Windows 7 Professional - Customising Internet Explorer 9

Windows 7 - Customising Internet Explorer 9 Toolbars and Settings

Having installed the Important Windows Updates earlier, Intenret Explorer will have been upgraded to Internet Explorer version 9.

Some default settings and options should be changed to make IE9 easier to use for the majority of users and systems as follows:

First, launch Internet Explorer 9 by clicking on the "Start" button, then "All Programs" and the "Internet Explorer":

Open IE9 from start menu

Internet Explorer 9 will launch as shown below.  Note that compared to earlier versions, the menu and favorites toolbars are disabled by default, hiding some useful options from view.

If using a very small screen such as on a netbook, it may be useful to save space by not enabling the toolbars as shown below. It is a matter of choice, but generally they are useful to have:

Internet Explorer 9 Default Home Page and Layout

The menu bar can be enabled by <Right-Clicking> on the plain area at the top of the IE9 program Window.  The context menu shown below will appear.  Click "Menu Bar" to display the menu bar:

IE9 - Enable Menu Bar

The menu bar can now be seen below.  <Right-Click> again in the same area and this time <Click> "Favorites bar":

IE9 - Enable favorites bar

Now, the familiar "Favorites" toolbar is displayed as well.  Finally, <Right-Click> again and <Click> "Show tabs on a separate row" to provide more space for tabs when many windows are open and a layout that is usually quicker and easier to use than the default settings:

IE9 - Show tabs on separate rows

Now, we go to the "Internet Options" dialogue.  <Click> "Tools" and "Internet Options" as shown below:

IE9 - Internet Tools - Options Menu

You may wish to change the default home page as shown below by typing into the box as shown.  Note that multiple entries can be configured, one per line to open multiple home pages automatically.

You can also choose the current displayed page to be your home page by clicking "Use Current".  Here we have set the default home page to be Google:

IE9 - Configue home page

Now, <Click> on the "Settings" button shown under "Tabs" to show the Tabbed Browser Settings dialogue box:

IE9 - Configure Internet Options

Tick or select the following options:

  • Always switch to new tabs when they are created
  • When a new tab is opened, open "Your first home page"
  • When a pop-up is encountered "Let Internet Explorer decide how pop-ups should open"

Click <OK> and <OK> again to close the settings dialogue windows.

Now, <Right-Click> on the Intenet Explorer icon displayed on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen to display the context menu as shown below:

IE9 - Pin icon to taskbar

<Click> on the option "Pin this program to taskbar" This will cause the Internet Explorer icon to remain on the taskbar, even when Internet explorer is closed, allowing very quick and easy access to the program without needing a shortcut on the desktop - or using the Start button.

Close Internet explorer and notice that the icon is now displayed - but not highlighted, indicating Internet Explorer is not currently running.  Compare to the previous screen (above) where the Internet Explorer icon on the task bar is highlighted as the  Internet explorer window is open.

Windows 7 Desktop with IE9 Pinned to Taskbar

Inthis guide, we have seen how to change the default settings for Internet Explorer for some more useful and productive settings and also learnt how to "Pin" the icon of a running application to the Windows task bar for quick and easy access.