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Links to sites that you haven't been to can appear for various reasons. You can begin by checking for spyware.

There are many links to several pornographic websites in my favorites. I don't know how they got there because I didn't put them there. I have tried to delete them by right clicking and deleting them from my favorites menu but in a matter of days they are back there again whether I use my computer or not. Do you have any suggestions on how to permanently delete them?

Indeed, I do.

Some sites, not always but often pornography related, are notorious for using all sorts of underhanded techniques to put their advertising on your computer and in your face. Hijacking your favorites or bookmarks is definitely one of those techniques.

My first recommendation is to run a spyware scanning program such as Spybot Search and Destroy or AdAware. What happens is some site or software will install software on your machine that periodically puts things in your favorites list or makes other changes without your knowledge. The spyware scanners look for various known offenders and remove them.

The second recommendation would be to watch what you install. What may seem like a helpful toolbar, or handy utility may occasionally include spyware as additional payload. In fact, you may have even agreed to the spyware when you accepted a license agreement! The only toolbar I recommend is Google's. There are several others out there, some of which are good, others of which are known to be very invasive and big offenders.

Finally, I've caught myself a time or two inadvertently adding things to my favorites without even realizing it. CTRL+D in my email program means "delete" so I'm in the habit of using it when I've finished reading an email. In IE however, CTRL+D is a shortcut to "add to favorites" which adds the current page to your favorites list. After reading a web page it's an easy mistake to make.

Article C1959 - May 30, 2004 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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38 Comments
Laura
May 31, 2004 6:01 PM

Hi. I just wanted to thank you. I had the same problem with those porn links showing up in my favorites folder even if i deleted them. They came back even when my computer and internet wasn't on. It was making me really upset and now that you explained how to fix it, I'm really happy. Thanks again!

Joe
June 1, 2004 1:39 PM

Well i tried that my friend, but the links are still coming back and some people that use my computer are getting fairly annoyed. I don't hve any toolbars so i know it isnt from that and i have adaware, spybot search and destroy, and spywareblaster and run them all frequently. any other suggestions?
Thanks.

ppp
June 2, 2004 6:58 PM

I have the same problem as joe, i used adaware , spybot yet they keep coming back, is there any other way to fix this without reformatting the computer?

Leo
June 2, 2004 7:19 PM

I found this thread out on spyware info: http://ask-leo.com/d-40602c - that seems to implicate some software, such as kazaa, as being big offenders in this arena. In any case, spywareinfo.com is a good resource for getting specific help as well. Let me know if your problem gets resolved.

Jason
June 4, 2004 11:35 PM

hi yea im getting fatal oe errors whenever i try to look at my email by clicking on the icon that says you have # number of emails and when i click on it Internet explorer comes up then it goes directly to the oe errors and then i have to turn off my computer
please help

Leo
June 5, 2004 8:19 AM

Since this is Outlook Express, which comes as part of the Internet Explorer package, I'd try the steps outlined here: http://ask-leo.com/archives/000120.html

kelvin
June 13, 2004 8:25 AM

Please try to look at the add/remove program.
Check if there is a fictitious Internet Explorer 8xxx. I believe this file is causing the favourites to be updated which the spyware removal is not able to find it.

Joseph
June 25, 2004 12:35 PM

I have the very same problem.... I need to get rid of SEARCH TOOL BAR. I SO TIRED OF THIS SITUATION. PORN IN MY FAVORITES...

PLEASE HELP

Leo
June 25, 2004 3:30 PM

Have you run a spyware checker? That's always the first step.

Dan
June 28, 2004 9:56 PM

While I'm not experiencing this problem, I do have a suggestion. It won't get rid of them, but you can hide them. Open your "Favorites", then right click on the desired link.
Then click "Properties", go to the "General" tab at the top of the page, and check "Hidden". Close the browser, then re-open it. They should no longer be visible on your "Favorites" list.
While the links will technically still be on your "Favorites" list, they won't be visible unless you have "Show All Files" checked in the Folder options.

Norma M. Parr-Crow
October 15, 2004 9:18 PM

I went quite inadvertently to Windows Media player. I got the shock of my life! There were at least 9 porn sites I could see listed at the bottom and 3 said "preview". I have never visited these sites and as a single mother I am freaked! I am scared that my 6 and 9 year-olds have viewed these sites without my knowledge, even though I try to watch them all the time. I cannot get rid of them. I spent hours deleting the *.mpg files and*.wmv files they were named under. Only a few pornographic pictures came up. Then I defragmented my hard drives. All to no avail. I deleted Windows v.9 and replaced it with the new v. 10. They are still listed. Any suggestions? I am freaking out.

Bob
November 2, 2004 7:47 PM

I had the same problem. Spy Sweeper would tell me they had been added back to my Favorites and it would remove it. Five minutes later it would come back. I tried everything. I finally solved the problem by looking at my start up settings. There the rascal was. Mine was called "winlgn". I double clicked it and it immediately added the item back to my Favorites. I deleted "winlgn" from start up and the problem went away.

Matt
November 20, 2004 5:18 AM

I have a program on my computer that dials to a 1.50 a min line and i cant get rid of it. The name of the program is 'XXX Files'. can anyone reccomend anything i can do to get rid of it?

Leo
November 20, 2004 2:48 PM

That's a classic case of spyware. Have you tried the spyware scanners?

ausmo
November 27, 2004 3:12 PM

I also have had my favorites invaded by porn, I have spybloc3 which can do nothing to stop the sites coming back when I delete them, I have also tried several other things I read from this and other sites, but nothing has worked yet, I have 2 kids that want to use the net, so i am finding this whole thing very frustrating, can anybody please help,

thanks ausmo

matt
November 30, 2004 10:45 AM

I have tried 'Spyware search and destroy' which has deleted some stuff but not the dialer. All the other spyware producs seem to cost money...which I don't have. Is there anywere I can download a reliable program that doesn't cost and will get rid of this dialer?

Leo
November 30, 2004 3:36 PM

I have recommendations for several free anti-spyware utilities here: http://ask-leo.com/d-recommend

Joe Bob
March 9, 2005 4:49 PM

How do I get rid of these links on every brower page that when you drag over them, say : freelifetimepasswords - no charge ever for porn!

Leo
March 9, 2005 4:53 PM

That sounds like some kind of spyware installed on your machine. Get an anti-spyware package and perform an up-to-date scan.

terry
March 12, 2005 10:12 PM

i got adw-instafind on my pc and i dont know how to get rid of it.everytime i log on to the net or opena page if im not on the net my pc gives problems. it crashes alot and it real slow now. can u please help me?

Jay
March 12, 2005 10:31 PM

Tried everything, microsoft spyware remover, adaware etc... and the same two porn links keep coming back at the bottom of my favorites list. Help! :(

sathya
September 11, 2005 10:19 PM

My Iternet Explorer Homepage keeps changing and I keep having Adult wesites added to my favorites. I have tried Norton AV, Spybot Search and Destoy, and LavaSoft Adware remover nothing will get rid of this. I will say my Norton AV keeps detecting the Bloodhoud.Exploit.6 virus which it won't Quarentine or delete. I also have searched for help on this matter with no luck. Someone..
Please HELP!!!

Posted

Leo
September 12, 2005 7:30 AM

You need to enable Spybot's realtime protection, or start using what I recommend now: Microsoft's Anti-Spyware program. http://ask-leo.com/recommendation_microsoft_antispyware.html

As for the virus that can't be removed, I'd try additional anti-virus programs: http://ask-leo.com/recommendation_antivirus_software.html

Dria
November 14, 2005 2:36 PM

Somehow every site I have gone to will pop up when I start to type in the IE search bar. Is there anyway to delete some of the links that pop up in the search bar? I don't want to delete my history, I just want to prevent it from scrolling random links down the search bar.

forest borders
May 9, 2006 9:53 AM

thank you, i was trying to purchase country music videos shania twain, michael peterson etc. put in my credit card and 2 porn sites took money from my account, what legal rights do i have to get rid of these buzzards, scam and get my charges reversed back (i do not support porn)

Leo
May 9, 2006 9:56 AM

My recommendation would be to contact your credit card company immediately and explain the situation to them.

matt
June 17, 2006 11:14 AM

I might be too late on this but w/e.

I had the same problems all of you had for years on my DELL. One of the reasons is because Internet Explorer has poor security. I recommend downloading Mozilla Firefox web browser. As for the crap already on your computer, there are a few different things you can do to get rid of it.

1. disk clean cleanup (start/all programs/accessories/system tool)
2. defrag(start/all programs/accessories/system tool)
3. Good spyware/adware removal programs are spyboy search & destroy(free), AVG spyware/virus remover (free), Microsoft Defender (free), and CCleaner (free). --good any of these and you will find them).
4. One of the best programs out there is Webroot SpySweeper, it isnt free but worth the $20.

Many other problems occur in your registry. DO NOT mess with your registry by yourself unless you know wat your doing. Search google for registry cleaning programs.

Ive found that a combination of these tricks and programs can get rid of any junk on your computer and make it run faster.

Email me if you have any questions.

hope it helps

-matt

Gratefull Person
July 23, 2006 2:50 AM

Im having problems nothink seems to be wroking there is a site that pops up when i open Internet Explorer and i dnrt seem to be able to get rid of it and no one in our familys seem to no how it got there.
PLEASE HELP ME!!!(im so against porn)

ron
September 6, 2006 12:47 PM

somehow
every site I have gone to will pop up when I start to type in the IE search bar. Is there anyway to delete some of the links that pop up in the search bar? I don't want to delete my history, I just want to prevent it from scrolling random links down the search bar.

pinky
October 24, 2006 12:40 PM

try downloading index.dat suite it gets rid of all unwanted history

sandy
January 7, 2007 5:51 PM

Porn videos keep popping up on my computer....please help me to get rid of it!!!
My husband tried a few things , but they keep coming back.

Stephen Zimmett
February 4, 2008 6:29 AM

I just set up a website about 4 weeks ago and am now finding links to my website that should not be there.
I emailed the link party with no luck. Trying to get important links is very important and time consuming. However there are certain links I do not want. So how do I remove them thanks

John Manousso
May 15, 2008 10:12 AM

I am furious that my name appears on many porno websites. GOOGLE and YAHOO should be responsible for allowing these sides to appear and disgrace my family's name. What would you recommend that I should do to have them remove my name from their websites?

Your assistance is greatly appreciated.

Thank you,


John Manousso

Leo
May 15, 2008 5:55 PM

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Hash: SHA1

I don't actually agree that Google and Yahoo should be held
responsible. That's like blaming the newspaper delivery
person for the news, or the weatherman for the weather.

Unfortunately there's little to be done. This article covers
more:
http://ask-leo.com/how_do_i_remove_myself_from_the_search_engines.html

Leo


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Etta Wilder
August 3, 2008 8:41 AM

Someone has taken my email address and uses it to send me emails about XXX Angelina Jolie videos and ads for viagra. I am a 59-year old grandmother of 10 and am not interested in that garbage. Is there any way, other than changing my email address, to stop these messages???

johnny
June 10, 2009 10:45 AM

how do i get rid of these porh links that keep coming back in my emails

David McMartin
September 1, 2011 10:57 PM

I seem to have been on some porn web sites, but cannot erase them from my computer. How do I remove them from my computer?

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