My Search Page Looks Strange

Introduction

Searching the web is something we do every day. Whether you are using your browser's built-in search engine, or have your browser's homepage set to your favorite search website, if your searching experience has changed, it could mean something has gone wrong with your browser or its settings.

This guide will take you through verifying that your browser of choice is using the correct settings to ensure your search experience is what you're expecting.
Close-up image of a browser's address bar.

1 OS Choice

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave

? What Operating System are you using?

  1. Windows
  2. macOS

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Searching the web is something we do every day. Whether you are using your browser's built-in search engine, or have your browser's homepage set to your favorite search website, if your searching experience has changed, it could mean something has gone wrong with your browser or its settings.

This guide will take you through verifying that your browser of choice is using the correct settings to ensure your search experience is what you're expecting.
Close-up image of a browser's address bar.

There are 2 main Operating Systems for personal computers currently available, Windows and macOS.

Windows
Windows runs on computers produced by multiple companies, such as Lenovo, Asus, Dell, Toshiba, Hewlett Packard, Acer, and Sony.Windows 10
macOS
Apple is the only company that makes macOS computers.macOS Mojave

To continue we need to know which browser you are using.

The easiest way to determine this is by the icon you double-clicked on to open it.

Internet Explorer
Internet Explorer.
Microsoft Edge
Microsoft Edge
Google Chrome
Google Chrome
Mozilla Firefox
Mozilla Firefox.
The icons for Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge are similar, but not the same. Be sure of which one you are choosing by looking at the text beneath it, or the text note that pops up before you click on it.
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Under Browsing history, select Delete.
    Internet Options with Delete button under Browsing History highlighted.
  4. Go through the list of options here, to ensure the proper items are cleared.
    Once you have chosen your options, select Delete.
    Delete Browsing History options.
    Setting Checkbox
    Preserve Favorites website data Unchecked
    Internet Explorer segments out pages you have marked as favorites. We need to be sure to clear all data, not just some of it.
    Temporary Internet files and website files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Cookies and website data Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Form Data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Tracking Protection, ActiveX filtering and Do Not Track Personal Choice
    A number of pages will track your use of those pages, and if you've opted out of such tracking. This setting tends not to be well respected from page to page, and some pages simply do not give you the option. While it can affect how a page is displayed, it will only do so in the advertising or other 'personalized content' on that page; not the page itself. It is okay to check or uncheck this option.
     
  5. When complete, a message will open at the bottom of your browser letting you know the history has been deleted.
    History delete notification.
    It can take quite a while to delete the cache and history, please be patient.
  1. Open Internet Explorer.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Gear icon in the top-right corner, then select Internet options.
    Settings with Internet Options highlighted.
  3. Select the Security tab at the top. Then, make sure Internet is selected for zone, and choose the Default level of Medium-high.
    Internet Options with Security tab, Internet zone, Default level button, and Medium-high slider highlighted.
  4. Select the Content tab at the top. Then, select Clear SSL state.
    Internet Options with Content tab and Clear SSL State button highlighted.
  5. A box will open letting you know the SSL cache was cleared. Select OK.
    SSL cache cleared dialog with OK highlighted.
  6. Select the Advanced tab at the top. Scroll to the bottom of the long list of settings. Make sure Use TLS 1.0, Use TLS 1.1, and Use TLS 1.2 are checked. Then, select OK.
    Internet Options with Advanced tab, Use TLS 1.0, Use TLS 1.1, Use TLS 1.2 and OK button highlighted.
  1. Click Start.
    Windows 10 Start Menu.
  2. Search inetcpl.cpl and select it.
    Windows 10 search window showing inetcpl
  3. Internet Properties will open.
  4. On the General tab, review that the homepage is correct and remove those you don't recognize.
    Internet Explorer settings general tab showing homepage as google
  5. Click the Security tab.
  6. Click Reset all zones to default level if it is available.
    Windows 10 internet settings showing reset all zones to default
  7. Click Trusted sites
  8. Click the Sites button.
    Windows 10 internet settings showing trusted sites
  9. Highlight and Remove any websites you do not recognize.
    Windows 10 trusted sites showing a bad site being removed
  10. Click Close when done.
  11. Click Restricted sites then click the Sites button.
    Windows 10 restricted sites
  12. Highlight and Remove any helpful websites listed. Leave harmful websites in the list.
    Windows 10 restricted sites
  13. Click Close when done.
  14. Click the Programs tab, then click Manage Add-ons.
    Windows 10 internet settings showing programs and manage addons
  15. Set to show All add-ons and check all entries for each. You may need to research add-ons you do not recognize before you remove them.
    Windows 10 manage addons showing toolbars
  16. Do the same for Search Providers, and Accelerators
  17. Click Close when done
  18. Return to the Start Menu.
    Windows 10 Start Menu.
  19. Search for Internet Explorer.
  20. Right-click Internet Explorer and select Open File Location.
    Windows 10 search showing Internet Explorer right clicked
  21. Right-click the Internet Explorer icon and select Properties.
    Windows 10 internet explorer being right clicked
  22. Click the Shortcut tab.
  23. Verify that is only contains C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe with nothing after it.
    Windows 10 Internet Explorer properties
  24. Open IE and verify shortcut opens successfully.
  1. Open Internet Explorer and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Internet Explorer.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

PUPs, or "Potentially unwanted programs," often arrive bundled with your computer, or tag along with another software program you meant to install, but were part of a EULA or "Recommended Offer" you probably clicked right through. These are programs that don't really do anything good for you. Some of these programs can add unwanted browser toolbars that clutter your browser, track your web browsing, show additional advertisements, or change your search page and other related settings.
Example of a PUP installing a search bar

You may need to remove an app or program because you need the space, simply don't need it anymore, or it is malicious. The following steps show you how to easily remove an app. The first method is exclusive to Windows 10, the second method will work with all Windows versions.

Windows 10 - Using Windows Settings
  1. Click Start (1), then click Settings (2).
    Windows start menu with the start button and settings highlighted.
  2. Next, Select Apps.
    Windows Settings with Apps highlighted.
  3. Scroll down and locate the app you wish to remove, and click on Uninstall.
    Apps screen with the uninstall option for an app highlighted.
  4. Carefully read any prompts in case there are special instructions. Proceed until the application is removed.
  5. Some applications may require that you reboot.
All Windows Versions - Using Control Panel
  1. On your keyboard push and release the Windows Key and R at the same time.
    PC Desktop Keyboard with Windows key and R highlighted.
  2. You will see a Run window open up. Type in appwiz.cpl then click on OK.
    Run windows with appwiz.cpl typed and OK highlighted. Screenshot
  3. Locate a program you wish to remove within the list, click once on it to highlight it, then click on Uninstall.
    Uninstall window with program and uninstall highlighted. Screenshot
  4. Carefully read any prompts in case there are special instructions. Proceed until the application is removed.
  5. Some applications may require that your computer be restarted to complete the uninstallation.
Before you restart or shut down your PC, make sure to save all necessary work to prevent data loss.
  1. Select the Start menu, then select Power.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Power Button
  2. Select Restart.
    Windows 10 Power menu with Restart highlighted.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    • On a Desktop or Laptop, look for one of these icons:
      Main Desktop Browsers.
    • On a Smartphone or Tablet, look for one of these icons:
      Main Mobile Browsers.
  2. Make sure the page loads properly, and try following a few of the links from the page.
Unfortunately, your search page issue cannot be resolved via basic troubleshooting steps. Your machine will require hands-on service to determine the root cause of your issues.
  1. Open Microsoft Edge, select the menu in the top right, and select Settings.
    Microsoft Edge.
    Edge browser with menu open and settings highlighted.
  2. Select Privacy & security on the left, then select Choose what to clear on the right.
    Edge Settings with Privacy and security and Choose what to clear highlighted.
  3. Select the item categories you wish to clear, then select Clear.
    Clear browsing data with options and Clear highlightd.

    Setting Checkbox
    Browsing History Checked
    While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.
    Cookies and saved website data Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    Cached data and files Checked
    This clears your cache, making your browser get a new copy of the webpage, images, etc. It's important to clear this to get a fresh copy the next time you visit, as the copy your browser has may simply be corrupt.
    Tabs I've set aside or recently closed Checked
    This clears tabs that you have set aside, as well as tabs that you've recently closed.
    Download History Personal Choice
    These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.
    Autofill data Unchecked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Passwords Unchecked
    Your browser will save your passwords while you browse, making it easier to log into your most common websites later. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Media Licenses Unchecked
    Clears any saved media licenses. These are typically used for streaming sites that you may have purchased content from.
    Website Permissions Unchecked
    Clears any permission granted to web sites. These permissions include permissions to access your audio devices such as your mic, and location services.

Some browser extensions / addons can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions/addons can get your web browser running properly again.

Edge icon
  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner.
    Microsoft Edge with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Extensions.
    Edge menu with extensions highlighted. Screenshot
  3. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions:
    1. Mouse over the extension you want to remove and click on the Gear icon in the upper right hand corner. You want to remove any extension that mentions advertising, or ones that you just do not know how they got there.
      extension list with gear icon highlighted. Screenshot
    2. You will see the information for the extension show up. At the bottom, click on Uninstall.
      Extension information with uninstall highlighted. Screenshot
    3. There will be a confirmation window, click OK to finish uninstalling.
      Confirmation window with OK highlighted. Screenshot
    4. Sometimes you might get a tab open up in your browser asking why you are leaving, you can safely close the tab, by clicking on the X for the tab. 
      Browser tabs with X highlighted. Screenshot
  4. Extensions are now gone, you may have to restart your browser for it to take effect. If you removed a malicious extension, it might have changed your homepage.
  1. Open Edge.
    Microsoft Edge.
  2. Click the three dot menu.
  3. Select Settings.
    Windows 10 Edge settings
  4. Under Open Microsoft Edge with, verify your homepage.
    Edge homepage settings
  5. Scroll down and click View Advanced Settings.
    Edge advanced settings
  6. At the top, if there is a specific page selected, verify that it isn't malicious.
    Edge advanced settings showing the start page
  7. Close Edge and reopen it to verify your homepage is correct.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Microsoft Edge.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.
  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select the Menu button located in the top right corner of the window.
    Menu.
  3. Select Settings.
    Chrome Menu with Settings highlighted.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then select Advanced.
    Chrome Settings with Advanced highlighted.
  5. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
    Advanced Settings with Clear browsing data highlighted.
  6. For Time range, select All time. Make sure all three check boxes are checked, then select Clear data.
    Clear browsing data with Time range, check boxes, and Clear data highlighted.

Some browser extensions / addons can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions/addons can get your web browser running properly again.

Chrome icon

  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner.
    Chrome window with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on (1) More tools then (2) Extensions.
    Chrome menu with more tools and extensions highlighted. Screenshot
  3. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions.
    • Find the extension you want to remove, and click on REMOVE.
      Extension menu with remove highlighted. Screenshot
    • You will get a confirmation window. Click Remove to confirm removal.
      Confirmation window with Remove highlighted. Screenshot
    • You might get a new tab pop up upon removal, close the tab by hitting the X.
  4. Extensions are now gone, you may have to restart your browser for it to take effect. If you removed a malicious extension, it might have changed your homepage.
  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Enter chrome://extensions into address bar and hit Enter.
  3. Review the list of plug-ins and remove any that you do not recognize. You may need to research the add-ons before removing.
    Windows 10 chrome showing the extensions
  4. Click the three dots menu icon at the top right.
  5. Open Settings.
    Chrome Settings
  6. Scroll down and verify Homepage is not malicious and change it if it is.
    Chrome's home button settings
  7. Click on Manage Search Engines.
    Chrome manage search engines
  8. Verify no search hijackers are present.
    Chrome with normal search engines
  9. Click Start.
    Windows 10 Start Menu.
  10. Search for "Chrome".
  11. Right-click on the Chrome result, then click on Open File Location.
    Windows 10 chrome search results showing chrome right clicked
  12. Right-click Chrome, then select Properties.
    Windows 10 right click menu showing properties
  13. Verify that the Target only contains the path "C:\Program Files (x86)\Google\Chrome\Application\chrome.exe" with nothing after it.
    Chrome properties window showing the target shortcut
  14. Open Chrome and verify your homepage is correct.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.
  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.
    Mozilla Firefox Icon
  2. Click the Menu button in the top right of the screen.
    Menu button
  3. Click on Options.
    Options highlighted
  4. Click on Privacy & Security.
    Privacy & Security highlighted
  5. Click the Clear History button located unther the History category.
    Clear History button highlighted
  6. Select the time range you wish to clear.
    Time range highlighted
  7. Click the Details button to expand them.
    Details expand button highlighted
  8. Choose the item categories you wish to clear.
    Item categories highlighted
    Setting Checkbox
    Browsing & Download History Checked

    Browsing History - While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.

    Download History - These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.

    Form & Search History Checked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Cookies Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    Active Logins Checked
    Active logins are sites that you are currently logged into that you have asked to remember that you are logged into. Clearing them just logs you out of these sites.
    Offline Website Data Unchecked
    If you've allowed it, a website can store files on your computer so that you can continue to use it when you are not connected to the Internet.
    Site Preferences Unchecked
    Site specific preferences, including the saved zoom level for sites, character encoding, and the permissions for sites.
     
  9. Click the Clear Now button.
    Clear Now button highlighted

Some browser extensions / addons can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions/addons can get your web browser running properly again.

Firefox icon

  1. Click on the three lines in the upper right hand corner.
    Firefox with 3 lines highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Add-ons.
    Firefox menu with addons highlighted. Screenshot
  3. Click on Extensions on the left.
  4. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions.
    • Then click on Remove for the extension you want to remove.
      Extensions menu with Remove highlighted. Screenshot
      • If you accidentally removed something, click on Undo.
        Undo highlighted. Screenshot
    • You might get a new tab pop up upon removal, close the tab by hitting the X.
      Survey windows. Screenshot
      Browser Tab with X highlighted. Screenshot
  5. Extensions are now gone, you may have to restart your browser for it to take effect. If you removed a malicious extension, it might have changed your homepage.
  1. Open Firefox.
    Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Enter about:plugins into address bar and hit enter, then review your plug-ins and remove any that are malicious.
    Firefox plugins
  3. Enter about:addons into the address bar and hit enter, then click Extensions.
    Firefox extensions
  4. Review your extensions and determine if any are malicious. Remove those that are.
  5. Click the Menu button in the top right of the screen.
    Menu button
  6. Click Options.
    Firefox menu showing options selected
  7. Click Home. If you have a custom URL set verify it is not malicious.
    Firefox homepage settings
  8. Click the Start Menu.
    Windows 10 Start Menu.
  9. Search for Firefox and right-click the result.
  10. Select Open File Location
    Firefox right click menu within windows 10
  11. Right-click the Firefox shortcut and select Properties.
    Firefox right click menu
  12. Click the Shortcut tab and verify that the Target only contains the path "C:\Program Files (x86)\Mozilla Firefox\firefox.exe" with nothing after it. Click OK when done.
    Firefox shortcut properties
  13. Open Firefox and verify your homepage is correct.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.

To continue we need to know which browser you are using.

The easiest way to determine this is by the icon you clicked on to open it.

Apple Safari Google Chrome Mozilla Firefox
Apple Safari. Google Chrome. Mozilla Firefox.

Your web browser's homepage settings dictate the websites that are loaded when it is opened up.

Safari

  1. From the (1) Safari menu, choose (2) Preferences.
    Safari with Safari menu and Preferences highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on (1) General. Type in the (2) Homepage address that you want.
    Safari General menu with Homepage highlighted. Screenshot

Extensions provide extra features to Safari. Sometimes, these Extensions are not coded well, break after an update, or they change the way Safari works in a malicious way to show you advertisements.

Disabling or removing unneeded or unwanted Extensions can help resolve these problems.

Some pop-ups are created from extensions and add-ons installed on your browser. We will be going over steps to remove the extension.

Apple Safari.

  1. From the Safari menu, choose Preferences.
    Safari with Safari menu and Preferences highlighted. Screenshot
  2. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions.
    • Click the Extensions tab. Click on Uninstall for any extensions you want to remove.
      Extensions menu with Uninstall highlighted. Screenshot
    • You will get a confirmation window.  Click on Uninstall to confirm removal.
      Confirmation window with Uninstall highlighted. Screenshot
    • If a new tab opens up, you can close it by hitting the X.
  3. Extensions are now gone, you may have to restart your browser for it to take effect. If you removed a malicious extension, it might have changed your homepage.
  1. Open Safari.
    Apple Safari.
  2. Select the Safari menu, then select Clear History.
    Safari menu with Clear History highlighted.
  3. Select Clear all history, then select Clear History.
    Clear history dialog with Clear All History and Clear History button highlighted.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Apple Safari.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.

Potentially Unwanted Programs (PUPs)

PUPs, or "Potentially unwanted programs," often arrive bundled with your computer, or tag along with another software program you meant to install, but were part of a EULA or "Recommended Offer" you probably clicked right through. These are programs that don't really do anything good for you. Some of these programs can add unwanted browser toolbars that clutter your browser, track your web browsing, show additional advertisements, or change your search page and other related settings.
Example of a PUP installing a search bar

Removing an app may also remove all data for that app. Make sure you have any information you need backed up before removing an app for your Mac.

To Remove an App Installed from the App Store

  1. Open the Launchpad from the dock.
    Launchpad highlighted
  2. Click and hold on an icon until all icons start to jiggle.
    Shaking icon
  3. Click the "x" on the top left of the icon you want to remove.
    X highlighted
  4. Click Delete to confirm removal.
    Delete button highlighted

To Remove All Other Apps

  1. Open the Finder from the dock.
    Finder highlighted on the dock
  2. Click on Applications on the left.
    Application highlighted
  3. Drag the app you wish to remove to the trash can.
    Drag app to the trashcan
  4. Right click on the trashcan and click Empty Trash.
    Empty Trash highlighted
  1. From the menu bar across the top of the screen, select the Apple menu, then Restart...
    macOS Mojave Apple Menu with Restart highlighted.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    • On a Desktop or Laptop, look for one of these icons:
      Main Desktop Browsers.
    • On a Smartphone or Tablet, look for one of these icons:
      Main Mobile Browsers.
  2. Make sure the page loads properly, and try following a few of the links from the page.
Unfortunately, your search page issue cannot be resolved via basic troubleshooting steps. Your machine will require hands-on service to determine the root cause of your issues.

Your web browser's homepage settings dictate the websites that are loaded when it is opened up.

Chrome icon

  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner.
    Chrome window with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Settings.
    Chrome menu with Settings highlighted. Screenshot
  3. Scroll down to you get to On Startup. You will see three options. If you want to set a custom page, select Open a specific page or set of pages.
    • If you see one that you want to remove or change click on the 3 dots next to it. Click on Edit or Remove to change it.
      Chrome On startup menu with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
      Edit or remove options. Screenshot

Some browser extensions / addons can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions/addons can get your web browser running properly again.

Chrome icon

  1. Click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner.
    Chrome window with 3 dots highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on (1) More tools then (2) Extensions.
    Chrome menu with more tools and extensions highlighted. Screenshot
  3. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions.
    • Find the extension you want to remove, and click on REMOVE.
      Extension menu with remove highlighted. Screenshot
    • You will get a confirmation window. Click Remove to confirm removal.
      Confirmation window with Remove highlighted. Screenshot
    • You might get a new tab pop up upon removal, close the tab by hitting the X.
  4. Extensions are now gone, you may have to restart your browser for it to take effect. If you removed a malicious extension, it might have changed your homepage.
  1. Open Google Chrome.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Select the Menu button located in the top right corner of the window.
    Menu.
  3. Select Settings.
    Chrome Menu with Settings highlighted.
  4. Scroll to the bottom of the page, then select Advanced.
    Chrome Settings with Advanced highlighted.
  5. Under Privacy and security, select Clear browsing data.
    Advanced Settings with Clear browsing data highlighted.
  6. For Time range, select All time. Make sure all three check boxes are checked, then select Clear data.
    Clear browsing data with Time range, check boxes, and Clear data highlighted.
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Google Chrome.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.

Your web browser's homepage settings dictate the websites that are loaded when it is opened up.

Firefox icon

  1. Click on the three lines in the upper right hand corner.
    Firefox with 3 lines highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Preferences.
    Firefox menu with Preferences highlighted. Screenshot
  3. Click on Home. If there is a custom URL you do not want, you can change it. When done you can close Firefox.
    Firefox Settings menu with Home and Custom URL highlighted. Screenshot

Some browser extensions / addons can cause your browser to behave abnormally. Removing any unwanted, unnecessary, or unused browser extensions/addons can get your web browser running properly again.

Firefox icon

  1. Click on the three lines in the upper right hand corner.
    Firefox with 3 lines highlighted. Screenshot
  2. Click on Add-ons.
    Firefox menu with addons highlighted. Screenshot
  3. Click on Extensions on the left.
  4. The following steps can be repeated to remove multiple browser extensions.
    • Then click on Remove for the extension you want to remove.
      Extensions menu with Remove highlighted. Screenshot
      • If you accidentally removed something, click on Undo.
        Undo highlighted. Screenshot
    • You might get a new tab pop up upon removal, close the tab by hitting the X.
      Survey windows. Screenshot
      Browser Tab with X highlighted. Screenshot
  5. Extensions are now gone, you may have to restart your browser for it to take effect. If you removed a malicious extension, it might have changed your homepage.
  1. Open Mozilla Firefox.
    Mozilla Firefox Icon
  2. Click the Menu button in the top right of the screen.
    Menu button
  3. Click on Options.
    Options highlighted
  4. Click on Privacy & Security.
    Privacy & Security highlighted
  5. Click the Clear History button located unther the History category.
    Clear History button highlighted
  6. Select the time range you wish to clear.
    Time range highlighted
  7. Click the Details button to expand them.
    Details expand button highlighted
  8. Choose the item categories you wish to clear.
    Item categories highlighted
    Setting Checkbox
    Browsing & Download History Checked

    Browsing History - While you browse Your browser will keep track of every page you visit, to try to make it easier to return. This can become corrupt due to modern active web pages.

    Download History - These are a list of files you've downloaded recently. It is entirely safe to delete, or keep this list, as it won't affect pages. Checking this option does not delete the files you've downloaded, just the list the browser keeps.

    Form & Search History Checked
    Information from entering forms online, such as your name, address, or other filled in information. This does not affect how a page loads, and can slow you down on your most commonly used pages.
    Cookies Checked
    Cookies are how websites 'know' you when you visit them multiple times. This file can become corrupt, and simply downloading a new one can fix many problems.
    You will have to log back into any pages you use, such as mail or social media.
    Active Logins Checked
    Active logins are sites that you are currently logged into that you have asked to remember that you are logged into. Clearing them just logs you out of these sites.
    Offline Website Data Unchecked
    If you've allowed it, a website can store files on your computer so that you can continue to use it when you are not connected to the Internet.
    Site Preferences Unchecked
    Site specific preferences, including the saved zoom level for sites, character encoding, and the permissions for sites.
     
  9. Click the Clear Now button.
    Clear Now button highlighted
  1. Open your browser and take note if it shows your normal home page or search page.
    Mozilla Firefox.
  2. Test your ability to search the web like you normally would.
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