Seeing Unwanted Text Enhance Ads?

The problem: Seeing certain words on web pages - maybe even on your own site - with unwanted green, double-underlined contextual ads. These links point to (or are at least powered by) such sites as text-enhance.com. The problem is you don't want these text ads, nor did you give permission for them to appear on your computer. You'll see some places that offer to remove it if you download their software, but typically downloading and running this software is an unnecessary step.

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Text Enhance

What I found alarming at first was that I was seeing these links on multiple browsers, which at first led me to believe that the code was on my site, and not on my computer. But alas, it was just malware on my computer, installed as an add-on to multiple browsers, and quite easy to remove. There are at least 3 simple ways to remove it.

Remove Add-Ons/Extensions

In Chrome, click on the wrench at the top right, then select Tools->Extensions and remove something called “Facetheme” or “Better Links” there. The add-on called “Facetheme” was the one on my comptuer that was directly linked to text-enhance.com. “Better Links” was a similar add-on I found on a different computer, but worked essentially the same as text enhance. Other users have reported one called “Vid Save” or “Vidsaver” as well. (In IE, go into Tools->Manage Add-Ons to remove it there. In Firefox, go into Tools->Add Ons.) While you’re in there, remove any unwanted add-ons. There’s a good chance you’ll see some you don’t recognize or want.

Add/Remove Programs

We found “Facetheme” in the add/remove programs section of Windows. (In XP, go into Control Panel->Add/Remove Programs.. in Windows 7 go into Control Panel->Programs & Features). The removal process seemed to work this way as well.

Run Superantispyware or other existing spyware removal

If the above techniques don’t work (though they should), and you already use Superantispyware (or a similar product), a “complete” scan of your system should locate such malware and prompt you to get rid of it.

So what is this text-enhance.com website all about? Visiting their site, we see the following message:
Text-Enhance links are designed to create meaningful relationships between advertisers and consumers. If you are seeing these links, then a web publisher has decided to offer them to you. If you would like to opt-out of seeing these links, click here.

You shouldn’t have to ask permission for someone to remove malware off of your computer that was put there without your permission in the first place. They didn’t play by the rules in putting the malware on your computer, so do we believe they will play by the rules in removing it? We suggest not using this bogus opt-out tool or trusting them at all. Reading further about their “removal tool” they state:

Remember: Our opt-out service is cookie based. This means that if you clear your cookies (or use software to “speed up your computer”, which clears cookies for you), then Text-Enhance links will show up again. To prevent this from happening, you will need to add the domain: textsrv.com to your softwares exclusion list for cookie removal. 

They warn you that if you remove cookies, you’ll see their malware again, and suggest adding their domain to your exclusion list! DON’T DO THIS. This is essentially allowing them to hijack your computer and then tell you to play by their rules.

Try the removal techniques above instead of playing by their rules.

Update: Be sure to read the comments below, as several users have listed variants that worked for them.  

Further Reading:

 

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  • Sheraz

    Just remove the add on phewww, thanks for the tip mate you are a life saver.now my laptop speed is back to normal as well. Thanks again

  • Allan Fine

    Can’t get rid of it
    Someone help !

  • Allan Fine

    Does anyone know if it could be in a wordpress plugin?

    • waffles

      Have not heard of this. It has typically been found in a browser extension.

  • Jenn

    For me it was the You Tube Ad block extension that was the issue. After a fruitless search for malware in my computer, I ended up fixing the issue by disabling all the extensions in google chrome & enabling them one by one until I found it. I was a bit surprised & I need YT ad block – have u ever tried watchin YT without it – grrr!

  • Mei

    FOR FIREFOX USERS
    There’s an add on called better surf 1.0 DISABLE THAT

  • morty

    I watch my computer carefully. I was downloading a driver from SPRINT for my NOTE3. I had to unzip a file so this unzip utility popped up. Not sure where it came from. I clicked it. Next NORTON tells me it blocked malicious something – I forgot exactly what it said. But Yahoo toolbar was installed and set as my default browser. Later I noticed all these enhanced text ads showing up in everything (my website wordpress admin panel, general websites etc) . I only use FIREFOX browser. I clicked on ads and they are served by “ARCADE PARLOR” and “redirsvc.com”. I noticed in my browser history “7zip” and “7zip_bimo.exe”.Also the file was downloaded from “theandroidsoul.com” . I removed ARCADE PARLOR from my programs list (add/remove programs in Control Panel). I also removed ARCADE PARLOR from my extensions (tools-> add ons->remove). For good measure I deleted all cookies. No more text ads are showing for now anyway. Next time I wont click so fast on everything that shows up. Not sure if this came from SPRINT or not. Why NORTON didnt block the this I dont know.

  • wantfit

    I only had extensions: voice and norton id protection. I cannot find Options based on your message. Could you give more detail steps as how to get to Options? Thanks.

    • Stallion8426

      This is only if you have the Adblock extension in Chrome, which i recommend you get because it is like magic and this fix worked for me.

  • NJ

    Thanks I notied a couple of them those sneaky ads :) Removing one tybookumark ended it.

  • Temette

    I had the same problem and I couldn’t find the addon: it was called Media Player and was locked on the addon list, so I was unable to delete it. I had to go to the Control Panel and uninstall it there, now it’s okay

    • benji

      i also had the media player program do u just uninstall it

  • Pete

    I went to my Control Panel -> Programs and Features then scrolled down till I found an object named ‘Face Theme’. I uninstalled that and never had a problem with these ads since.

  • X534

    I’m having a problem with this, i’ve gone and deleted all the cookies i’ve ever had, nothing changed, run multiple scans turning up nothing, i have no extension and have un-installed and re-installed chrome twice now and there is nothing i can see in control panel to cause it, could someone please help me?

    • waffles

      Be sure you’ve checked ALL browsers, not just Chrome. And also take a look in your add/remove programs as there may be something there to remove as well.

  • Danielle

    I removed a program named “Highlightly” and it seemed to solve everything…

  • Chris

    You are a god, thank you so much!

  • Cheryl

    oh man THANK YOU so much for this it got rid of all of them immediately!