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This advice covers three types of home page locking - locking (by ISPs and computer manufacturers), locking by "protective" software, and hijacking (by malware or viruses)
Some computer manufacturers and suppliers of internet
access set IE to their choice of home page and lock this
setting via the registry. Hijackers use the same trick. The
locking is done using registry settings as per the
Home Page Setting Changes Unexpectedly, or You Cannot Change Your Home Page Setting (Q320159)
Specific registry settings affected are:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel] - DWORD "HomePage"=dword:00000001 (grays out the whole section)
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Explorer] - DWORD "NoSetHomePage"=dword:00000001
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Restrictions] - DWORD "NoSetHomePage"=dword:00000001
Check your protective software (especially antispyware
and antivirus). Spybot Search and Destroy, for
example has a feature that will lock your home
page. Other products that may lock your home page
including Ad-aware's Ad-Watch, SpywareBlaster, SpySweeper,
Norton AntiVirus, McAfee VirusScan and Antispyware, and both
versions of Zone Alarm.
If your computer home page is set to about:blank against
your wishes, or any other page, you have a malware problem.
For advice on fighting malware, check out the link below:
If you are using Spybot S&D, check your 'Immunize' settings which may be locking your home page.
First, update to the latest version of Internet Explorer
available for your operating system. Most sites that try to
hijack your home page will now trigger a 'do you want to do
this' warning message that lets you stop the process. The
sneaky background activex downloads that are often used by
hijack sites to install spyware will also trigger a 'do you
want to do this' install window.
Please see this link for advice on how to prevent browser hijackings.
Make sure that your antivirus is completely up to date and scan all files on your computer's hard drive(s) regularly.
There is a little shareware programme that can help stop your home page and search engine settings from being changed. The programme makes it much easier to take back control of your home page and search engine settings - mind you, there are other utilities, such as Spybot, that provide more comprehensive protection - this utility is purely to protect your home page: