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How to reset Internet Explorer 6 to its default settings

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Internet Explorer 6


Why do you want to restore Internet Explorer default settings?


There are many reasons why one would want to restore IE to its default settings. One common reason is after cleaning a Malware that hijacked your browser. Another reason which is true in my case is trying to tweak too many settings and fiddling with registry keys to the point that I usually forget about the changes made.


Internet Explorer 6 does not have a master switch, which you can click to reset all the settings to their default. Follow the full procedure below to restore IE to its default state.


Please note that these instructions will not attempt to reset the colors, fonts, languages, Accessibility and Temporary Internet Files location options found in the General Tab and the dial-up connection settings found in the Connections Tab or any other setting normally unrelated to Malware. If the default button as described for any or all of the options is greyed out, it just means that the particular option is already set to its default state.


Open Internet Explorer. Click Tools in the menu and then Options to enter the Internet Options window.


In the General Tab, in the Home page section, click Use Default to change the home page to its default, MSN home. In the Temporary Internet Files section click Delete Cookies and Delete Files -confirm Delete all offline content in the popup-. In the History section the default number of days to keep pages in history is 20 and click Clear History.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


Still in the General tab, click Settings in the Temporary Internet Files section. Checkmark Automatically in the Check for newer versions of stored pages. Click OK to apply the changes.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


The default TIF folder is located in "System root\Documents and Settings\user profile\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files" and the default Amount of disk space to use is 10% of your hard disk space.


Now Select the Security Tab and click the Internet zone icon. On the Security level for this zone section, click on the Default Level button. Follow this procedure for all the other zones, normally there are Local Internet, Trusted Sites and Restricted Sites.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


Now click the Privacy tab and then click the Default tab.


The Pop-up Blocker is enabled by default and set to Medium, which blocks most automatic pop-ups. It can be confirmed by clicking on the Settings tab.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


Custom privacy settings file and restoring default privacy settings.


It gets a bit trickier to restore the default Privacy settings, if you have used a custom privacy settings XML file for added protection. Have a look at the procedure in MSKB article, How to Restore Default Settings After Importing Custom Privacy Preferences. If you do not want to meddle with the registry manually, use a registry file as outlined here to restore default privacy settings.


Now select the Content tab and then click the AutoComplete button in the Personal information section then click Clear Forms and Clear Passwords. Click OK to exit.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


Next select the Programs tab and then click Reset Web settings. You can also opt to select Also reset my home page in the popup, if you have not reset the home page in the General tab. Click Yes to apply the changes.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


What does Reset Web settings do?


Internet Explorer 6 uses the data in the iereset.inf file to reset your home and search pages to their default settings and also sets itself as the default browser.


Normally iereset.inf is a hidden file in the system root\windows\inf folder in Windows XP and system root\WINNT\inf folder in Windows 2000.


Now select the Advanced Tab and click Restore Defaults button. Finally click the Apply button to save all the settings and OK to exit.


Reset Internet Explorer default settings


Some of the changes will need a restart to be applied.


Related: How to reset Internet Explorer 7 to its default settings (RIES)
Configuring Internet Explorer for Practical Security and Privacy



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