Managing Your Web Browser's Extensions, Home Page, and Search Providers

This article will show you how to manage your web browser extensions, your home page and/or startup pages, and your default search engine.


What are extensions?

Web browser extensions extend the functionality of your web browser by adding features. For example, Adobe might install an extension into your web browser for viewing PDFs in a browser window. However, web browser extensions are also a common vector for malware and unwanted junk programs that can hijack your web browser's homepage and default search engine and even launch annoying pop-up windows.

If you are an employee and suspect that you are infected with a browser hijacker, you should contact your Computing Coordinator in addition to following the instructions in this article to remove the offending extension. Students should contact the IT Helpdesk at 541-552-6900 or at helpdesk@sou.edu.


What is the home page?

Your home page is the web page that your web browser loads when you first start it up or when you open a new tab. (Some browsers enable you to set a different web page for new tabs, so check the instructions for your particular web browser.)


What is a default search provider?

All mainstream web browsers integrate search engine functionality directly into a search bar in the browser window or the address bar itself. (For example: Google, DuckDuckGo, or Bing.) You can control which search engine you want your web browser to use for searches by marking one as your default search provider.


Google Chrome

Manage extensions: https://support.google.com/chrome_webstore/answer/2664769?hl=en

Set your home page and startup pages: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95314?hl=en

Set default search provider: https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/95426?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en



Mozilla Firefox

Manage extensions: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/disable-or-remove-add-ons#firefox:win10:fx73

Set your new tab page: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/about-new-tab-page

Set your home page: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/how-to-set-the-home-page

Set default search provider: https://support.mozilla.org/en-US/kb/change-your-default-search-settings-firefox



Apple's Safari browser

Manage extensions: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT203051

Set your home page: https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/change-your-homepage-ibrw1020/mac

Set default search provider: https://support.apple.com/guide/safari/search-sfria1042d31/mac


Microsoft Edge

Manage extensions: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4027935/microsoft-edge-add-or-remove-browser-extensions

Set your home page: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4027577/microsoft-edge-change-your-browser-home-page

Set default search provider: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4028574/microsoft-edge-change-the-default-search-engine