Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Checkboxes should be pretty easy: check the box and save, but there are a few things that could be keeping the settings from being remembered by your computer.

I use Windows 7 and I would like to know how to get checkmarks to work? Such as at the top of the CNN, "Do you want this to be your homepage?" I checked yes and next time, it's there again. The same with several sites including my bank. I'm having to repeat inputting the same information over and over again. What do I do?

In this excerpt from Answercast #27, I look at a very common activity on the web: checking checkboxes. What makes them not take?

Checking checkboxes

The short answer is that it sounds like you're doing what you need to do – hit the checkmark and that should be fine.

Now, a lot of depends on user interface design.

For example, you may need to click the checkmark, make sure it's checked. Somewhere else in that user interface may be a Save or an OK button that causes that setting to be persistent, to be saved on your computer.

Set the homepage

The homepage setting is kind of special. My suspicion is that you may have anti-spyware software that's protecting you from unauthorized homepage changes.

Something like Spybot, for example, can lock your homepage in such a way that it can't be changed. So I'd certainly have a look at that.

Cleared cookies

With respect to other checkboxes on other sites, I'd actually put a small amount of money on your having cleared cookies. Most of those kinds of settings are nothing more than setting a cookie on your machine.

If you later clean up using something like CCleaner or just clear cookies manually, it's possible that you are not just erasing all your cookies; but by virtue of that, erasing all those settings that you've saved. As a result, the next time you return to those sites, those sites realize that their cookie hasn't been set so they ask you again.

  • So look into clearing cookies and whether or not that's something that could be affecting what's going on here.
  • Check your anti-spyware software to see if perhaps it is locking your homepage in some fashion.

Article C5480 - June 17, 2012 « »

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Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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