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FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin


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Last night I started experiencing some serious FireFox startup slowdowns. When clicking on the start icon for FireFox, it would take 20-30 seconds before FireFox would start up. This started up all of a sudden. I’m still installing the odd application on my repaved Windows 7 machine and last night I installed Skype and after a while I figured that these two things must be related. Indeed they are.

The slowness occurs when FireFox is started – I click on the icon and the hour glass wheel just spins away over the icon. There’s also a little hi-jacked 0 width browser window up if you look carefully.

After some experimenting I noticed that when FireFox starts up there’s a Skype and a yellow highlighter icon in the top right corner of the browser running two plug-ins:

BrowserHighlighterPlugin.

It turns out the EBay Browser Highlighter Plug in is the culprit of the slow startup. I removed both the Skype and Highlighter plug ins and startup performance returned back to normal immediately. Added Skype back in – to isolate – and there was no noticable change. So the highlighter plug in it is.

And off the system it goes. Bye bye…

 Uninstall

I don’t remember opting in to this plug in in the first place when I installed Skype (or to the Skype Plug-in for that matter), but there it is. More bloatware installed for you.

I have no idea what this thing does, but I sure don’t want to find out now either. Maybe this will help a few people that have experienced startup slowness issues with FireFox – there seems to be a lot of it going around these days. It’s easy to miss and blame FireFox for this but it’s often important to remember that plug-ins have a lot to do with perceived performance. And after working with a customer today who seemingly had every conceivable plug-in under the sun installed in his browser I suspect there are a lot of folks who have this thing installed and don’t even know it :-}.

Update: It’s not only FireFox this affects. I also noticed that IE was exhibiting the same fucked up behavior – hanging massively on startup. I had to go and uninstall the plug-in completely from the programs list.


The Voices of Reason


 

yaip
August 27, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

I had the exact problem. And after removing the plugin, it worked fine. How did you find out who was the culprit?

Dennis Gorelik
August 27, 2009

# Bloatware

Did you choose default Skype installation?
I think installing these bloatware plugins is optional.

I always try not to install anything I don't clearly need.

Rick Strahl
August 27, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

@Yaip - just noticed the slowdown all of a sudden, remembered the Skype install and noticed the icons. Pure coincidence really, but glad I did. I bet this happened before and wouldn't be surprised if others are having the same problem because of this POS.

darkyndy
August 28, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

this is the reason why you should always choose "custom" and select what you need ...

Bikram Singh
September 01, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thanks! Rick. This higlighter s*** had slowed my FF launch to over a minute.

Michael
September 18, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

I try to uninstall both the Skype firefox plugin and the browser highlighter. they both re-enable and re-install themselves after Firefox reboots.

calanan
September 29, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

This just happened to me and I found this site via a search about the plugin. FWIW, this happened after an update to an existing installation of Skype and I was never given the choice of a default or custom installation like I would have for a new installation.

Darth Milhous
October 07, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Yep, eliminated the highlighter and firefox started up like it used to. I was having to wait as much as 2 minutes sometimes for the browser to appear. I was ready to switch to chrome or something else because it was driving me nuts. Thanks.

Ken
October 13, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin Ke

I have been avoiding upgrading my Skype v3.8 because it just seemed to be just getting bigger without any added benefits. A new version came out today and the changelog mentioned it corrected occasional freezing of the video, (which I experienced) so I thought I'd try it.

I did upgrade using the link in the Skype program - there was no opt-out option for the add-on. Perhaps using the full downloaded version would have provided the choice?

True enough, the Browser Highlighter appeared and Firefox took longer than usual to load. Restored from an image made just this morning and good to go again.

Things like this destroy any trust I may have in software!

Ken
October 13, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

I can confirm that the full install does provide the opportunity to opt-out of Browser Highlighter install.

Kirk
November 16, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Got the Skype automatic update tonight. Crapp piece of malware. Figures it would come from eBay.

If you look in your Windows Task Manager Services list, you'll also see two cute things installed as part of your Windows System. They are the tbhDaemon.exe and the tbhMonitor.exe

Came with the Toolbar Highlighter and I'm afraid to mess with them because the Task Manager shows them as part of the system.

Can't find any stuff on the internet advising how to get rid of it, or if it is safe to do. Will contact Sunbelt Software tech support tomorrow and see what they can tell me.

You have any suggestions?

Giovanni
November 24, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thanks a lot. i have been battling for a while with firefox being slow. searched all over.
after some months got to your site and problem solved by uninstalling the Highlighter plugin.
Thanks again for solving this problem and your excellent explanation.

SarahCakes
November 27, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thanks a bunch! That took care of it! I really am pleased you figured that out and its purdy nice of you to share what you discovered with the rest of us ^.^

Toph
December 02, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thanks, this is very helpful information

Michael
December 27, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

This was the cure! Thanks.

rogrrr
December 28, 2009

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thanks for the heads up!! I just downloaded skype and I noticed the new icon and wondered if I was drunk or asleep when I acquired this thing. When I tried to access their website, I got nothing. Time to get rid of it!

Toxic
January 13, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Now Skype doesnt like me...I disabled that add on and it doesnt even want to run?

Loloy D
January 22, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thank you for your very useful information. I am a very seldom Skype on PC user but we do have a Skype VoIP phone at home. It is now that I am temporarily based abroad that's why I am able to use Skype on PC again on a usual basis to contact my family at home who are using the Skype phone device.

As a systems developer and network security hobbyist, I consider myself a careful user as I always go through the customized settings whenever installing EVERY piece of software I come across with. It is my unbroken rule even on trusted applications with full disclosure (example is ClamWin with AskToolbar). In the case of Skype, I know I had turned off auto-update and have never opted in nor have never been given the chance to opt out from any third party software. I was surprised to see my old-school firewall warning me about thbdaemon.exe trying to connect to the internet - a NEW SOFTWARE running on my PC without my express consent! This is utterly unacceptable, especially for such a "then" reputable company like Skype. A quick search on the internet led me to this website, and I was able to remove all these pesky burdens without much self-based tinkering and hacking. Thank you once again.

Cathy Mankus
February 01, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I installed Skype yesterday and my system sreeched to a halt. I looked in active processes, saw the tbhDaemon, did a search, found your post, removed the add in and VOILA! Life is good again!

Thx again!
:-)

Rob
February 12, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

If you really want to speed up your PC, get rid of bloated programs like Skype and go with web-based Google Voice and Gmail video chat!

Daryl Miechel
February 21, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

This is what "Solved all my Problems using 'Fire Fox' with my 'Google Home Page' and Gmail! Re 'Slow loading' and Logging me off every time I closed a Browser Window or Gmail! Also changing the "set" 'Font' size"

Download "Firefox Preload Version: 1.0 - 366"

the diffrence is unbelievable, it is a one stop fix for these problems that have driven me mad for over 2 months

Rebecca
March 02, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thank you - I prefer firefox, but have been unable to use it because it has been so slow. This fixed it!

J.
March 06, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

When i tried uninstalling this, YourUninstaller uninstalled almost everything in my pc. Now i got some pop`up thing with microsoft office that asks me the original installation source and it appears if i click on a folder, or if i try to get in explorer or my computer. When i start the pc, an error message appears, something about diskeeper. Opera doesn`t work, neither mozilla. What the hell happened? Oh, and system restore doesn`t work.

Susan
March 09, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

In my case, after a reboot, I got an error message that popped up every 30 seconds reporting a problem with tbhdaemon.exe. That would in turn bring up 3 or 4 tell Microsoft about the problem windows. I thought for sure I had a virus. I also noticed Firefox was slow, but would never have put the two together. I removed that Highlighter add-in about an hour ago and all seems to be well now. Such a relief! Thanks so much. - Susan

Hardy
May 20, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Thanks a bunch for this post! Now I can get back to what I was doing!

Rosco
August 26, 2010

# re: FireFox Slow Startup: Watch out for Browser Highlighter Plugin

Does someone knows how can I remove Highlighter??
Thing is, "uninstall" button is like switched off so there is no chance to press it.
Does anyone knows how to solve it?

Thanks
 

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