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Removing EasyBitsGO

Monday, June 6th, 2011 by | Filed Under: Social Networking
 
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If you’re a Skype user, you may have recently received the message below, or you may have noticed a new process running on your taskbar, or in your Task Manager. I did, and decided to look into it.

pierce_easybits_go_1

I discovered that EasyBits GO is installing itself on computers running Skype and, while it is apparently more of a nuisance than a threat, it was, at least in my case, an uninvited nuisance, installed without permission.

EasyBits is described on their Media website as, “…dedicated to providing a world class Game channel to the expanding global Skype community. In 2006, in collaboration with Skype, EasyBits Media created the Skype Extras framework – one of the world’s first ever Apps store.”

As it was uninvited and unwanted, I reviewed several options for removal, including simply uninstalling through Windows Programs and Features.  However, after reading several complaints about incomplete removal, I considered other options. Several of them included running the uninstaller, followed by a painstaking process of searching the system for leftover debris.

In the end, I elected to remove the program by running the outstanding (and free) Revo Uninstaller, in the Advanced mode. This will, after running the program’s built-in uninstaller, search for, and allow easy removal of, much of the debris mentioned above.

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As usual, Revo didn’t fail. After the uninstall was complete, I searched for the files and folders that were removed individually in the processes described on other sites, and only found a couple items. I decided to just let these remain where they were. Here’s what was found.

In the registry, under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software, the EasyBits folder still resides. While it seems that many computer users tweak the registry every time their spell check catches a mistake, after putting my laptop through several years of fairly intense use, I’ve only made one deliberate change to the registry (I wanted to try a cool WorldStart tip) and, since the EasyBits folder posed no apparent threat, removal didn’t seem necessary.

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If you decide to remove this (or any other) registry entry, I highly recommend first reviewing the tip, Backing Up the Registry.

A folder also still exists in the ProgramData folder in my C: drive (C:\ProgramData\Easybits GO). Unlike the registry entry, this remains where it is due more to laziness than apprehension. Of course, in the time it took to write this sentence, the folder could have easily been deleted…but that would have had a negative (or positive, depending on your point of view) effect on a nearly perfect record of procrastination.

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A final step is to use the Extras controls that Skype offers. In Skype, under the Tools menu, select Options.

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In the Options dialog box, click the Advanced button, and uncheck Automatically start Extras. Then click the Manage other programs’ access to Skype link.

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In the Manage API Access Control dialog box, select EasyBitsGO, click the Remove button, and click OK. It should be noted that I did this before running Revo. If you uninstalled EasyBits first, it may not appear here.

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When you return to Options, click Save and you’re done.

Since this was removed, Skype has remained fully functional, and I’ve received the allow access message from EasyBits only once. Access was denied and the program didn’t reinstall. Hopefully, that was the end of it.

We’ll see.

~Kevin

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