To change behavior of about:tabs follow:
- Click Start
- In ‘Start Search’ type regedit, press Enter (provide administrative credentials if prompted)
- Navigate to the following key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs
- Right-click Tabs, then click Modify…
- Change the “Value data:” to: res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm
- Click OK
Now go back into Internet Explorer and make sure that under Tabs settings and under the category “When a new tab is opened, open:” you have it set for “The new tab page”.