15 Mar 2011

A Few Simple IE9 Customisation Ideas and Tips

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Here’s some really cool and really simple IE9 customisation ideas and tips for you to play about with. Also checkout this IE9 starter guide.

Display the menu bar by default

The menu bar is not shown in IE9 by default. You can show and hide it by pressing ALT. To show the menu bar permanently, open the registry editor, by typing regedit via Start Menu\Run. Look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft, right-click Microsoft, select New then click Key. Name this key Internet Explorer, right-click Internet Explorer select New, then click Key. Name this key Main, right-click Main, select New, then click DWord (32-Bit) Value. Name this value.

AlwaysShowMenus and set its value to 1.

Press ALT to show the menu bar and it will now always be shown by default. To deactivate this feature, set the value to 0.

Show the menu bar above the search box

Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser. Right-click WebBrowser select New then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this value ITBar7Position and set its value to 1.

Inspect network traffic

IE9 comes with a bunch of developer tools that add several fancy features. For example, you can monitor network traffic and the time certain elements take to load from websites. Press F12 to access these tools. You can find the network capturing tool under the tab Network.

Start IE9 in Safe Mode

Occasionally, you may want to launch your browser in safe mode, especially if you are experiencing crashes and you are investigating plug-ins. To launch IE9 in safe mode, type Internet Explorer in the Vista/Windows 7 search box and choose Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).

Show download speeds

IE9′s download manager does not display the download speed of a download anymore. You will have to move your mouse pointer above the downloaded percentage of a file to see the download speed in a pop-up window.

Reopen accidentally closed tabs

If you close a tab by accident, you can reopen it by clicking ALT/Tools/Reopen last browsing session. You can also open the lost tabs by opening a new tab and choose Reopen closed tabs at the bottom of the shown thumbnails. To open a new tab, simply click the square to the right of your most recent tab.

Enable InPrivate browsing by default

InPrivate browsing can only be launched via a switch in IE9. Create a shortcut of IE9 on your desktop, right-click it and add to the launch command -private. The resulting launch command should read:
“C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” -private

More than two downloads in parallel

IE9 only allows tow simultaneous downloads from a website. However, the number can be increased via registry settings. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings, right-Click Internet Settings, select New, then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this value MaxConnectionsPerServer and set its value to 4. Right-Click Internet Settings select New then click DWORD (32-bit) Value. Name this value MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server and set its value to 4. These values increase the maximum number of parallel downloads to 4. Keep in mind that higher numbers may affect the stability of IE9.

Customized Jumplists

Since jumplists are simple HTML files and websites can be pinned to the taskbar, you can create your own website menus for those websites you use frequently. Here is an example:

<html>
<head>
<title>ConceivablyTech Jumplist</title>
<meta http-equiv=”refresh” content=”0; URL=http://www.conceivablytech.com”>
<meta name=”msapplication-task” content=”name=Products;action-uri= http://www.conceivablytech.com/category/products;icon-uri=http://www.conceivablytech.com/favicon.ico”/>
<meta name=”msapplication-task” content=”name=Business;action-uri= http://www.conceivablytech.com/category/business;icon-uri= http://www.conceivablytech.com/favicon.ico”/>
<meta name=”msapplication-task” content=”name=Test Drives;action-uri= http://www.conceivablytech.com/category/test-drives;icon-uri= http://www.conceivablytech.com/favicon.ico”/>
</head>
<body>
</body>
</html>

Save the file as an .html file and use it to launch your browser. Microsoft has a more detailed tutorial for the creation of customized jumplists.

Handy IE9 Shortcuts (This is cool)

CTRL+T: Open a new tab
CTRL+1-9: Switch to tab 1-9
CTRL+K: Duplicate the current tab
CTRL+W: Close the active tab
ALT+D: Jump to the URL bar
ALT: Show the menu bar
F7: Enable/disable caret browsing (movable cursor via arrow keys)
F11: Full-screen view
F12: Show developer tools
ALT+5: Force IE5 rendering mode
ALT+7: Force IE7 rendering mode
ALT+8: Force IE8 rendering mode
ALT+9: Force IE9 rendering mode
ALT+0: Reset rendering mode
ALT+M: Go to homepage
CTRL+J: Show download manager
CTRL+Enter: Add www. and .com to URL-bar content

Find anything else? Let me know in a comment below :)

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Hey, i'm Chris Newnham thanks for reading my blog, it's great to meet you at last...your time spent here is valuable to me and i'd really appreciate it if you left a comment or two...P.S. you look fab!