Microsoft Internet explorer enables you to set a default homepage that is displayed every time you open a new browser window. You can also navigate to this page if you select the ‘Home’ button on the ‘Standard Buttons’ toolbar of your Internet Explorer.
To set the default homepage, on the ‘Tools’ menu of Internet Explorer, select the ‘Internet Options’ command to open the ‘Internet Options’ dialog box. On the ‘General’ tab, choose one of the following three options to set your homepage.
Use Current: Sets the current Web page as the homepage.
Use Default: Sets the homepage with the one which was set by default when you first installed your Internet Explorer.
Use Blank: Sets a blank page as the home page.
Problems with default homepage occur when your homepage changes to a different Web site every time you reboot your system. You may also identify the problem if you cannot change default homepage to the Web site of your choice because the Use Current, Use Default, and Use Blank options are not available. Listed below are a few common causes of homepage problems.
- Your PC is infected with Trojan horse viruses such as IRC.Becky.A worm and Trojan.JS.Clid.gen that modify the Internet Explorer homepage settings.
- Malicious code such as JS.Exception.Exploit code has run on your PC and is changing your Internet Explorer settings.
- A recently installed third-party software has changed the homepage.
- System administrator at your workplace has modified a policy to enforce default homepage on your system and disable the options to change the homepage.
You can use different methods to fix this problem. Some of the common methods are discussed here.
Regedit is a tool included in Windows operating systems to edit the Windows registry. To run Regedit, select Start and then select Run. In the Run dialog box, type regedit and select OK. This opens the Registry Editor window. In this window navigate to the following subkey.
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel
This key will exist only if your PC is affected by the problem. Delete the ResetWebSettings value or the HomePage values if they exist in this key.
Also, navigate to the following keys and check the values for the Default_Page_URL and Start Page registry keys.
HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
If the values are incorrect either modify the key to the correct value or delete the keys.
Remember that incorrect editing of the registry can seriously damage your system. Therefore, always create a back up of the registry before making any changes. You may also search and download a registry cleaner software from the internet to help you easily scan the registry for possible errors and remove them from the registry to restore your system to a normal and healthy working condition.
Use Antivirus Software
Install a current antivirus software updated with latest virus definitions and run it on your PC. The antivirus software will scan your PC for possible virus infections and remove them from your PC. In most cases, your antivirus program won’t delete malicious scripts from your system because these scripts usually run from the internet and do not save a copy on your system. The antivirus program can only stop these codes from running.
Perform a Clean Boot
If a malicious code or third-party software is causing the problem, then you can identify it by performing a clean boot. To clean boot your Windows XP system, open the System Configuration utility dialog box by running msconfig. In this dialog box, choose ‘Selective Startup’ and clear all but one of the options listed under it and reboot your PC. Repeat the process for all the options, until one of the options displays an error. Next, from the System Configuration utility dialog box select the tab for the option you identified as the one causing the problem. On this tab, clear all but one command and reboot your system. Again, keep repeating the process until you identify the command causing the problem. You can remove the identified program from the system to fix your problem.
Virus infection, malicious code, or third-party software are a few of the common reasons that might cause default homepage problems. You can prevent these problems by keeping your PC updated with the latest security hotfixes released by Microsoft. Also, you must always keep virus definitions of antivirus software updated and regularly run virus scans on your system to keep virus infections at bay. You may also either use ‘regedit’ or download a registry cleaner software from the Internet to regularly scan the registry for obsolete, invalid, and malicious entries and remove them to repair the registry.