Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How to fix: Mozilla Firefox opens Bing instead of Homepage every time a new Tab is opened

If you find Firefox suddenly opening Bing (or probably another unwanted web site) whenever you open a new tab, it is very likely that you became a victim of some kind of malware. The very popular PDFCreator software and printer driver, for example, changes Firefox settings during install, and installs additional "tools", if you do not opt-out explicitly:

So make sure you uncheck the Block dangerous websites by installing Ad-Aware Web Companion and Set Search powered by Bing as my homepage, newtabs and default search engine on Internet Explorer, Firefox check boxes in PDFCReator's installation wizard!

But even if you let the installer hijack you browser, everything is not lost! It is not too hard to get rid of all the programs and settings PDFCreator kindly installed for you!

Ad-Aware Web Companion can simply be uninstalled from Window's Programs and Features Control Panel:

During uninstall Web Companion kindly asks you whether you would like it to undo all the damage it did to your system during installation:

So you should check both Restore check boxes and click the Remove button. 

What you will find is, that the new tab in Firefox will work as usual again. But your search settings remain hijacked to Bing! So lets fix them manually.

Open Firefox Options and select the Search page:

As you can see, the only search engine available is Bing! 

Now go an click the Add more search engines link at the bottom. This will take you to the Mozilla Firefox Add-Ons page where you can select additional search engines. We will install DuckDuckGo Plus, so we type the word "duck" into the search field:

After selecting DuckDuckGo Plus from the dropdown, we are taken to the download page:

Now click Add to Firefox, follow the instructions, and then open Firefox options again. 

Now select DuckDuckGo as your preferred search engine. That's it!

Last but not least: Just in case you need to fix the hijacked newtab manually, open Firefox and type "about:config" in its address bar.

If you see a void warranty warning like the one shown above, just click I'll be careful, I promise!

Now type "browser.newtab.url" into the search field:

As you can see, the url for a new browser tab is set to something at bing.com. Just double-click the entry and change the URL to whatever you want!

If you want new tabs to show a blank page, enter: "about:blank".

If you want the standard new tab page with tiles of your favourite sites, enter: "about:newtab".

If you want to support Joobik Player, enter: "http://www.joobikplayer.com"