Written by Tomas Meskauskas on (updated)
What is Highlighty?
The Highlightly browser add-on claims to make users' Internet browsing experience more productive by displaying Wikipedia and Bing results relating to any selected text within an in-page window.
Whilst such functionality may seem legitimate, this browser extension is categorized as adware or a potentially unwanted application, since it installs on browsers (Internet Explorer, Google Chrome, and Mozilla Firefox) without users' consent. Furthermore, the add-on generates intrusive ads and tracks users' Internet browsing activity.
Highlightly is distributed using a deceptive software marketing method called 'bundling', and thus, computer users often install this plugin inadvertently with free software downloaded from the Internet.
After successful infiltration, this adware generates banner, search, pop-up, pop-under, and interstitial ads, which are inserted or displayed over portions of web pages visited. The plugin also generates in-text ads - converting words on pages viewed into hyperlinks that link to advertisements.
Moreover, this potentially unwanted application monitors and records users' Internet browsing activity - recording the domain names of pages viewed and advertisements that appear on these pages, IP addresses, operating system types, search queries, browsing history, physical locations, and other information.
The presence of Highlightly can lead to malware and virus infections and this plugin can cause serious privacy issues. For these reasons, it is strongly recommended that you eliminate this adware from your Internet browser/s.
Highlightly is similar to other potentially unwanted applications (which install together with free software), including, for example, SaveSense, Rocket Tab and Solteratop. The aforementioned browser plug-ins add no significant value and cause intrusive ads.
To avoid installation of adware, users should be attentive when downloading free software since, today, most free software download websites use 'download clients' in order to monetize their free services. Download clients are small programs offering installation of advertised browser plug-ins with the chosen freeware.
Some download clients are deceptive, and thus, it is important to inspect every download step. If your download is managed by a download client, opt-out of installation of Highlightly, or other adware, by clicking the 'decline' button.
If you have already installed this plugin, use the removal guide provided to eliminate this potentially unwanted application from your Internet browser/s.
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- What is Highlighty?
- STEP 1. Uninstall Highlightly application using Control Panel.
- STEP 2. Remove Highlightly add-on from Internet Explorer.
- STEP 3. Remove Highlightly adware from Google Chrome.
- STEP 4. Remove Highlightly extension from Mozilla Firefox.
- STEP 5. Remove Highlightly ads from Safari.
- STEP 6. Remove rogue plug-ins from Microsoft Edge.
Highlightly adware removal:
Windows 11 users:
Right-click on the Start icon, select Apps and Features. In the opened window search for the application you want to uninstall, after locating it, click on the three vertical dots and select Uninstall.
Windows 10 users:
Right-click in the lower left corner of the screen, in the Quick Access Menu select Control Panel. In the opened window choose Programs and Features.
Windows 7 users:
Click Start (Windows Logo at the bottom left corner of your desktop), choose Control Panel. Locate Programs and click Uninstall a program.
macOS (OSX) users:
Click Finder, in the opened screen select Applications. Drag the app from the Applications folder to the Trash (located in your Dock), then right click the Trash icon and select Empty Trash.
In the uninstall programs window, look for "Highlightly", select this entry and click "Uninstall" or "Remove".
After uninstalling Highlightly, scan your computer for any remaining unwanted components or possible malware infections. Recommended malware removal software.
Remove Highlightly ads from Internet browsers:
Video showing how to remove potentially unwanted browser add-ons:
Remove malicious add-ons from Internet Explorer:
Click on the "gear" icon (at the top right corner of Internet Explorer) select "Manage Add-ons". Look for "Highlightly" and disable it.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the highlightly adware, reset your Internet Explorer settings to default.
Windows XP users: Click Start, click Run, in the opened window type inetcpl.cpl In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows Vista and Windows 7 users: Click the Windows logo, in the start search box type inetcpl.cpl and click enter. In the opened window click the Advanced tab, then click Reset.
Windows 8 users: Open Internet Explorer and click the gear icon. Select Internet Options.
In the opened window, select the Advanced tab.
Click the Reset button.
Confirm that you wish to reset Internet Explorer settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious extensions from Google Chrome:
Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) select "Tools" and click on "Extensions". Locate: "Highlightly", select it and click the trash can icon.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the highlightly adware, reset your Google Chrome browser settings. Click the Chrome menu icon (at the top right corner of Google Chrome) and select Settings. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen. Click the Advanced… link.
After scrolling to the bottom of the screen, click the Reset (Restore settings to their original defaults) button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Google Chrome settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
Remove malicious plugins from Mozilla Firefox:
Click on the Firefox menu (at the top right corner of the main window) select "Add-ons". Click on "Extensions" and remove "Highlightly".
Computer users who have problems with highlightly adware removal can reset their Mozilla Firefox settings.
Open Mozilla Firefox, at the top right corner of the main window, click the Firefox menu, in the opened menu, click Help.
Select Troubleshooting Information.
In the opened window, click the Refresh Firefox button.
In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Mozilla Firefox settings to default by clicking the Refresh Firefox button.
Remove malicious extensions from Safari:
Make sure your Safari browser is active, click Safari menu, and select Preferences....
In the opened window click Extensions, locate any recently installed suspicious extension, select it and click Uninstall.
Make sure your Safari browser is active and click on Safari menu. From the drop down menu select Clear History and Website Data...
In the opened window select all history and click the Clear History button.
Remove malicious extensions from Microsoft Edge:
Click the Edge menu icon (at the upper-right corner of Microsoft Edge), select "Extensions". Locate all recently-installed suspicious browser add-ons and click "Remove" below their names.
If you continue to have problems with removal of the highlightly adware, reset your Microsoft Edge browser settings. Click the Edge menu icon (at the top right corner of Microsoft Edge) and select Settings.
In the opened settings menu select Reset settings.
Select Restore settings to their default values. In the opened window, confirm that you wish to reset Microsoft Edge settings to default by clicking the Reset button.
- If this did not help, follow these alternative instructions explaining how to reset the Microsoft Edge browser.
Commonly, adware or potentially unwanted applications infiltrate Internet browsers through free software downloads. Note that the safest source for downloading free software is via developers' websites only. To avoid installation of adware, be very attentive when downloading and installing free software. When installing previously-downloaded free programs, choose the custom or advanced installation options – this step will reveal any potentially unwanted applications listed for installation together with your chosen free program.
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