Windows 8 Oddities persisting over multiple installs


New Member
I've recently had some troubles with moving between Win8.1 and Win10, and decided to stick with 8 for the time being. When I got back there, I was met with two strange things:
My internet explorer homepage is Hao123
And my taskbar menus have different backgrounds to the typical, including a larger Pin icon- see below.

The homepage issue I fixed, but the menu background one I was not able to. I decided to try a clean install, and when it completed the problems had reappeared. I believe there is a piece of rogue software, persisting past multiple reinstalls somehow. I am tempted to completely overwrite windows with another OS, before reinstalling Windows from there- is there a less over-the-top fix?
The hao123 homepage is because your 8.1 that you upgraded to 10 was infected with malware

Windows 8, 8.1 and 10 have access to the Microsoft account profile... if you log in to the Microsoft account then your machine should setup as per your roaming account i.e. single-double click, fonts, backgrounds etc and at least one system, I assume your 10 has those settings?
Okay, I have solved the homepage problem, thank you.
How would I alter the appearance of those taskbar menus back to normal? I have been using ClassicShell for a long time- I assume this is not the intended behaviour of 8.1?
The backgrounds are persisting, but not from 10- they are remaining the same over several installations of Windows 8.1. The taskbar menu thing I mentioned takes on the selected colour of the background/accent colour.