how many people have a false sense of entitlement…

  • Frank D

    Some people don’t understand when you do them a favor.

  • Ashraf

    [@Mann Ray] Bye.

  • Mann Ray

    With all the rubbish promoted here nowadays Dottech is not the informative and useful website it used to be but going down rapidly with all those external editors and uninteresting funny mainstream trash by Ashraf himself. It’s enough now and will remove it from favorites and forget this website, there are way better ones out there. Good luck.

    The trashbin of the internet that’s where this belongs to now. How sad cuz it was good.

    ps, perhaps you should consider stop your notorious spamming on GOTD and you aren’t any better now, seriously… .

  • Tjoene

    I don’t know about that program.
    My anti-virus scanner kept giving warning when this program was started.
    It constantly said something was trying to delete the Windows Hosts files.

  • JonE

    Thanks for this Briley; I’ll give it a go.

    Today I installed Vuse; I knew they’ve been including third party crapware for years now and looked for it, but didn’t see anything. The result: it installed a variety of toolbars and changed the homepage (my homepage is about; blank) to Yahoo! something. In all fairness it did ask whether I wanted to keep Yahoo as the default search engine for IE (I never use IE) or install some search engine I never heard of (Spigot I think which comes with a host of other toolbars and search tools). It also offered me an option to not let any changes be made to my browsers, but the installer would never let me apply that option and so I select keep Yahoo! as my IE default.

    It installed the Spigot thingy anyway and changed the default search to Yahoo! in all my browser (ALL).

    I thought maybe I missed something so I ran the installer a couple more times and no matter what options I chose it still installed the crapware. Needless to say after years of trusting “Vuse” for my P2P downloads it will not longer be installed on my system. I don’t really do P2P any more so no biggy.

    Hopefully this will save someone the time consming problems I encountered today by installing Vuse.

    And after today’s experience with “Vuse” I will give “Force Byte Detector” a go and see how it goes.

    Thanks Briley.

  • Terry Smit

    I tried it out today and I really like it.
    The interface is pretty neat and it does offer a good protection.

    I keep this tool in my pocket