Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Clawing back control of your internet browser

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

I've visited a web site that has taken it upon itself to change the web site from which my browser searches are conducted. How can I change this back to the way it was previously?

You can resolve this situation by editing the Windows registry, which can be accessed using the 'run' dialog box located under the start menu. Once opened, whack 'regedit' into the empty space and press enter. When the Registry Editor appears, double-click on the entries in the left hand column in sequence until you find yourself looking at the following key...

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Now scroll down the list of entries in the right hand pane until you see the 'Search Page' string. Right-click on this phrase and select 'modify' from the context menu. You can now edit the offending URL to something a bit more suitable; google.com for example.

If you've failed to isolate the rogue URL for whatever reason, or you believe there to be a similar, additional entry lodged in a different area of the registry, another handy hint is to use the registry search option - found under the 'edit' menu - to track it down. If you type the web address of your new unwelcome search engine into the 'find' dialogue box and hit the return key you will quickly be able to pinpoint all the references to the site in question, and remove or replace them accordingly.

Note that this trick also works when you're trying to re-establish your favourite search engine as your default home page.

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