Disabling the "welcome" screen shown by Internet Explorer upon session start.
- Opening the Group Policy Editor
Click "Start," then type "gpedit.msc" and press "Enter." On Windows XP systems, clicking "Start" won't bring up the text search box, and you'll have to click "Run" before typing the command. Either way, when you press "Enter," you'll see the Group Policy Editor – a window divided into two panes, with a tree of categories in the left pane and a list of settings in the right one.
- Finding the Internet Explorer Settings
In the left pane, click the arrow next to "Computer Configuration" to expand the category and view its contents. From here, click the arrows next to "Administrative Templates" and "Windows Components," and finally click the "Internet Explorer" category to display Internet Explorer settings in the right pane.
- Modifying the First Run Settings
In the right pane, double-click "Prevent performance of First Run Customize settings." This will bring up a window with the same name. Click the "Enabled" radio button to enable the setting, which – a little confusingly – actually disables the setup screen IE displays on startup. Instead of displaying the setup screen, IE will now perform the action you select from the drop-down menu in the "Options" section just below the radio buttons. Select either "Go directly to 'Welcome to IE' page" or "Go directly to home page." The latter will direct IE to whatever page you've designated as "home."
- Finishing Up/Reversal
Click "Apply," then close the window and the Group Policy editor. Internet Explorer should never again show you its setup screen automatically. To reverse what you've just done, return to the Group Policy Editor, navigate to and double-click the relevant setting like you did before and click the "Disabled" radio button.
Fixing Internet Explorer for temporary user profiles
Save the following into C:\UserTemplate\AnyUser\%Profile%\profile.reg as Unicode text (i.e. using WordPad):
Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00