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Home page at Firefox has been hijacked by AOL

Please forgive my choice of category herein, for there wasn't a more appropriate choice available.

No matter what I do, I can't seem to reset my choice of homepage at my Firefox browser. I have followed their instructions to do so; however, when I tell the Firefox browser that my choice of home page is my choice, it will stay on my desktop for the time I've set and used it. But, when I close the Firefox browser and come back to it at a later time, the home page is back to the AOL home page. This continues to be a problem, and I do not know how to resolve it.

It seems to me that AOL has done something with Firefox and even formerly with IE8. However, I do believe I reset my home page at IE8 without much problem. I just checked the IE8 browser again, and this problem over there has been resolved.

I have also submitted a complaint at the Firefox feedback pages: https://input.mozilla.org/en-US/
However, even after supplying me email address for a response, I haven't gotten any answers from the Mozilla people who control the Firefox browser. This doesn't seem proper, but I am only one of many people who have submissions to their feedback pages.

For the above reasons, I've decided to reach out to my friends here at Tom's Hardware for any possible answers to this dilemma. Thank you.
19 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about home page firefox hijacked aol
  1. Update and scan with your anti-virus and then download and run malwarebytes. Sounds like you have a browser hijack.
  2. zdbc13 has a point and it's worth pursuing but it could simply be something innocuous - given that AOL probably hasn't got anyone capable of hijacking anything!

    In Firefox, as though you were typing an address, type about:config then accept the warning about "Here be dragons" or whatever and when the page opens, type AOL in the search bar. When you find the entry for browser.startup.homepage, overwrite the AOL entry with your choice.

    Close Firefox and when you restart it, your page will be back to normal.
  3. zdbc13 said:
    Update and scan with your anti-virus and then download and run malwarebytes. Sounds like you have a browser hijack.


    I followed this advice here, but it did not solve the problem.
    I am going to now try Saga Lout's suggestion, and I'll get back to this thread again afterwards.
    Thank you anyway. Malwarebytes is still a good utility.
  4. zdbc13 has a point and it's worth pursuing but it could simply be something innocuous - given that AOL probably hasn't got anyone capable of hijacking anything!

    In Firefox, as though you were typing an address, type about:config then accept the warning about "Here be dragons" or whatever and when the page opens, type AOL in the search bar. When you find the entry for browser.startup.homepage, overwrite the AOL entry with your choice.

    Close Firefox and when you restart it, your page will be back to normal.



    Wholly bananas! How do you guys know all this stuff?
    Look, I followed your instructions, accepted the "Here be dragons" warning, and I actually found (at the bottom of a whole bunch of stuff aol related) the following:
    Preference Name: Browser.Startup.Homepage
    Status: User Set
    Type: String
    Value: HTTP://WWW.AOL.COM/?MTMHP=HYPLOGUSAOLP00000019

    Two questions:
    1. Do I double click on the Value to change it?
    2. Do I have to include the: /?MTMHP=HYPLOGUSAOLP00000019 after the choice of my home page, which will be prefaced by http://www.[my choice of home page].com ?
    One more question:
    3. What about all the other stuff preceeding the Browser.Startup.Homepage? What do I do with all that stuff?

    By the way, you folks know that your rock! I just don't know how you can possibly know all about these things. But rock on, and thanks for your assistance.
  5. Just put the cursor on the 9 in 19 at the end of the existing entry and destroy back to the // then enter your choice after that. That's the main entry controlling how Firefox decides on your Homepage and all the other AOL entries will be surplus or overwritten automatically.

    Most of us who inhabit Fora pick up what we know here. I fix PCs for a living but couldn't if it hadn't been for places like this which I've visited for fifteen years now. You're more than welcome to share that knowledge and to input some of your own to other peoples' problem.
  6. Saga Lout said:
    [#0005ff]Just put the cursor on the 9 in 19 at the end of the existing entry and destroy back to the // then enter your choice after that.


    Please be a bit more specific.
    Suppose I want the following website to be my home page: http://www.7online.com
    then how will I syntactically write it correctly on the homepage line?
  7. Would I just write it like this: http://www.7online.com
    Is this correct?
    And, again, what will happen to all the other stuff on the aol about.config page?
    Thank you so much for your help.
    And, of course, if I was able to contribute something to someone then I absolutely will pass it on.
  8. You may also want to check your browser addons/plugins and remove any AOL ones.
  9. Just delete the entire reference to AOL from the www onwards and substitute it with 7online.com All the other AOL references will, I believe, be redundant and inactive after Firefox goes to 7online and picks up some more links.
  10. Just delete the entire reference to AOL from the www onwards and substitute it with 7online.com All the other AOL references will, I believe, be redundant and inactive after Firefox goes to 7online and picks up some more links.


    I followed your advice, but it is still a problem. It will change the homepage immediately, but if I close the browser and reopen it then its back to AOL. Also: in the about:config page, after I've made the change to my preferred homepage as instructed by you, there is no way to save the change. All I can do is click on the back arrow to get out of the about:config page.
  11. Leaving the page is enough to save the changes so perhaps you have a more powerful browser hijack than I thought. Go to http://www.trendmicro.com and download HijackThis, install it and click on the Scan and Save a Log button. Do nothing when it completes except post a copy of the log back here, please and folks will be able to advise further.
  12. You could even format and re-load windows. I've had to do that a time or two.
  13. I think that's a bit extreme at this stage. Your suggestion about AOL add-ons probably has the answer - maybe even removing the AOL toolbar from the View menu would be enough to help this go away. The HJT log will tell us more.
  14. Standby, I'll get back to ya all soon.
    I have already tried purging Firefox and re-downloading it. But to no avail. Problem still persists.
    I have also checked the Firefox plugins. No help there either.
    Next I'll try Hijack this. I need to find the time between work and things. Please monitor and standby.
    Thank you
  15. Best answer
    Lotus100 said:
    Standby, I'll get back to ya all soon.
    I have already tried purging Firefox and re-downloading it. But to no avail. Problem still persists.
    I have also checked the Firefox plugins. No help there either.
    Next I'll try Hijack this. I need to find the time between work and things. Please monitor and standby.
    Thank you


    When you say purge did you try this?
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/reset-firefox-easily-fix-most-problems?esab=a&s=reset+firefox+to+defaults&r=1&as=s

    As even an uninstall and a reinstall won't always get rid of all your preferences.
    Is there anything to do with AOL in your add/remove programmes? That's usually a good place to start in my experience with anything to do with AOL.
  16. I just tried:
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/reset-firefox-easily-fix-most-problems?esab=a&s=reset+firefox+to+defaults&r=1&as=s

    As even an uninstall and a reinstall won't always get rid of all your preferences.
    This seemed to solve the problem, but I do not know for sure yet, since I want to see what happens after I shut down my Firefox browser and close my computer for a while. If I come back later and find that the problem is solved then I will report back to all of you.

    Let me add this:
    It never ceases to amaze me how million/billion dollar companies treat customers. While AOL is indeed a great organization, it is still unbelievable how you're treated when you call in for tech support. Unless you're willing to follow the robotic prompts, which is both annoying and time consuming, then you're in for a mighty long process to get connected to a tech rep. It is so unfair.

    Why these companies do not give people an option of just getting connected to a tech rep or cooperating with their robotic system is beyond me. These companies who use these systems feel their time management needs are more important than the people who have to deal with them. This is wrong.

    Well, for the benefit of those following this discussion, I did figure it maybe worth calling AOL about this problem. Today, I spent one and a-half hours not only dealing with their robotic system and figuring how to bypass it, but also speaking to a front line rep for the first hour, and also to this person's supervisor for the last half hour. They attempt to give you a run around. They do not admit to causing this problem. They try to get you to pay for outside tech support to resolve the issue. All of which is a waste of your time, energy and efforts.

    In my opinion, they caused this problem in the first place. And if they felt the need to recommend outside paid tech support then they should be footing the bill. That is AOL needs to be burdened with the responsibility to find out why this problem started in the first place.

    I told them today, that I never registered with them, never gave them my name, never gave them my phone number, never gave them my email. I didn't even want to relay any confidential info to them today either, since I don't know what they will do with it.

    What a situation this has been. It should be their responsibility to find out why my Firefox browser was showing their site as my homepage, not mine. I did nothing, absolutely nothing, to cause this situation.

    I am happy, however, that people on this wonderful site are helpful and understand the problems that people face.

    I do finally believe after all things I've tried to do to solve this problem that the resetting of my Firefox browser may have solved this problem. Why Firefox feedback team didn't get back to me is disappointing; they could have also told me about the reset process. They could have told me about this two weeks ago.

    Let's see what happens now. I'll get back to you all soon.
  17. Lotus100 said:
    I just tried:
    https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/reset-firefox-easily-fix-most-problems?esab=a&s=reset+firefox+to+defaults&r=1&as=s

    This seemed to solve the problem, but I do not know for sure yet, since I want to see what happens after I shut down my Firefox browser and close my computer for a while. If I come back later and find that the problem is solved then I will report back to all of you.

    I am happy, however, that people on this wonderful site are helpful and understand the problems that people face.

    I do finally believe after all things I've tried to do to solve this problem that the resetting of my Firefox browser may have solved this problem. Why Firefox feedback team didn't get back to me is disappointing; they could have also told me about the reset process. They could have told me about this two weeks ago.

    Let's see what happens now. I'll get back to you all soon.




    Glad we could help, if the reset solved your problems please mark it as such so others with your issue can easily see how to fix it.

    Laurence


  18. Glad we could help, if the reset solved your problems please mark it as such so others with your issue can easily see how to fix it.

    Laurence

    To all viewers of this thread: I had reset my Firefox as described above, and it did indeed solve my problem. Finally!!!!

    I left my computer off for several hours now and came back, booted up my computer, clicked on my Firefox browser and--NO MORE AOL HOMEPAGE!!!! Thank the Gorillas of the Rainforest!

    Don't mess with my Gorilla Computer Gurus!

    Now the only thng I need to do is either review the folder on my desktop: Old Firefox Data or just delete the whole Old Firefox Data folder and start over with setting Firefox up the way I like it.
  19. I do not have a solution, but I must say THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH ......... I had this same issue and do NOT have time ti figure out in its entirity how it came about.... I was neck deep in a major project due in minutes and suddenly firfox is hyjack by aol .... had to resort to internet explorer to finish up on time .... THank you so much for having the solution and fix posted here!!
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