Customization in IE8

I am a user interface tester on the Internet Explorer team and one of my favorite things about any application is the ability to personalize the program to give it your own look and feel.

I am never content with ubiquitous one-size–fits-all solutions and really look forward to products that value user choice. I’m excited that IE8 now has some personalization options and this cycle I have been fortunate to work on two such features – IE8 Look and Feel (customizations around the Command bar) and the Smart Address bar.

First of all, let me walk you through the Command bar area for those of you not familiar with this feature.

A context menu can be invoked by right clicking in the empty space in any of the following areas:

  1. The Legacy File Menu Band,
  2. The Favorites Bar or
  3. The Tab Band

Context menu in the IE chrome which allows you to choose what items should be displayed

Choosing which menus to show

The command bar context menu allows you to choose which of the menu bars you would like see - everything is on by default (notice the check marks in the visual above).

For example, the command bar and menu bars each contain similar options. You might want to turn off one of these to avoid redundancy. Similarly, you can turn off the favorites bar (although I would not recommend this – there are many cool new features here!),   the compatibility view button, and/or the status bar.

In the favorites bar you can customize to see more favorites by right clicking and choosing from the context menu to switch from Long Titles to Short Titles or even just Icons only mode.  The full title will always display in the tooltip.

context menu options to change the title widths on the Favorites bar (Long, short or icons only)

Favorites bar with Long titles, Short titles, and Icons only.

If you uncheck “Lock the toolbars”, you can drag and drop the command bar to a new location. Place it on its own row below the file menu, or align it on the row with the favorites bar – the choice is yours! I personally like moving it to its own row and turning off the menu bar (the second highlight in the picture below).Notice how that opens up space for more tabs in the tab row.

 the command bar can be moved to different locations to free up space on the tab row or the favorites bar.

Changing the position of the stop/refresh buttons

For those of you that would like these buttons to appear on the left side of the address bar, you can do so by clicking “Customize” and then “Show Stop and Refresh Buttons before Address Bar”.

menu to change the location of the stop/refresh buttons.

Choosing menu items on the command bar and the display mode

We have cleaned up the command picker and ensured there is an icon for each item. So now when you add new items to the command bar, this lets you easily identify each option when in “Show Only Icons” mode. You can also choose to “Use large icons” for increased readability.

Or if you like text, there is the good old “Show All Text labels “or “Show selective text” which shows a combination of icons and text.

Menu option to show text labels, selective text or only icons. 

Finally you can use “Add remove commands “to invoke the command well which lets you pick and choose what you would like to display in the command bar.

menu options to add or remove options from the command bar 

Customize the Smart Address bar

One of my favorite features in IE8 is the Smart address bar. I really like how I can quickly pick previously typed addresses, history, or favorite items right from my address bar. And if I’m a frequent feeds user, I can find feeds here too by turning on an option in Internet Options.

the Smart Address bar dropdown with items from autocomplete, history, favorites and feeds. 

In order to change what you would like to see you have to go to File menu>Tools>Internet Options and then choose the “Content tab “and “Auto complete settings”.

Menu to enable/disable selections in the Smart Address bar.

We’d love to hear how you would like to further customize future versions of Internet Explorer. Your preferences and tastes are important to us, and we are committed to continually improving your experience. Keep writing to us and let us know!

Nomita Paul
IE Test

Comments (91)

  1. punkcoder says:

    I’m happy to see you can move the Stop / Refresh buttons to the left of the address bar.  I never understood moving them between the address bar and the search box; always seemed like a bad design decision to me.

  2. Alex says:

    Smart Address Bar and browsing history.

    It is good, but it also runs into chaos. For example, a forum site will have hundreds of entries in my history, but I am usually only interested in getting to the forum listings (list of articles, instead of the individual articles) via the address bar (if I needed to find an article I read before, I would have gone to the history pane to search for it). The old IE7 behaviour is better because the forum listings usually have a shorter URL and appears at the address bar before the longer article URLs.

    Many times, I only want to go to the root of the host (ie path=/). It is also easier done in IE7 than IE8.

    Finally, it seems pressing ALT will confuse the smart address bar (eg ALT-SHIFT+ENTER, trying to open the first entry) . I nearly always want to open it in a new tab without getting the focus, and it cannot be done from the smart address bar.

  3. dave says:

    you still don’t get it, do you? less is more.

  4. Blake Coverett says:

    I’ve been disappointed how much customization as been removed from IE6 through IE8.  Why, for example, can the favorites bar only be dragged down after the tab bar, and not before?  And if you do put them all in one line, why does locking the toolbars then cause the command bar to overflow?  It’s generally a mess, and enough so that I leave the favorites bar turned off and don’t bother with web slices etc.

  5. Matt says:

    I remember years ago seeing a joke article showing what Microsoft Office would like like in the future. It had the entire page filled with toolbars so you could barely see the document.

    That interface was better than yours because at least there was a lot of functionality.

    Don’t you think you should try to get the vertical space at the top of the browser reduced so people can see more web page?

  6. Vad says:

    It would be nice to have a option to change the order of the Smart Address bar result

    e.g. favorites before history.

    But unfortunally there seems to way to do that.

    And history often suggest old unusable (with sid) pages

  7. SiSL says:

    One of features I missed from IE3 is the skinning of background image 🙂

  8. Don Reba says:

    The feedback could not be more contradictory. 🙂

    In my opinion, two toolbars is too much, and no toolbar is wide enough for the tab bar. Hence, there is no place for the favourites bar.

  9. Don says:

    How about the firefox plugin model where I can basically add whatever customization I want via a plugin?

  10. Chris Hubick says:

    How about you let me put the menu bar back up right at the top, just below the title bar.  You know, so it’s consistent with pretty much every other application I have used on the PC over the last 15 years?

  11. Nick says:

    Very impressed with IE8!

    The smart address bar feature is very good but I’d like to be able to choose the display order – for example I would rather have favorites appear before browsing history.

  12. hinop says:

    on my vista, Firefox looks like XP :P. IE8 does take advantage of the new innovative UI look and feel. I wish there is more than just 1 theme though.

  13. Vertical Real Estate says:

    Hey thanks for this, I see some people have multiple lines of toolbars and have everything switched on.  So it’s good you have that option.

    But me, I find my vertical screen space the most valuable real estate on my computer.  I want as little as possible there, particularly on a laptop or NETBOOK where the vertical resolution is at a premium.

    So in my IE8, everything that can be turned off, is.  If I need to change some options, it’s easy enough to hit Alt to get the menu bar.  

    But it could be better.  Two things:

    First, the status bar offers one valuable bit of information I want, which is the website address of a link BEFORE I click on it.  I’d suggest a "tooltip" style interface when I hover a link to fix this.  

    Second, I think Chrome had a good idea with using the title bar of the window for the tabs.  (It looks ugly in Safari though, so thoughtful art is key there.)  I realise this isn’t a good option for less clued up users because they’ll get confused, but for the geeks/experts, it would be awesome to have that option.

  14. David Bailes says:

    You say that the Smart address bar is one of your favorite features. Alas, for people who can’t use a mouse and rely solely on keyboard navigation, the smart functionality of the address bar is effectively inaccessible. Using the keyboard there’s no quick way of moving between the different groups of suggestions (typed, history, favorites, etc.).

  15. Mitch 74 says:

    IE8’s interface is more flexible than IE7’s, that’s for sure.

    It still lacks the flexibility IE6 offered.

    And it’s still miles away from Firefox’s: as another comment pointed out, vertical space is the most appreciated resource a browser can give, especially now with wide screens: why can’t I put shortcuts aside the legacy menu bar? Said menu bar is useful to me, but enabling it wastes so much space!

    Another thing, dating back to Office 97: since toolbars can be reduced to icons only, why can’t I have vertical toolbars?

  16. 1 Make the small X toolbar close buttons in front of every toolbar optional. It is wasting screen space if you are using 3rd-party toolbars.

    2 Make the Favorites button optional, this is very important when you turn tabbed browsing off, because then the Favorites button occupies one full line.

    3 Make the toolbar separator lines optional. Personally I like it better without the vertical lines between the toolbars.

    4 (regression bug) Show 3rd-party toolbars in full screen mode if auto-hide is enabled.

    5 Allow the user to hide the navigation bar.

  17. Olivier says:

    @Chris Hubick: since IE7 there’s a registry trick somewhere to get the menu bar above everything.

    Problem : when you open the favorites panel and you pin it, the address bar goes back above the menu bar… When you close the favorites panel, the menu bar goes back to the top…

    Talking about customization in the favorites panel, why can’t I get icons instead of the texts "favorites", "feeds" and "history" ? It was very useful to see the feeds icon changing when feeds were updated. Yes, I’ve checked "Show only icons" for the toolbars), is there another parameter somewhere ?

  18. Nick says:

    One of my LEAST FAVORITE features is the IE8 "Smart Address bar"

    Mainly because it failed miserably.

    There is one very important item missing.

    There are no FAVICONS for any of the sites so all users see is a big list of meaningless text.

    Thanks for providing this EPIC FAIL feature and NOT providing a REGISTRY hack option to FIX it.

    Congratulations on your "Innovate–" failure.

  19. PabloY says:

    I don’t get it.

    I don’t understand Microsoft. You have many problem to fix. All these aesthetic options are useless. Who tell you boys, that we needed all these things.

    With IE8, besides its many propietary features that complicate web development, you do not even improved the user interfase. Hidding the top menu does not makes you cool. Makes you fool. It’s not about hidding things, it’s about rethinking the way we use the browser.

    For me IE does not change anything since IE5. It’s always the same story. Don’t tell us that this is customization. The only customization king here is Firefox. You want something new, something really different, think Chrome. Safari, as everything that comes from Apple, is great user experience.

  20. mattbg says:

    Getting rid of system folder history in the IE Autocomplete history would be good. Is there anyone that actually accesses system folders with their web browser?

  21. mattbg says:

    One regression in IE8 is that you can’t stack other toolbars on the same row as the Favorites bar. You could do this with IE7 and prior because you could put other toolbars on the same row as the Links toolbar.

  22. Paul R says:

    I like the new Smart Address Bar, I just wish that you’d make proper use of the FavIcons that pretty much every website has. Visual clues like FavIcons make finding the entry you want so much faster. FireFoxs address bar does this so well.

  23. AT says:

    I’m also quite impressed with IE8. Firefox is NOT some miracle, it has its own issues. I only wish IE had built in customizable filter to block content like ads and Flash, similar to Firexox’s Adblock plug-in.

    Regarding "changing the position of the stop/refresh buttons", it is good that they default to right. However, I have difficulty of understanding why Back/Forward buttons are on left side of the window when most people are right-handed? This makes absolutely no sense to me. And it is not possible to move them to right.

  24. Michael says:

    I miss a consistent UI between operating system and Internet Explorer and other Microsoft applications.

    It seems the different development teams at Microsoft decides what they think is the best approach leaving the users with different approaches on who to get the work done.

    That’s ok for power users (the ones posting in this blog) but leaves most users confused.

    The fact that users can configure their Internet Explorer interface in many ways makes things worse for this users. "There was once a button somewhere around to do this – I didn’t do a thing but now the button is gone."

  25. murman says:

    The two things I’d like most:

    1. Ability to right click on the back and forward buttons like in other major browsers, yielding a popup menu of back or forward history respectively (similar to the dropdown, but one direction only). As a generalization, right clicking on button-like things in the extended titlebar area should not be like right-clicking the titlebar.

    2. Ability to hide the funky icon that appears when I select text. The accelerators are already in the context menu and the icon just gets in my way.

  26. Joe says:


    has enyone noticed issue with icons in toolbar?

    an example: installed cooliris, which adds new icon. uninstalled cooliris and ie8 adds Research or any other icon which has not been there before. wtf? why is ie8 adding any icons by itself?

  27. Sterling says:

    Customizing IE8 is way better than it was in IE7 but there are still some customize options that I would like IE8 to have. For example, the Tabs Band should be only occupied by the tabs (hences its name), so why is the Command Bar in the Tabs Band? If I disable the Favorites Bar (I have it enabled all the time), why is it that the Favorites Center move to the Tabs Band? (I moved the Command Bar to the Favorites Band so that the Tabs Band would only have, you guessed it, TABS!)

    Why can’t IE8 be like other browsers in that most have a common layout?

    The Favorites Center and Add to Favorites Bar icons should be combined into one. Why not add the latter as an option, such a checkbox, to the former?

    Why can’t I move the Favorites Center or Command Bar options to be inline with Back, Forward, Refresh and Stop? There it would be a more logical place.

    The Smart Address Bar is one of my favorite features in IE8 but I think it could be a bit smarter. Usually it display a few entries down the entry I’m trying to get to.

    Showing only icons on the Favorites Bar is a good idea but IE isn’t known for handling well favicons. Just look at the screenshot you posted, all those IE page icons! Granted, the sites favorited might not have a favicon but, it could also be IE that lost the favicons (as it has happened to me before).

    IE8 is a good-to-great browser, but there are excellent browsers out there. I have only used IE since v6 but once Google Chrome starts getting features that are in IE8 and beyond, who knows, I might switch to that browser. I have been a loyal IE user for more than 10 years but eventually I’ll have to decide whether to continue with somewhat limited browser, that, granted, I like — IE, or switch to a browser that is starting to look interesting. I havae tried Firefox but I keep going back to IE. Chrome might end that cycle.

  28. Preferite i bottoni a destra … o a sinistra … Ecco come: Per tutto il resto: Customization in IE8

  29. Matthew Raymond says:

    AT: "However, I have difficulty of understanding why Back/Forward buttons are on left side of the window when most people are right-handed? This makes absolutely no sense to me."

    It’s UI convention to put things in the top left so that their position doesn’t change when you resize the window. This also has the side effect of making their screen position constant when the window is maximized. Also, Western cultures read left-to-right, so they look to the top left first.

    I personally feel that the IE interface is a nightmare for users. You have lots of icons all over the place, most of which have no labels and are only described by tooltips, so there was clearly no real thought given to discoverability or patterns of eye movement. The menu is hidden by default and appears in an non-standard position enabled. Pressing the Alt key is not a good solution for bringing up the menu bar because it requires the user to know this in advance an it forces a resizing of the content area and a redraw of most if not all controls in the chrome, which is visually annoying. In addition, the new tab button still has no icon unless you hover over it and there’s a toolbar taking up the space for tabs BY DEFAULT. It’s just a mess.

  30. hAl says:


    There is already an excellent ad blocker called Admuncher for IE. It is often regarded as better than adblock.

    On the other hand, IE 8 does indeed provide some default adblocking capabilities trough InPrivate browsing:

    There are many other adblockers for IE as well.

    And as we speak more are being developed

  31. net says:

    Personally, I really would like to be able to move the command bar and the favorites bar to one row. The command bar can be moved to its own row (as you showed in this blog post), but the favorites bar cannot be moved next to it on the same row. Having just a few favorite items, this way I could spare a row of space on my screen for better page view space, but it seems it is not possible at the moment. Will it ever be possible?

    Just remember that you can move every single item to every single place on Firefox’s user interface. I find this possibility very useful.

    Thanks for the attention.

  32. 6 Add permanent icons to buttons in the status bar. Icon less buttons with only a tooltip to distinguish them is a usability nightmare.

    7 There is an issue with the menu bar if you are in fullscreen mode with auto-hide enabled. If you press Alt, a menu pop-up appears and immediately disappears again.


    another ad blocker for IE8 is Quero

  33. net says:

    Sorry, in my previous post I forgot a couple of points, always from a spare space point of view:

    – I would also like to be able to disable the search-box through the IE interface without having to change some key in the windows registry

    – Also it would be useful to be able to move the command bar to the same row of the address bar

  34. *THIS* is what a customizable GUI looks like!

    When are we going to get an actually customizable GUI for goodness sakes?

    All you guys had to do was add TAB support for IE6 but no…

  35. donmoore says:

    About every third time I launch IE8, I get a message telling me that my last browsing session closed unexpectedly and it gives me only 2 options: Resume last session or Go to my home page. Can I turn off something to stop this dialogue message from appearing?

  36. Dan says:

    donmoore: Your browser is probably crashing (silently) on shutdown.  Try disabling unwanted addons.

    nick: After you graduate from primary school, you’ll stop thinking it’s cool to type in ALL CAPS.  We can’t wait!

  37. Roland says:

    I had to turn off AutoComplete for the Address bar because it’s just too slow. My Windows Search index (under Vista 32-bit with 2 GB RAM) contains 250,000 items, and it takes several seconds while typing until results appear in the address bar drop-down list. This slowdown started to appear in RC1, beta 2 was very fast in this regard.

    After clearing the "Use Windows Search for better results" check box, AutoComplete reaults appear almost immediately and the feature is finally usable. I wasn’t aware that I could turn off this feature until reading your article. Thank you!

  38. Tihiy says:

    The man who made ‘Short Titles’ feature is surely an dot-obsessed idiot.

  39. NeilMc says:

    Anyone know how to get rid of the following prompt

    in AutoComplete?


  40. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @NeilMc: The prompt goes away a few days after you click it.

  41. Sheldon says:

    Neil, do this:

    REG ADD "HKCUSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerMainWindowsSearch" /v "ShowPrompt" /t REG_DWORD /d 0

  42. Dan says:

    Michael Urman, for your #2, you can hide the accelerator button using the checkbox inside Tools | Internet Options | Advanced.  It’s named "Show accelerator button on selection" and it’s near the top.

  43. xpclient says:

    With the new IE8 smart address bar, I really really find myself taking more time to quickly go to a previously visited website even if I use Shift+Enter. Please give users the OPTION to revert to earlier style address bar behavior or new behavior via a checkbox.

    I’d also like to second this request echoed several times by many users to allow customizability like IE6. Please please allow customizing IE9’s various bars (standard toolbar, menu bar, address bar) like how it was possible in IE6. I’d like to drag the toolbar buttons on the same line as the menu bar to allow more space horizontally for the tabbed browsing, that does not seem to be possible. Or drag the favorites bar alongside the menu bar. I’d like to move the search box somewhere else. At the same time, don’t overhaul the UI and remove features/disallow what was possible in the earlier versions to improve productivity or some "less is more" mantra.

    The "Find" (on this page) bar is also too thick. Also, if I’ve added any custom toolbars like Live Search Club, I move it to the menu bar to increase horizontal space, but look how the toolbar won’t let me adjust itself accurately even after unlocking and trying to move it, and forcibly hides part of the menu bar (

    And you again forgot to replace the extremely ugly middle click scroll icon for IE8.

  44. Interface Guru says:

    What good is any of this if you still can’t minimize the current tab by clicking on it – as you can in Opera (from which it was ‘borrowed’) ?

    Tell me that.

    And another thing.

    Why is the current tab so poorly highlighted ?

    When I look along a row of open tabs, it takes me ages to spot which one is the current one.

    These are some basic interface deficits that MS should have addressed before the trivial stuff.

  45. Rob^_^ says:


    You forgot to mention that the Search Box is resizable…. Hover your mouse between the Address Box and the Search Box, you will see the East/West cursor appear, right click and resize the Search Box/Address Box to your preferences.


  46. uitvaartverzekering says:

    xpclient, thank you for the link.

  47. David says:

    Remember in IE6 (and lots of other browsers) when we could move the address bar, or put things to the left or right of it? I still miss that (though not too much, since I haven’t used IE much since).  It’s not very customizable until I can move or hide things I actually want to move.

  48. alex says:

    i go back to ie7!

    i dont like the design and the Customization of ie8

    ie8 looks very old.

  49. rex says:

    "Why is the current tab so poorly highlighted ?"

    Good Call!

    This was a major setback in the IE8 tab design.

    Firefox, Chrome and Safari all do this ***MUCH*** better!

  50. Esben Sundgaard says:

    I like the new IE8 smart address bar a lot! I think it is much better than IE7 and Firefox!

  51. jack says:

    favorite bar need more customization: add new favorite website at the end of favorite bar options and display most visited favorite website option

    favorite 1 click star button changes color to alert user that website is already added in

    favorite center/bar

    reopen closed tab button should be available

    option to show favicon in smart address bar

    seperate home button from command bar

  52. Jack says:

    Help about Inprivate Browsing, Ok When using the regular IE browsing mode does the Inprivate filter still work or does user have to use Inprivate browsing mode in order for the Inprivate filtering to work.

  53. BTW I really like the pictures in this blog post, even the insects, which I am usually afraid of.

  54. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Jack: In the final version of IE8, you can use InPrivate Filtering independently of InPrivate Browsing.  Simply hit CTRL+SHIFT+F (or click the status bar icon) to turn it on/off.

  55. Maz says:


    Is there a way to have the InPrivate Filtering automatically turn on when you start IE?

  56. wai says:

    @ Maz

    seems you need to turn on it manually, from the information in

    "InPrivate Filtering is off by default and must be enabled on a per-session basis."

  57. Dan says:

    wai,maz, there’s a regkey to turn on filtering by default:

    In HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSafetyPrivacIE

    create a dword "StartMode" with value 1 or 2.

    See e.g.

  58. If you enjoy customization so much, you must be upset when they actually take away features between product versions.

    So how about giving us back IE’s ability to respect the inline autocomplete option?

    The Smart Address Bar is cute, but I use the "smart" features about 1% of the time compared to typing the start of an address and hitting "enter" to accept it.  

    And no, the shift+enter doesn’t count, because it keeps trying to make "smart" decisions for me, instead of just using the alphabetical top like inline used to do.  99% of the time, the "smart" suggestion is wrong for me.

  59. Lu Hulu says:

    Why does IE user have to turn on Inprivate Filtering when starting IE 8? Is that normal?

  60. Dan says:

    Lu, yes, this is normal.  But you can just set a registry key if you always want it on:

    In HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftInternet ExplorerSafetyPrivacIE

    create a dword "StartMode" with value 1 or 2.

    See e.g.

  61. Wchris says:

    Help needed with IE8 – cannot install? I downloaded the installation file and run. Installation message says I need to update a file. I download the update file and try to install, but merror message says that my SP3 files are newer than the update.  The installation then aborts.

  62. I have to admit I hate IE but quite cool post. Anyway there is no way to help IE be better…

  63. kh says:


    A major problem that seemed to be overlooked in terms of windows and the performance, are antivirus software. Antivirus software can slow down the PC and web experince.

    There is a huge difference between antivirus programs and their impact on performance on Windows and webbrowsing.

    See, for example the free AVG antivirus and Eset antivirus 4.

    The free AVG antivirus, and others antivirus slow down PC and Web browsing on older PC and are Netbook extremely. While Eset antivirus 4 has almost no influence in perfomance in practical use.  

    Microsoft has plans whith a free antivirus called Morro a continuation of OneCare.

    Therefore Microsoft should do a lot more work in marketing and telling pc users how much influence the antivirus has on performance on PCs and webbrowsing.

    I really hope that Morro from Microsoft become just as fast as Eset antivirus 4, whith just as small footprint.

  64. net says:

    For example, why does one have to edit a registry key to turn InPrivate Filtering always on? Why can’t you just put an option for that somewhere?

  65. Dan says:

    net, you need to be VERY careful what you wish for.  If IE offered a "set it and forget it" option, then it’s pretty likely that most users would turn it on and start blocking all of the advertising sites.  As soon as they did that, the advertisers would retaliate and start taking steps to avoid this blocking (which is pretty darn easy for them to do).

    For those of us that like to block advertising, the absolute WORST thing that could happen is to have IE start doing it automatically, or making it even easier for most people to do so.  Right now, we’re flying under the radar (mostly) and advertisers haven’t bothered circumventing all of the ad-blockers because they’re not losing enough revenue.  If they start losing more money, then pretty much all existing ad-blockers are going to become much less effective.

  66. Lu Hulu says:

    In IE 8 when Inprivate filtering is on the history is not showing "smart address bar". Is this a bug or is that normal?

  67. Lu Hulu says:

    In IE 8 when Inprivate filtering is on the history is not showing "smart address bar". Is this a bug or is that normal?

  68. My AutoComplete is behaving funny and that’s irritating. In the absence of that, I like the new IE8.

  69. angela_aberdeen says:

    Customization to fit personal preferences has never been easier with any other browser I know of.

  70. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Lu Hulu: No, you should still see your history in the Smart AddressBar when InPrivate Filtering is enabled.  I’m not able to reproduce the problem you’ve reported.

  71. Mark B. says:

    I’d love to see some way to reassign F12 for the DevToolBar – because one of our webapps uses F12….

  72. Brugan says:

    Where am I missing the "use personalized favorites menu" setting that used to be on the advanced Internet Options tab?

    Thanks in advance for your help.

  73. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Brugan: The personalized menu system was removed from IE7/IE8.

    @MarkB: The devtoolbar hotkey cannot be remapped, although you can bring up the developer tools using ALT+T, L

    @LuHulu: No, that is not normal, and I’m not able to reproduce missing history when InPrivate Filtering is enabled.

  74. Brugan says:


    Thanks for your prompt response.  I’ll miss that feature in ie8.  It works just fine on several computers I have running both Vista and XP with ie7.  Dunno if that’s progress or not…

  75. ken says:

    "We’d love to hear how you would like to further customize future versions of Internet Explorer."

    How about, you look at the reasons that people choose other browsers over yours? Have ANY of you on the IE dev team *EVER* used another browser, other than IE? I really doubt it; if any of you did, you must suffer from short-term amnesia because IE’s UI is still hands-down the absolute worst browser UI there is.

    Try all of these, I promise it won’t kill you; and when you do try them, please please PLEASE TAKE NOTES!!

    – Firefox

    – Safari

    – Chrome

    – Opera

  76. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    Ken, I’m a regular user of all of the above, as are many people on the IE team.  We also try out the niche browsers you didn’t mention from time to time.

    I’d love to see what specifically your "top 5 list" would contain.  thanks!

  77. Mark B. says:


    Is there any hope that there will be an option to disable the DevTools, at least via Domain Policy / IEAK?

    While *I* find them really cool (and have been using the add-in for quite a while), I think it’s the sort of thing that is just going to create confusion in end-users.

    I was just fine with having to install it, really.

  78. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @MarkB: While I think most users are unlikely to be confused by the developer tools (it’s sorta hard to stumble upon them unknowingly), yes, they can be turned off via Group Policy like almost anything else.

    Inside GPEdit, click Computer Configuration / Administrative Templates / Internet Explorer / Toolbars and configure the "Turn off Developer Tools" policy.

  79. Rose says:

    Help, I just downloaded 8 & I can’t get onto the internet Wht?

  80. Rose says:

    Help, I just downloaded 8 & I can’t get onto the internet Wht?

  81. Rose says:

    Help, I just downloaded 8 & I can’t get onto the internet Wht?

  82. Dan says:

    Rose, you’re clearly on the internet because you made this post.  ðŸ™‚

    If you’re saying that IE always shows the "Page cannot be displayed" error message: Do you have a 3rd party firewall program?  If not, what are your settings inside tools/internetoptions/connections/lan settings?

  83. Rembrandt A. Martinez says:

    Lol inter net explorer is the best explorer I have used. Other explorers are not even touching it! Goodbye.

  84. Bill says:

    I would like to put the Favorites Bar to the left of the tabs – like it was in IE7.  When I move it, the bar splits into two pieces, with Favorites where I want it, and "Add to Favorites" to the right of the tabs.  When will this be fixed?

  85. steve says:

    well having downloaded this and installed it, my first impressions are YUK!

    Why cant you make this look like i.e6, 5 4 etc, that was the explorer we used for years, and suddenly you changed this into ‘tabbed’ browsing.


    why don’t microsoft actually ASK the people who use their products what they think, or even learn how they use them???

    i.8 is totally usutable for use by children, and visually impared, i.e 6 and before was perfect, and easily customiseable.

  86. Dan says:

    steve, I’m not sure if you’re a kid or simply never learned that it’s best to think before writing, but I’ll give you that advice now.

    Tabbed browsing was the number 1 request for IE7 when it was in planning back in 2004, and remains one of the most popular features.  If you want to turn it off, it’s a single checkbox away (tools / options / general / tab settings).  

    As to the claim that "children" or "visually impaired" people cannot use IE8, this is both incorrect and insulting.  

  87. John Marsh says:

    I do NOT like having a list of my "Favorites" sites appear (along with "History" sites)in the drop down box of the address box.  When I delete all settings, they still show up.  How can I make the Favorites list go away…permanently?!

  88. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    John: simply click Tools / Internet Options / Content / Autocomplete Settings and uncheck the "Favorites" box.

  89. John Marsh says:

    EricLaw…THANK YOU!!!  It worked!!!  This was driving me crazy after I upgraded yesterday!!!

    I spent 40 minutes on Windows 1-866-234-6020 Help Line last night.  1st person had no idea what I was talking about so he transferred me to 2nd person (India I think) who didn’t even understand my question. He sent me an email this morning from "NA Windows Connectivity – Frontline CVG PUN" asking for feedback.

  90. Rich Harding says:

    Is it not possible to hide an add-on toolbar without disabling the add-on itself?  If it’s doable I can’t seem to work out how myself – and I’m a Windows app programmer of over 10 years standing!

Skip to main content