Spyware Sucks
“There is no magic fairy dust protecting Macs" – Dai Zovi, author of “The Mac Hacker’s Handbook"

Problem – unable to change Internet Explorer’s home page

May 4th 2008 in Uncategorized

Another cry for help received via email…

You are my last best hope…  I am just a regular guy from NY (not the city) with a problem.  My homepage in IE7 is locked on a page I dont want.  I try to change it in Internet options and it even says the homepage I want but it always goes to this other page. I set the page a month ago and now it wont go back.  I even reinstalled IE7 but no luck. Any ideas?  I can even send you a few bucks if you can help me out…

Manufacturer/ISP Locking

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 following:

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

Protective software

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 you are using Spybot S&D, check your ‘Immunize’ settings which may be locking your home page.
Malware and viruses

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 – the page is a little old, and probably needs updating, but overall the advice is still good:


2 comments to...
“Problem – unable to change Internet Explorer’s home page”


This was most helpful! I had tried everything. The problem was my spyware’s preference setting.

Thank you so much!

W Taylor

Changing HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel] – DWORD “HomePage”=dword:00000001 to a zero value worked. Simple, easy. I am not sure how my homepage got locked.

Over the past few days I have seen a spike in the number of emails asking for help with website certificates.  For example, two correspondents have written:
“Thanks for providing the information about problems with certificates of IE7 in your website.  I tried to follow your instructions to access a secured site in IE 7 which […]

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