My Windows 8 Laptop will open Bing in IE by itself. It makes a request to:


which then directs to


Changed default browsers from IE to Chrome and see the same behavior in Chrome.

My initial thought was spyware, but the Microsoft URL made me think otherwise. I then confirmed that it happens on brand new installs for others at my company.

It happens (seemlingly) randomly, and without any interaction from me. I can reproduce the issue by disabling my network connection and resuming from sleep mode.

2 Answers 2


Windows 8 is attempting a Network Connectivity Status Check by attempting to access msftncsi.com which is being blocked by the network, so the status check fails.

The network (like many other public networks) requires Portal user registration / authentication through an internal page in order to access the internet. Windows believes (either through a short network drop, or resuming from sleep) that your machine is not able to connect to the Internet, and attempts to direct the browser to the Portal authentication page (which by this point had already registered automatically from previous logins) and so redirects to Bing instead.

You can disable this network check by changing the following Registry Key from 1 to 0:

  • Note: Disabling this network check could cause potential issues when connecting via a web portal where you are not already authenticated. Jul 28, 2014 at 17:17

In my case this issue was only occurring at startup -- I assume the status check was being done before the network was fully connected. Changing the start mode of the Network Location Awareness service from Automatic to Automatic (delayed start) was enough to cause this check to occur after the network was connected, eliminating the browser popup. This also leaves the check in place for times when it's useful, like connecting to public access points.

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