Remove Personalized Settings for New Users After Installing Internet Explorer 5

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about modifying the registry. Before you modify the registry, make sure to back it up and make sure that you understand how to restore the registry if a problem occurs. For information about how to back up, restore, and edit the registry, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
256986 Description of the Microsoft Windows Registry


When a user first logs on to a computer running Windows NT and Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 is installed, Internet Explorer 5 creates personalized settings for that user. These are settings for Microsoft Outlook Express, Windows Address Book, Internet Connection Wizard, and so forth.

The personalized settings routine runs for a new user, even though the default user profile may be customized and the settings do not need to be changed.

There are two ways that a new User.dat file can be updated with Internet Explorer settings: if the Windows Desktop Update component is installed, Explorer.exe and Shdocvw.dll perform this task; if not, Loadwc.exe will do it. Loadwc.exe and Explorer.exe are always in memory. When a new user profile is created, one of these components will compare the data in the following registry keys:


If the data matches, no action is taken. If it does not match, the two hives are synchronized.

A variable named StubPath is specified for most component keys in the aforementioned section of HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. The data in that variable provides instructions about what that setting in the new user profile should be. It points to a program file or .inf files. For program files, it commonly contains instructions, such as values and APIs. For .inf files, it points to a specific section containing the data to be added to the User hive.

For each key that is not a match in both the User and Machine hives, the key is created in User (if it does not exist), and the StubPath is run to set its variable. This results in the User keys being updated with the correct data.

Hive synchronization occurs in only one of the following scenarios:
  • When a new user profile is created after Internet Explorer has been installed.
  • The first time a user logs on after Internet Explorer has been installed on a computer that already has multiple profiles.
  • When any user installs a newer version of one of the components.
  • When a user on a multiple-user system uninstalls Internet Explorer.

More Information

WARNING: If you use Registry Editor incorrectly, you may cause serious problems that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that you can solve problems that result from using Registry Editor incorrectly. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

To prevent the personalized settings from being created:

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit).
  2. From the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE subtree, go to the following key:

    Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\Installed Components
  3. On the Edit menu, click Find. Type in "STUBPATH" (without quotes), and then click Find Next.
  4. Delete the string value named StubPath. Be sure to delete the StubPath value located in the Installed Components section of the registry only.
  5. Continue this procedure until all values named StubPath are deleted from the Installed Components section of the registry.
  6. Close the Registry Editor.
Care should be taken to leave the Installed Components registry key and all of the other values underneath Installed Components. Deleting the Installed Components registry key may lead to problems with other programs.

Article ID: 238441 - Last Review: Oct 31, 2006 - Revision: 1