How To Restore about:Tabs (New Tab) Page in IE8 Hijacked by BigSeekPro/Babylon Toolbar

I test a lot of applications everyday mainly for reviewing them here. I write about them if I find the app useful or interesting. While testing one such free internet download manager application, I found my system filled with crapware. I know that many developers includes toolbars or other types of adware or crapware bundled with their application. And, if we do not keep an eye on what we are selecting while installing the freeware, we may end up having those crapware installed on our system.

Even when we are extra careful crapware still manages to get into the system. I remember very well of unselecting every check box related to installation of Bigseekpro.com toolbar and changes to my Internet Explorer homepage and other settings. Still, the download application, SoMud, in question installed the crapware.

This article takes Bigseekpro.com toolbar as reference but you can virtually restore your about:Tabs page to default from any nasty hacks by toolbars like Babylon toolbar, AVG toolbar, etc.

See the update section at the end of the article for a more simple process!

After installation was complete, I received from my trusted security app a warning about a change in my IE homepage, which I very well denied. I then opened IE and found that the homepage was not changed, thanks to my security app. But on opening a new tab, I found that my about:Tabs page hijacked.

about:Tabs hijacked

Then I decided that its time for SoMud to go from my system. I removed it and carried IE reset but that didn’t solve the problem. I started digging the Registry Editor and found the entry modified. If you also faced the same problem and want to restore the default about:Tabs page, follow the steps below.

  • Click Start, in the Start Search type regedit, press Enter (give your administrative credentials if prompted for or click on Yes at the UAC prompt.)

    regedit

  • Navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs. Users running 64-bit Windows version are required to also navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs and change the value of Tabs (as described below). Thanks to our reader Larry for sharing this.

    regedit

  • In the right panel, right-click on Tabs and click on Modify…
  • Change the Value data: to res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htmrestore about:Tabs
  • Click on OK and voila about:Tabs page restored to its old glory.about:Tabs restored

Update: For simplifying the method for everyone, specially for those who don’t have any experience what-so-ever in Registry editing, here’s the registry key file (only for users running 32 for getting bit of Windows) for getting back about:Tabs (New Tab) page in IE 8.

  1. When you open the zip archive, you’ll find a registry file named “Restore New Tab.reg”.
  2. Double-click on it to merge it with your Windows registry. If you’re using Windows 7/Vista, allow the UAC prompt.
  3. When prompted if you want to merge the key, click on Yes.
  4. Restart Internet Explorer 8 and you’ll see the about:Tabs page in its default.

At the end, if you still find some traces of the toolbar left, you may want to reset Internet Explorer settings.

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