How-To Geek

Be Careful Not To Install Junk Software with Digsby

If you are interested in trying out the newest version of Digsby, use caution during installation so you don’t end up with a bunch of extra junk software you don’t need.  Today we will show you what to avoid and also where to download the clean version that doesn’t include the extra hassles.

Update: It’s come to our attention that even the “clean” version still bundles crapware directly into the application. We’ve included details on how to disable that as well, but you should consider uninstalling the software entirely.

Extra Bloat Install

When you first start installation you will notice a splash screen saying it is preparing for InstallIQ.

1 install

Then you are presented with the first agreement you will need to except to begin installing Digsby.  You have to accept these terms and conditions for this install manager to work.


Now here is a series of screens showing the additional amount of software InstallIQ would like to put on your system.  In this test we declined every one of these “special offers”.  You will notice there are a total of 7 attempts.

3 yahoo

4 freeze

5 smart shop

6 weather bug

7 reg power clean

8 knowledge

Finally they would like to make your default home page.  Make sure and uncheck that as well.

9 freeze hompage

Something else that we found interesting about is it doesn’t get a good rating from WOT (Web of Trust).


Here is a look at your new system if you unwittingly accepted to install all of the software.  Everyone of these screens pops up after installation, they were just moved around so you can see all of them.


Get the Clean Version

When you first go to the Download page at the Digsby site you will notice a nice big Download Now button.  Under the button in small print is the first clue that something shady might be going on where they say InstallIQ manages the installation.  To get the clean install you will need to click on the smaller “Click Here” link.

Legit Site Link

Another thing to help you out is noticing the differences between the two installer icons.

InstallIQ Version


Clean Install


Important Update!

If you managed to install the thing without any crapware, you aren’t done yet. They are also using your computer to “conduct research”, and you’ll need to turn that setting off as well. Go to the Support Digsby item on the menu:


Then go down to “Help Digsby conduct research” and click the Disable button.


If you want more details on what they are doing, just check out the TOS… they are doing research projects and even searching the web, using your computer. Awful!


A lot of software companies try to throw in an offer for a toolbar or something to make some money on their free software but this is pretty ridiculous. We are interested in hearing your thoughts on this please leave a comment and let us know! 

Download the Clean Version of Digsby (If you dare)

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 07/7/09

Comments (41)

  1. Sunsmasher

    Definitely excessive.
    At least they’re upfront about it, but way too many offers….

  2. Brent Trahan

    I understand that they are trying to fund the software, but going about it that way is not acceptable in my book. They can find other ways to make ends meet. If they are willing to bundle crap like that and hide the “clean version”, who knows what else they’ll do to try to make money. I’ll never install software like that on any of my computers.

    Thanks for pointing out the “clean version” for those who still want to use the software Geek!

  3. Danielle

    That is great but I wish you’d come out with this a few days ago! Fortunately, I was paying attention and didn’t install anything extra!

  4. catester

    I always use the atypical installer when I can find one on anything I install. Thanks for putting on the clinic on why that’s a good idea.

    I have been using Digsby because I want access to Facebook and Twitter, and I don’t have a lot of extra screen real estate on this laptop for Tweetdeck. Digsby works pretty well most of the time for that. Whatever Digsby is, it’s not a great IM client. You can’t use it to go to an AIM chat room. Crazy.

    I don’t recommend Digsby to people as an IM client, and that’s why. Now — another reason not to recommend it. I don’t object to people making a decent living, and I recognize that somewhere along the line you need to raise some money. But seven attempts to install crap, and at least one of them to install crap from a questionable site is just not very good manners.

  5. Erick

    We are doing our best to keep Digsby free and ad-free. We feel that showing you ads once during the installation is better than plastering banner ads all over the product like other IM clients (AIM, ICQ, Yahoo, MSN).

    I’m sorry you had a bad experience with the installer. With our auto-update system you won’t have to go through it again unless you reinstall. It’s not an ideal solution but we feel it is better than ads in the product. We are always open to new ideas on how to generate revenue in the least intrusive way possible and welcome feedback.

    -Erick from the Digsby team

  6. thezachperson31

    The part I find the most interesting is that the setup has a prominent “No Spyware/Adware/Malware/Viruses” notice on it.

  7. Nicholas

    Thanks for posting this, Geek. A few weeks ago I was looking around for a Trillian alternative and thought of Digsby. The subtext for InstallIQ raised a red flag but I went ahead anyway, and all the crapware was too much. I find it hard to believe they need to resort to things like this when they apparently have enough money for advertising in and around Times Square, Manhattan. So I went with Pidgin instead and use that alongside Trillian.

  8. g7w

    my point of view on Digsby at the Web of Trust Forum:

  9. The Geek


    Tricking unsuspecting or less knowledgeable users by getting them to install crapware is despicable, and you should re-think your business model entirely.

  10. BobJam

    Well . . . Digsby has now accumulated a lot of negative posts on HTG, Major Geeks. hpHosts, and the WOT forum . . . some of the most computer literate and best computer help sites on the Internet (and I think there’s also more blogs and forums that have similar negative issues with Digsby).

    So, Digsby has been pretty much trashed (and I would include myself in that trashing effort) by some of the more reliable, mature, responsible, sophisticated, and knowledgeable sites around.

    I would say that Digsby has basically been relegated to the “crapware” group, along with all the nonsense that comes with the fraudulent InstallQ that it uses.

  11. Debby M

    InstallIQ does not “trick” anyone into accepting the applications offered. All apps offered have user value; you may not be the right user so you have the option to Decline. All apps offered go through thorough quality assurance tests on a timely basis. All apps can also be easily removed through your Control Panel/Add or Remove Programs. InstallIQ is certified in the TRUSTe Trusted Download Program.

    We appreciate your honesty; we do not expect users to accept all the applications offered. We also do not agree with WOT and have found significant errors in their reporting.

  12. g7w

    @ Debby M

    Yes, InstallQ is TRUSTe Certified; no doubt about that.
    The problem lies with *what* it installs – those programs are not TRUSTe Certified.

    A simple analogy would be:
    I have a Samsonite suitcase, it’s certified by Samsonite as such and has the Samsonite label on it.
    When I open the suitcase, I find a lot of garbage contained within it and none of the garbage is Certified by Samsonite.

    The *idea* of forcing a user to Opt Out of 3rd party installed programs, that may or may not have any similarity the the desired software being installed, is the same as sending spam via email before the subscribed newsletter is received; sure we can delete the spam as trash, but why do we have to view it first? It shouldn’t be there at all. And when installing any software, there shouldn’t be any other software involved.

  13. BobJam

    @ Debby M,

    Can you expand on the “have found significant errors in their reporting” thing you said about WOT? Specifically, what are the “significant errors” and where are they “reported”?

    If you’re talking about scorecard comments, they are made by individual users and are NOT necessarily the “official” views of WOT. WOT simply provdes the facility for comments, but does not censor those comments (unless they are blatantly vulgar or otherwise offensive). You can make any comment you want, like “Digsby is great” or “Digsby is crap”.

    So if that’s the case, your disagreement would be with the individual user that made the comment and not WOT staff. And BTW, comments are NOT ratings. While comments may reflect a users opinion and hence rating, they are NOT ratings themselves.

    I’d like to see the specific WOT “significant error” (NOT a user comment) and where it is.



  14. BobJam

    @ Debby M and Erick,

    Perhaps you’d like to post on the WOT forum here:

    Someone from your staff and using the screen name of “coopycob” has already posted in another WOT thread on Digsby here:


  15. Klint


  16. Jeff

    As mentioned here already, use Trillian or Pidgin, my preference is Trillian.
    Trillian –
    Pidgin –

  17. Alf


    Are you sure you actually have understood what is being said here?
    The major point is not around the “crapware” since it’s put upfront it would be our fault installing it when we don’t want to, the real issue is with using our pc/bandwidth for your purposes, WITHOUT asking us first and setting it as enabled by DEFAULT!

    This is what you should have answered to and you have completely ignored.

  18. Shion


    I work at Plura Processing and would like to address the main issue raised here. We’ve been talking with Digsby and they are aware that the main concern is that a user is not properly informed of the chat client being integrated with Plura. The Digsby team is currently working on an update to the installer that will make using Plura an “opt-in”, rather than enabled by default. Hopefully this will address the major concern most users have by making use of Plura more apparent.

    Plura Processing

  19. Tori

    I’m no typical end user, and I’ll admit, I didn’t read the EULA…who does? I’ve been a Digsby pusher for quite some time now, introducing it to anyone who’ll listen. The crap in the installer? Eh, such is life. I generally carry the latest and greatest on a thumb drive – the clean install, not the bloated one, but now I have to go turn off the research (or explain how) to at least 30 people! I’d love to hear the rationale behind the research crap and being enabled by default! I really am disappointed in Digsby for this sneaky, underhanded attempt to make money.

    Will I continue to use Digsby? You better believe it…it’s a solid program that suits my needs. But thanks to Mysticgeek, I now have this research option turned OFF!

  20. Jon

    They actually set the research thing on by default and didn’t tell me about it. I can’t believe it. I’m uninstalling Digsby right now!

  21. Pat

    You can also use a THIRD PARTY Add/Remove programs utility (I recommend the Revo Uninstaller) registry cleaner (I recommend Glary Utilities or the Eusing Free Registry Cleaner) to wipe the registry clean of the crap.

    Alternatively, just simply click on the DECLINE button & KEEP CLICKING ON IT until all the crap passes.


  22. AllRise

    Haha, Lifehacker is “suing” Digsby for Bundles crapware and use our computer to crawl the web at the AllRise court –

  23. Luke

    Go, Digsby!

  24. Kurt Harland Larson

    This reminds me of Xupiter.

  25. Brian

    Hi. I would like to point out that the latest version of Digsby released a few days ago no longer uses InstallIQ: Build 65 also gives an option to turn on or off the research module after installation and is no longer buried.


  26. Truther

    Should be illegal.

  27. Deepak Singh Rawat

    I was installing Digsby today and noticed the first crapware. I declined it’s installation but then got the second crapware screen and then the third. By this time, digsby team lost my trust. Any development team that tries to “trick” users in installing all the crapware/adware/spyware cannot be trusted. How can I trust such a team with my personal information (passwords)!

  28. tjX

    PIGDEN- digsby w/o the nloat

  29. Alex McEwan

    Don’t know if this is something new. It might not be directly related to Digsby. This morning a message flashed up telling me I had updates to install. The message box did not look right but I clicked on it anyway as I thought it might be a software update. I immediately got the InstallIQ Updater. I terminated the Install. Next I searched using Google and found this forum as the first hit.

    What is really suprising for me is that I had Digsby in the past but did not use it much. Then my hard drive fialed and I had to get it repaired. So in effect I have a new computer! I have went back to the various websites to download the software I use (and pay for). I did not go for Digsby but somehow I have the InstalIQ Updater!
    I went back into start and could not find anything to do with Digsby. I did however find the InstallIQ and clicked on Uninstall. I hope that is what it did.

    I have Spybot and AVG. Both are scheduled to scan. Niether of them picked up the InstallIQ Updater.

    I hate subterfuge like this. Previouse malware I have had has caused all sorts of problems. In one case it actually messed up Windows enough to stop it working. I realise that with free software they need to make money to stay in business, and that this malware option is an alternative to banners. However, if I was delivering spam to someone’s house and after posting it through the letterbox I broke the door, I would not be popular. that is how I see malware as its excessive use of a computer’s resources will make it work slower, freeze, or worse, ruin the computer.

    No one should have to put up with that.

  30. Broken Arrow

    Digsby! I wanted to love you but you broke my heart :(

  31. Parth

    Digsby is S*** Dont Install It, My Friend Instaled it and His all accounts were Hacked and His Facebook profile was filled with Adult Stuff and all ( He is a very rich person) thats why,
    Instead are you guys so lazy to not even open your browser to check emails and social networks?
    Windows Live Messenger is also nice one

  32. @Parth, “Windows Live Messenger is also nice one”, oh really? MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA…

    these microsoft kids…so funny…

  33. Is He Akuma?

    This is why I stuck with Trillian…all the crap InstallIQ tries to pull off for Digsby is inexcusable.
    Even the clean install, where they take resources from your PC (I noticed not many people spout this), isn’t as clean as expected.

    Save yourself the trouble.
    You want multi-IM? I recommend Trillian, as it won’t make your computer die a thousand deaths!

    OK, so I’m not Akuma…but I raise a point.

  34. Marty

    So why does the installiq update flash all the time, even when I cancel to not install it. It comes back every time I log on. How do I make it go away?

  35. regedit

    You’ve got great insights about cclean, keep up the good work!

  36. paler slowdusted

    i have the same question as marty. the installiq update comes up everytime i start my computer & often when i’m using it. how do i remove whatever it is that makes this keep popping up? i’ve never even downloaded this software, so i don’t know why it is even there, or how to go about removing it. the same thing happens with another program i never downloaded called incredimail(or something very similar, spelling might be wrong, & the incredimail only pops up on start up but i would still like to remove it.)
    any help would be greatly appreciated.

  37. Mr Lord

    I understand that you need revenue to fund software like this. To those crying, why not just ask for a paid version? Come out of your pocket so you don’t have to whine about the provider of this software totally free to you, having malware attached that you can simply uninstall. Or download it for free and use the money you didn’t have to pay to wipe away your tears. Just a suggestion.

  38. Mr Lord

    Sorry, my advice to Digsby is to offer a version that charges a small fee to avoid the revenue generating items. So people have no excuse to whine. They can pay and stop crying or choose to download the free version with what it comes with and stop crying. The choice is theirs but both are tear free unless they are one of those people that aren’t happy unless they are crying.

  39. barney

    Debbie M Says, “InstallIQ does not “trick” anyone into accepting the applications offered”. All programmers know that new users tend to use the default install preferring not to make decisions in a custom install. so they get the “default installation”. Using InstallIQ is a concious decision by the companies to get the Noobs to accept a ton of invasive crap on their machines that will spy, report back to “papa” and potentially ruin the programming on their machines due to inexperienced “techs” trying to help their friends get rid of the stuff they never really wanted in the first place. InstallIQ is not the first to use these tactics. The original was actually called the “Ole Terror Script” or the official title, The EULA protection script. Lets face it, if you accept something, a program, or even a picture, you may have just defeated your security system, because you said, OK. Well it is not OK to try to decieve me and when you try by using deceptive means, you are a LIAR and a Thief. Programmers are probably the only ones that truly know the mechanisms involved in a SCAM being perpetrated, on the public using such means and methods. Well going back to the point, by using information gathering, and triggering as a default part of installing a program gives the Software Author a black eye, because he agreed to filth in order to sell his product. Myself I do not want anybody by default, to have access to my information on my secure system for any reason without my express permission. Otherwise they are thieves, liars and cowards.

  40. barney

    Alex McEwan said, “What is really suprising for me is that I had Digsby in the past but did not use it much. Then my HARD DRIVE FAILED and I had to get it repaired.”

    I will not blame InstallIQ directly for his Hard Drive buying the farm, however I am not absolving them from being a part of it either. I know that when you run activated scripting on a computer for the purpose of information gathering and reporting, it can have adverse effects that are not planned or called for intentionally that can flat screw up years of refinement of a system in it’s programming and performance. AND THESE COMPANIES FEEL JUSTIFIED IN USING THIS CRAP TO SELL SOFTWARE, THAT IS USUALLY NOT SUFFICIENT TO MEET THEIR CLAIMS IN WHAT IT IS SUPPOSED TO DO. You sure don’t see the big software publishers using this InstallIQ to hawk their warez, because it would probably mess them up good. What I am saying is free stuff is free because it is, either in development, or just is not that good.

    If they had to pay the toll on the repair to damaged systems caused to go awry by their id10t behaviour there would soon only be the hackers anonymous versions of trigger and report, because nobody wants to bear financial liability for stupidity.

  41. Uninstaller

    I would suggest also to complete uninstall any program to use this software –

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!