What's this damn ad in my IE title bar?

OK, it’s not my title bar. My girlfriend’s computer is used by a few other people who love installing software at random. Recently, it had become so hosed that we restored from a backup.

But apparently the backup wasn’t old enough, because there’s still some goofy little ad all over her Internet Explorer. Whenever she opens it, a little airplane flies out from the right side of the title bar, pulling an ad like “Webmasters! Click here to earn big $$$!”

It only affects IE, and as far as I can tell, it isn’t a running background process. Nothing looks fishy in the ctrl-alt-del list or in the Run keys in the registry.

Has anyone heard of this? Where did it come from, and more importantly, how can we get rid of it?

Get rid of your girlfriend. Problem solved. I could publist a book on how to dump girlfriends :).

Seriously though, a WAG would be to check Tools, Internet Options, Advanced, and check for any strange settings in there. Sometimes, those ‘free internet access’ people will shove stuff in there.

Just a WAG though.

Do you really mean Title Bar? The title bar is the colored bar that tells you the name of the current active window. For instance, the title bar in my current active window says “Straight Dope Message Board - Reply to Topic - Netscape”. Along with that, the only other things I’ve ever seen in the title bar are the minimize, maximize & close window buttons (upper right) and the program’s icon (upper left).

C’mon now, where is this little airplane really?

I had sort of the same problem when I first got my new PC.

I was waiting for my Internet account to be activated but being the impatient sort that I am, I decided to check out a ‘free’ ISP that was accessed off a CD I got when I purchased my PC. After I installed their software I noticed that my IE title bar now read “Microsoft Internet Explorer - Brought to you by FreeISP” (or whatever the name of the company was). I didn’t really understand how they got the nerve to say that they ‘brought’ me IE since I could not have removed it from Win98 even if I wanted to, but whatever.

I ran regedit from the run command in the start menu, and did a search for the companies name. I found the string that said “Brought to you by…” and changed it to “Sucks”. Sorry I can’t remember the actual location within the registry but try looking in:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER>Software>Microsoft>Internet Explorer.

I have not heard of any application placing any sort of animation in the title bar, and that actually sounds like it would have to be more complex than just the registry, but who knows, look for “Webmasters” and see what you come up with.


Attrayant: Yup, that’s exactly where it is. Right next to the minimize button. If more than one IE window is open, it only appears in the active title bar. I think it also puts an icon in the status bar, next to the globe marked “Internet”.