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There may not be a way to turn that off. If you're not using Maxthon as your primary browser, I'm not sure there's a reason to have it on there at all.

I'm using Windows XP, with SP3. Browsers are Firefox and Maxthon. I've tried to find a way to prevent Maxthon from always becoming the default browser. Maxthon is only my backup should Firefox go down. To use Firefox now, I have to explicitly load it and then reset it as the default. Any ideas?

In this excerpt from Answercast #61, I look at how the Maxthon browser works and suggest a way to keep it from setting itself as the default.

Maxthon resets browser defaults

No. Not really. Not specifically with Maxthon if that's what it's going to do, then that's what it's going to do.

If there's no way to prevent it: no user interface, no option, no "something" in the Maxthon browser that will allow you to say "Stop trying to become my default browser." I don't know a way of preventing that. You may be able to look at some anti-malware software (like maybe Spybot) that would maybe lock something like that, but I really don't think that's a practical solution.

Maxthon is a user interface

However, I do have a different idea.

What most people don't realize about Maxthon is that, in a lot of ways, it's not really a different browser. What Maxthon really is is a different user interface on top of the same engine, the same browsing technology that's used by Internet Explorer.

In other words, Maxthon is simply using the system (the Windows system-provided browsing utilities) to do the job of a web browser.

It has a different UI around it. It's got a lot of features that Internet Explorer never had for a really long time, so it got a lot of popularity that way. But fundamentally, it's built on the same technology as Internet Explorer.

The reason I go down that path is that, if you want an alternate browser, in reality you might as well just have Internet Explorer.

Might as well use IE

If you're not using Maxthon as your primary browser, I'm not sure there's a reason to have it on there at all. I would (in fact, I do) have Firefox and Chrome. And I have Internet Explorer as my backup browser.

So, that's my recommendation at this point. If there's not some other reason that you haven't mentioned that is causing you to have Maxthon installed on your system, it might be time to just go ahead and remove it and let IE take its place.

Article C5921 - October 15, 2012 « »

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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Rick Lane
October 16, 2012 2:03 PM

You might be a little behind the times with your knowledge of Maxthon, though the OP may only be using Maxthon Classic or Maxthon2, in which case your analysis is correct. But if he is using Maxthon3, the latest edition of the Maxthon family of browsers, then your information is incorrect. M3 uses the webkit engine that it includes in the installation file by default but also gives one the ability to use the Trident engine(from one's IE installation) if some web pages don't work properly with the webkit engine. And in M3, one goes to Menu>Options>General> and uncheck "Keep Maxthon as Default Browser" to keep it from making itself the default browser. The go to Firefox (in this case) and make it one's default browser. There are similar options in MC and M2. So, to repeat, Maxthon3 is not "built on the same technology as Internet Explorer" but can be used in that way in it's "retro" mode. Otherwise it is a webkit based browser that loads it's own version of the webkit engine.

Thanks for the clarification. I'll admit my knowledge of Maxthon is limited and it's good to hear they're now more than just a pretty wrapper on IE. Smile Still annoying if, indeed, it always sets itself as default browser when run, though.

October 16, 2012 4:29 PM

I have winxp pro sp3, and I use Winpatrol. It doesn't let anything sneak by, and it has a free version that works like a champ.

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