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Block programs from automatically opening firefox or url links.

  • 8 replies
  • 12 have this problem
  • 33564 views
  • Last reply by Lotsabytes

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I have a problem with all browsers, many pre-installed or downloaded programs when run, or especially when deleted/removed from the computer, automatically open the browser to the website of the program. HP/Compaq is infamous for adware with included programs, as is the Free AVAST anti-virus. Wildtangent Games (included with HP computers) is loaded with adware that starts running as soon as a game is opened, and when uninstalled through Programs and Features, every single time opens the browser to ask annoying questions why you don't want their adware loaded games or some idiotic survey.

So my question is, short of unplugging the LAN cable and WiFi box, (which the browser still opens anyway), How do I block ALL programs being removed or run from opening the browser at all? I'll manually open it, I just don't want some crap program linking me to some website I don't want to visit.

And yes Firefox is set as default. So these programs will open up Firefox with their Malware junk.

Chosen solution

I completely forgot the "K.I.S.S." rule, Keep It Simple Stupid.

The easiest answer and fix is the best. Simply changing the program name should solve the problem completely. I'd rather see the error message of program not found when some hacker program attempts to open the browser.

This proves Thinking outside The Box still works and the simplest answer is the best.

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All Replies (8)

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Try running tools like:

MalwareBytes will scan for and remove PUPs (potentially unwanted programs - usually programs bundled with other applications like you are experiencing).

Further information can be found in the Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware article.

Be sure to also check:

  • Tools (or New Fx Menu ) > Add-ons > Extensions

And remove anything that looks potentially suspicious.

If you regularly play those games however, MalwareBytes may delete them, so be sure to check what the scan picks up and quarantine files first. If you actually want to keep some games that do these popups, I'm not sure if there is any way around that.

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It’s very sad, but many of the software down-loaders / installers will trick you into installing not only their program, but other programs as well. You have heard of the fine print in shady contracts, right? Well, some installers you need to look at the itsy bitsy teeny weeny fine print. You are thinking you are giving the installer permission to install the program you want by using the recommended option. But if you use the Manual Option Instead, you discover all kinds of stuff that you do not even know what it is or what it does. From now on, everyone needs to Use The Manual Option to put a stop to this.

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BlockSite Plus {web link} BlockSite, improved and bugless BlockSite is an extension, which automagically blocks websites of your choice. Additionally, this extension will disable all hyperlinks to these websites, by just displaying the link text without the clicking functionality.


Settings Guard for Firefox {web link} Detects and resets changes to settings that are frequently done by add-ons and application installers.

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Thanks to all so far for your suggestions, however none solved the problem completely. Blocking redirects, removing adware, malware, etc. in addition to manual custom installs are a common practice for me. The suggestions above do not prevent the browser from being opened at all.

Latest example, installing Adobe Reader, Flash, or most of their products. Once the download is completed and the program is working, the browser that was closed manually, still reopens to their website after the install is completed. This is embedded url in their software with a Hyperlink.

The same is true for included HP games through Wild Tangent. I can avoid the ads by removing the Wild Tangent Program itself while leaving the game intact, but all the versions, trial or purchased, when uninstalled open the browser and redirect to their website.

What I am trying to achieve is, block 100% of all hyperlinks in all programs from starting the browser at all when they are installed or removed. So far no solution has been found. I'm not an amateur, but a Master Computer Technician with over 40 years experience. Granted my expertise is in hardware, but I'm no stranger to software operating systems, application programs, and security protocols.

But this issue has had me stone walled for many months without a real solution.

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You will find that many programs have your computer call their home.

Here is a thought; Make IE your default browser. Open, and close IE. Then, using a file browser, rename IE. For example; iexplore=old.exe

After, any program can call for a browser all it wants, and it wont open. You may, however, get an error message.

If that happens, create a fake EXE program that does nothing, name it iexplore.exe, and place it in the same folder. You don't have to really create a program. Just take something you already have, copy it to the Windows folder, and rename it.

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Chosen Solution

I completely forgot the "K.I.S.S." rule, Keep It Simple Stupid.

The easiest answer and fix is the best. Simply changing the program name should solve the problem completely. I'd rather see the error message of program not found when some hacker program attempts to open the browser.

This proves Thinking outside The Box still works and the simplest answer is the best.

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When Windows wants to do an update, there might be a problem. In that case, just rename IExplorer so it can do its job.

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Possibly, I avoid using IE with my public WiFi due to security concerns. However following the suggestion made by another person to rename it, the version I have does not allow renaming or changing the security settings as an Admin. Apparently Microsoft has locked out everyone except "Trusted Installers", most likely Only Microsoft has access to modify even the program name.

Since I use Firefox 99% of the time, It was a quick fix to rename Firefox.exe to a name of my choosing, insure it was set to default browser. Testing with 4 known programs I removed after reformatting a hard drive with a new install, this appears to have eliminated the problem when removing a problem program loaded with adware. Also, I did have to recreate the shortcut to point to the renamed file for Firefox. Other than the Firefox icon on the bottom toolbar going generic (Only the open window icon not the shortcut icon), no ill effects after the last 48 hours of testing.

This solution doesn't work with IE, I haven't tested it on other browser's. I keep IE only for websites (very few) that block Firefox or non Microsoft products, like Microsoft's Website.

Modified by Lotsabytes