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 ...
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.