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If you can't see the quicksand man graphic at right, download Flash Player for free:

To replay the Quicksand Man, right click over the image and hit "play!"

Coming Soon to

We list the most
annoying"pop-up" sites. Stay tuned for the continuing adventures
of "Quicksand Man!"

Escaping the Lock-ins!

Escape Tips:

Internet Explorer:
If you scroll over the back button with your mouse, a small pull-down tab will appear on the right. Clicking on it will give you a list of previously visited sites; select a safe one and you'll return to that site.

Alternatively, and more easily...
PC users can 'right click' their mice over the back button to get the list of visited sites. Mac users can click and hold their mice over the back button to get the list.

Most easily, you can hit the 'Go' menu at the top of your monitor. A list of previously visited sites will appear. Click on one and go!

Similar to Explorer, you can also scroll over the back button and either 'left click' and hold it, or simply 'right click' (Mac users see above). Choose a previously visited site to escape.

Using either browser, if you get desperate...
  • You can simply type a new URL in your address line, or go to your 'favorites' or 'bookmarks' menu and select a link.

  • In your browser's address line (where the URL appears), a down arrow appears on the far right. Clicking on it will give you a list of URLs you have previously typed in manually. Click on one to move on.

  • Hit your "Home" button, which will bring you back to your start page. You can also hit your "Alt+Home" keys to get there. (We can tell you how to make Top9.com or another site your start page.)

  • Mac users can try pressing the "Command-W" to close the offending window.

  • Before you get stuck: By "right clicking" on a link, you'll be able to open a new browser for a suspect link. This allows you to close that browser completely if needed, while keeping your other browser and original URL available.

  • If you are plagued by javascripts, one surfer suggests disabling them by clicking the Edit menu, then Preferences or Properties, then uncheck the Advanced function. This also prevents pop-ups and redirects, but it might not work for many of the sites listed here to prevent lock-ins.

  • Hit your 'File' menu at the top left, and click on the 'work offline' link ('offline' then 'work offline' in Netscape). Then use the back button or back pulldown menu to reach a previous, safe site. You can then return to the File menu and uncheck 'work offline.'

  • If you have mouse troubles, you can use your keyboard. Hitting the 'Alt' button, then 'left' arrow will take you back in your surfing history (you can hit this button quite rapidly if you get locked in); in some cases this will be quicker but also less effective than using your mouse. You can also hit your "Backspace" key a few times, or just hold it down. This may shoot you back farther that you want to go, so be cautious.

  • Hit your "Escape" key when you see undesirable redirects loading. If it works (inconsistent among browsers) it's an easy out.

  • Hit your Stop button if you see a bogus page is loading. If you get in serious trouble, or if pop-up windows take over, hit "ALT+F4" to zap the page completely. "Control+ALT+Delete" will do the same thing.

Browsers and computers differ, so individual lock-in experiences will vary. The ways in which sites lock you in are inconsistent, and sometimes are simply a product of poor coding or design. Our lock-in designations are a general reference guide.

We found it was easier to escape using Macs than PCs. Also, it was usually easier to escape in Internet Explorer than in Netscape.

For example, some sites which solidly locked in our PC Netscape browser were easily exited using our Mac Internet Explorers. Your exact results may differ from ours, but feel free to continue submitting sites and escape strategies for us to test.

Many thanks to all those who wrote in with their tips and suggestions!

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