Internet Explorer 8 Fixes: Privacy and Efficiency: Page 2

Posted September 10, 2009

Eric Geier

Eric Geier

(Page 2 of 2)

Stop Internet Explorer from suggesting sites

The new Suggested Sites feature uses your history to come up with other sites you might be interested in. These are displayed when clicking the button on the Favorites toolbar. However Internet Explorer suggesting sites to only you might not be a problem, but if you share your computer you might not want to flaunt where you've visited.

You can easily disable the feature: click Tools > Suggested Sites to toggle it on and off.

Start in the InPrivate Browsing mode

The new InPrivate Browsing feature puts Internet Explorer into a mode where no history is logged and, by default, no add-ons are active. This is useful if you want privacy when surfing the net. Maybe you're doing some Christmas shopping, planning a surprise vacation, or searching job postings at work. Whatever the case, you can enter this mode when you don't want to leave behind traces of where you've been.

To bring up a InPrivate browser session click Safety > InPrivate Browsing. Microsoft hasn't added a separate icon or shortcut on the desktop or start menu to get into this mode. However, you can make your own by editing or creating a new shortcut. Then just add -private to the end of the shortcut location, such as Figure 4 shows.

Internet explorer 8 fixes, IE8 fixes

Figure 4

Change the InPrivateBrowsing homepage

If you're a fan of the new InPrivate Browsing feature, you might be annoyed by the default About:InPrivate page that's shown instead of your home page when you open a new session. If you're using the direct opening method discussed above, you can simply add the address of the site you want to show up to the end of the shortcut location; for example:

"C:Program FilesInternet Exploreriexplore.exe" -private

However, that won't change the actual homepage setting. You'll still see the About:InPrivate page when opening new sessions via the Safety menu in IE 8. Though its not as simple of a change, the registry hack to change the global homepage setting is straightforward:

  1. Open the Registry Editor by typing regedit into the Search bar of Vista or Run dialog in XP.
  2. In the editor, browse to the following location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftInternet ExplorerAboutURLs
  3. Change the value of InPrivate (see Figure 5) from res://ieframe.dll/inprivate.htm to whatever address you want. Just make sure it’s the full URL, including the http://.
  4. Close the editor to save the changes.

Internet explorer 8 fixes, IE8 fixes

Figure 5

If you haven't downloaded IE 8 yet, or need to for other PCs, help feed America by downloading from Microsoft's special site.

Eric Geier is an author of many computing and networking books, including Home Networking All-in-One Desk Reference For Dummies (Wiley 2008) and 100 Things You Need to Know about Microsoft Windows Vista (Que 2007).

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Tags: Microsoft, privacy, Internet Explorer 8

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