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So you're mousing along and you see "There's a new version of Firefox, download now!" (or "There's a new version of Internet Explorer!") or whatever it says. Maybe at some point you're given an option to install this fancy new feature called something like Google Thumbnails (or whatever). Like most people, you just click install, install, install, whatever, install without really worrying about whether it's going to be a monster who tries to eat your lunch, and stomp on your foot.
Sounds neat huh? It's sloooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. It's so incredibly frickin slow when I just want to go directly to a certain place that it makes me pull my hair out. Now I'm bald! Thanks a lot!
So here's how you turn it off. It took me twenty minutes to find out how, but I'm going to tell you in one.
At the top of your browser, you have a Google Toolbar. Toward the right edge, you will see a wrench icon. Click on that. It will probably open to the Search tab, but just in case it doesn't, once it opens click on the Search tab. Toward the bottom of that Search-tab-page you will see the option "Enable the Google new tab page". Doesn't quite sound like the thing does it? I mean it's not called "Turn off that stupid page of thumbnails that comes up every time I try to browse and which made me bald." That's what I'd call it.
At any rate, uncheck that option. Save. You're done. No need to restart anything. Now when you open a New Tab you'll just get a blank page. You know what I'd do if I were Google, give me an option to default my New Tab page to my Home page. That is what actually makes sense to me. But hey -- they're not paying me... yet. Now once the Revolution comes, we'll see.
To display the home page on new tabs:
- In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, and then click Internet Options.
- Click the General tab, and then, under Tabs, click Settings.
- In the Tabbed Browsing Settings dialog box, click the list under When a new tab is opened, open, click Your first home page, click OK, and then click OK again. By the way... what's my second home page? Anyway.
Addendum Dec 2010. AVG has stolen a playbook from Google and decided that when you download the new AVG Toolbar, they will, when you open a new tab, display their own type of New Tab page. It was annoying enough when Google did it. The AVG Toolbar, right next to "AVG" has a down arrow, click on that, and you can deselect this "feature". The AVG Toolbar, lets you pick which search engine you want to use, but they don't include Google as an option. So Mr AVG Toolbar, you are now uninstalled on my system. I can't stand pompous companies that try to force the user into doing something they don't want to do.