Add-ons: Staying in control of your browsing experience

In recent posts we discussed the various ways that add-ons can impact browsing performance. We shared some data about add-on performance, described how we measure performance and included guidance to help add-on developers do the same. These efforts help us drive improvements to the quality of the add-on ecosystem.

It’s equally important for consumers to be able to stay in control of their browsing experience with add-ons. We recently shared our point of view on the benefits of having user consent during add-on installations. Beginning in IE8, we started measuring add-on performance in the browser so that users can make an informed decision about their add-ons.

With IE9 Beta we introduce a set of functionality that brings together our thinking around add-ons, performance and user control. In this post, we describe a new consent experience when you install add-ons in IE9. We also describe functionality that monitors add-on performance and helps you identify slow add-ons to disable. You can try out these features with IE9 Beta today. You can also take a quick glimpse of the features in action here:

Installing an Add-on

IE9 notifies you when new add-ons are installed to ensure that only the ones given explicit consent can run in the browser.

IE asks for your consent when you install any markup-based add-ons such as Accelerators, Web Slices or OpenSearch providers. Since all markup-based add-ons are installed from within the browser, this guarantees that every markup-based add-on running in your browser has your explicit consent.

This is not the case with binary add-ons such as Toolbars and BHOs, since these installations occur outside of the browser. Some binary add-on installations are the result of you explicitly seeking them out and installing them. Other add-on installations are bundled with other software. These can be a surprise to you, and are often installed without your explicit consent.

The browser is unable to determine which add-ons were installed through your consent since the installations occurred outside of the browser. Once these add-ons are installed they will affect your browser’s performance, reliability and possibly privacy.

Similar to the experience for markup-based add-ons, IE9 asks for your explicit consent to enable newly installed binary add-ons. This helps you keep track of what add-ons you have enabled and allows you to quickly identify a recently occurring performance or reliability issue to the problematic add-on.

The first time you launch IE9 after installing an add-on, you will see the following notification displayed near the bottom of the IE window. This is the same place where other notifications are displayed in IE9, such as file downloads and security. Displaying these notifications at the bottom of the window minimizes the performance impact on the browser and ensures that it stays out of the way of your browsing:

Notification Bar - Contoso Toolbar is ready for use

Instead of enabling the add-on automatically, IE asks if you want to use the add-on and keeps you in control. Pressing “Enable” enables the add-on. If you’re enabling a toolbar or Explorer Bar add-on it will become immediately visible on the IE window. If you are not sure how you acquired the add-on, you can dismiss the notification or press “Don’t enable”.

We designed this notification to be non-modal so that you can ignore it if you don’t want to take action yet. Since it’s possible you may not have noticed the notification, we keep it displayed for up to 5 sessions before auto-dismissing it.

Sometimes it’s possible to have multiple add-ons installed at once. For example, some add-ons come bundled with many related components. Instead of showing several notifications on top of another, IE displays a variation of the above notification:

Notification Bar - Several Add-ons are ready for use

Pressing “Enable” launches the Choose Add-ons dialog where you can select which of the installed add-ons you want to enable:

Choose Add-ons dialog, several add-ons are listed with a button to enable

Once you enable an add-on it no longer appears in the list. When you press “Done”, any add-on that remains in this list stays disabled. If you decide to enable some of these add-ons later, you can do so through the Manage Add-ons dialog.

This new functionality in IE makes sure that any new binary add-ons installed only runs with your explicit consent. Add-on developers should ensure that their add-ons trigger this consent experience properly in IE9 by following the IE add-on guidelines and requirements.

Add-on Performance Advisor

IE9 notifies you when the total performance impact of your add-ons exceeds a threshold and shows you the relative performance impact of each add-on.

Add-ons often decrease your browsing performance in crucial activities like opening new tabs or navigating to webpages. Add-ons with significant performance impact can cause tabs to hang as well. However, it’s not always obvious to you what causes the decrease in browsing performance.

We previously described the two metrics we use to measure add-on performance: load time and navigation time. These metrics map to the two browser usage scenarios that we talked about above: tab creation and webpage navigation. These are the scenarios where add-ons are known to have the biggest performance impact on.

IE9 monitors both the load time and navigation time for add-ons that are running in the browser. Each time you create a new tab or navigate to a webpage, IE records the load or navigation time for each add-on. IE stores the last 10 data points for each add-on and uses the data to calculate the average load or navigation time.

When the total average load or navigation time of all enabled add-ons exceeds a threshold, IE displays the following notification:

Notification Bar - Speed up startup and browsing by disabling add-ons.

As mentioned before, several studies regarding website response time report that users notice any delay of over 0.2 seconds. Actions that are faster than 0.2 seconds appear instantaneous. Scenarios with response times slower than that threshold can feel “slow” to users. Based on this research, we set the default threshold of the performance advisor to 0.2 seconds. Since human perception thresholds don’t change, regardless of the hardware you’re running on, we keep the same threshold for all machines running IE9.

Once you see the notification, you can choose to ignore it if you are comfortable with making the performance tradeoff for your add-ons. If you dismiss the notification, IE does not notify you about add-on performance issues for one day or until you subsequently enable an add-on (since that add-on may have a performance impact).

Pressing the “Disable add-ons…” button launches the Choose Add-ons dialog which displays the list of enabled add-ons, their load or navigation times, and the total performance impact:

Choose Add-ons dialog - performance characteristics of add-ons are listed with the choice to disable them.

The times shown in this dialog are based on the metric that most exceeded the threshold. For example, if your total average add-on load time is 0.5 seconds and your total average navigation time is 0.4 seconds, IE displays the load time values in the dialog.

The add-ons are displayed in order of their load or navigation times (longest times first), with the times graphically displayed in colored bars as well. The red bars indicate that the performance impact exceeds the threshold” (the default is noticeable); in other words, by disabling the add-ons with red bars you will be able to stay below the threshold. The width of the bars indicates the relative impact to the slowest add-on, which has a bar of maximum width.

Once you disable an add-on it no longer appears in the list and is immediately disabled in the browser. The total performance impact of your add-ons is updated accordingly in the dialog. It’s important to note that IE doesn’t automatically disable slow add-ons. Instead we display this information to help you make an informed decision on your add-ons - you can still choose what add-ons you want to keep enabled.

You can also configure the threshold in this dialog. While 0.2 seconds is the default value, you can select a different threshold to cater to your preferences on add-on performance. For example, if you tend to use many add-ons and are comfortable waiting longer to open a new tab, you can set the threshold to 1.0 seconds. With this change IE will only notify you if your add-ons’ total average load or navigation time exceeds 1.0 seconds.

Once you’ve finished configuring your add-ons, pressing the “Done” button dismisses the dialog. If you’ve disabled some add-ons, try to open some new tabs or perform webpage navigations. You’ll notice the difference in browser performance. If you want to view the performance impact of add-ons on your own, you can visit the Manage Add-ons dialog. We’ve added a column to display each add-on’s navigation time:

Manage Add-ons dialog

Try it out!

Together, these two features help you stay in control of the add-ons running in your browser and minimize potential impact add-ons have on your browsing experience including performance, reliability, and privacy. You can experience this yourself by installing IE9 Beta today. If you currently use add-ons, you can now identify the ones that are slow and make informed decisions to stay fast.

These features are also useful for developers making their add-ons faster. We talked about the metrics described here in previous posts on measuring add-on performance. Developers, you can gauge the performance of the add-ons you build, and make improvements to minimize load time and navigation time.

We look forward to hearing feedback on these features in the comments or on Connect!

Herman Ng
Program Manager

Comments (122)

  1. Wifiaero says:

    Guys keep up the good work but can you remove the white bar below the tab it gets annoying if a page background is not white and you all should check out and on you should support glow because the word "New" supposed to be glowing in light blue it's glowing on all browsers except IE.

  2. memorix says:

    These changes regarding add-ons are all welcome because they put the user in control. I hate those toolbars that come bundled with "free" software, and the changes in IE9 allow me to easily get rid of an unwanted toolbar. (Of course there are other toolbars I use often, like the Windows Live toolbar or Snagit.)

    There is just one strange thing I noticed with IE9 regarding add-ons: when starting the browser using a shortcut on the taskbar (after dragging a browser tab to the taskbar), no add-ons seem to be loaded. For example, when starting Twitter using the taskbar shortcut, I cannot use the Snagit toolbar. Even my IE spellchecker add-on (which corrects my tweets) isn't working then.

    Can you confirm this? Is this a bug in the beta?

  3. WaitingForASingleObject says:

    Nice changes! Very well thought-out. However, can organizations deploy certain add-ons on their computers without requiring user consent (via group policy or similar)? We've developed an in-house toolbar for intranet functionality, and it's installed on all new machines by default in our organization by just silently executing an installer package (msi).

  4. Herman [MSFT] says:


    The behavior you noticed is expected as pinned websites don't run with add-ons enabled. Feel free to voice your feedback by filing an issue with the Connect database.

  5. WaitingForASingleObject says:

    Another question: We have developed a separate BHO that is only used in explorer.exe (not iexplore.exe). Will toolbands and BHOs running only in Windows Explorer also require user consent? If yes: Would that mean that users would have to start IE9 first, allow the BHO, and then would be able to use it in Windows Explorer?

  6. James Kirk says:

    The video doesn't work. Can you also put up a WebM one? Ta.

  7. neowinfan says:

    Our add-on implements 2 toolbands. The primary one is always visible; however, the second one is only temporary used (in a specific mode) and made visible by demand (when the user clicks a specific button on the first toolband). This is a problem with IE9, which automatically seems to show all toolbands after the user gave consent in the new notification bar. However, only the primary toolband should be visible by default.

    In general, I'm afraid most users might often not discover the new notification band at the bottom (Paul Thurrott mentioned this also). How about adding a soft drop shadow under the band to make it more stand out? Or, animate the gold ribbon on top for the first 5 seconds or so (like Outlook does when loading a message, for example). I'm 100% percent sure that many users will think "Why doesn't IE start my download?" after initiating a download, because they didn't discover the notification at the bottom.

  8. ie9 user says:

    When multiple add-ons are newly installed, why not change the text on the enable button to "Enable…" to signify that the user will be able to select from a list, just like you do on the disable add-ons notification"?

  9. Fenny says:

    But why doesn't IE tell me which addons are ready to use. I got this dialog-…/addonsc.png

  10. hdw says:

    Nice ,Anyway to *manually* bring up the new add-on management UI ?

  11. Wheret says:

    Fenny, like the post says, clicking enable in this notification case will open a window showing all the add-ons.

  12. gary ng says:

    just installed ie 9 and uninstalled it after 30 minutes. It is much faster than ie 8 but the new ActiveX warning message is unbearable. In ie 8, it sites unintrusively at the top of the page, now it 'yell' at me at the bottom blocking part of what is there. ie is the only browser does it right that i want to enable flash/siliverlight but not for every site and just ignore the message when it asks for it. it was clean and very usable. please bring that back.

    other minor thing, if you want to take away the top window title bar, make it like chrome where the tab use up that space, now it is wasting the space(blank but still not usable area) then i would rather see the page title.

  13. Max says:

    Please!!! Change the "Manage Favorites" window!!! You keep it unchanged since IE6! And also please show download speed in download manager!!!

  14. Max says:

    And please! Show title of webpage in window title!! It's empty and it's wasting space! May be you will also delete tabs and address bar in next IE in favor of simplicity of interface?

  15. Max says:

    Oh, and beta feedback is not working with windows live sign-in assistent from Windows Live beta) So funny that your beta products don't work together)

  16. Herman [MSFT] says:


    Yes, there is a group policy where corporations can specify a list of add-ons to be automatically enabled in IE. You can search for that policy under the set of IE group policies. Also, we've allowed you the ability to specify an add-on to be "Windows Explorer" only so that it doesn't need to run in IE and stays enabled in Windows as designed.

    We'll provide more details on the group policies and Explorer-only settings in a future post. Thanks for asking.

  17. art says:

    In both notifications about installed add-ons you use 'Enable' button. While its usage in the first case is correct, I think it should be changed somehow (e.g. "Show add-ons") when multiple add-ons were installed to indicate that there is another window that allows some selection. Otherwise many users could think that pressing it will enable (just as it does in the first case) all add-ons and they can press "Don't enable" button to be safe.

  18. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @James Kirk

    The video is hosted using Silverlight. Are you sure you had the plugin installed for your browser?


    Part of our point of view for the notifications UI is to stay out of your way when you're browsing. Bringing too much attention to the notification may serve to distract you from your current activity. However, I agree with your assertion that users expect some actions to run functionality in IE and they may be left waiting if they don't notice the notification. We'll take this feedback as we consider tuning the experience. Thanks!

    @ie9 user

    Great feedback, thanks!


    This link contains steps to manually bring up the dialog:…/add-on-performance-advisor-in-internet.html

    It's encouraging to see users passionate about investigating their add-on performance. We've heard feedback that users want to be able to manually invoke the dialog more conveniently and we'll take that into consideration too.

    @gary ng

    I'm curious about your experience. It may be a bug. Can you tell me which ActiveX controls IE asked for your permission to enable?

  19. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @art: Sounds like a "+1" on @ie9 user's feedback. thanks for speaking up!

  20. fr says:

    @art Agree that for multiple add ons its not clear, I think it should be just one Show Add-Ons button in the notification, and the resulting dialog should have Enable and Don't Enable for each.

  21. GoodThings2Life says:

    I don't understand why there is no "Force Remove" option for Toolbars and BHO type addons… only Enable/Disable. Please add this capability!

    Otherwise, these are welcome changes and improvements.

  22. ie9 user says:

    @GoodThings2Life: What would "Force Remove" do? I understand it what you are wanting as "uninstall". From what is in the article, toolbars and BHOs are installed outside of the browser, in Windows itself. IE shouldn't do any installing/uninstalling of things that can affect more than itself. Perhaps as a compromise, have IE give a link to add/remove programs and filter (if possible) to only show the toolbars/bhos listed in IE.

  23. Jote says:

    This is very exciting stuff, I particularly like the Outlook Web Access – it's a perfect example of a "site as application" and how jumplist blurs the border between OWA and real Outlook. Makes me want to upgrade to Windows 7! Great job.

  24. Dave says:

    I'm not going into Connect to file this because we all know that is a frustrating waste of time however I would like to add to the masses in stating that:

    The static notification at the bottom of the window at the farthest point possible away from where the users eyes, focus, and actions are taking place is a complete and utter UI Failure.

    There are 2 improvements required.

    1. Move the notification to the top of the screen.

    2. Animate its appearance (even just a tiny-little-bit) so that the user realized they are being asked something – if it is too static, it gets overlooked.


  25. wai says:

    I enable Flash control only in youtube and google map street view, however when browsing other website, IE keeps asking me to run Flash or not. It would be nice to have an option to remember my decision(or even disable this alert globally), instead of repeat and repat asking…

  26. wai says:

    1) in beta Alt+M cannot go back to Home. Home icon is higlighted, an extra 'enter' key needed to activate the shortcut

    2) After click the 'tab' and it is focused (bounded with some dots), the page area cannot be scrolled via mouse wheel. Have to click the page area once again before can scroll

  27. gary ng says:

    > I'm curious about your experience. It may be a bug. Can you tell me which ActiveX controls IE asked for your permission to enable?

    flash/silverlight. While I still can ignore it like before, the placement of the warning message(bottom middle) and the size(much stand out than ie 8), it is effectively asking me to 'deal with me'. I enable both but remove all site from the allowed list.

    In IE 8, it is one standard horizontal bar that nicely blend into the page.

    In other words, the functionality and behaviour is exactly the same, the placement and presentation is very annoying and almost 50%+ of the site I visit has flash which I don't want them to run, the new arrangement effectively becomes a 'non-modal popup'(bottom center, about 2 rows of text) and make it not usable.

  28. gary ng says:

    while IE 8 is the slowest browser among the popular ones, it is the most effective one for me due to usability. So please keep this advantage. goole chrome is fast but i only use it on google site because it would unconditionally enable flash/silverlight in every site i visit(it shares the enable/disable state with ie but ignore the selective site feature)

    in fact like wai, i would like a way to say to 'this site is blacklisted' so don't bother to ask me about flash/silverlight permission in the future, just don't allow it.

  29. halo says:

    It would be nice for plug-in management if you could maintain two lists of sites for those allowed to run the plug-in and those which are not permitted to run the plug-in.  If the plug-in doesn't fit into either list then the user would be prompted (or perhaps that default action could also be specified.)  That would allow me to easily specify that a specific plug-in runs on only a couple of sites where I want to permit it to run and not anywhere else without ever asking me about it.  It would be nice to also allow you to add entries to that list from within Addon Management.

  30. Anon says:

    In IE8 the Manage Add-ons dialog, which I think hasn't changed much in IE9 has two main issues which you should take seriously:

    1. It uses badly worded and as a result hard to understand grouppings of add-ons:

    "Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer" — What does that mean? Add-ons that have been install perhaps? Then, why don't you say "All Add-ons" which is more simple and at least understandable?

    "Add-ons that are loaded by Internet Explorer" — Why don't you simply say "Currently loaded"?

    "Add-ons that can load without permission" — What does that mean? Is there a group that lists add-ons that cannot load unless you give them permission too?

    "Downloaded Activex Controls" — How are these different from add-ons?

    As you can see these grouppings have long labels, are hard to understand, are not mutually exclusive and look like they have been designed by someone who does not speak English.

    2. Many of the add-on names are not understandable. They consist of long strings of numbers and letters. In other cases, there are multiple add-ons with the same name like multiple ones that have to do with Java. Even Microsoft add-ons have the same problems. In other cases yet, the names of add-ons are not very descriptive. For example, the "Default Assistant" or something named similar to that is even installed by Microsoft in Firefox and it has no description and the name as you can see makes no real sense. What "Defaults"? The "Assistant" of what?

    As you can see, it is easy to improve the experience at least of your own add-ons.

    3. And a last point is of course to repeat what you already know that in IE one cannot easily update and uninstall add-ons, like in other browsers in which add-ons, auto-update, easily uninstall from one single place and are easily discoverable and easy to install without having a separate and different-looking installer coming with each one.

  31. WaitingForASingleObject says:

    @Hermann: Thanks, that's great news (regarding group policy and Windows Explorer support)!

    BTW, the list view in the Manage Add-ons dialog box should use the new Explorer style because it would offer full-row tracking (highlighting) on hover (SetWindowTheme(hwndList, L"Explorer", NULL); requires LVS_EX_DOUBLEBUFFER).

  32. WaitingForASingleObject says:

    I agree with Anon's point that many add-on names are cryptic, and the user might not know what a specific add-on does given the name alone. Thus, the user might be unsure whether he can safely turn off a specific add-on and what its consequences might be. That's mostly relevant for BHOs as they don't show a UI. The user might be tempted to simply disable BHOs with a strage name ("What's 'BHO' anyway? Sounds like a virus!"), and because he cannot see any difference in the UI afterward, he might think it's OK while only discovering later that something's no longer working as usual.

    Suggestion: In addition to an often cryptic name ("What does SearchHelperBho Class from Microsoft actually do?") , allow an additional helpful *description* for each add-on. When registering an add-on in the registry, developers could put the description in a documented registry value. The description would be used to display the purpose of an add-on. If present in the registry, IE9 would display the desciption when selecting an add-on in the Manage Add-ons dialog box and in the Choose Add-ons dialog box. 100 characters maximum would be enough. Explorer versions prior to IE9 would simply ignore the registry value.

  33. Joe Tracy says:

    I like ie9 a lot. I left ie. a long time ago for FireFox and this new internet explorer ALMOST brought me back. There is one major feature missing and that is the ability to customize the New Tab page. People who use FireFox, Chrome, etc. have enjoyed abilities to create directories of sites they frequently visit and organize it the way they want for easy access. I.E. doesn't allow you to do this. Instead I.E. lists most visited sites on the New Tab page. That doesn't help me, especially since it is constantly changing. Once I.E. has the ability to customize the New Tab page, I likely will make the jump back.

  34. Yon says:

    Love it so far, just some minor issues with the wasted space at the the top. Why not put the 'Favorites Bar' up there, as in; the links appear as buttons on the transparent background. The 'Favorites Bar' as it is now is kinda hideous, doesn't really fit with the whole design.

  35. Joe Tracy says:

    One more thing I see as a problem with I.E. 9 is general confusion. You have Add-Ons and Accelerators. How am I supposed to know what the difference is between the two and how they work? And where's the button for me to find more Add-Ons? When I click Manage Add-ons, it takes me to a screen that talks about accelerators and even gives me a link to find more accelerators. Where's the link to find more add-ons? Because you work on the project what is easy for you to discern between may not be easy for the new (or average) user to discern between.

  36. thenonhacker says:

    I like this, the Toolbars are Not visible by default!

    You made the right move, and you officially ended the IE Toolbars Screenshot Jokes on the web:…/search  (Yes there are a lot)

    ALSO: I am seeing another feature that Firefox and Google will copy — your Add-Ons Performance Indicators. Where are the naysayers now that IE9 actually innovated?

  37. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @Joe Tracy: have you tried pinning your favorite websites to the windows taskbar? This way you can quickly access them without even launching IE9 first.

  38. memorix says:

    @Herman: Pinning favoriste websites to the taskbar will result in a stripped-down IE because no add-ons will be active then.

    I'm writing this comment in Chrome because it offers a nice spell checker by default. For the same purpose, I have a special spell checker add-on in IE. It's been working fine in the last years, but it doesn't work when using a pinned website in IE9! You wrote earlier that this is "expected behavior". However, I guess the user would not "expect" such a behavior. What's the purpose of disabling all add-ons for pinned sites? I searched the blog and still couldn't find an official word from MS why the power of add-ons was removed for pinned sites? I really LOVE the pinned sites idea, but without add-ons, it's too limiting and pretty useless.

  39. James Kirk says:

    @Herman [MSFT]: Yes, I'm sure of the installation status of Silverlight on my system. I'm just as sure that a WebM copy of the video will resolve the difficulties in watching it. Why not maximize the opportunity for visitors of this blog to watch its videos? It really is a positive outcome that is rather trivial to achieve.

  40. babetik says:

    I can't leave a feedback by the beta browser 'cause it's can't find my windows live accses helper. (hebrew ui, windows 7 Ultimate x64)

    1. Why the browser doesn't show a meesage about finished download as a default?

    2. my smart screen anti virus check never works

    3. i think you need to show something when page loaded, it's little annoying now..

    4. in some textboxes the cursor that sign if the language is rtl or ltr is inverse.. (etc, facebook chat..)

    5. it's fast!!!! you're the best!!!!

    6. it's cool that you check the load time of add-ons, but i tried to stop my java add-on (0.5) and it still there (in parentheses)

    everything else is very very good!

  41. Sujeet Nayak says:

    There are many who like IE9 UI as well as many who are confused. I really miss the separate search bar. No matter how hard u try, you cannot please everbody. Why dont u put an end to debate once and for all.

    Depending upon you statistics and best practices, design the UI as u like. But provide a drop down option from tools menu(say IE Look & Feel) to mangae the UI by user themselves. It should be similar to windows form and tool box. Whereever the user want ot put their components, let them drag and dock to any side they want(of course not in center). For example, if I want my url bar to be at bottom, will u play Steve Jobs and say "You should hold ur laptop upside down"!!!

  42. Herman [MSFT] says:


    parantheses wrapped around the load time indicates that the addon is disabled. It will no longer affect your browsing performance.

  43. I.M.Worried says:

    Please guys, clean up your context menus! They're way too large with too many, unnecessary options.

  44. Fernando says:

    Can i delete a add on or just disable ?

  45. Fernando says:

    If I start ie with add on it slows down, so slow … start without add on it gets very fast, but if I start ie with add on and disable all add on,  continues very slow, any tip ?

  46. Jeisson says:

    I started to use it, it's a great advance, I need to test it more, but until now is a best way to  follow.

    By now… only one feature is missing (only for now), where is the download speed?, why is not present in the download manager?

    Best regards

  47. @Jeisson: Please see…/show-download-speed-in-ie9-download-manager.aspx. Thanks!

    @Fernando: Most add-ons cannot be deleted from IE itself because most add-ons are coded to require administrative permissions to install and uninstall, or they are part of larger applications which include more than just the add-on. Hence, to remove those add-ons, you must use the Programs and Features tool in the System Control panel to remove the add-ons. When you disable an Add-on in IE, however, it doesn't run, so disabling should be all you need to do.

  48. Fernando says:

    ErickLaw, i started with add on and disable, but ie still very slow, if I start without add on, it runs very fast,, why ?

  49. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Franando: I'm not sure, but I've heard of this happening before. What's your homepage URL?

    @wai: Rather than using ALT+M to get to the Home button, try ALT+Home instead.

  50. Greg says:

    Could MSFT talk to what the plans are for Betas?

    Will the Beta releases be on any type of schedule like the Previews?

    I think the success of the frequent platform preview releases (~6 weeks right?) and the faster realease of other browser development versions (nightlies, weeklies, etc) have shown this is what to work towards.

  51. Fernando says:

    my homepage is,but this thing happens in every site, every site that I visit this thing happens all the time

  52. jabcreations says:

    Question @IE team…

    How does IE manage communication between addons and new tabs? Is there an array with ID's for open tabs that addons poll or does IE have to manually notify addons when a tab is opened/closed or something else?

  53. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @jabcreations: The add-on model is unchanged from IE6; each tab loads its own instance of the add-on. There is no supported method for an add-on in one tab to receive notice of other tabs being created or destroyed, although since each tab has its own copy of the add-on, the two instances may communicate with each other using standard cross-process communication methods.

  54. Anonymous says:

    Also, I've been noticed that A Platform Preview 5 was released with no fanfare.

    Could you explain the purpose for this? What I am hoping is the case, and if it's not I would like to suggest that a platform preview or something similar become a permanent fixture even after IE9 goes stable so we can see the direction IE is heading, just like how Firefox and Chrome have their nightly Minefield or Canary builds. Or maybe you could start your own nightly with a similarly clever name like Internet Exploder or CrashTest nightly. The team seems to always come up with some neat ideas with pre-release browsers, but you give the impression each time as if this is the first beta and that you're improvising with these previews, even though they were a very good idea.

    But back to the question, will new platform preview continue to be released in 6 week cycles? Will they be updated any faster than the beta? Has Trident 5.0 reached the last call for new features?

  55. Fernando says:

    anyone have my problem too ?

  56. MIguel Web Developer says:

    just a little off topic… Read this information about HTML5 video

    "Encoding Video for the Web: Webinar Replay Video"

    It looks interesting πŸ™‚

  57. jabcreations says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT] Thanks for the explanation!

  58. Miguel Web Developer says:

    MathML Test Suite…/complex2.xml

    Firefox can renderer this page correctly

  59. Greg says:


    Platform Preview 5 would allow you to test along side IE8.  

    I agree it would be nice for some sort of regular release to happen.

  60. Len says:

    My IE9 beta install seems to have a few issues.

    Whenever I am typing up a blog comment or working in a textarea on the Internet the spell checker doesn't seem to pick up my typos or offer me correct spellings.

    Is there something wrong with my install?  It appears to work fine in my Firefox install and my Safari install and even my Chrome install and has done for years but it refuses to work in my IE9 install.

    I thought .innerHTML was the only known major bug in IE9 – but I guess there's more.

    Is there a complete list of bugs for IE9 that we can see?

  61. Roland says:

    In the Manage Add-ons dialog box, the title ("View and manage your Internet Explorer Add-ons") doesn't use the correct blue like it should be according to the Vista/7 standards (in the Choose Add-On dialog box, the title color is correct). The wrong blue is also used in the dialog box that appears when closing a toolbar by clicking its X button. In the latter dialog box, also a wrong background color is displayed around the buttons, and the dialog font should be Segoe UI 9pt.

  62. Roland says:

    @Len: Is your spell checker provided by an add-on? If yes: Did you start IE using a shortcut to a website on the taskbar? If yes: In this mode ("Pinned sites"), IE9 currently disables all add-ons, which would also affect your spell checker add-on. Another user has reported this here as well. Let's hope that MS restores complete add-on functionality in beta 2. Otherwise, lots of people might not use Pinned Sites because of its add-on constraints.

  63. gawicks says:

    @Roland: The bug has been filed in connect  #601809

  64. thanks says:

    it's a good browser.. congratulations πŸ™‚ finally windows enjoy a much better default browser.

  65. Private Ryan says:

    Hi congratulations on the great release. I had a question about InPrivate Filtering, is there an API that an add-in developer could use to make it a bit more useful. For example the feature is very useful but a significantly problem is that the raw site count causes problems with legitimate website (Facebook / and the manual list is too clunky. It would be nice to have something that pops up and says ' has been accessed from 20 different websites, would you like to block it from now on', so that this choice can be made on an informed basis. There also need to be a clearer error of why something is not working – it took me ages to figure out why wasn't logging me in (it turned out to be InPrivate Filtering that was preventing the log in). I realise this featuer might not be a focus for IE9 but it would be nice if an API could be made available to add-in writers to add features like these.

  66. hAl says:

    Has the definition of mixed content chenged between IE8 and IE9 beta.

    It seems like I have more issues with getting the message about mixed content in IE9 on pages where I do not remember getting the message before.

  67. 7flavor says:

    The only 2 things I don't like about IE9 is 1. how some of the options have been taken away from users without giving any choice in Internet Options or Advanced Settings. I don't like losing features like most of the status bar functionality, freely moving around toolbars, text labels and dozens of other features gone. Bring those back but off by default.  2. XP support. If the IE team's attitude is going to be "IE9 isn't going to change now, the features gone are gone for good to "simplify", take it or leave it, I will do just that. Leave IE for other feature-rich browsers.

  68. Bugger says:

    There are SO MANY DUPLICATED BUGS AND SUGGESTIONS on Connect. I think the biggest problem is eliminating duplicate bugs. Someone from the IE team should be dedicated full time to merging redundant and duplicate bugs and suggestions. Searching and reading 2000+ bugs and growing by the day is a nightmare. IE team, please do something about the duplicate bugs, otherwise I don't feel like submitting any because of the sea of information overload.

  69. thwack says:

    IE team see this:…/search-bar. The advantage with a search box over a combined one is that the text is retained in the box so I don't have to type my complex query again if I want to search again but with a different search provider. Please bring back the search box as an option as this is a critical design flaw in a single unified search box plus address bar (One Box).

  70. jumplists says:

    Like we can pin one site per taskbar button, can we simply pin individual sites each as a jump list to the main IE icon?

  71. Connector says:

    I am just browsing IE feedback on Connect and 90% of the issues are about IE8 features missing in IE9. IE team, you need to realize that not everyone wants minimal look with less functionality.

  72. IE tester says:

    Why does the About IE9 dialog box have a scroll bar for the copyright warning?

  73. Parrotlover77 says:

    I love most of what I see so far, but the bottom-of-the-screen security pop-up is extremely non-visible after being trained for so many years to look for the yellow bar at the top!  I can't tell you the number of times since I've installed IE9 that I've frustratingly clicked on a link, only for nothing to happen, then I finally notice "a pop-up has been blocked" at the bottom.

    Conversely, the "you can improve performance by disabling add-ons" seems to pop up all the time, yet I'm perfectly happy with my load-time experience.  I understand that users for many years have blamed poor IE performance on lousy plugins, but you might want to include a checkbox for "don't show me again for this plugin."  It gets annoying dismissing that thing constantly.

  74. @bugger: Fear not– there is actually an entire subteam of folks combing through the issues on Connect. Their primary task is ensuring that the feature teams get the highest priority bugs fixed, but I believe they're also de-duplicating as they go.

    @IETester: This should have been fixed before the beta. Can you please email me a screenshot? ericlaw at microsoft.

    @hAl: There will be a post on Mixed Content changes. Generally speaking, you should see FEWER warnings as we no longer warn for insecure images by default (instead we just remove the lock). There are a few narrow cases where you might see warnings anew– please email me a URL and I'd be happy to have a look.

    @Len: I assume you're just being snarky? In case you're not: IE does not have a built-in spellchecker. Various add-on spell-checkers are available.

  75. Jace says:

    A couple of suggestions/votes for previous suggestions:

    1. Change the header color of the notification window. The orange color and position make me keep missing it. Maybe make it the color of your profile's theme, or a standard blue?

    2. Give us the option of a separate tab bar, below the address bar.

    3. Put the website title back in the title bar.

    To all those who want tabs on top, honestly, that's too far to travel with a mouse/touchpad. Keep it under the address bar. I can hit the address bar with Alt + D, but to hit a specific tab, I'd rather have a separate tab bar, under the address bar.

  76. Stan says:

    @EricLaw – I'm sure @Len was being snarky – but he brings up a valid point.  IE *should* definately have its *own* spellchecker *built-in* (no-exceptions!) not having one is embarr-ass-ing. I'm posting this in IE now, and I don't see typos which is extremely silly since its 2010 and spellcheckers have been written in 21 lines of code in almost every language under the sun.  Add one, commit it, be done with it.

  77. Stan says:

    oh, and to second every other poster…. I will *NEVER* want my tabs to share space with the address bar… *EVER*.  Please provide an option to put tabs on their own row so that I can open more than 3 of them (and see them) at once.

  78. POV says:

    Stan, IE also doesn't have a feature that warns you how embarassed you'll be when you identify yourself as so moronic that you think anything is "21 lines of code." Seems like you need that feature worse.

  79. James says:

    Is there some sort of schedule/roadmap for the other beta releases of IE9 you can publicly share with us?

    With the Preview builds we knew that a new one was going to be released about every 8 weeks. But what about now? Does the 8 weeks policy still apply?


  80. Rob Colburn says:

    "Leave Feedback" should be easy / available to all users.

    It's easy to feel great about your product when you talk in you about it in an echo chamber.

    This was my experience providng feedback (Vista 32 SP2).

    1. About the 3rd site I visited has broken content (ironically, including a broken IE9 ad).

    2. I thought, the modern IE team seems to really respond to users, I'll try reporting this with a screenshot.

    3. Click Gear>Send Feedback

    4. "You do not have separate Win-ID plugin installed"

    5. The browser is not complete as downloaded?

    6. Click to download, (default browser) opens

    7. Highlight copy the url, and paste back in IE to be safe.

    8. Download, Install

    9. Install window gets stuck behind IE9 window

    10. Manage to retreive Install window and Finish.

    11. Click Gear>Send Feedback

    12. Attempt to login, wait…

    13. wrong password (haven't used Live in a while)

    14., reset pasword feature

    15. Login to email, click link

    16. Change password, press ok

    17. Click Gear>Send Feedback

    18. Attempt to login, wait…

    19. You do not have permission…

    20. Type ieblog in the address bar.

    21. IE knows where to go.

    22. Browser locks up for a minute loading IE blog home page.

    23. Close tab, type ie blog again.

    24. Page manages to load, click the first article to get to comments.

    25. Write this comment.  Thank you for accepting feedback.

  81. Mario says:

    I'm going to download Internet explorer 9 beta 64-bit for my computer but i don't know if this will also update the Internet explorer 8 32-bit version on my windows 7 64-bit computer.  please help

  82. Rob Colburn says:

    Also, the font in this textbox looks awful.  Espeially noticable in lowercase T, L, and I.  I've attempted to screenshot it, but the text looks good in the capture.  Perhaps, it's the hardware acceleration? I'm not sure.

  83. YAY! says:

    I heard that internet explorer 9's speed and the word about is spreading over 900 users stopped using firefox and switched over to Internet explorer 9 beta πŸ˜€

  84. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Mario: When you have a 64bit version of Windows, you must install the 64bit package of IE. This will also update the 32bit version of IE. There is no way to update 64bit IE without also updating 32bit IE.  thanks!

  85. Mario says:

    @EricLaw [MSFT]  Thank you cause i been asking alot of questions to my friends on twitter to see if they know and they didn't even know. But i'm glad i finally! got an answer.  thank you so very much

  86. Flash Square says:

    I guess we 64-bit windows users won't need the 32-bit internet explorer soon cause adobe has a flash player for 64-bit in beta testing now! and it is called Flash Square πŸ˜€

  87. Questions about windows? says:

    Hello i have a Question what is 64-bit computers for any ways? is it better than 32-bit can i have like 10 or 8GB of ram

  88. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Questions: Yes, one benefit of 64bit computers is that you can more easily exceed 4gb of system memory. I discuss a bit more about IE 64bit vs. 32bit over here:…/q-a-64-bit-internet-explorer.aspx

  89. Deleting history says:

    hello why does 2 windows pop up on ie8 Windows 7 when i delete browser history will this still happen for me on ie9?

  90. says:

    Remove Windows Ubuntu is better than windows it is free and faster! and it is by linux and they have linuxmint  and for linuxmint ;P

  91. LOL says:

    hi can you please answer my question why is the tweet button on twitter a Square button on Firefox it isn't please tell me how to make it round

  92. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Deleting: IE9 does not pop up a window when deleting browser history. You likely saw two in IE8 because you actually have two history storage areas (one for non-Protected Mode, and one for Protected Mode).

  93. Developer says:

    All of these new features are fine, but I'm just curious as to why IE STILL doesn't pass the acid test? It seems like that should have been the #1 priority instead of all of the somewhat useless, gimmicky frills m$ keeps bogging down IE with. Chrome got it right on the first try – fast, simple, light-weight browser. IE has been around since the stone age of browsers and you guys can't even make it pass a basic compatibility test. At the last company I worked for, we developed an internet that is being used world-wide by thousands of employees and we required that they use Firefox or Chrome because we got so sick of spending 4hrs to develop a page that worked perfectly in every browser except IE, and then another 4hrs to find a way to make it work in IE (mainly styling issues, mostly css related). We just gave up. I carried that requirement to my new job. I made an intranet and I don't support IE related issues. There's really no good excuse for not being able to pass a test that almost every other browser passes, although I've heard plenty of bad ones in the past from m$. Please make IE9 work correctly, or just kill IE all together and let someone who knows what they're doing take care of providing a browser, like Google.

  94. Developer says:

    In addition to my last comment, here are some useful stats I hope you will consider for IE9, if you haven't seen them yet:…/browsers_stats.asp. Adding new features isn't going to revive your browser. Making it fast and compatible will. You guys haven't been doing that for years and that's why your numbers are going down and giving developers like me gray hair.

  95. ClueTrain says:

    1. ACID3 isn't a "compatibility test." It's mostly a test to standardize how browsers handle *incorrect* markup. Write correct markup and it's not relevant.

    2. The points that IE9 doesn't get in ACID3 are in specs that are all either going away or subject to change.

    3. In every school I've ever seen, 95 is "passing", and Firefox doesn't get a 100 either.

    4. Yeah, Google is totally happy to trade your privacy for their browser (which they ripped off from Apple).

  96. ClueTrain says:

    In addition to your last comment, you should probably read the part on the W3Schools site where they say that their statistics are not remotely related to the real-world. IE has 200% of the marketshare of all of their competitors combined. For good reason.

    Maybe you're getting gray hair because you're too lazy to read.

  97. Developer says:

    Always excuses, never solutions. For the record, IE8 gets a 20/100 on the acid test, which is where most of my frustration stems from, and my markup is *correct*. The problem is that there are usually a few different ways to *correctly* write something, and IE doesn't account for them all. 200%, huh? Where are you getting that number from? The link I posted shows a general trend and I'm not presenting it as 100% accurate data. The point is, their data shows a noticeable decline, from ~80% to ~30% over the last 8 years. How much of a margin of error do you want to give that? 2%? 10%? 30%? It would have to be outrageously horrible, useless data to argue the point that IE isn't the top dog anymore. If you have drastically different numbers, by all means, post them.

  98. Hi, Developer!  Thanks for the feedback.  So we're all on the same page, IE9 gets a 95 on ACID3. You can read the IE team's take on ACID3 here:…/html5-modernized-fourth-ie9-platform-preview-available-for-developers.aspx

    The W3Schools site has the following to say about their browser sniffer: "These facts indicate that the browser figures above are not 100% realistic. Other web sites have statistics showing that Internet Explorer is used by at least 80% of the users." You can read more about browser marketshare here:…/internet-explorer-usage-share-in-august.aspx

  99. Deleting history says:

    what? ie9 will delete history so fast that it won't even show deleting history mode……and will ie9 have a protected Mode? like ie8 does on windows 7? i would love to have the question answered πŸ˜€

  100. Developer says:

    I don't want my point to get lost here… I want to be able to make a web page in Visual Studio, compile it, run it, and have it look acceptable in all browsers. Currently, with IE 8 and lower, that absolutely does not happen. Every browser except IE is just fine, and I hope you can understand how frustrating that is, especially when from IE7 -> IE8 is seems like so much effort was put in to adding new features, rather than helping the developers out.

  101. @Deleting: IE9 will show a notification when deletion is complete rather than showing the dialog while in-progress. IE9 uses Protected Mode in the same way as IE7 and IE8.

  102. Deleting history says:

    @EricLaw on my other computer that is old and has windows xp on it internet explorer 7 or 8 doesn't say at the bottom of the screen Internet | Protected Mode: On…….will ie9 show it like that at the bottom

  103. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Deleting: Protected Mode (and IE9) requires Windows Vista or later. The status bar display of Protected Mode status was removed for IE9. That text now appears in the Page Properties dialog shown when the user clicks that item on the Context Menu.

  104. Deleting history says:

    thanks for the replie and i have one more question for now. Why is it when i'm on twitter on my windows 7 computer why is the Tweet button on twitter a square button. is there a way i can make it round and will it be a square in ie9?

  105. hAl says:

    Example url for mixed content issues that I did not experience with IE8:  =>  producten (in topmenu)

  106. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @hAl: Thanks for the URL! As seen in the new F12 Dev Tools console, the problem here is a faulty URL-combine so that we see a url like "about:gadgets/images/sprite.png" which is obviously not the right one. We'll investigate what's going on here.

  107. Fernando says:

    If I start ie with add on it slows down, so slow … start without add on it gets very fast, but if I start ie with add on and disable all add on,  continues very slow, any tip ?

    i started with add on and disable and disable all add on later, but ie still very slow, if I start without add on, it runs very fast,, why ?

  108. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @Fernando: You may have some add-ons installed that aren't being disabled properly. Please use the send feedback functionality to file an issue and we will investigate. thanks!

    @Parrotlover77: You can configure the threshold with which IE notifies you about slow add-ons. For example, if you're comfortable with a 1.0 second delay you can change the threshold to 1.0 seconds  in the Choose Add-ons dialog.

  109. Xennan says:

    Great way to control the add ons. But don't you think it is an embarrassment that the Bing toolbar has a load time of 4 seconds? Now I have disabled the Bing toolbar..

  110. richard says:

    When you display the new add-on message for a single add-on, do you limit the length of the displayed name? If not, I can see malicious people deploying add-ons called:

    "Security Toolbar' add-on from '(Verified) Microsoft' is ready for use." + several hundred spaces

    which would then cut off the end of the message:

    "from '(Not verified) Axis of Evil Incorporated' is ready for use."

    Also, would it be worth extending the reputation data to add-ons?

  111. I'm desperately missing an option to disallow one specific or even all add-ons to run on a specfic site, like "Disallow (now) -> Disallow forever" or at least an "don't ask me again" option. With a bar poping up (on the top or at the bottom doesn't really matter) every time you vist a site, it gets more likely to allow the execution/installation of an add-on you don't really want to allow just to get rid of the nerving bar.

    I've asked you since IE7 beta for an option to achive that – and no, "untrusted Sites" isn't an option as long as it's still as uncomfortable as it ever was. There's still no simple way to add a site with i.e. the context menu of a site into one of these "zones".

    Any chance?

  112. steve says:

    I guess I'm the only one who is absolutly enraged that I can not STOP the damn nag bar "speed up startup and browsing by disabling add-ons" HELLO AFTER THE FIRST TIME I KNOW. THE 2ND THE 3RD THE 4TH THE 5TH …..MAYBE I WANT THEM ENABLED!

  113. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Steve: You can use the dropdown at the bottom of the "Choose Add-ons" screen to set the notification threshold to be as slow as you'd like.

  114. steve says:

    Not "as slow as you'd like" There is no OFF in the pull down . If you want to leave it on there should be a way to exempt each addon you want to keep. Then the nag would STOP! NEVER should any NAG be un stopable.  Ohhh I could disable ALL of the addons and then it would stop… WOW why not prevent ALL addons in IE9. Ouch I just shot my foot! Hey I think I will disable GPU acceleration and shoot my other foot!

    I appreciate the response Eric, nothing personal I just hate NAGs. Other than this and some sites that don't work I think this is the greatest leap forward I have seen in IE in many years.

  115. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @steve, thanks for the feedback. For now, setting the threshold to the maximum value in the dropdown (10 seconds) is equivalent to the off switch. If your add-ons take longer than 10 seconds to load, I anticipate your browsing experience will be significantly impacted.

  116. steve says:

    Herman I may have missed something? I saw 6 to 8 choices in the drop down and the longest I remember was 1.5 seconds. I will try to reboot check it again. My longest load time was 1.7 seconds

  117. Herman [MSFT] says:

    @steve: The longest setting is 10.0 seconds. Let me know if you see something different. Thanks!

  118. steve says:

    Haven't seen it pop up again??  Thanks for responding.

  119. hit kazan says: Herman I may have missed something? I saw 6 to 8 choices in the drop down and the longest I remember was 1.5 seconds. I will try to reboot check it again. My longest load time was 1.7 seconds

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