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How do I get rid of unwanted default opening page?

  • 13 uphendule
  • 17 zinale nkinga
  • 4029 views
  • Igcine ukuphendulwa ngu JohnR

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My default website has been Google for many years and now suddenly it is Ask and I cannot make it go away. I have no Ask programs showing up in searching my control panel. I suspect this change was done without my knowledge when some update was made by one of my vendors but I cannot remember who that was. I am not very tech savvy so can someone tel me how to get back Google so I don't have to keep opening it manually?

All Replies (13)

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You did not provide the full troubleshooting information when you posted the question but from what you did provide I can see two Mindspark plugins. Those or software associated with them may well be the reason for this problem. You will need to

  1. Remove unwanted software by using the Windows Control panel.
  2. Scan with multiple and up-to-date tools for possible other malware.
  3. Use the Search Reset add-on to reset things that were altered.

Please try that and post back with how you get on.


Sometimes a problem with Firefox may be a result of malware installed on your computer, that you may not be aware of.

You can try these free programs to scan for malware, which work with your existing antivirus software:

Microsoft Security Essentials is a good permanent antivirus for Windows 7/Vista/XP if you don't already have one.

Further information can be found in the Troubleshoot Firefox issues caused by malware article.

Did this fix your problems? Please report back to us!

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If you do not keep changes after a restart or otherwise have problems with preferences, see:

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John99,

I previously scanned all my programs and could not find anything that looked like the Ask search engine smuggler.

I did run the MS Safety Scanner you suggested but the unwanted default site still remains.

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John99,

I removed the toolbar sometime back...I thought it would do away with the default thing but no such luck.

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oracle has the despicable behaviour of bundling the ask toolbar together with its critical security updates for the java plugin by default - many users aren't careful enough or even expecting such a nuisance during an update routine. so that might be the path how this toolbar came onto your machine...

try to run a scan of your system with the adwcleaner security tool, which is usually able to remove such browser hijackers.

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Philip, the Oracle update rings a bell. I'm running your suggested security tool but suspect Oracle in the villain here. Shouldn't this be illegal?

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Check for the presence of a mozilla.cfg file in the Firefox program folder to initialize some prefs.

This also involves the presence of a .js (JScript) file, probably in "defaults\pref" folder, that specifies to process this mozilla.cfg file.

If you have .js files apart from the channel-prefs.js file, that sets app.update.channel, in the defaults\pref folder then open this file in an editor like Notepad and please post its content. Also please post the content of the mozilla.cfg file.

There shouldn't be a mozilla.fcg file present unless you've created it yourself to initialize some prefs.

If you have this mozilla.cfg file then best is to do a clean reinstall and delete the Firefox program folder before reinstalling a fresh copy of Firefox.

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Philip, I ran it...

fascinating...but VERY frustrating.

Reimage got rid of ASK but replaced it with AVG. I traded one hijacker for another.

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Cor-el,

you are well over my head but I understand downloading a fresh version of Firefox. Hate to lose all my favorites though.

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Do a clean reinstall and delete the Firefox program folder before (re)installing a fresh copy of the current Firefox release.

You can find the full version of the current Firefox 26.0 release in all languages and for all Operating Systems here:

Your bookmarks and other personal data are stored in the Firefox profile folder and won't be affected by an uninstall and (re)install, but make sure that "remove personal data" is NOT selected when you uninstall Firefox.


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cor-el, I removed my Firefox entirely and uploaded a new one from their website. The damn Ask default is till there!!

I've had it for today (I told you was not not tech savvy). I can only deal with so much of this crap.

Thanks for your help. I know you are trying.

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You may have removed the toolbar, but afterwards did you use the SearchReset addon. You install that, it resets search related settings and then uninstalls itself.

One other thing you need to check because I do not think anythig else resets it. Look carefully at the shortcut you use to start Firefox, right click on the icon and check its properties. It is possible to tag a site name on to the end of the shortcut, Firefox then goes to that site every time it opens from that shortcut.

Use the run command in XP and run firefox.exe if that is ok you know what the problem is.

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Hey, everyone...thanks so much for your help yesterday. I haven't been able to re-engage this problem today but if you will indulge me on another day, I really want t get rid of this unwanted stowaway on my computer. As a customer I think this sort of thing should be illegal, just like burglary and rape..at a minimum - invasion of privacy...but illegal.

I'll return when I have energy for another run at this and hope I get such well-intended people who can help me rid myself of this.

Many, many thanks!