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Block ad-/spyware/popups without installing software

Do you also hate ad-/spyware/popups? I guess most people will answer that question with a "Yes". There is many (free) software on the market that will get rid of any of this (Spybot S&D, Ad-Aware etc.). The Firefox plug-in AdBlock does help a lot too.

But what if you don't want to install any software or have Firefox? Here's a small trick that will help you to block any ad-/spyware/popups without installing software.

Block ad-/spyware/popups

This trick will work in Windows XP, I don't know if it works on Windows Vista.

  1. First, you'll have to download (or open) the following file:

    Download "hosts.txt"

    The file was originally located at
  2. Now browse to the following directory on your PC:
  3. Open the file called "hosts" (without quotes) with notepad. You can do this by renaming the file to "hosts.txt".
  4. Now select everything that is located in the just downloaded "hosts.txt" and place it in the one located on your system like this:
    1. Open the new hosts.txt
    2. Select all (Ctrl+A) and Copy (Ctrl+C)
    3. Open your host file located in the WINDOWS directory with notepad and Select all (Ctrl+A) and Paste (Ctrl+V)
  5. Now save your file and you're done (Remember to rename "hosts.txt" back to "hosts")!

What did I just do?

The "hosts" file on your PC now disallows access from several servers that are known to spread ad-/spyware/popups. Since your PC now blocks their access, non of their software will connect with you.

Help, my PC is now slower!

In many cases, a large "hosts" file (over 135 kb) will slow down your PC. Here's how to fix this:

  1. Press Start and go to Run
  2. A new window will appear. Now enter "services.msc" (without quotes) and press Enter
  3. The Services Editor has appeared. Scroll down to "DNS Client" and right-click it. Now select Properties
  4. Click on the drop-down arrow for "Startup type"
  5. Select "Manual", click Apply/OK and restart your PC

You can see that the above "Service" is not needed (after a little browsing) by opening the Services Editor again, scroll down to "DNS Client" and check the "Status" column. It should be blank, if it was needed it would show "Started" in that column.

The above instructions are intended for a single (home-user) PC. If your machine is part of a "Domain", check with your IT Dept. before applying this work-around. This especially applies to laptop users who travel or bring their machines home. Make sure to reset the Service prior to connecting (reboot required) to your work domain.

Good luck and I hope it helped you getting rid of or preventing any ad-/spyware/popups!

Tags:  useful tips adware spyware popup

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