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

If you can't change it, your browser home page could be protected by anti-spyware software or it could be spyware itself getting in the way.

Why can't I set my internet home page to what I want?

It depends on "how" you can't.

If you can change your home page and later it changes back to something else then you probably have spyware.

If you can't change your home page - the option is greyed out - then you may have spyware or if you're in a corporate or other controlled environment then you may not have permission to do so.

In any case, spyware is the top suspect, so I'd run a spyware checker right away.

Article C1981 - June 3, 2004 « »

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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.

Not what you needed?

July 7, 2006 1:26 PM

i made google my home page and i cannot get rid of it. i go to internet options and what ever i type in it still stays at google. I have checked spy ware and i am clear of viruses etc.

August 10, 2006 3:38 PM

I cannot get home page to stay set. I have all of aol's latest spyware and anti-virus and firewall. I also use system mechanic 5 professional although I"M only using this for the utilities not anti-virus or spyware. When my spyware protection blocks this item it calls it homepag hijacker. trojan.win32.startpage.adh. I need help!

Hanieh Behzadian
October 20, 2006 5:35 AM

i can not change the home page becouse in the internet option the home page is gray and I can not access to it

Sheila Penney
October 22, 2006 7:47 AM

Hi, Leo: I have this problem, but it isn't spyware. Bought my laptop as a "store-demo" model; it was already set up with the store name as the admin user. I changed the username to my own. I also went into safe mode as "Administrator" and checked that my username is, in fact, listed as "admin" user (I'm using XP Home, not Pro, so the procedure is a little different than the one you specify elsewhere; I have no command to "manage / Local Groups & Users"). So far, so good. BUT: the IE homepage is set to go to the site of my laptop's manufacturer (HP). I usually use Opera, so this hasn't been a huge problem. But now I have IE 7 and want to try it. When I try to change the homepage thru Internet Options, it does allow me to type in a new URL (or navigate to the page I want and choose "Use current"); but it WON'T stay changed. If I close the dialogue box & reopen, or even if I close & restart IE, the thing has changed back to the HP site. (When I was in Safe Mode and using the generic "Administrator" account, I also called up IE and made the change; it "stuck" when I closed & reopened the dialogue box, but once I rebooted normally, no dice.)
The default line that keeps appearing for the homepage in Internet Options is: so it's a redirect of some kind. How can I track this down and get rid of it? (HP must have the slowest-loading page on the whole web, and it's driving me nuts).
Any help you can give is greatly appreciated -- I'm a bit past the age where I can promise to name my firstborn after you, but I'll call my existing son and tell him his name is now Leo if you like.)

Leo A. Notenboom
October 22, 2006 12:20 PM

Well, the advice in the article still applies: typically it's something that the spyware checkers will check - even if it's not specifically due to spyware. Windows Defender, and Spybot both should try to resolve this for you. Good luck!

October 30, 2006 6:25 AM

I have the same problem etc....

I have run adware, spybot, etc. and still cannot change the homepage. Please help

Norm Morgan
November 7, 2006 4:59 PM

I had same problem. I tried spybot and adaware with no success. I went to add and remove programs and there was a program that downloaded along with the homepage that I changed to. I removed the program and everything worked fine after that.

December 1, 2006 7:29 AM

I have IE7 installed, and I cannot change my homepage settings. I can click the button to 'use blank' and I can type in a new URL, but whenever I open a new browser or reopen Internet Options, everything is back the way it was. I am running XP Pro on a laptop, with NAV2007 and Webroot Spysweeper. I don't believe it's a spyware problem and I am the administrator on the machine. Is there a program available that allows you to change the homepage, or am I faced with a format and reinstall? It seems a lot of people have this problem and no-one gets answers from anywhere.

December 9, 2006 5:49 PM

My problem is but only on my boyfriends profile on Windows XP. I Looked through the registry and found nothing to delete!

December 22, 2006 1:17 AM

I had the same problem and finally solved it yesterday. It’s ZoneAlarm again. Seems like every time-consuming problem I encounter is always ZoneAlarm. I really hope that it’s performing miracles on my behalf for all the trouble it always causes.
The cure then:
1) Uncheck “Load ZoneAlarm at startup”
2) Restart
3) Change the homepage (and apply).
4) I closed IE immediately, but that was probably not necessary
5) Recheck “Load ZoneAlarm at startup”

December 22, 2006 1:46 AM

If you opted to use the Norton Antivirus that shipped with your new HP laptop, that might be your problem as well. It has a home page protection feature. The details could be found at:

December 30, 2006 8:37 AM

I had the same issue. Cause was the Home Page protection shield in my Webroot Spy Sweeper. Changed the Home Page defined in the shield and that resolved the problem.

December 30, 2006 11:30 PM

Wow....thanks ray.....i have had qeeksquad for my home page for 10 months.....thanks to has been whew

Dale Adamson
January 11, 2007 4:54 AM

I can't change my home page from, from this page I can click "my msn" and it will go to my msn page, but it will revert back when you exit, can't change it in internet tools, I am not running spybot or zonealarm. this happened after i reset internet explorer settings in the advanced ie tools.
can you help? thanks

January 26, 2007 4:18 AM

I reset internet explorer 7 and now I can't change the homepage or view videos on youtube. It seems to have removed Java from the list of services as well. Please help !

Bob Tummino
January 29, 2007 7:16 AM

Cant't change home page solution; one possible porblem will be with NAV. Under Options, Anti-Virus, there is a check Box to "Protect Home Page". When this is checked you cannot change the Home Page. You need to uncheck it, change the home page, then go back and check the box for Protect Home Page, so that spyware or somethng else changes it. IE7 there is a button to reset your internet setting to default, this will change the home page and if you have NAV you'll have a problem changing it. Follow the above steps to fix.

Victor Cole
March 10, 2007 7:47 AM

Bob Tummino,
Thanks so much for your advice. Worked like a charm. IE7 reset button is a monster. When my settings changed, it was VERY stressful. Also, my AutoComplete settings were changed. To fix that problem, within the browser, I went to Tools, Internet Options, Content, AutoComplete, then check-marked Forms. It was the only thing not enabled there. This allowed the browser to remember what I type in, so I don't have to keep typing it over and over within the page I'm browsing, i.e. email addy, search request, etc.

June 23, 2007 9:28 PM

FYI - Is your new HP computer stuck on IE homepage Even after you change it??
When I bought my HP computer, the homepage in IE7 was "HARD SET" to and would NOT change. It always changed back immediately after setting it to ANY other page. The answer to change it: Upon boot, press F8 and continue bootup in safe mode. Login to the profile/user you wish to change the home page and change it there. After normal bootup, the page has been changed! Took me 24 hours to figure this one out. Symantec AV, spyware, etc. did not have this baby locked down. It turned out to be a registry entry by HP.... that is now GONE.

July 6, 2007 5:01 AM

I had the same problems and yes as mentioned in the top an anti-spyware prog caused the problem.
Deactivate that program change the value in what you like and activate the antispyware program again.

David Skidgel
November 29, 2007 7:36 AM

My problem is definitely caused by Google Desktop. I installed an upgrade yesterday and stupidly didn't read everything in a popup window. One of the items checked (that I could have unchecked) was the selection of as my home page. When I tried to change it I found that the option was greyed out. I uninstalled all Google applications and started over - this time I unchecked the box but still have the option greyed out. I should also mention that after I deleted all the Google apps, I still couldn't change the home page, so it's something that Google installed that's hiding somewhere else. I'm a little surprised that I'm finding so little help on this as I'd expect almost everyone to be upset that their IE has been hijacked by Google.

April 19, 2008 5:00 PM

My computer has been acting very strange. My system seems to be locking me out of all my programs and whenever I try to open a file it freezes up. I can't even change my homepage on IE anymore. Can you tell me what the problem is?

October 13, 2008 2:31 PM

I have a totally diffrent problem on Internet explorer 7 I try to change my setting and apply my home page but when I do it says applying setting in a green bar and it takes forever and never works

March 26, 2010 9:29 AM

If you have Spy Hunter. Open it, Click on Network Sentry on the left. A window will open. in the third section has "Internet Home page Protection" You can click on to protect a certain page. Go to the page you want in a separate browser and copy the url from the address bar and past it here. Or you can unclick it and then use your tools > internet options and put in whatever homepage you want and click apply. Then your homepage can be changed.
Hope this helps. Mine was locked in Spy Hunter under Network Sentry...Bye for Now

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