Tip: Remove Unwanted Toolbars and Fix Settings in Internet Explorer

Remove Unwanted Toolbars

Internet Explorer and Windows Vista include several layers of defense to prevent unwanted software from modifying the Internet Explorer configuration. If an unwanted toolbar does appear in Internet Explorer, you can disable it using the Add-on Manager. Sometimes, however, the problem may be more persistent. If the problem persists, start Internet Explorer in No Add-ons mode and then use the Add-on Manager to disable all add-ons that you have not intentionally installed.

In Internet Explorer 7, No Add-ons mode allows Internet Explorer to temporarily run without any toolbars, ActiveX controls, or other add-ons. It is very useful when troubleshooting a problem that might be related to an add-on. To enable Add-ons Disabled mode, follow these steps:

  • Open the Start menu and point to All Programs.
  • Point to Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).
  • Note the Information bar display in your browser that indicates add-ons are disabled.

Running Internet Explorer from the standard Start menu shortcut will return the functionality to its prior state.

Fix Unwanted Changes to Settings

If the home page or other settings have changed, you can reset all browser settings except for Favorites, Feed, Internet Connection Settings, Group Policy Settings, and Content Advisor Settings by following these steps:

  • Close all windows except for one Internet Explorer window.
  • Click Tools and then click Internet Options.
  • In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  • Click Reset.
  • In the warning box that appears, click Reset.
  • Click Close and then click OK twice. Restart Internet Explorer.

To prevent unwanted changes in the future, ensure that you have all Microsoft Security Updates installed and are using anti-malware software, such as Microsoft Forefront or Windows Defender.

From the Microsoft Press book Windows Vista Resource Kit, Second Edition.

Looking for More Tips?

For more Windows Vista tips, visit the TechNet Magazine Windows Vista Tips page.

For more Tips on other products, visit the TechNet Magazine Tips index.