Wednesday, 8 July 2015

IE Default Browser message has been hijacked / redirected

If you don't use Internet Explorer much you might've set another browser as your default. Perhaps you use Chrome, Firefox or something else. When you start IE it will tell you that IE is not your default browser, it'll ask you to change your default to IE. OK, something you probably ignore but...


Something isn't right!
One day I opened IE (Windows 8.1 and IE11) and found that the usual 'default browser' screen was different, it looked like this:


What!?! This is not the usual screen!

IMPORTANT: If you have something like the above, do not click on any of the links. You never know where they'll take you or what **** will be installed on your computer. Be careful!

When I opened IE if I watched carefully I could see the normal Microsoft page flash by. There must've been some kind of redirect for res://ieframe.dll/defaultbrowser.htm

When I put my pointer over (don't click it!) the Yes button I saw a link to adnxs.com in the status bar of the browser - adnxs.com is an advertising site, from what I could find on the web, it is not to be trusted. I'd recently installed some dodgy software and I had removed it but obviously 'something' was left behind. I spent a lot of time running different scanners like Malwarebytes on my PC but nothing could fix this problem with IE.


Solution
First make sure your computer is clean from malware (viruses, adware, spyware and other malicious software). Malwarebytes is excellent. It's also a good idea to use a registry cleaner, my recommendation is CCleaner, it is free and does a good job of removing old registry entries and temporary files.

To actually fix the issue with the default browser redirecting, run SFC, a Microsoft Windows utility. It replaces the hijacked file (ieframe.dll) with a fresh one. Here's exactly what to do:

Open the Command prompt as Administrator (in Windows 8.1 right click the Start button and click Command Prompt (Admin)).


As you see in the above screen shot, enter the command:
SFC /scannow

When it has finished restart Windows.

Now open IE, all should be fine.


Conclusion
Don't forget SFC! It can be a lifesaver.

Thanks to ElioJNFerreira who posted this solution to the Microsoft Community Forum. If you want to understand more about this issue, click the link and you'll see the full discussion thread.


References

SFC
https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/929833

Microsoft Community Forum
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie11-iewindows8_1/redirect-after-browser-default-check/33b31756-6b27-473c-b4e5-bd3a2b896c4e?tm=1432637817946&auth=1



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