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.

Related

Comments

  1. karl says

    i tried this and when i opened a new tab some website keeps coming up instead called searchqu.com its annoying can you help and if i type about:tabs in the website bar the same site keeps coming up help !! please

  2. Ed says

    Hi, every time I open IE9 Bigseek appears, the adress bar is www.somoto blahblah blah.. I have tried your steps but there is no tab button, I was wondering what is my next step, thanks :D

    • says

      Can you check in Internet Explorer 9 options, if the homepage is changed to the URI that you mentioned? If so, you can simply click on the Use Blank or Use Default option to reset it back.

      Also, can you tell me, if you type about:tabs in the address bar, which page you are redirected to?

  3. says

    I checked my registry settings and they are as expected… but my tab has been hijacked by AVG to go to isearch.avg.com.

    Any ideas on how I can get back my normal IE tab.

    Thanks in advance.
    Sanjay

  4. Jamie says

    I have the same promblem but different site. I clicked on start but I don’t see a start search. I just see search. I tried search for regedit but I couldn’t find it. Do I have to download the thing?

    • Agh says

      Hi Jamie. Do you see a “Run…” command in your Start menu ? Click on that and type regedit. Then follow the above instructions.

  5. Cindy says

    Hi there,

    I followed your exact orders… but it didn’t work. I am on IE8 and the problem is ‘Babylon’. Any ideas on how to get rid of the little bugger from my tabs?

    • says

      Hi Cindy,

      Let me do a quick test by installing the toolbar on my test machine and then by removing it completely too.

      I’ll let you know the complete steps to remove it asap. :)

    • says

      Hi Cindy,

      I’d a tough time finding a software that bundles Babylon toolbar. Anyways, after getting my hands one, I did a install. For restoring the new tab page of IE8, I followed the exact same instructions as given by me above. I successfully restored back the new tab page.

      After removing Babylon Toolbar using Add/Remove Programs (if you’re using Windows XP) or Programs and Features (if you’re using Windows Vista or 7) in Control Panel. Follow the instructions given above and modify the Tabs value to res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm

      If you still can’t restore back the new tab page, do a complete Reset of Internet Explorer settings through Internet Options dialog box. You’ll find the Reset option in the Advanced Tab of Internet Options. Please keep a backup of your Bookmarks and all other data before doing the Reset.

      I’m working on a complete article on how to remove Babylon Toolbar completely along with instructions and screenshots.

  6. Regan says

    Cool! Totally helped to resolve the Babylon search that showing when I open new Tab. At the registry location pointed by this article, I saw the Tabs variable was having babylon url and I changed it. It worked! Finally the annoying babylon search is gone! Yuppi!

  7. Cindy says

    Hi Mezanul,

    Sorry for such a late reply, but yes, I followed everything you said and the little bugger is finally gone. Thank-you so much!!

  8. JK says

    I noticed that you only show one registry application in your example. My computer showed up with four registry applications. Is this normal — to have so many registry exe files?

    Anyway, I clicked on the first registry application that I saw and it looked normal. So then I clicked on the second registry application. Sure enough, that one had the babylon tab with an affilitate link. I replaced that with res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm as instructed above.

    The folders that each of the four registry applications starts with the following:

    Windows (C:)
    amd64_microsoft-…..
    SysWOW64 (C:\Window…..
    wow64_microsoft…

    • says

      Assuming you are running Windows 7 64 bit version. If your OS is different, please reply back. You have to simply open Start Menu, and in the search box, type regedit and click on the first result. You can see the screenshot below.

      Regedit

      You don’t need to search your System drive. Hope it helps. :)

      • JK says

        Ah, thanks so much! I should have done that in the beginning! Fortunately, I was still able to use your instructions by clicking on each different registry exe files for error. :)

        • says

          Glad you got it working.

          You could have saved all that pain by just importing the attached registry key file. (See the update section in the article) ;)

  9. larry says

    I had another one of these registry keys at:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs

    I also did a search of the registry for Babylon and deleted 5 folder and associated keys.

  10. Troyann says

    Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! Thank You!!! and… BIG HUGS to YOU!!!

  11. Olivia says

    Hi,

    Like Cindy, I recently discovered just how annoying Babylon is. I removed the toolbar, deleted all programs named Babylon (about 18 folders in total) and tried to change the ‘tabs’ settings in the regedit, but my new tab page is still the Babylon search engine. I even tried the reset in the Advanced tab of Internet Options.

    This thing is driving me crazy and I’m desperate to get rid of it. If there is absolutely ANYTHING else I can do, I would appreciate it if you could share it with me.

    Thanks!

          • Olivia says

            Yes. The value was not changed to babylon.com or anything different from what it’s supposed to be.

          • says

            The value will not change to babylon.com but to res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm

            Can you copy and paste the value data of Tabs from HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs of your registry? This will help me understand your problem. Also, please share a screenshot of your current Internet Explorer tab.

            While replying back the value data from your registry, please put it inside <code>put your copied value data inside this tag</code>

            I am assuming here that your Windows account has administrator privileges and you got the message that the registry file was imported successfully.

          • Olivia says

            Okay. This is what is in my registry now: res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm

            I took a screenshot of my new tab page, but I’m not sure how to post it here.

            Your assumptions are correct; my computer told me the registry file was imported successfully.

          • says

            That is what the value should be for showing the default new tab page. You can attach the screenshot and email it back to me Enable images for email address.

  12. says

    Users running 64-bit version of Windows should follow the updated instructions. They should modify Tabs value (as instructed in the article) to res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm at both the following registry locations:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs

    • Patricia says

      I did as your instructions indicated to no avail. I have Windows 7 64-bit using IE8. When I go to HKKEY_LOCAL—MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow643Node\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\AboutURLs there is no Tabs listed. There is one that says “Default” no value set. Should I change that one to res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm? Please let me know as I have been so frustrated trying to get my about:Tabs page back after getting rid of the annoying Babylon. Thanks in advance!

    • Jennifer says

      This problem just popped-up for me last week. I followed your instructions and the “Tabs” value is missing in both places. I’m running Windows 7 64-bit, IE9. Any suggestions?

  13. Anna says

    Mezanul,

    Thank you for this. It worked! Babylon was driving me crazy! It is insidious… I am glad to have my tabs restored.

    Regards,
    Anna

  14. Patricia says

    I forgot to mention in my earlier post to please notify of any solution(s) you can give me by e-mail. I realize that a lot of these post/comments/questions and answers were posted some time ago, but I hope that you can help me now.

    • says

      Are you sure, you are looking at the correct registry key? You said in your comment HKKEY_LOCAL—MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow643Node\Microsoft\
      InternetExplorer\AboutURLs

      While the actual location is HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs

      Please email me email address a screenshot of the registry key where you are looking for “Tabs” entry.

      • Patricia says

        Yeah!! You solved my problem. My about:Tabs page is restored. Followed your instructions and everything is back to “Normal” again. Can’t thank you enough!!!

  15. Jodie says

    I’ve been hijacked by http://search.b1.org/?bsrc=erior. Nothing above has helped my IE8, and I have no idea what to do. I’ve tried the above, but the data is the same as what it should be.

    • says

      This is installed by the B1 Free Archiver. Can you confirm if you’ve removed the program in question from your computer? If you haven’t then most probably, the program is overwriting the registry values.

  16. Puja Mandal says

    thank u very much!!^^at last i have got rid of it!!thank u dearly from the bottom of my heart!!^^

  17. Puja Mandal says

    thank u very much!!^^at last i have got rid of it!!thank u dearly from the bottom of my heart!!^^

  18. Peter says

    Thank you so much for the “real” solution – worked perfectly to stop bablylon search from appearing on new tabs.

  19. A says

    I know I’m in a long line of saying this but THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! I just got a new computer and Babylon was driving me crazy with it’s Google look-a-like self and just popping up and loading whenever I opened a new tab in IE. Thank you so much. Your walk through to turning this off was easy to understand step-by-step guide which gave me a sense of empowerment when I turned it off myself.

  20. Brian says

    Thank you for posting the fix for my problem. I had found the 32 bit registry entries in the past, but I was not aware of the 64 entries. Once I found them, I was able to fix the problem. Thanks again!

  21. lia says

    really thanks for the posting, i accdently downloaded babylon, and it hijacked my system… and then i went to registry and deleted.. but my tab key was missing..
    i was worried as everytime it says navigation stoped , i really had no ides to fix it… your posting was superb and it really helped.. good job.. thanks…

  22. lia says

    my system is geeting heated up … and goes to hibernate , basically when i play video games, i had checked the fan its running, no antivirus done all the stuff
    can u plz guide me what to do
    windows 7 os
    32 bit notebook

    • says

      This problem occurs when your notebook’s temperature goes above the threshold temperature. See if all the vents are free of dust/dirt and if possible take it to the service center to clean it up from inside. I will advice against opening up the notebook yourself…

  23. says

    you can also block these stupid websites for good by editing the hosts file in

    SYSTEM32\DRIVERS\ETC\

    more details here: http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm

    babylon.com had just ruined my morning.

    • says

      Simply blocking them in Windows hosts file will not protect you completely. These toolbars normally comes bundled with freeware and shareware programs, you have to remove them completely from your computer to protect yourself. :)

      • says

        yes i agree. you do need to be careful when installing software. but once these things happen, you just don’t want to see these websites ever again. it’s more of extra protection. hosts also does not protect when the domain name is slightly different. for example blocking “babylon.com” does not automatically block “search.babaylon.com” .

  24. says

    Thank you for adding the special note related to Users running 64-bit Windows version.
    After several days, this note solved my problem!

    Thank you!

  25. paige says

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for helping me sort out my computer ! You have saved me precious money, time and agro ! If I tried 1, I must have tried 7 other sites and got no where at the end; you did ‘exactly as it said on the tin’……..cheers.

  26. paige says

    Just wanted to say THANK YOU VERY MUCH for helping me sort out my computer ! You have saved me precious money, time and agro ! If I tried 1, I must have tried 7 other sites and got no where at the end; you did ‘exactly as it said on the tin’……..cheers. p.s. I shared this site with others and am now a follower.

  27. Ben says

    THANK YOU! Found your instructions to fixing the about:Tabs – Babylon search re-direct/hijack incredibly easy to follow. Despite always believing that I should never try a registry change since I’m not a programmer, with your directions this was a snap.

  28. Patricia says

    Well, you helped me once. I hope you can help me again. I have not been hijacked by babylon this time. At least I don’t think so as I have followed your instructions and it can’t be found in my registry, but now my abouttabs page is missing again. All I get is aboutblank and a blank page appears. How do I get my abouttabs page back. If it is not babylon hijacking me what shall I search for? I hope you can help me. Thanks in advance.

    • Patricia says

      I forgot to mention my OS is Windows 7 64-bit and I’m using IE-8. Sure would like to get my abouttabs page restored instead of aboutblank and a blank page. Hoping to hear from you. Thanks again.

  29. Christina Starr says

    Thank you so much! I had this issue went looking all over the web trying to find a solution called all my tech savy friends and no one knew. Thank you once again. It worked right away and i am not having any more troubles thank you so much!!!!!!

  30. Mª Isabel Fontoura says

    Thank you for helping me with this site Babylon, that was always appearing, instead my defalt page: www. sap. pt, whnever a opened a new separator; I did what is mentioned above on about.tabs, and the problem is solved.
    The only problem remaining is, that I have by defalut the google site for search, but dispite this, when I click the search options, it says giigle is prefeined/defalu) yes, but not available (disponível – in portuguese) what I think is strange, don’t you?

    I sometimes run a program named UNIBLUE – resgistry bosster; do you think it can be this program that might be destroying my definitions?

    Thank you for helping me!

    Mª Isabel Fontoura

  31. Anbarasan says

    Mr Mezanul, Thank you for your information. I regained the default new tab page of IE8. I used the regedit method and the IE new tab was altered by Babylon.

  32. rachel says

    Had aboutTabs disappear too, but seemed to fix that (just typed it in the toolbar and then resaved it as the new tab setting). But now, whenever we turn the computer off, all of the previously stored Tab pages (those handly little boxes on the screen) all disappear. Do you know anything about why that would happen and how to correct?

  33. rachel says

    I was able to resotre About:Tabs by simply typing it into the search bar and then resaving that as the default tab when opening a new one. but for some reason now, when we shut the computer off, all of those prefered web-pages (the handy little square boxes on the screen) disappear. It’s like a brand new page each time. Any thoughts?

  34. shaun :) says

    this is real easy guys. i’ll make this so simply for you. go to tool>internet options>general>tabs>then halfway down you’ll see “when a new tab opens….” you’ll probably see it say “a blank page” just change it to “a new tab” or the other option. problem solved!

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