8 top tips for IE 7

Must-try tips, tricks and hacks for getting the most out of Microsoft's latest browser

7. Put the Menu Bar where it belongs

To many people's chagrin, the Menu Bar apparently vanished in IE 7. To turn it on temporarily, press the Alt key. To turn it on permanently, choose Tools --> Menu Bar. Even when you do that, though, something looks odd. Unlike in earlier versions of IE, the Menu Bar appears underneath the Address Bar, rather than on top of it. With a Registry tweak, though, you can fix that:

  1. Run the Registry Editor by typing regedit at a command line or the Windows Vista Start Search box.
  2. Go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser.
  3. Choose Edit --> New --> DWORD Value.
  4. Create a new DWORD value called ITBar7Position and give it a value of 1 Exit the Registry, close IE, then restart it. The Menu Bar will now be at the top.

8. Manage your IE add-ons

There are plenty of add-ons (also called browser extensions) that can give IE new features, such as the Google Toolbar or ieSpell spell checker. But they can also cause problems, such as system conflicts, crashes or slowdown.

You can easily manage and troubleshoot them by turning them on or off:

  1. select Tools --> Manage Add-Ons --> Enable or Disable Add-Ons.
  2. You'll come to a screen like the one shown below. Highlight any add-on and select the Disable radio button near the bottom of the screen, and you'll disable it.

If you're running into frequent IE crashes, this is a great way to track down the source of your problem. Selectively turn on and off add-ons until you find the one that's causing your problems.

If you want to run IE with all add-ons disabled temporarily, go to a command line or the Run box (in Windows XP) or the Start Search box (in Windows Vista), and type iexplore.exe -extoff, then press Enter. This disables all your add-ons for the current browsing session only; the next time you run IE they'll be back.

If you prefer to use Mozilla, read: 15 must-have Firefox tricks

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