Restore your Internet Explorer browser and reset iGoogle as your home page
Q I used to have iGoogle as my default internet browser. However, recently I downloaded Google Earth and, afterwards, found that my browser had been changed to Google Chrome. Among other drawbacks, this does not have my Favorites and I find this very frustrating.
Previously, if I wanted to launch Chrome I would just double-click its icon on the Windows Desktop.
Also, the Internet Explorer icon on the Windows Desktop used to take me straight onto iGoogle as my default browser. Now it takes me to Microsoft. How can I revert back so that iGoogle is my default browser? I have a Windows XP computer.
A Several levels of confusion are evident from the wording of your email, so we will start by explaining a distinction. Both Google Chrome and Internet Explorer are web browsers – computer programs designed to browse websites.
For its part, iGoogle is nothing more than a website that can be viewed using a web browser. However, the information that the iGoogle website displays can be personalised in various ways – by adding local news and weather reports, for example.
Moreover, the iGoogle website can be set as a web browser’s ‘home’ page, so we can understand how you have come to think of iGoogle as your ‘default internet browser’.
With that clear, we can now explain what has happened. By installing Google Earth, you inadvertently allowed Google to install the latest version of the Chrome web browser, too. There is an opportunity to opt out of this during installation but it requires removing a tick from an easily overlooked box.
A second and similarly easy-to-miss (pre-ticked) box gives Google permission to set Chrome as the default web browser. So, to recap, by installing Google Earth you gave permission for Google to update Chrome and set it as the default web browser, usurping Internet Explorer.
Fortunately, this is easily fixed. In Windows XP, click Start and choose Set Program Access and Defaults: the Add or Remove Programs dialogue box will be displayed, with the Set Program Access and Default section pre-selected.
Now, from the list of options below the ‘Choose a configuration’ heading, click the down-pointing chevron to the right of the Custom radio button. Finally, click to select the Internet Explorer radio button below the ‘Choose a default Web browser’ heading and click OK to close the Add or Remove Programs dialogue box.
Internet Explorer (IE) is now restored as the default browser. However, you mentioned, too, that IE’s home page is no longer set as iGoogle, but to that of Microsoft. We are not sure how this happened but it can be just as easily corrected.
Launch IE, click Tools and choose Internet Options – this displays the Internet Explorer dialogue box. Select the General tab at the top and click in the Address box in the Home page section. Delete the text already there (from your email, we reckon it will most likely be pointing to http://uk.msn.com) and replace it by typing www.google.com/ig.
Click OK to close the Internet Options dialogue box and close and restart Internet Explorer – now your iGoogle homepage should be restored.
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