Free Utility Can Remove Annoying Nag Screens

It's not uncommon for free versions of commercial programs to flash up a nag screen suggesting you upgrade to the paid version.  Well here's a free utility called ClickOff that may kill off some of those annoying nag screens for you.  It won't work in every instance but is sure worth trying.

The program works in several ways:

1. It can simply close a window that you don't want
2. It can press a particular button in a window
3. It can enter text into windows then press a button

That versatility means you can potentially use it to remove all sorts of pop-ups including web popups and the perennially annoying "Do you really want to exit the this program" message you get when closing down many applications.  You can also use it to automatically fill passwords though the developer warns against this as the program does not encrypt saved text.

Usage is simplicity itself.  To configure ClickOff to automatically close a window just position the cursor over the windows title bar and hit the special hotkey combination. By default this is Ctr+Alt+D but you can configure this to your needs. You can also right click the tray icon, click "Add window" and select from a list the window you want to close.

To configure ClickOff to automatically press a button, position the cursor over the button and hit the special hotkey combination.  You can also enter the button text explicitly if you wish. When entering the text for a button, use the & sign after a letter to indicate an underscore for that letter. So for Cancel you have to enter C&ancel

There appears to be no limit to the number of different popups you can close so that means that over time you can just keep on adding to the list of popups you want to remove.

That's the good news. The bad news is that ClickOff won't work with all popup windows. Basically it works best with standard Windows popups and not so well with everything else. Furthermore it can only handle button/text fields that use the Windows standard libraries. Overall I found quite a few windows ClickOff couldn't handle.

Also annoying was the documentation.  I regard myself as an experienced user but frankly I'm still mystified how to use some of the more advanced functions.

Another minor annoyance was the Windows Start Menu options for ClickOff were in German even though I had used the program "Settings" to select English. 

If you can live with these limitations you may well find ClickOff to be a very useful tool. It's one of those utilities that are a joy when they work and an irritation when they don't so give it a spin and see if it can remove a popup that's currently annoying you.  If it works, then think kind thoughts about the author Johannes Huebner. And if not well ...

http://www.johanneshuebner.com/en/clickoff.shtml

Freeware, all Windows versions, 321KB.

Thanks to Jim (jhlns) for suggesting this utility.  If you have a suggestion that you believe should be mentioned in this Hot Finds section then send it to Gizmo using the site contact form on the left sidebar.
 

Gizmo

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Comments

by bwoods on 27. July 2009 - 8:22  (25821)

Thanks for the tip on this software. I no longer see the HUGE nagware screen from Avira AntiVir to buy their pro version. YEA!!! High five!

by Anonymous on 24. July 2009 - 5:19  (25688)

According to Dtask Manager, the memory usage for running Clickoff in the background on my XP is 3.5meg.
Also, there is no documentation, but by trial and error, I discovered that the wildcard is two asterisks (**). For example, I had a popup that I couldn't kill with my two other popup blockers. The website was (url).com/images/(unique number for each popup). The unique number kept Clickoff from killing the popup every time, so I replaced the unique number with ** in the Clickoff Advanced Properties entry for that window, and it kills the popup every time now.

by ianjrichards (not verified) on 24. July 2009 - 10:53  (25709)

Nice detective work there - you are certainly more persevering than me. Thanks on behalf of all users.

Gizmo

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 22:02  (25678)

Amazing that you would support circumvention to software restrictions ... WAREZ ala GIZ is a bit tacky. I am sure there are vendors that will never give you another FREEBIE! If you were an actual software developer you might understand ... as it is you are a free loader at best that promotes "hacks".
You have lost more than you will ever know by promoting "hacks"!

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 23:18  (25680)

I don't normally post comments to websites but this crazy assertion forces me to.

A hack is when you you alter the code of a program. Using a third party program like this to stop a nag screen is not a hack.

And if it doesn't violate the EULA it's entirely ethical.

Next thing you will be saying is using a ad blocker to block ads is a hack. Give me a break.

Ken Moroney

by Anonymous on 4. August 2009 - 15:28  (26254)

It seems to depend on popular usage (there's a lot of grey area here), but my general take is this...

A HACK is a relatively simple attempt to make software act in a way that was not intented..
You can delete a game's intro-movie so it loads faster, or change lesser-known or hidden settings to alter performance, or even use custom files (like images, audio or text strings).
That is a hack.

A custom toolbar or two in Excel with some tricky VBA script, favorite registry settings you like to change, or windows services that you always turn off.
That is an almost hack, more likely to be seen as general program mastery ;)

A CRACK is when a program is 'broken into' or 'rewritten' for whatever reason..
In usage it indicates a (usually legal) barrier has been broken - eg: product activation or registration, or even reverse engineering.
There are some crack programs which rewrite an original EXE with altered code, then pad the file so the CRC matches. The new EXE would then be able to act as a legitimate version.
That is a crack.

So, a crack is major hack, but a simple hack could need a crack.

Heh.. or I could be wrong :-/

by Anonymous on 3. August 2009 - 18:51  (26209)

Sorry but that is just dumb as dirt ... a hack is "any" attempt at circumvention of design or attempt to alter any part of the code, policy or designed actions that a software publisher includes in their released build! The EULA will clearly spell out the "nag". If you dont like the nags, uninstall the software ... you obviously are not a developer and have little respect for those who are!

by ianjrichards (not verified) on 5. August 2009 - 4:48  (26445)

I fully agree that if the EULA specifies the nag screen should not be removed then it shouldn't. Simple as that.

I just checked the EULAs for three programs that use a nag screen. One had a specific provision the nag screen must not be removed while the others didn't even mention it.

So here's my take:

It's up to the developer to ensure he/she includes a condition in the EULA prohibiting nag screen removal. It's up to the user to check the EULA for such a clause and if it's there it should be respected.

Gizmo

by Anonymous on 5. August 2009 - 23:37  (26488)

Nice summary Gismo - pretty well says it all. - K.

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 16:45  (25652)

Ignorance is becoming more common... because it is easily acquired.
As Education varies with effort... the workforce gets smaller.
In truth, some people are just too lazy to learn,
or is that...larn?

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 12:56  (25639)

how does this compare with with something like an autohotkey script? Any opinions? Also, how much memory does it use while running in the background?? That is important for software like this.

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 6:48  (25620)

Thanks, Gizmo. I have been using the last freeware version of PTFB (Push That Freakin' Button) to do the same. However it does not have the capability to fill in fields, so ClickOff looks like something I'll try out. One nice thing about PFTB is that it can target either a button, a hotkey, OR a particular button location in the window along an x,y grid (basically point and click). It would be interesting to compare the effectiveness of these two apps. You can get the last freeware version of PFTB at http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file/fid,23023-order,1-page,1-c,alldown...

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 4:59  (25616)

hey gizmo great to see you give the downside on this proggy - too many reviewers ware the same rose colored glasses.

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 6:22  (25617)

I agree totally with your comment about the need for balance in reviews.

Might I add that your views would carry much more weight if you took the time to correctly punctuate your comments and spell correctly. It's "wear the ... glasses" not "ware."

I apologize for being picky but as a retired English teacher, I feel literacy standards are just too important to gloss over.

Moderators comment:
As a website with a truly global audience TSA understands that English will not be the first language of many of our visitors. We would ask therefore that posts correcting spelling and grammar not be made. Contributions here are welcome in any format. Thank you.

by Anonymous on 28. July 2009 - 3:48  (25851)

As a retired English teacher, you are obviously still living back in the days of print only...not the modern age of cyber-world. It is a fact of life now that words online only have to sound right...not be spelled correctly. And abbreviations abound online.
GU2I = Get Used To It

by bwoods on 24. July 2009 - 1:09  (25683)

Oh, please...we do not need any English lessons here.

Thank you Moderator for enlightening Anonymous' rose colored glasses. More than English literacy, the global nature of the internet seems to be glossed over.

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 9:25  (25634)

Sadly, it is all too often the case now that literacy in the cyberworld seems to be a largely forgotten concept. However, being grateful for the valuable information this site provides, I'm happy to live and let live. And I really think the "ware" "wear" mistake was just a slip of the fingers on the keyboard. Who hasn't doen that?

(Yes, that was deliberate.)

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 7:54  (25623)

Hey Mr English teacher - don't you know you are speaking to the warez generation here. Maybe in your time it was wearz >;

by Anonymous on 23. July 2009 - 19:55  (25667)

#7 ta-da...u b rite!

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