The runonce page (http://runonce.msn.com/runonce2.aspx) is a page which appears automatically when you run the Internet Explorer for the first time or if you Reset Internet Explorer Settings from Tools > Internet Options > Advance Tab. The purpose of the Runonce page is to allow you to customize some of the settings such as default search provider, automatic phishing filter, activate ClearType, language selection and joining Customer Experience Improvement Program.
If you don’t complete the runonce customization page, this page will automatically load each time you open Internet Explorer regardless of what you set as the Internet Explorer’s default home page. So the simple way to get rid of runonce page is to complete the form.
However, there are times when you can’t complete the runonce settings page. The page will either appears blank, or just does not load and ended with an “Error on Page” with a plain blue color page. Sometimes the runonce page loads without problems, but the “save your settings” button will never work and only gives you “Element not found” error. So every time you open IE7, this page loads and nothing will happen.
Update: The RunOnce2.aspx page is no longer available. If you try to access, you might see the error message “Server Error in ‘/’ Application”. The resource cannot be found. Description: HTTP 404. The resource you are looking for (or one of its dependencies) could have been removed, had its name changed, or is temporarily unavailable. Please review the following URL and make sure that it is spelled correctly. Requested URL: /runonce2.aspx
Here is how to fix this annoying IE7 runonce customize your settings problem.
If you think Internet Explorer problem is not worth fixing, think again. My web statistics software shows that 58% visitors who visits this blog site is still using Microsoft Internet Explorer. Firefox is at 35%. I never abandon Internet Explorer and will fix any problems I found because it is still an important part of Windows.
There is a registry setting which will tell Internet Explorer whether the runonce page has been shown and completed or not. If it has been shown and completed, this page will never be loaded again. If not, it will annoy the hell outta you! To bypass runonce page, edit the following registry values by following the steps below.
1. Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following registry subkey, and then click it:
3. In the details pane, double-click the RunOnceHasShown registry entry and enter 1 in the value data box. Click OK.
4. In the details pane, double-click the RunOnceComplete registry entry and enter 1 in the value data box. Click OK.
Both values RunOnceHasShown and RunOnceComplete value must be set to 1. If any one is 0, the runonce page will start loading again whenever you launch Internet Explorer. Ok, that’s the hard way. The easy way to fix this runonce problem without launching and editing the Windows Registry (regedit) is to use a small tool which automatically does this for you. Simply download and run IE7 Runonce Remover. Click the Remove button and that’s it! You can also use this tool to undo the registry and bring back the RunOnce page.
Now your default Internet Explorer home page will be displayed. By default this page is redirected to MSN.COM. Microsoft should have thought about this problem before creating this page :P