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Internet Explorer Tips and Tricks

Removing Individual Items from the Internet Explorer Address List

What do you do if you only need to remove one item from the Internet Explorer Address bar drop-down menu? Simple, go into the Registry and find your way to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ TypedURLs. In the right-hand pane, you'll be able to select and delete any incriminating URLs.

To delete the site and it's contents from the Internet Explorer History, Click on View, Explorer Bar, History to bring up the History panel. Then right-click on the site's domain, and select the "Delete" option.


When you want to print a web page, it can be a pain to have to print several pages when all you want is one paragraph. The solution is to highlight the portion of the page you want, then go to File and Print. Make sure there is a dot in the circle next to Selection and click on OK. This will only print the part of the page that has been highlighted.

There are other useful options on the Print screen. You can also choose to print all linked documents or just a table of links. If you are printing a site that uses frames, you can choose to print either all the frames individually or just the selected frame.

Changing Internet Explorer Title Bar

I don't need IE telling me that I'm running "Microsoft Internet Explorer" in the title bar of every single browser window. Luckily, there is a way to change it. Fire up the registry editor, and navigate to :

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\ Software\ Microsoft\ Internet Explorer\ Main

Look for a String Value called Window Title (if not present create it) and set the data to whatever you want. If the value is created, but empty, no text will be displayed, though you'll have an annoying hyphen after the page title to stare at for all eternity.

Potential administrative uses for this might be to insert the workstation name or maybe a tidbit of information you'd like to display to users, such as the help desk phone number. Being that it's a simple registry entry, you can easily use a login script to set this value when the user logs into the network.

Closing Multiple Windows

Ever been to a website only to sit there and watch as 20 windows automatically open? There's a keyboard shortcut to kill those annoying browser intrusions in Internet Explorer. CTRL+W is what you'll want to use instead of the normal ALT+F4. Why? Well, imagine if your screen is flooded with too many browser instances. You run the risk of getting trigger happy with a shortcut that will kill everything in sight. CTRL+W seems to work with IE... making it safe to tap repeatedly without inadvertently shutting down another program.

For those who browse full screen, understand that sometimes your Back button won't retain its history if a completely new instance of IE is laid atop your "original" session. If you suddenly notice that your Back button has lost its memory, perhaps there's another IE window open. Check your taskbar before getting too upset.

How to Stop Downloads

Want to make sure the kids don't download anything from the internet? Easy. Double-click the Internet Options icon in the Control Panel, flip to the Security tab, press the Custom Level button, scroll down to the Downloads section, and select the "Disable" radio option. There are also options on the list to stop dragging & dropping and copying & pasting of data as well.

How to Stop Pages Automatically Refreshing

Some websites seem to enjoy automatically refreshing every couple of minutes (so you can get the latest ad banner). To stop them in their tracks, Double-click the Internet Options icon in the Control Panel, flip to the Security tab, press the Custom Level button, and disable the option "Allow META REFRESH".

Links in Outlook Express Stop Working

When you click on a link in Outlook Express either nothing happens, or when you open a link in a new window all you get is a blank page. The solution is fairly painless, all you need to do is re-register the URL monitor. Click on Start | Run and enter: "REGSVR32 URLMON.DLL" (without the quotes). You should then have a dialog tell you that the procedure was completed. Next, fire up Internet Explorer and Click Tools | Internet Options | Programs | then click the "Reset Web Settings" button. Now, check to see if Web links work like they should in your e-mail client. With any luck, you'll have returned your system to normal.

Cannot Reinstall Macromedia Flash

When you go to a Macromedia Flash enabled website it gives you an error saying you need to install Flash (despite the fact you've already installed it). So you go to Macromedia's website to install it, but it tells you Flash is installed properly and everything is working fine. The solution is to search your hard drive for a file called "swflash.ocx", normally in the C:\ Windows \ System \ Macromed \ Flash folder, and delete it. You should be able to then return to Macromedia's site and install the latest version of Flash with no problem.

Clearing the Content Advisor Password

We all know about Internet Explorer's Content Advisor (Tools | Internet Options | Content). This feature may have been turned on inadvertently, or you may have forgotten the password to access those "restricted" sites. Heck, you may have never even set a password, and it may have started asking you for one. There are 3 ways of clearing this -

1. Download X-Setup from XTEQ.COM and navigate to Internet \ Internet Explorer \ Other \ Internet Filters and press the "Delete Internet Filter Password" button.

2. if you don't have access to this tweaking tool, fire up your Registry editor and find your way to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Policies \ Ratings. If you find either a "Key" or ".default" entry, you'll want to remove them.

3. If either of these solutions does not help, you may consider searching for and removing the "RATINGS.POL" file that's sitting somewhere in your Windows folder hierarchy.

Block Access to the Advanced Settings Tab

If you want to stop users from messing around with the Advanced Settings in IE, try the following to make the tab disappear. Fire up the Registry editor and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Policies \ Microsoft \ Internet Explorer \ Control Panel. Here, you may need to create a new DWORD Value named: "AdvancedTab" (without quotes). Set it to "1" to turn the tab off; set it to "0" (or remove the entry) to return functionality.

Freeze GIF Animations

To stop animated images from distracting you while you are trying to read a webpage then simply press the ESC key to freeze them. To stop them completely then go to the Tools menu, select Internet Options, and go to the Advanced tab. In the Multimedia section take the checkmark out of "Play Animations".

Take Control of Font Sizes

A lot of people have problems with fixed-width fonts on webpages or in HTML e-mails. Well fear not, there is a solution to this problem. Open up IE, select the Tools menu, then Internet Options and press the Accessibility button. At that point, you can choose to ignore the font sizes specified on Web pages.

Direct Knowledgebase Access

The Microsoft Knowledgebase is a valuabe resource for troubleshooting problems with Microsoft products. If you know the article number you are searching for, and have IE 5.x or later, then you can save a few mouse clicks by typing "MSKB

" (minus quotes) in the address bar to go direct to the article you want.

Context Menu Key Clicks

Don't you just hate them when you go to a site and for some reason they decide to stop people from using the right-click menu (aka: Context Menu) or display the page in a popup window without toolbars, thus hiding the URL? To get round this simply press CTRL + N. It will open the page in a new window, allowing you to see the URL and use the context menu.

Internet Explorer Switches

Click on Start\Run then try the following -

iexplore -e (gives you the best of both worlds Windows Explorer on the left and Internet Explorer on the right)

iexplore -slf (loads you home page from IE's cache, if it is stored there)

iexplore -channelband (launches your favourites as a desktop item).

View Installed ActiveX Controls

When you visit a website you are often asked to install ActiveX Controls. But how do you check which ones are installed on your machine? Simply click on Tools\Internet Options. In the General tab click on the Settings button, then click on View Objects. This will bring up a list of all the Controls installed in IE, and by right clicking on a control you should be able to either look at its properties or remove it. While you are in the Internet Options screen it may be worth going into Security, clicking on Custom, and making sure "Download signed ActiveX controls" is set to prompt and "Download unsigned ActiveX controls" is set to Disabled.