Do you take advantage of the Favorites menu in Internet Explorer to save links to the Web sites you want to find again? Also known as "bookmarks," your favorite links can be really handy, as long as you don't end up with a list that's as messy as mine tends to be. So, since it was past time for me to clean up my Favorites, I thought it'd be a great chance to share some of my favorite Favorites tips.
If you've not used Favorites before, How to Use Favorites to Get Around the Web is a great place to start learning about them. And this set of Internet Explorer How-to Articles includes a ton of great information that can help make your browsing easier.
Tip 1: Alphabetize your list
Scanning through your list of favorites may be easier if they're sorted in alphabetical order. Here’s how:
- Right-click anywhere on the Favorites menu.
- On the menu that opens, click Sort by Name. See step 2 in the image below. Internet Explorer lists folders first (if you have them), and then individual Web pages in the main list.
Tip 2: Organize your favorites using Windows Explorer
One handy thing to know about Favorites is that they are actually little files that are stored in a folder (called "Favorites") just like other files are stored on your computer. This means that you can work with them like you do with other files. The trick is finding where the folder is stored, as it's not under My Documents. (Windows keeps the folder containing your favorites with your other User Profile information.) You can quickly open your Favorites folder using Windows Explorer by doing the following:
- On the Internet Explorer toolbar, Click Favorites.
- Hold down the SHIFT key, and then click Organize Favorites.
After you right-click Organize Favorites, your Favorites folder will open in Windows Explorer. This makes it easy for you to move links between the different file folders, delete them, and rename them.
If working with files this way is new to you, see Super simple sorting: Organize your files for a quick overview of how to sort files.
Tip 3: Use the Links feature for fast access
I have a few Web sites that I go to nearly every day. I've found the fastest way to get to them is by adding them to the Links folder in the Favorites menu. Anything in the Links folder will be available in the Links toolbar, which you have the option of showing at the top of your browser Window, as I've done in the following image. Note that I use one or two character names for the links so I can fit lots of them onto the toolbar. You can change the name of any of your favorites by right-clicking it from the Favorites menu, and then clicking Rename.
There are many more ways you can make Internet Explorer work the way you want it to. Stay tuned for future tips, including suggestions on how to backup your favorites and how to copy them to another computer.