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Browser hijacking: Internet Options removed from control panel

Question:

My web browser behaves different lately. I think I am a victim of browser hijacking. When I want to look at my internet options in the control panel, I cannot. That field is gone!

Answer:

This is a technique employed by some malware that wants to make it more difficult for you to clean up your PC.

Your control panel's Internet Options have been disabled not deleted. You may get them back by locating the file control.ini (search for this file in your Windows directory with the find function from your start menu)
Then open control.ini in Notepad or another simple text editor (meaning: NOT in Microsoft Office) and look for the lines:

[don’t load]
inetcpl.cpl=yes

Then remove these two lines, save the file and boot your computer, but first check on something else.

Open the registry with the tool REGEDIT and open this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

If there are subkeys under Internet Explorer named 'restricted' or 'Control Panel', then delete those subkeys.

If your search page has been altered, this can be found under this key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main.
There should be a field Search Page. On this computer here it has the value http://www.microsoft.com/isapi/redir.dll?prd=ie&ar=iesearch. You could set it to http://search.msn.com/spbasic.htm or to Google's search.

Since you're there already, you can check on the start page as well. Yes, the entry's name is Start Page.


Generated 12:01:58 on May 23, 2018