We help IT Professionals succeed at work.

We've partnered with Certified Experts, Carl Webster and Richard Faulkner, to bring you two Citrix podcasts. Learn about 2020 trends and get answers to your biggest Citrix questions!Listen Now


Unable to change Internet Explorer Homepage from MSN.com to Blank

chuck53 asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
After cleaning out this WIN98XE system of viruses and spyware and setting Internet Explorer to "blank", I set the Home Page back to msn.com.  Now, we are unable to change the default Home Page back to "blank" or anything else.  It always comes up to msn.com.  (yes we do the IE, Tools, Internet Options, Blank, Apply, OK).  This machine is running a good antivirus and Webroot Spysweeper program now and has been swept with the latest defs.

Can I fix this by doing a repair on Internet Explorer latest version (6.x) without going into the registry and checking all the IE keys?  I don't think a trojan is doing this.  I may have removed an IE entry by mistake with HiJackThis but thought I was careful not to do this.  

I do not have access to this machine to post a log or look at the registry so the question here is: Will a "Fix Internet Explorer" repair this problem or is there another way I can direct a non teckie friend to fix this without bringing the machine back to me and going through the normal debug process.

Watch Question

Expert of the Year 2004
Top Expert 2004
are you sure that the anti-spyware programs you are running on the machine have not "locked" the IE page?
coz spybot has this feature that can lock the IE homepage from changing, may be the program which you are running has such features too!

Not the solution you were looking for? Getting a personalized solution is easy.

Ask the Experts
Top Expert 2008

Greetings, chuck53 !

MSN.com is the homepage for Microsoft. If you do any Microsoft update, homepage will get changed to MSN.com  But you can usually change the homepage back to the one you want.  Repairing IE will not fix the problem.

1. Download and run HijackThis


You will see an entry for the homepage.  Cleck the box to have HijackThis delete it.

Best wishes!
Chuck, War1 is correct in using HiJackThis. You should use this at a minimum. You can post your log file here for free analysis.
I would also recommend running your current anti-malware utilities as well as the one listed below and in Safe Mode.
Normally I clean all Temp folders as well as clearing the Internet Explorer Temporary Internet folder.


Hi war1:
I simulated this on my machine and should be looking for the following on the problem machine?

R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://msn.com/

After deleting this (I take it) a new start page will be auto generated as specified by the user in IE, Tools, Internet Options, Blank, Apply, OK?... or will IE simply default to "blank" for the home page without manually specifying it after this removal process?

SheharyaarSaahil ... good point on homepage blocking.  I need to somehow verify Spysweeper is blocking changes or locking it from changing... if only I had access to the machine before next week.

Top Expert 2008

>> I simulated this on my machine and should be looking for the following on the problem machine?
R0 - HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main,Start Page = http://msn.com/  >>

Yes, that is the correct key to delete.  Homepage should go to blank or another homepage that you can change.
In Spysweeper, you have to turn this off.

To do so, follow these steps:

1.       Click Shields.

2.       Click Internet Explorer.

3.       Under IE Home Page Shield, Click Automatically Restore Default Without Notification. This eliminates the messages but maintains your spyware protection.

From Spysweepers support pages
See if that helps.


Spyweeper was not allowing the change and kept the old entry.  Unchecking the Internet Shield box fixed the problem and allowed the Home Page Change.  I will split the points between  SheharyaarSaahil (1st posted) and the detail of mtz1of4 once I figure out how to split points.

Thanks everyone!

Top Expert 2008

At the bottom of the page is a split points link. Click on it and follow the prompts.


Thanks chuck53,  
Glad it's sorted out.
Access more of Experts Exchange with a free account
Thanks for using Experts Exchange.

Create a free account to continue.

Limited access with a free account allows you to:

  • View three pieces of content (articles, solutions, posts, and videos)
  • Ask the experts questions (counted toward content limit)
  • Customize your dashboard and profile

*This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.


Please enter a first name

Please enter a last name

8+ characters (letters, numbers, and a symbol)

By clicking, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.