I have brand new feature opening with all my browsers that looks like Bing Desktop

Within the past day or so, what appears to be some version of Bing Desktop now opens instead of my home page when I open either of my two browsers, Firefox 32 and IE11.  This is the url that automatically appears in the address bar when I open the browser from the icon on my task bar or desk top:   http://www.bing.com/?pc=COSP&ptag=AABF01BDF90604DD4AEF&form=CONMHP&conlogo=CT3210127

If I click on my homepage icon once the browsers are running I will go to my self-designated homepage in both browsers.

It does not show up as an addon

It does not appear to be malware, I have Malwarebytes active, and I did a full scan with Microsoft Safety Scanner

Nothing of the many suggestions I've found that I've tried can disable it. 

When I click on the gear icon (yes it has its own settings icon) for settings as described on this page, I do not have the option to uncheck the "automatically open when Windows starts" under the 'General' tab.  It's not there.

I cannot uninstall it because it is not in the control panel's installed program list, nor is it listed in the Program files (X86) on my C drive. 

I'm guessing it may be one of the Windows 8.1 recent updates, but it's supposed to be an optional update according to this information:

Bing Desktop can be installed from the optional updates section in Windows Update, or directly from Microsoft Bing desktop. Bing Desktop provides an automatic update of the Windows Desktop Background image to the Bing home page image each day.

and I did not choose any optional updates recently.

If I knew what update to look for, I'd look.

Does anyone know how to get rid of this thing?  So far it hasn't seemed to cause any weird behavior other than just showing up without permission.  Thank you.

 

Question Info


Last updated July 27, 2019 Views 601 Applies to:
Answer
Answer

I found the cause of the problem on my friend's laptop. All the browser icons had the offending URL tacked onto the end of the target, so the browser was always launching to offending URL, no matter what the homepage was set to.

After removing it, the browsers load the correct home pages when launched.

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