After over 20 years of availability, Google has silently pulled the plug on “Google Toolbar.”

ArsTechnica’s Ron Amadeo took the task of seeing the state of Google Toolbar in recent weeks ahead of the product’s 21st anniversary. Google Toolbar would have been one of the few Google products to reach over two decades of availability without a rebrand or discontinuation. Unfortunately, it didn’t quite make that date, as Google silently pulled the plug on Toolbar downloads last week. A support page explains that the product is no longer available for installation.

Google Toolbar for Internet Explorer has been discontinued. To get the best of the web, try Google Chrome.

Google Toolbar made its debut at the end of 2000 as a tool for Internet Explorer users, giving them the option to access Google Search while on any website. This was before browsers such as Chrome added the ability to launch a search with your search engine of choice directly from the address bar. Over the product’s life, Google updated Toolbar to support more features that Internet Explorer lacked, as well as integrating Google Translate.

However, the product was mostly forgotten by the time Chrome launched in 2008 and integrated all of these features natively, with Google’s last update seemingly landing in 2014. Somewhat hilariously in hindsight, it was viewed as a negative that Chrome didn’t support toolbar.

For those still using Google Toolbar, that left the product wildly out of date with the ever-evolving web and Google’s own ecosystem. As Ars points out, the “Share” button still tried to integrate with the now-dead Google Reader, Google+, Picasa, Google Blog Search, and more. Many other features were left broken by links that just didn’t exist anymore.

The timing here doesn’t really come as a massive surprise, as Microsoft is set to officially end support for Internet Explorer next year. June 15, 2022 will end the very long life of what was once the most used browser in the world.

Gmail stopped supporting Internet Explorer this year and even Google Search itself dropped support in October.

Most people, though, already have their Google needs met by Chrome, which remains the most popular desktop browser today by a large margin.

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Ben Schoon

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