How To Fix Browser’s Settings Changed By Malware Or Other Programs

Malware, adware, and pushy software installers love changing your browser settings, they will give you a new home page, a new default search engine, and obnoxious toolbars. This happens because of un-checking a check-box while installing any third party software. Usually these companies have collaborations with newly evolved search engines, websites etc. And for promotion of their products they provide these small utilities with softwares which install in background without getting noticed by user. And after installation, they change everything in your web browser. Whenever you search in address bar you are redirected to an unknown search engine OR you start seeing ads on all webpages, even on non commercial websites which don’t show ads. All these things are done by those small unwanted softwares.

Reverting these browser settings isn’t too difficult. But you may have to do it manually, even if you uninstall those unwanted softwares, you will still have to restore your preferred home page and default search engine.

Now let’s do it step by step:

Search Engine

If a program has changed your default search engine, then whenever you will search in address bar of your browser, it will open a new and unknown search engine.

You can change your search engine settings back easily:

Internet Explorer:

Click the Gear button, select Manage add-ons, and then go to Search Providers category. Choose your preferred search provider from the list and click the Set as default button at the bottom of the window. You may also want to enable the “Prevent programs from suggesting changes to my default search provider” check box. It would be better if you delete unknown search providers.

Mozilla Firefox:

First, click the search engine icon in the search box at the top-right corner of the Firefox window then select your preferred search engine from the list. Also delete unwanted search providers.

Google Chrome:

Right-click inside the location bar at the top of the Chrome browser window and select Edit search engines. Select your preferred search engine and select Make default.

Home Page

Those unwanted softwares love to change your home page to some unknown website. Every time you click Home button, you will see that annoying home page. This may look normal to you but they make good money from that. You should restore it as soon as possible.

Restoring your browser’s home page is easy:

Internet Explorer:

Click the Gear button, then click Internet Options, and select the General tab. Change the addresses in the Home page box. You can even delete all of them if you don’t want any home page.

Mozilla Firefox:

Click the Firefox Menu button, then select Options, select the General tab, and change the address in the Home Page box.

Google Chrome:

Click Chrome’s menu button, select Settings, and check the Show Home button option under Appearance. Click the Change option and change the home page. You should also click the Set pages option under On startup and ensure that no additional web pages are set to load at startup. Delete unwanted pages from startup.

Toolbars and Other Browser Extensions

Toolbars are really annoying to see on the top of your web browser. Many softwares try to install toolbars on your PC with them, even Oracle’s Java software tries to install the Ask toolbar by default. Toolbars get a company’s product right in front of you in your browser all the time, encouraging you to use all their features and search with their search providers. Also if you install many toolbars, they will consume almost all of your web browser’s screen. You may not like to use them, better is to uninstall them.

To get rid of an obnoxious toolbar or browser extension-

Uninstall in Control Panel:

First, open Programs and Features in Control Panel and try to uninstall the toolbar like you uninstall any other program. You normally don’t find toolbars in Control Panel‘s Programs and Features but if you are lucky and the toolbar appears there, you can uninstall it normally. If it doesn’t appear in the Programs list, you’ll have to disable it in your browser using the below instructions-

Internet Explorer:

Click the Gear menu, select Manage add-ons, and then select the Toolbars and Extensions category. Locate the toolbar or browser add-on you don’t want to use, click it, and click the Disable button. If you don’t see the add-on in the list, click the Show box and select All add-ons. And then disable unwanted toolbar.

Mozilla Firefox:

Click the Firefox Menu button and select Add-ons. Click Extension tab from right side and select the toolbar that you want to disable and click the Disable button.

Google Chrome:

Click Chrome’s menu button, select Settings, and select the Extensions category at the left side of the window. Uncheck the Enabled box to the right of any extension you want to disable.

If Setting Changes Back

If you find that these settings are automatically changing back after you change them, you have a program running on your computer that’s interfering with your browser settings. This kind of programs usually start with the Windows and monitor your browser’s settings in the background. You can disable such programs from Startup.
Be sure to scan your computer using a good antivirus, such programs are usually detected as malware by most antivirus programs. After scanning your PC, you should reset your RESET your browser. In Google Chrome, go to Settings, click on Show advanced settings… link and scroll down to bottom and click Reset Settings button to reset your settings.

By now you should have fixed problems with your web browser. In case your PC is badly infected with virus or malware, you may try to run a scan using ESET Rescue Disk. You can check this tutorial on how to make ESET rescue disk. Enjoy, have fun!

About Aslam Khan

Hi there, I am a blogger, engineer and a computer geek. I love kittens. I spend some of my time blogging besides full time job as Senior Windows Administrator. I like to learn new things.

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