Bringing the Menus to the Top in IE7

In the IE7 Beta 2 Preview the UI element that hosts menus and 3rd party toolbars is located between the navigation bar and tabs. However, in this release there's a registry key which you can set to move this to the top of the window instead:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser]

You can also turn off the menu auto-hide functionality by checking Tools -> Toolbars -> Classic Menus from the Command Bar.

Disclaimer: This is not an official feature at this time and may not be available in the future.

One minor request: If you think you want to use this key please try it both ways with your toolbars and menus configured how you like them, especially if you use the Links bar and 3rd party toolbars. Also, yes I'm very aware that some people who previously did heavy toolbar customization in IE6 have concerns about the customizability of IE7. I hope this will help a bit, but if you just came here to flame please make it constructive. That will maximize your chances of getting heard. Ok, that's two requests. 🙂

Comments (16)

  1. Dean Harding says:

    Well, it looks much better with the menu at the top. After all, 20 years of using software has taught me to always look at the very top of the window for the menu – to change that in a seemingling arbitrary way just seemed very strange to me.

    But then, it would make much more sense for the custom toolbars to go *under* the address bar. I mean, why isn’t the address bar just like other toolbars were in IE6 that we could move around as well?

  2. > I mean, why isn’t the address bar just like other toolbars were in IE6 that we could move around as well?

    An obvious question, but unfortunately one I can’t answer right now. I don’t want to put words in other people’s mouth or talk about what we may or may not be doing before the final version of IE7 ships.

  3. Ryan says:


    The only major request I have in regards to the Links toolbar is this.

    I don’t mean to bring up an alternative browser but it’s just a feature they already have implemented.

    I use the "Links" toolbar like no tomorrow. If I did not have it, productivity would be lost, I promise you that. I had so many sites on there that eventually it lead to me having to go back in to my favorites. I found out just recently that IE allowed me to put folders on to the "Links" toolbar which acted like multiple favorites at my disposal. In doing so, though, when I would like to open them up in tabs as a tabbed group, the ability is just not there. Those folders on the “Links” toolbar are treated as a Windows Explorer folder in that it just opens it up in another explorer window.

    My request is that if it is even possible at this late in the game, that the feature to both right click on the folder which is located on the “Links” toolbar and have a menu option of opening it up in tabs as a group as well as middle clicking on the folder and having it open up as a group of tabs.

    Tony, I hope you hear this message and I truly hope that you can address this. I just want an honest opinion of if this is something that you guys could implement this late in the game or if my petitioning for this is a lost cause lol.



  4. PatriotB says:

    "I mean, why isn’t the address bar just like other toolbars were in IE6 that we could move around as well?"

    Basically, you have to understand that IE7 on XP is a backport of Vista technologies. That includes the Vista-style Explorer with the navigation/address/search bar on top. It makes a lot more sense on Vista (and looks better too), especially with the Aero Glass effect being applied to that bar.

  5. Roland says:

    Wow, thank you for this wonderful tip!

    This should be the default layout for IE7 under Windows XP. Millions of people are just used to a menu bar on top under XP. IE under XP is the most used piece of software in the world and therefore has a lot of responsibility for this extremely large user base.

    I understand that IE7 might look different under Vista, but IE7 should not use new Vista concepts under XP.

    Thank you!


  6. Mike says:

    At the very least, there should be the abiltity to drag the address  bar and place it where you want.  As you can in IE6.

    Having the look of visat is noce, but maybe when you switch to the "calssic" view, it moves the toolbars back to the IE6 arrangement.

  7. Tim says:

    Thanks for the ‘fix’ having the classic menu at the top has ensures my sensibilities aren’t all screwed up and keep me in my nice contented little world!


  8. Chris says:

    Well, I just installed the Beta 2 and I agree that the user should be able to arrange and size and remove ALL the browser tools.

    I understand that MS needs to tailor their applications to the "I’ve never used a computer" crowd by sometimes making decisions for the user. However, this is done at the cost of losing creditability with many of the intermediate to advanced users. Let me use my browser, the way I want to. IMHO a big reason that FF continues to gain market share across all subsets of users has a lot to do with the ability to customize a UI environment and experience that suits the user in both aesthetics and function.  As a user, the more I can customize my environment, the more I take ownership of it.

    Why do the tabs need to be there if I have only a single page?

    Why can’t I get rid of the MSN search box next to the URL box? I use Google’s tool bar and don’t need the clutter of another search input within the browser.

    I like my browser UI nice and streamlined. Maybe as subsequent versions come out, this will be addressed. Sorry if I strayed off the original topic of this post a bit.

  9. Scrutinizer says:

    Great trick, just what it should look like IMO.

    Now if I could just shorten the width of the address and search bar there would be enough room for the other tool bar up there…Oh well it’s good now with the classic menu at the top at least. Thanks for the tip Tony!

  10. conazus says:

    I love IE Beta 7, but have to add to this convo that I too do not like the address bar at the top of the browser.   I hope that subsequent (and the final) release(s) will allow us to move things around, as we have been able to do so in the past.   I find it abit clumsy as it is now.    

  11. Joe W says:

    I am fine with the idea of updating IE. However the customization for any browser/software should be finalized, by the user.

    If the user wants the toolbar at the bottom, on the side, so be it.  I do not like the idea of anything fixed, let alone IE.

    That being said, IE7 still is Beta2. We shall wait till release and bit** later.

  12. jon says:

    Has anyone addressed the issue of customizing the toolbar buttons on the bottom right? After I remove any of them (Page, Help, Messenger, Feeds) it stops displaying the last button. And leaves some odd dots. Like a failed attempt to show an unlocked toolbar resizer. Does that make sense?

  13. Kurbli says:

    Eddig nem is tudtam, hogy GPO-ból is állítható, íme: Log on to your Windows Professional computer as

  14. I switched to Firefox about 8 months ago. That was after using Firefox and IE6 together for a month or

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