Home Malware Programs Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs) FreeGamesZone Toolbar

FreeGamesZone Toolbar

Posted: November 20, 2015

Threat Metric

Ranking: 2,026
Threat Level: 1/10
Infected PCs: 43,636
First Seen: August 11, 2015
Last Seen: October 15, 2023
OS(es) Affected: Windows

The FreeGamesZone Toolbar is a Potentially Unwanted Program (PUP) that may make modifications to your browser for promoting its site or affiliate sites, such as alternative search engines. While no domains associated with the FreeGamesZone Toolbar have ratings for being threatening, malware experts recommend removing browser extensions that may not provide clear benefits or interfere with your Web-browsing habits excessively. Removing a FreeGamesZone Toolbar and the browser changes that may come with the FreeGamesZone Toolbar can be done most efficiently with PC security tools designed for uninstalling PUPs, such as browser hijackers or adware.

Why Your Chrome is in the Zone

Although Web gaming is a highly competitive industry, some small-scale Web developers prefer to profit from providing links to others' content, rather than creating their own products. One of the simplest ways to generate profit from this Web traffic is by creating it through direct changes to the audience's browsers, as malware experts see in the FreeGamesZone Toolbar (and other PUPs). The FreeGamesZone Toolbar can be installed through the official Chrome Web store, although similar PUPs also may bundle themselves with other programs downloaded from riskier, free sources.

After being installed, the FreeGamesZone Toolbar may modify the Chrome's new tab settings to promote the services of its website, freegameszonetab.com. The FreeGamesZone Toolbar also may create additional Chrome UI elements for promoting Flash gaming content. Some PC users also report experiencing other issues with different versions of the FreeGamesZone Toolbar that may include:

  • Self-injecting advertisements displayed in Chrome windows automatically.
  • You also may experience hijacked Web searches that may redirect you to Ask.com or other, third-party sites.

Although such changes could be implemented throughout most browsers easily, including modern ones like Edge, malware researchers only have seen the FreeGamesZone Toolbar installing itself to Chrome. Its extension format makes the possibility of it hijacking other brands of browsers extremely limited, although other PUPs installed with the FreeGamesZone Toolbar may provide additional complications.

Rejecting the Real Cost of 'Free' Chrome Games

Although nothing done by the FreeGamesZone Toolbar is abjectly threatening the browser changes the FreeGamesZone Toolbar may make have limited advantages for its users, and may interfere with the simple process of searching the Web. Some PC users also may take issue with the FreeGamesZone Toolbar being capable of collecting information, including Web-browsing habits, without any options for disabling the feature. Lastly, malware researchers also have noted that the FreeGamesZone Toolbar has significant historical evidence of not deleting the browser changes it may make upon its uninstallation, in direct contradiction to the removal instructions provided by its developers.

Making sure of the removal of all Chrome changes that may have originated from a FreeGamesZone Toolbar may, in theory, be done manually. However, most PC users may find it more efficient and safe to use anti-adware tools or other PC security applications with equivalent features. Making sure that Chrome isn't open during any scans is particularly urged by malware researchers, who can't guarantee the removal of all side effects if the affected browser is active in memory at the time of the FreeGamesZone Toolbar's deletion.