URLs Not Opening

Dear Computer Lady,

Thanks for a great newsletter. It is so informative and helpful

I’ve recently run into a problem that I can’t seem to get solved, so thought I would ask you to see if you could help.

 When I click on any URL, a box pops up and says “application not found”. I am running Vista Home Premium. The only thing I’ve done differently, lately, is download Google Chrome, but I didn’t care for it, so uninstalled it. I’ve also tried to restore my computer to an earlier date, but the computer won’t let me do that either.

 Thanks, Jo Ann


Dear Jo Ann,

My guess is that when you installed Google Chrome, you chose to have that as your default web browser. When you uninstalled Chrome, the computer for some reason did not put Internet Explorer back as your default web browser. 

If this is indeed the problem, it is easy to fix. You will just need to set Internet Explorer back up to be your default web browser. As long as this is the only issue that your computer is having, everything will be back to normal. Just follow these directions to fix the problem.

1. Open Internet Explorer.

2. Click on the “Tools” icon located in the top-right of the window.

3. In the drop down menu, click on “Internet Options”.

4. In the Internet Options dialog box, click on the “Programs” tab.

5. On the Programs page of the Internet Options dialog box, you will see a section labeled, “Default web browser”.

default browser

6. Click on the “Make Default” button.

7. You also might want to put a check mark in front of the line that says, “Tell me if Internet Explorer is not the default web browser”.

8. Click the “OK” button at the bottom of the dialog box to save your changes and close the window.


After doing the steps above, it is a good idea to close all your programs and reboot (shut down and then start up again) your computer. Once that is done, Internet Explorer should be set up as your default web browser, and your URLs should automatically open in IE. 

If you put a check mark in the “Tell me” box, Internet Explorer will check each time it opens to see if it is the default web browser, and if it is not, it will display the following dialog box:

make default


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