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by Ray Carlson

Q. Every time I go to the Internet, a page called appears. It will not let me go to the search engine I prefer. How did I get this page and how do I get rid of it?

A. At some point, you downloaded a program called DefaultTab probably as a hidden extra when you downloaded a program you wanted. Once downloaded, DefaultTab forces you to look at their web site and use their search engine. The company involved makes money by inserting advertisements on this page and by guiding searches to links that have prepaid them to be at the top of all search results.

There are three steps to getting rid of this program. First, go to the Control Panel and click on Programs or Add/Remove Programs. After a minute or two, a list of all programs in your computer should appear. If DefaultTab or Default Tab is listed, click on "Remove."

Second, open your Internet browser and click on Tools or Options. If you do not see one of these, try help. On the menu that appears, click Extensions or Add-ons. If Default Tab appears on the list that appears, click "Remove." DefaultTab or Default Tab may be on either the list of programs or on the list of extensions or add-ons or both. Remove it wherever it appears.

Third, while using your Internet browser, find Settings which is often on the same list as Tools or Options. One item will ask what you want to appear when you first open the browser. You can usually choose to open where you left off or with a blank page or with a specific webpage. Select your choice. Close the browser and reopen it, and the page you just selected should appear.

This topic of unwanted hidden downloaded programs has a lot of variations. Therefore, the Prescott Computer Society will make it a focus of its General Meeting on January 18th in the Founders Suite of the Prescott Library.

Published: Courier 12/15/13 - Page 3C