Posted by Dave Thijssen Wednesday 19 March 2014


  • The page for a new tab ("Frequent") displays a black background.
  • On a server you might experience group policy settings related to internet security zones not being applied correctly.
  • Zone icons might be displayed with a lock icon in front (prior to Internet Explorer 11).

Internet Explorer New Tab Black Background


I discovered the cause on our Remote Desktop Server / Citrix XenApp 6.5 environment was that the (mandatory) profile was missing theme related registry settings. This profile was created by copying the default user profile or a new user without enabling a theme for this user first.


The solution was to configure a Windows Aero / Basic theme for the template user before copying or converting it into a mandatory profile.

Internet Explorer New Tab Regular Background Color


Other suggested solutions include:
  • Add the missing registry keys related to the Windows theme manually, through a logon script or Group Policy Preferences. [1]
  • Change to and fro a different theme. [2]
  • Reset Internet Explorer settings to defaults.
  • Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC) before installing the Desktop Experience Feature of Remote Desktop Services.

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