Default Programs and Internet Explorer

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by Matt, Dec 5, 2007.

  1. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Over the past few days, whenever I have loaded IE, I get a requester telling
    me that it's not the default web browser and do I want it to be. I click Yes
    and continue surfing as normal. However, when I load IE the next time I get
    the same requester asking me if I want it to be the default browser. My
    preference isn't being saved.

    As a result, clicking on weblinks won't work unless IE is already loaded in.
    Thinking something must have been screwed up in Vista's 'Default Programs',
    I loaded the 'Set Default Programs' tool and when the window appeared, it was
    completely empty, not a single program was listed. Since then, I also get
    problems clicking on links that should fire up my email program and I
    constantly get the 'this program isn't your default blah blah blah' on
    loading Windows Mail. Again, I set it as the default in this requester as
    well as from the Tools menu in Mail, but again these settings don't remain in
    place. It's also missing from the Default Programs list.

    Can anyone help me here please as it's driving me nuts. I am far from an
    expert with Vista and would appreciate any help people can provide to sort
    this out.

    Thanks in advance!
    Matt, Dec 5, 2007
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  2. Matt

    PA Bear Guest

    One or more options/settings in an ever-growing number of third-party
    applications may be disallowing the change from "sticking" when you
    close/reopen IE or reboot. These include but are not limited to Ad-aware's
    Ad-Watch, Spybot Tea Timer, SpywareBlaster, SpySweeper, Spyware Doctor,
    Norton AntiVirus, McAfee VirusScan and/or Antispyware, and Zone Alarm (Free
    and Pro).
    PA Bear, Dec 5, 2007
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  3. Matt

    Matt Guest

    I have Norton Internet Security 2008 installed, as well as Spybot S&D and
    Lavasoft's Ad-Aware package. Are you suggesting I uninstall these, try
    setting Default programs again and reinstall these programs?

    Matt, Dec 5, 2007
  4. Matt

    PA Bear Guest

    No, you should disable any real-time protections to see if they're blocking
    the change.

    Ad-Aware Ad-Watch is only available in the paid version of Ad-Aware, so if
    you're running the free version, that can't be it.

    One of Spybot's two (2) Residents is named Tea Timer: If it's enabled, try
    disabling it. (More at

    As for NIS 2008, you'll have to consult its Help pages or Symantec Support
    to determine what to disable (one or more of the Norton Add-ons, possibly).
    PA Bear, Dec 5, 2007
  5. Matt

    Matt Guest

    OK, I disabled everything I could from Norton and other programs you
    mentioned and still nothing appears in Default Programs. I've tried setting
    IE and Windows Mail as defaults for their relevant program types manually
    from within the programs, but the settings don't stay permanent.

    I've restored most of the filetype associations now, but it's not helped
    much. Any other ideas as I have no idea! Wondering if it's something
    screwed up in my registry. OneCare wasn't much help there though.

    Cheers for your advice so far though.
    Matt, Dec 5, 2007
  6. Matt

    PA Bear Guest

    If Spybot Tea Timer was enabled, did you disable it?
    PA Bear, Dec 6, 2007
  7. Matt

    Matt Guest

    I wasn't able to see it running anywhere. Checked Task Manager and Defender
    and it wasn't listed. No mention of it in IE plugins either.
    Matt, Dec 6, 2007
  8. Vincenzo Di Russo [MVP], Dec 6, 2007
  9. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Thanks for the link. I disabled the one process that was running, Tea Timer
    was not active. Still no luck unfortunately.
    Matt, Dec 6, 2007
  10. See...
    "How to optimize or reset Internet Explorer 7"
    "How to troubleshoot Internet Explorer 7 issues in Windows Vista".

    Vincenzo Di Russo
    Microsoft® MVP - Most Valuable Professional
    Windows - Internet Explorer & Security since 2003
    My home:
    My Blog:
    Vincenzo Di Russo [MVP], Dec 6, 2007
  11. Matt

    PA Bear Guest

    1. After making certain you have a copy of your Product Key, uninstall all
    Norton software via Add/Remove Programs.

    2. Enable the Windows Firewall.

    3. Run this removal tool:

    4. Immediately install the 30-day free trial version of, e.g., NOD32* or

    5. Manually update your new anti-virus application then run a full system

    Do your problems persist now?

    [Don't forget to subscribe to your new AV app or uninstall it then reinstall
    the Norton application before the free-trial period expires! Should you
    decide to reinstall the Norton application, I recommend not installing any
    Norton Add-ons for a while.]

    PA Bear, Dec 6, 2007

  12. Boot into Safe Mode with networking and try making the change.
    Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM, Dec 7, 2007
  13. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Tried all the above and still nothing is working as it should. I've even
    totally deinstalled Norton as a precaution.

    Programs will not save the setting 'Make this the default XXXXXX' and it
    still won't work through Default Programs in Start Menu. 'Set Your Default
    Programs' itself is still empty and saving Set program Access and Computer
    Defaults does not save permanently. The changes I make are gone after

    Anyone else have any ideas?
    Matt, Dec 7, 2007
  14. Matt

    PA Bear Guest

    PA Bear, Dec 7, 2007
  15. Matt

    Matt Guest

    Spybot is currently inactive, Norton was fully removed by using uninstall AND
    the Symantec removal tool. I have Administrator privileges.

    I have also created a new user account with Admin privileges to see if the
    same problems happen there as I read maybe it was something in my user
    account that was corrupted. Got the same issues, so looks like maybe
    something in the Windows registry is messed up? What do you think?
    Matt, Dec 7, 2007
  16. Start | Default Programs | Associate a file type or protocol with a program
    Wait for it to load and scroll down to the bottom. Make sure HTTP and HTTPS
    point to Internet Explorer. The same with FTP if you don't have a third
    party FTP program.

    If that doesn't do it we'll have to go into the Registry and change
    Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM, Dec 8, 2007
  17. Matt

    Matt Guest

    I had already restored the filetypes back to IE and WIndows Mail as
    everything associated with these programs was showing as unknown or
    unrecognised or whatever it said.

    I had a feeling it was time to start tinkering with the registry, go gently

    Thanks in advance, Matt
    Matt, Dec 8, 2007
  18. Matt

    Matt Guest

    By the way, ftp is missing from the list.

    Matt, Dec 8, 2007
  19. Assuning WinXP or Vista:

    Be very careful: It is possible to make a mistake that leaves the machine
    unbootable and forces a repair install.

    Hold down the Windows key and press R.
    Type regedit and press Enter.
    Navigate to

    Right click the value (Default) and choose Modify. Make sure its data is

    "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -nohome

    Do the same for https.
    Frank Saunders MS-MVP IE,OE/WM, Dec 8, 2007
  20. The same is happening to me with Vista Windows Mail. I have no other email
    program but cannot permently make windows Mail my "default" email program, it
    resets itself all the itme and I am asked every time I open windows Mail if i
    wish to make it my default program.
    Christine4005, Dec 8, 2007
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