FotoMix and FotoMorph – Beware!!


I believe you’d all be well aware by now that more and more freeware is being bundled with ‘extras’ which have nothing to do with the original product and offer zero extensibility. It is a disturbing trend but one which I can live with provided an option to decline is included.

What I cannot abide is the forced installation of these extras, and that unfortunate tendency is now becoming more and more common place. I was recently preparing to present a couple of nice reviews for the image manipulation freeware FotoMix and FotoMorph, obviously from the same developer. But didn’t even get past the initial installation stage, both include COMPULSORY installation of the Funmoods Toolbar:

NOTE: The options to decline do NOT include the toolbar itself. In my book there is absolutely no excuse for this kind of deception. As I said, this unfortunate trend is definitely on the increase, and it’s nigh on impossible to download and evaluate all the available freeware titles. These days it is imperative to monitor each and every installation closely, step by step, regardless of reputation or source.

I also reiterate our advice to utilize DCT’s recommended download site FreewareBB for all your freeware downloads. FreewareBB is dedicated to providing safe downloads and, with the assistance of an active community, does filter out as many of these these rogue applications as is humanly possible.

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About the Author

Jim Hillier

Jim is the resident freeware aficionado at DCT. A computer veteran with 30+ years experience who first started writing about computers and tech back in the days when freeware was actually free. His first computer was a TRS-80 in the 1980s, he progressed through the Commodore series of computers before moving to PCs in the 1990s. Now retired (aka an old geezer), Jim retains his passion for all things tech and still enjoys building and repairing computers for a select clientele... as well as writing for DCT, of course.

12 Comments

  1. Thanks for the tip, Jim. I hadn’t run into that yet, but if I did I would do the same thing – delete it.

  2. GREAT TIP..I appreciate this very much as I am a download junkie.
    I am always searching for free useful programs and it is getting scarey
    by the day.Never know who to trust any more!

  3. Hey Jim,

    Very timely article on these ridiculous installation routines for Freeware that install these toolbars etc.

    I don’t begrudge that some freeware needs revenue for support and in some cases I’m willing to suffer the ads, but this crappola is way over the top.

    I can see offering some of this nonsense if it helps support the effort, but if they feel compelled to do it as offerings in an installation routine, I’d prefer then that it be OPT-OUT by default rather than that stupid box be checked by default.

    As you implied, and as I’m sure you know, many folks just click “Next” rapidly on the installation routine without even looking.

    And then a day or so later they wonder why that Ask toolbar is showing up and why they now have a different search engine designated or why their homepage has changed. The marketers are taking advantage of this “rapidly clicking Next” behavior by making OPT-IN the default.

    Bill P. of Winpatrol is my hero there. He refuses to contaminate his installation routine with ANY ad-supported crap at all. And Winpatrol is useful in detecting and refusing any BHO’s or other changes.

    I was not aware that these people were now making the addition of bundled software “compulsory”. Up until now it has been an annoyance and essential to scrutinize every screen of the installation routine. But with this tactic in place for some now, I guess you just flat out don’t want to install some of this stuff.

    Good heads up . . . my compliments.

    BTW, is there any listing, like a “Hall of Shame”, for those pieces of free software that now incorporate this compulsory installation of bundled stuff?

    I know Open Office and CCleaner had bundled offerings, but you could always OPT-OUT if you watched the installation routine screens closely. I have no idea if these two have now jumped on the “compulsory” band wagon. Do you know any more that have made this abominable switch lately (besides the one you spoke of in the article)?

  4. Thanks Jim.. I was searching the web just last night and ran into this. I assumed that it was bogus but wasn’t sure.. Thanks for the heads up.. It’s great to have Your expertise..

  5. Hey Jim,
    I vaguely remember you mentioning these a few months back? Or did I see them on FreewareBB?
    Anyway, I had them up my list of stuff to try out, but hadn’t till now and I certainly won’t after reading about your findings.
    It does seem that more freeware is crossing the dangerous line to … foistware.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    Cheers

  6. This program is fun and easy to use but I think there is people misunderstand the word “malware”. In this software, the “Funmoods” toolbar is installed during the setup but if you search about it, you’ll find that it is not very harmful for your computer. It does not create hidden processes or modify system files, and it can be uninstalled very easily simply using add/remove programs. Uninstallation is totaly clean and does not leave any other components in the computer.

    • Hey Rocky – Thanks for your first hand information, much appreciated.

      Nobody here is suggesting that the Funmoods Toolbar is malware, read through the article again. What we are dirty about is the compulsory installation – it’s all about choice.

      Cheers… Jim

  7. The message was not intended only for this article. I read other reviews and some said that the software contains spyware, malware and so on.

    I contacted the author to suggest about not making the installation “forced”. He answered me and he is considering another possibility (he consider this as some sort of adware) but said that this toolbar helps his software to remain free. I explained the author I write tutorials (for a group friends) and that I give this software a “not clean” status because I don’t want people complain about “there is something new I don’t want on my computer”.

    As an alternative, there is WinMorph (less easier to user) and Sqirlz Morph.

  8. HI Jim,
    This is a good caution, but at least on the current version, the ad-ware installation is not mandatory. If you click cancel on the two extra baggage installation pages, Fotomorph and Fotomix will successfully install anyway. It’s true that skipping those insalls could have been more transparent, but once you get it, it is a pretty cool software; especially for free.

    • Hi Larry – At the time of writing this article, the additional installs were compulsory, seems the developer must have had a change of heart.

      Thanks for the heads up mate, appreciate the updated info.
      Cheers… Jim