increasingly stiff competition from the likes of
Firefox, Microsoftís Internet Explorer 6 remains by
large as the most popular internet browser. So if it happens
to be your browser of choice, I have no doubt itís one of
your most often used applications and you should know it
offers a decent amount of customisation possibilities and a
wealth of options.
This guide will take
you through the vast array of options and settings available
to customize Internet Explorer 6 (IE6) and the bundled Outlook Express (OE) to its fullest, in
particular seeking to improve browser security or just fine
tuning them to your own browsing needs. You may also want to
know this guide has been updated to include all changes
brought by Windows' Service Pack 2.
what Microsoft may have to say on the matter, Internet
Explorer is constantly being exploited in some new (or not
so new) way on a regular basis. If you canít keep it
updated, you arenít secure. We maintain a list of updates
available for Windows on our
OS Updates section which
will help you keep your system up to date and safer with all
the latest patches available.
updated can solve many browser issues, you may experience
other problems related to spyware files installed on your
system. This can affect your system in different ways, while
some are relatively benign youíll find others altering your
home and search pages, or redirecting your browser. For
resolving problems like this Iíd recommend using
Spybot for detecting and
removing of spy/ad-ware files, registry entries and other
infections. Bear in mind that in some cases certain
applications many not function correctly after removing
these files. This is covered in more detail in our
Guide to Windows Security & Privacy.
If youíre still
encountering major problems with Internet Explorer it may be
necessary to perform a repair installation. Click Start,
Settings, Control Panel, Add/Remove
Programs. Double click Microsoft Internet Explorer 6
and Internet Tools.
Repair Internet Explorer and hit Ok. This will
fix any detected errors in your Internet Explorer
installation. Reboot for the changes to take effect.
If you are using Windows XP instructions for performing a
can be found here.
might feel the Windows Explorer shortcut to be rather
limited, you can get a little bit more out of it by using
command-line switches. Right click on the desktop and
select New, Shortcut. Initially youíll want to
enter the location of explorer.exe, the easiest way to do so
is by entering %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe, as shown
command-line switches can be added to this as needed;
This specifies that a new single-pane window is opened,
i.e. the Folders explorer bar is not visible,
e.g. %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /n.
This specifies that a new double-paned window is opened,
i.e. the Folders explorer bar is visible (default
This specifies the file/folder to be selected upon
loading the shortcut, e.g. %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe
/select,C:\pagefile.sys loads a new Windows Explorer
window to the C:\ drive, with pagefile.sys selected.
This specifies the directory to be opened upon loading
the shortcut, e.g. %SystemRoot%\explorer.exe /root,C:\WINNT
loads a new Windows Explorer window in the C:\WINNT
directory. Unlike the previous option, no file/folder is
modifying Windows Explorer shortcuts, the Internet Explorer
shortcut can be set to load no homepage when launched. This
provides a faster initiation of Internet Explorer and is
recommended as itís unlikely youíll want to load your
homepage for every single Internet Explorer window you
on your Internet Explorer shortcut and select Properties.
Now select the Shortcut tab then the Target
field. Add the following command into the Target
should now read "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\IEXPLORE.EXE"
Ėnohome. Click Apply and then Ok to save
Changing IE/OE Titles
If you wish you
can change the IE6 title to something more appealing than
simply Microsoft Internet Explorer, if you wish to do
so take the following steps.
Start, Run, type in regedit and hit
Enter. Open the following registry key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet
Explorer\Main]. Now Add/Edit a New
String Value entitled Window Title. In the
Value data field enter your desired title, and then hit
Ok (if you delete the Window Title key
it will default to Microsoft Internet Explorer
instead). Itís worth noting that using a custom title could
possibly interfere with some esoteric applications
though the only one Iíve come across was the All Advantage
viewbar and they went out of business years back (does
anybody reading this even remember them?).
You can also
change the OE title by opening the following registry key.
Express\5.0], where xxx represents the Identity
number displayed. Add/Edit a New String
Value entitled WindowTitle. Right click on
this setting and select Modify. In the Value data
field enter your desired title, and then hit Ok (if
you delete the WindowTitle key it will
default to Outlook Express instead).