As you can read on my blog I got the following dialog after IE8 was rolled out to the workstation I do daily work on (there's an image of the dialog there too):

Internet Explorer - Search Provider Default
A program on your computer has corrupted your
default search provider setting for Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer has reset this setting to your
original search provider, Bing (www.bing.com).

Internet Explorer will now open Search Settings, where
you can change this setting or install more search providers.

IE8 is basically telling me that "some other program" corrupted my search provider information and that it took steps to help me with that problem.

So far so good.

However, this also added Bing.com as a search provider when it was not there before, prevents me from deleting the Bing.com search provider or selecting another search provider as my default and keeps reminding me with the same dialog box every time I (re)start IE8.

Anyone here have any idea on:

  • What could actually be causing this?
  • Where search provider information is stored?
  • How I can change this?
  • Who at Microsoft I need to smack because of this? (Kidding about this last one...)

Try the workarounds detailed in this blog post and the follow-ups on the forum. This was reported to Microsoft and they were unable to reproduce the issue, so this is probably your best avenue.

  • Thanks for these suggestions. I've added my "me too!" to MS Connect and will be trying the registry fix in the blog post next. – peSHIr Sep 3 '09 at 7:14
  • Adding the (in my case) missing AppData registry back seems to have done the trick. Unfortunately the box BSODed and again I'm left with a lost/corrupted profile. And the blog post link seems to be down. Also, there is an AppData registry key now, so the corruption seems to be different. I hate software. <sigh> – peSHIr Sep 15 '09 at 8:54

I don't know about the first two, but if you install the google toolbar for IE, you can get google as a search provider. Then, just hide the bar and disable all other features. I had the same problem, but IE didn't give me your text. I think it is just something microsoft set up. I don't know where the search provider info is stored

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