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How do I manually set Internet Explorer to be the default browser?

Posted on 2007-07-26
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Last Modified: 2013-12-08
How do I manually set Internet Explorer to be the default browser?

I've already tried going into Internet Options and checking the "Check to see if Internet Explorer is the default browser" box, I hit apply, and then OK, and then if I go immediately back into the internet options it's not checked. The setting is never saved.

So, is there a way to manually make IE check if it's the default browser, or some registry keys I can change to make it default myself?

I'm guessing Opera or Firefox set the reg key where IE saves its "check for default" to read-only.
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Question by:Sootah
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 19576846
Greetings Sootah !

To make IE the default browser: Right click on your Taskbar > Properties > Start meun > Customize. Choose Internet Explorer for Internet. Click Apply.


Best wishes, war1
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Expert Comment

by:KCTS
ID: 19576870
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 19576900
Sootah,

If no joy, perform this registry edit:

1. Click Start, and then click Run.
2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
3. In Registry Editor, locate the following subkey, if it exists:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Control Panel
4. If the ResetWebSettings value or the HomePage value exists in this key, right-click the values, and then click Delete.

Note You may also want to verify any Web site information contained in the Default_Page_URL value and the Start Page value in the following registry keys:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

HKEY_ LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

HKEY_USERS\Default\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

5. On the Edit menu, click Delete, and then click Yes to confirm the deletion.
6. On the File menu or on the Registry menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.
7. If the issue is resolved, turn on the startup items that you turned off in step 4 except for the items that may be causing the issue for example, commands that run Regedit.exe or a .reg, .hta, .vbs, or .js file. If the issue recurs, you turned on the startup item that was causing the issue. Repeat steps 4 through 11.
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Expert Comment

by:Boon01
ID: 19577235
Go to Contol Panel, open Internet Options, go to the Programs Tab, you should see an area for Default Web Browser. You can set it there or you can check to Tell you if IE is not your default browser. Then if it isn't and when you open it you can set it there. I hope this helps.
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Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 19577254
By the way, do you have any security suites that might be blocking those settings?
NIS or Spysweeper?
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Author Comment

by:Sootah
ID: 19582356
No luck with the aforementioned methods. The start menu customization method won't work because the button is greyed out.

Anybody know where the setting in the registry is to make IE check if it's the browser? I can just manually set it.
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Expert Comment

by:war1
ID: 19582805
The registry edit unlocks the homepage, so you can set it to the one you want.
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Expert Comment

by:Boon01
ID: 19582980
I think war1 is right about the reg edit. But you should be able to do this through the control panel as I described and it easier, only a few clicks away. Of course war1 solution is much more fun. :)
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 19587950
sootah, have you tried looking (In My Computer) at Tools->Folder Options->File Types and confirming that these are set to Internet Explorer?
    *  URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol
    * URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol with Privacy
    * URL:File Transfer Protocol
    * HTML File
    * HTM File (optional)

Note that you may find the URL file types above under extension "N/A" or "(NONE)".
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Author Comment

by:Sootah
ID: 19594496
The values mentioned in the Reg hack aren't there, and when I try to check the box to see if IE is the default browser as suggested by Boon01 it doesn't keep. I check it, hit apply, and then the next time I look at Internet Options it's unchecked again.
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LVL 30

Expert Comment

by:Marc Z
ID: 19595197
sootah, What Operating System are you running? And What version of IE are you using?  
When you access a URL on your computer, what browser opens?  And have you told Opera and Firefox to Not Check to See if they Were the Default Browser?
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Accepted Solution

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Boon01 earned 2000 total points
ID: 19595428
Hey Sootah, can you go to this website and try this? I think it will take care of your issue.

http://windowsxp.mvps.org/ie/nopromptdefault.htm
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LVL 2

Author Comment

by:Sootah
ID: 19605552
Thanks Boon01. The method mentioned in your link:

"Anyways, here is a procedure which makes Internet Explorer prompt for the default browser check upon next start.

Open regedit.exe and navigate to:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT \ http \ shell \ open \ command

Backup the key by exporting it to a REG file
In the right-pane, replace the existing (default) value to the text "something.exe"
Close Regedit
Restart Windows (otherwise the method may not work)
After restarting, open Internet Explorer "

Worked.
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