My career in technology

Tweaking IE 8

When I installed Internet Explorer 8, there were some things that I felt needed to change. In case you may want to make these modifications too, I offer these fixes.

First off, I have several sites that I have multiple accounts on. For instance, my ISP uses Yahoo for its web mail service. I have a separate Yahoo account that I use for my Yahoo Groups access. On some of the job sites I use more than one profile (one that’s more focused on my web developer skills, the other specifically focuses on SharePoint). Occasionally I like to manage the multiple accounts at the same time (I’m a multitasker). In IE7, the default was for IE windows to run in separate processes, ad tabs within a window to run in the same process. So if I was logged into Yahoo, and opened a Yahoo link in a new tab, I’d still be logged into Yahoo in the new tab. But if I opened a new IE window (from a shortcut on the desktop, start menu or the Quick Launch bar), I was not logged into Yahoo (and could log in under my other account).

With IE8, the windows normally open in the same process, so when I opened a seapare window to manage my other Yahoo account, I was already logged in as the first account. In order to access the second account, I’d have to log out of the first account first.

The solution is actually very easy to accomplish. Right click on the shortcut (you will have to do this for each shortcut that you will use to launch a separate browser) and choose “Properties”. On the “Shortcut” tab, under target, will be a path to the Internet Explorer application, that will read something like “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” (with the quotes). In that field, add to the end, after the quotation mark, a space and “-nomerge” (without the quotes).

Since I generally only use the link in the Quick Launch bar, I actually only made the change to that link, and left the others in their default mode.

The second change I wanted was the removal of the new “Suggested Sites” button on the “Favorites Bar” (formerly known as the “Links Bar”). First of all, during installation I declined to use the “Suggested Sites” feature. I already spend too much time browsing the Internet. Plus, I don’t need Micro$oft suggesting sites for me to visit – I’ve got plenty of people on Twitter doing that. Plus it smacks of monitizing the browser… pay M$ some money, and they’ll flog your site. Sorry, not interested. But, once installed, the button was still there. And it was taking up precious real estate on my Links toolbar, pushing links off my screen and onto the drop menu at the end of the toolbar.

The Help file was no help. The instructions were to go to the Tools menu and choose the Suggested Sites option. Which wasn’t there.  And the feature wasn’t activated during setup anyway.  It turns out that the Suggested sites button is actually just a modified shortcut link and can be moved to the end of the Favorites bar (which I did, moving it into the overflow drop-down at the left of the menu bar) or simply deleted by right-clicking on it and choosing “Delete”.

There you have it, some pretty simple fixes (once you know what to do) for some minor tweaks.  Hope it helps!


Comments on: "Tweaking IE 8" (10)

  1. So, just to show you I am keeping track of who is hitting my blog and why, I saw that today someone searching “ie8 tweaks open new tab from favorites bar” hit this page. Just checked, and if you right-click on any shortcut – on your favorites bar, in your history, or in your favorites, you can select “Open in New Window” or “Open in New Tab”. Pretty simple.

    If you are looking for other fixes or suggestions and can’t find them elsewhere, feel free to post a question here in the replies and I’ll try to figure it out for you.

  2. Hi, I was searching with similar terms and wanted to do the oposite of what you said in your comment. I installed IE8 and when I click on a button in Favorites Bar it actually opens it in a new tab, but I wanted to open it in the currently active one.

    I tried to play with options, but when tabs are in question there are just a lot of options and I didn’t find which one turns this behaviour off (if possible).

    Thanks for any info!

  3. Well, I got it solved.

    Just to help if someone else is experiencing the same thing: I also have IE7Pro installed (mainly to block ads in IE8) and its special setting was generating that kind of behaviour. In IE7Pro just go to Preferences / Base Settings and turn off “Open New Tab from links bar”.


  4. […] Watching some of the searches that found my post on Tweaking IE8, I found clues to specific questions about getting particular behavior related to the tips in my […]

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  6. I have the same issue that Trt mentioned in IE8. When I click on a button in my Favorites (I’m clicking ‘Favorites’ where it says File, Edit, View, Favorties, etc.) it opens it in a new tab in the same browser. I want it to open in the current one from where I clicked the favorite. It only does this when I am on my home page (set to Google, but it didn’t matter when I tried another link). If I am on any other page and choose a favorite the same way, it takes me right to that page in the same tab in the same browser. Any help trying to fix this in IE8 is appreciated. Thank you.

    • Thanks for reading! I have both IE7 and 8 here at work, and neither of them behave that way.

      Try Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab. Check your settings, see if anything there looks like it might cause that behavior. You might even wat to write down what settings are checked, and then click “Restore Advanced Settings”. (If that resolves the problem, you can compare the new settings with what you have written down; if not, you can at least restore what you had before.)

      If that doesn’t work, you might take note of all of your other settings on the other tabs, and click “Reset” in the bottom section of the Advanced tab to completely reset IEs settings. If you’ve done a lot of tweaking of the settings, capturing all of the changes will be a pain. If you haven’t, then doing the reset shouldn’t cause any problems (famous last words), and may resolve your issue.

      Another place to look is the Add-ons (Tools, Manage Add-ons), and try disabling all of them and then, if that resolves the issue, re-enabling them one at a time until the problem reappears (at which point you have found your culprit).

      Good luck with it; if you have any specific questions along the way, feel free to ask!

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