Home Page and Search Provider

What We'll Learn

  1. What is a Home Page and how to set it.
  2. How to set your Search Service preferences.

Two Basic Features

Two basic features built in to every Web Browser are the Home Page and a connection to your favourite Search Provider.  Both of these are set to initial defaults, I can easily be changed to what works best for you.

The Home Page is a website that you can easily return to by clicking the Home button at any time while you are using your Internet browser. In Internet Explorer this is also the Start Page that is displayed when you first start the program.

When you type in a search phrase, your browser will automatically direct you to your configured Search Provider, automatically filling in the typed phrase and providing you with website recommendations.  When you type a search phrase in your browser, it does the following steps for you:
  1. Navigate to your selected search provider website (e.g. Google.com)
  2. Enter in your search phrase into the website
  3. Display a list of recommended websites related to your phrase

Exercise 1 - Setting Your Home Page

Follow these steps to set your homepage to your favourite starting website:
  1. Navigate to your favourite website.
  2. When you're website is displayed, <Right-Click> the Home button
  3. Choose Add or change homepage from the menu

  4. Click Use this page as your only homepage 
  5. Select the Yes button to save your change

  6. Navigate to a different website
  7. Click the Home Page button to test your new settings.

Exercise 2 - Search Provider Settings

Follow these steps to check your search service settings:
  1. Type a search phrase, such as google news, into the address bar.  (or the Search Bar on older versions of IE)
  2. Press the <Enter> key to execute the search
  3. You will be directed to the configured search service.  Note the URL to confirm the name of the search service.
These steps will help you change your search service settings:
  1. <Right-Click> on the Tools button.
  2. Choose Manage Add-Ons from the menu.

  3. Click Search Providers to see your current list of configured search providers.
  4. We recommend you use Google as your default, or automatic choice for Internet searches.

  5. If Google is not your default, click on Google to highlight it and then click the Default button.
  6. Press the Close button when finished.
If Google is not on the list, you can easily add it by clicking on the link below:
Test your search provider by following the steps listed at the top of this exercise.

Browser Hijacking

Various harmful or nuisance programs can infect your computer. One symptom of these infections is when your Home Page or your Search Provider settings are changed without your permission. In this way these programs hijack these features of your web browser, and use them to direct you to pages of their choice.

Many antivirus programs do not remove nuisance hijacks, or what is called adware. Often you have to use special tools to uninstall these programs.  One very convenient tool is AdwCleaner a small program designed to target and remove Adware and PUP (Potentially Unwanted Programs) from your computer.

You can download this program using this link.