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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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.

• Removing 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
I actually found “Facetheme” in my 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 about this text-enhance.com website anyway? 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.

This explanation is completely bogus. 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 you really think they’ll play by the rules in removing it? Don’t use this bogus opt-out tool and don’t trust them. Reading further about their bogus 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 have the nerve to warn you like a child that if you remove cookies, you’ll see these malware links again, and suggest adding their domain to your exclusion list! DON’T DO THIS. This is essentially allowing a criminal 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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161 Comments on Seeing Unwanted Text Enhance Ads?

  1. Yeah, I just removed an unauthorized extension called “Fast Save” from Chrome. Those bastards!

  2. Estelindis // March 6, 2013 at 5:36 pm // Reply

    For me, it was an extension in Chrome called Fast Save. I never installed it. Deleting it removed the ads.

  3. I had to remove an ad on called start now. Both from the control panel and extensions. I had blue highlighted words only in the cooking site Allrecipe.
    Could some one tell me what Yontoo Layers runtime ( drop down deals) 1.10..01 is. I was going to remove it but a warning came up that it was some how connected to a browser? So I didn’t remove it.

  4. The extension I had was called something like “file/fast/first permission”.

    I still have no idea where I got it from.

  5. I can’t find any addon or extension like above, not text enhancer. But I found another called “SelectionLinks” and once I manually uninstall it, and it is fine now for me, this is my solution. There is some information here: http://botcrawl.com/how-to-remove-selectionlinks/

    Where, Cetified Toolbar and Yontoo is affected too.

  6. No matter what I do, it keeps coming back. This is BS. It is no different than me going to a brick and motar store (say Footlocker) and putting up a billboard advertising my company. The store would want it removed and I could say “no problem.” and give the store owner (manager) a blindfold. Thats Text-Enhance’s cookie solution.

    Can someone say Lawsuit.

  7. Arrgh! It’s a tenacious bastard! I can’t stomp it out of existence. Here’s how I’m dealing with it in the interim. I’m using AdBlock in Google Chrome. Here’s how:

    1. Select Options -> Customize
    2. Head for: ‘Manually edit your filters’
    3. Enter these three code snippets:

    $domain=i.trkjmp.com/*
    $domain=Text-Enchance.com/*
    $domain=Textsrv.com/*

    4. Click ‘Save’

    • 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 // March 7, 2014 at 6:55 pm // Reply

        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.

    • You are a god, thank you so much!

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

  8. I get an unwanted banner in my craigslist. I have tried everything to remove it, including running Norton full scans several times.
    When I ask for the properties of this banner I get
    http://d303resfoavrtt.cloudfront.net/banners/c/5/c51828d230bb0c.jpg

    Norton says cloudfront is a safe site and there is a suggestion is it managed by Amazon. If so, it appears their server has been hijacked.

  9. Thanks for the help mine was “Lyrics” if that is any help to anyone.

  10. Anne Marie // June 20, 2013 at 9:06 am // Reply

    mine was “BrowSoe2asaaveey” and I just removed the tic from the “Enable” box in chrome if that helps anyone.

  11. I was getting these ads and managed to remove them by deleting a few extensions. Not sure which one was the ad (didn’t refresh the page after each removal) but the one I wasn’t familiar with was called “Honey”

  12. I found the programme called SelectLinks in my add/remove programmes and just deleted it. Now the In Text Advertising is gone – hallelujah.

  13. First suggestion helped!
    It was called less tabs.
    Thanks for the help!

  14. 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

  15. Can’t get rid of it
    Someone help !

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

  17. 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!

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

  19. 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.

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

  21. 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

  22. 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.

  23. 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?

    • 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.

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

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