Popular add-ons are toolbars by different places like Ask, Google, Yahoo, etc., search bars by similar groups, pop-up blockers and security toolbars. Add-ons are always running when the browser (Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) is running.
You can go on sites on the internet and download add-ons you want to use. Most often though people get add-ons when they are downloading and installing other software. Anti-virus programs will include options for add-ons, email programs will install add-ons, and Microsoft Office likes to install add-ons.
The big problem is that most often now these are opt out options meaning you have to watch as you are doing downloads and installations to uncheck the boxes for these add-ons. I have seen many machines where people had five or more toolbars and hardly any area left for actually looking at web pages.
You can remove add-ons easily from Internet Explorer. Go to the Tools menu option and choose Manage Add-ons then go down the list and disable any add-ons that you do not want running. If you go to use a web page that needs an add-on that you disabled you can either choose to enable if prompted or use these same steps and enable it. Disabling add-ons will not damage your browser, so try this. If you do not want the add-on on your machine any longer go to Control Panel, Program and Features and click on the add-on and uninstall it.
The process is similar for other browsers but usually under options in the Edit menu. The majority of browser use is still Internet Explorer currently. If you are using a different browser you can email me with name and I will send directions for it.
On many PCs, the Yahoo email (where ATT and Bellsouth accounts) speeds up after disabling a number of add-ons.
Send your questions to Dwight Watt at email@example.com. He teaches at a technical college in northwest Georgia and does consulting work for businesses and individuals. His website is dwightwatt.com.