I have no idea how or when Browser Highlighter got added to my Firefox. I've been using Firefox steadily for at least 4 years and from time to time add another add-on. I don't recall adding this, but I'm not certain that I didn't. I don't recall ever using it, either, but it certainly sounds like it should be benign.
In any case, some time at the end of July of this year (2010) I started experiencing terrible slowdowns in Firefox. I mean really terrible, especially for long pages. Long pages would just get hung up with a 'Not Responding' when I would try to scroll or see what was going on. Often I would have to use Task Manager to close out of Firefox.
I kept researching on the internet to see what was causing my problem and did all the usual things (cleared cache, expanded cache size, deleted temp files etc) all to no avail. I even uninstalled Firefox and reinstalled it several times.I had to resort to using Internet Explorer for my browser much of the time, instead of Firefox. Finally yesterday after several months of frustration and wasted time, and embarrassment when I was trying to show things to people and had to kill my Firefox, etc, I spent the day yesterday just focusing on this problem. This time when I uninstalled Firefox, I checked a box that said something like 'destroy all my settings'. I don't remember exactly but as a result, I had far fewer Add-ons, this being one, and I was able to delete it. Finally the strangle hold on my Firefox is gone. It was being choked by this Add-on.
I can't believe how much time I have lost and how much aggravation I experienced as a result of this Add-On. I hardly ever ever go to eBay. I don't recall if I went there at the end of July and that's why this started. I do use Skype quite regularly but I don't think I use a browser to do it. But in any case, I am so glad to be rid of this problem and hope it does not re-appear.
Don't install this piece of crap malware. Just spent a half an hour trying to figure out what was hijacking my girlfriends firefox install. I'm really annoyed that mozilla have even approved this program for download. typing in a website results in a numerous other websites being called logging your usage and displaying ads! WHAT IS THE POINT!!
Just updated Skype. What a mistake! What makes them think they can automatically stick crap on my computer? The highlighter does not appear as a separate add-on that I can remove, probably because I haven't yet restarted Firefox. I guess my only option at this point is to disable the whole Skype add-on.
If i could give this zero stars, i would! This is the ONLY add on i have EVER tried that required me to start firefox as an admin to uninstall it. before i found i could do that, it tried a couple of times to disable it from the add on menu ... but it kept coming back from the dead.
Apparently, this got installed along with an update for skype. yeah, i guess that makes it my own fault for not fully reading the whole EULA ... but GET REAL!! This is truly BS!!
I got this add-on when I updated my skype. I was never even asked to give permission to install this software. It is automatically loaded when my windows starts up. I have to uninstall it from the windows start-up menu and Firefox's add-on option.
Keep away of this. It is an advertising tool from ebay. Since ebay owns skype as well, they bind them together and do not ask any permission to install it. Stay away with this malicious ad-ware.
Having received this via Skype (which never provided any options during the update, or I certainly would not have installed this), I have now uninstalled this crapware and Skype will be removed now as well.
I took the time to register, because this is sameful. The only reason why this add-on has anything over 1 star is because THE DEVELOPERS took the time on August 20th, 2009 to Reply to a few comments and MADE THE ONLY POSITIVE COMMENTS TO THE ADD ON. It is a spam add-on. Read below for detailed information on how to remove it. Shame on Skype and Ebay.
You guys really screwed this one up! My World of Warcraft account has been banned 3 separate times due to 3rd party spam due to your stupid, unasked for browser highlighter! I never gave permission for it to be installed along with the forced update of Skype, so both ebay and Skype can suck it.
Like many others, this POS was installed when I upgraded Skype without my permission (that I can recall anyway). But now it gets really ugly ... and maybe it's just a coincidence, but I was (actually, still am) infected with a spyware/virus things call MyWebSearch which is proving nearly impossible to remove. AVG doesn't see it at all so I downloaded a few others. Long story short, I'm still infected and can't help thinking that Skype is at the root(kit) of my recent infection. Not happy in the least!
I have not used this addon, I am writing this review to give users who find it installed on their system without consent some useful information.
This addon may suddenly appear on your system without your knowledge, in which case it probably came from a Skype update, which is what happened to me.
Some users are not able to uninstall the addon through Firefox's addon manager because the uninstall button is grayed out. This is not the fault of eBay, the developer of the addon, it is due to a bug with Microsoft's .NET Framework Assistant. The Framework Assistant is installed at the computer level, rather than the user level, in order that the .NET Framework be available to all users of the computer. It is due to a bug with this installation method which prevents the Browser Highlighter from being uninstalled through Firefox. You can find more information, as well as a downloadable patch on Microsoft's website here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951847
This addon is not installed without user consent by eBay. It is also not installed without user consent by Skype so long as the user is installing a NEW version of Skype downloaded manually from the Skype website. Those users who find it installed WITHOUT their consent had it installed as a result of Skype's built-in update feature, either automatically or manually. When using the built-in Skype update feature, the user IS NOT provided an opportunity to consent or deny the installation of the Browser Highlighter addon. This is the fault of Skype, not eBay.
For users running 4.1.x or older versions of Skype who do not want this addon installed, you should download and install Skype manually from Skype's website rather than using the built-in Skype update feature. Skype has REMOVED the Browser Highlighter from their installer in the 4.2 beta version of Skype, and I suspect that when 4.2 is released out of beta, it will not have the addon included either as a result of this fiasco, but I cannot speak on Skype's behalf, I only know that it has been removed from the Skype 4.2 beta installer.
This issue seems to have cropped up either in July or August of 2009, and why in that amount of time not one representative from either Skype or eBay have offered this information is beyond me. It took me under one hour of investigation to realize what happened and find all the information needed to fix it.
eBay, you could have done the same, trying a Skype upgrade, to see if indeed the user IS INDEED presented with an option NOT to install your addon, rather than simply posting reply after reply that the user HAS to authorize its installation and assuming they were idiots. This information could have been here months ago, and all these negative reviews could have been avoided for your product, and your reputation could have been salvaged. I couldn't care less why this did not happen, but for your own benefit, it needs to be brought to the attention of eBay management so that this sort of thing can be avoided in the future.
Skype will probably never see this, but you guys really dropped the ball by allowing this to continue for so many months. Even today, Dec. 28, 2009, if I search your website for either "browserhighlighter" or "browser highlighter" I get either a page that says there are no results, or a page that does not show any results AND doesn't say there are no results, which seems to indicate that you are filtering this issue away from your users and trying to hide it. That is BAD behavior if that's the case, every bit as bad as not presenting a user with an option NOT to install 3rd party software with an automatic update. Please ensure this is NOT the case, or your company may never recover.
This search for "browserhighlighter" returns no results and no message saying there are no results, indicating possible filtering and cover-up: http://search.skype.com/search?q=browserhighlighter&btnG=Search&entqr=0&output=xml_no_dtd&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&client=forum_default&ud=1&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=forum_default&site=collection_forum
This search for "browserhighlighters" returns no results but DOES return a message indicating there are no results: http://search.skype.com/search?q=browserhighlighters&btnG=Search&entqr=0&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&client=forum_default&ud=1&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&proxystylesheet=forum_default&site=collection_forum
I did not try this add-on, and am simply offering some information to users wondering how this got onto their computer and needing help with its removal. As far as I know, it is not mal-ware, and its mal-ware-like behavior is simply the result of a software bug or very poor judgment or lack of sufficient testing on the part of Skype.
The reason this add-on is not uninstallable for some users through the Firefox Add-on manager is not the fault of e-Bay, it is due to a bug with Microsoft's .NET Framework Assistant being installed at the computer level (rather than the user level) so that the Framework Assistant is available to all users on the machine. See this website for a more information as well as a patch: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/951847
This add-on being installed without user consent is not e-Bay's fault, it is due to the way Skype's installer is configured. The users who DID NOT authorize its installation either did not notice the confirmation window, in the case of new Skype installations, or were NOT provided the opportunity to opt-out in the case of Skype updating itself, either automatically, or manually by using the built-in Skype update feature.
The new version of Skype (currently the 4.2 beta version) has REMOVED the eBay Browser Highlighter installer from the Skype installer, so future versions should not have this problem anymore.
Those running older versions, or installing 4.1.x versions of Skype should manually download and run the skype installer from the Skype website rather than using the built-in update feature until the 4.2 version is released out of beta, or simply upgrade to the 4.2 beta version from the Skype website in order to avoid having this add-on installed without your consent.
As to why it has been since July or August that this problem has been known about and neither Skype nor eBay has offered the above information, I can't say, but personally I find this nearly inexcusable and someone ought to offer an official and public apology for the blunder.
Skype upgrade installed this without notice or confirmation. Attempting to uninstall results in permission denied (possibly due to my XPpro encrypted Firefox profile directory). Manually deleting the offending extension directory and uninstalling again takes a long time but seemed to work. I consider this malware. Skype is now on probation.