with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Internet Options – Customizing Internet Explorer

The key to working efficiently with Internet Explorer and the Internet is to make the software work for you. There are many tips and tricks to customizing your Internet work space.


To get your buttons on the toolbar set up so you can use them in a way that best suits you, RIGHT CLICK on any button and select CUSTOMIZE.

The Customize Toolbar menu allows you to move the buttons around and to add and subtract them.

The window pane to the left are buttons not on your current toolbar. The pane on the right are buttons you are currently using. Select one you want and click ADD. Or select the one you don’t want and click REMOVE.
Once it is in the list, you can move it up and down and put it where you want it on the toolbar with the MOVE UP and MOVE DOWN buttons (which move left and right not up and down – I didn’t design the program). For instance, if you print a lot of pages, move the PRINT button closer to the BACK and FORWARD buttons so you can find it quicker. Or put it on the very end so it’s the last button on the line, easy to find. If you don’t like the rearrangement, click the RESET button to put it back the way Microsoft intended.
In the TEXT OPTIONS section of the Customize Toolbar window, you will see two options. The first one customizes the text on the buttons. Do you want text or can you work by recognizing the button symbol or icon? Pick SHOW TEXT LABELS or NO TEXT LABELS and watch the text labels under the icons on the buttons disappear on top of your screen. Want small icons or large icons? Make that choice in the next option. You can view the changes on your screen before you APPLY and hit OKAY. Small icons without text shrink the buttons giving you a little more space in which to look at web pages. Those with small monitors, this is critical and much needed space.


To make Microsoft Internet Explorer really work for you, take advantage of its customization features. From the menu bar, click TOOLS > INTERNET OPTIONS. At the top of the pop-up window called INTERNET OPTIONS there are a series of tabs. The first one is GENERAL. This is where the most important functions of the program are controlled.

Home Page
The first section is HOME PAGE. This is where you enter in the starting page for your browser.
Temporary Internet Files
The second section is TEMPORARY FILES. This controls how much of your hard drive is taken up by temporary files which come from web pages. You can control the size of how much is saved, for how long and you can manually delete them all to get more space on your computer. These files are put onto your computer by the web page in order to make viewing the web faster when you return.
History Log
The third section is HISTORY. This controls the length of time the browser keeps a log of the pages you visit. You can delete the whole log from here manually, if hard drive space is needed. About three weeks (20 days) is normal for saving your HISTORY file, but adjust it to your needs. The longer the time period, the more files are stored on your computer taking up hard drive space, if space is a concern.
Web Page Viewing Controls
The bottom row of buttons on the General tab include COLORS and FONTS. These affect your view of web pages. Web page designers customize their web pages with colors and fonts to make them look good from their perspective, but if you want consistently larger type, or you have trouble seeing specific colors on the computer monitor, you can customize those features here. Next to these are LANGUAGES and ACCESSIBILITY. LANGUAGES allows customization of the default language character sets you want Internet Explorer to automatically recognize. ACCESSIBILITY helps people with hand/eye coordination problems or impairment to customize the program to make it easier for them to use.


Look across the top tabs of the INTERNET OPTIONS window to find tabs for SECURITY, CONTENT, CONNECTIONS, and so on. SECURITY and CONTENT customize the level of security you want for browsing the web, like parental controls and such. The tab we are going to examine is the ADVANCED tab.

The ADVANCED OPTIONS tabs brings up a long list of things you can turn on and off in Internet Explorer. For HELP, click the [?] button at the top right corner next to the [X] button then click on the line you have a question about. You won’t recognize all of the technical terminology in the list but there are a few things to look for:

If you are annoyed by the pop-up Autocomplete window, you can turn that off there.
Some links are hard to find on a page. You can customize the browser to underline every text link or to underline it when the mouse is “hovering” over the link. You can also choose to never underline a link, just to let the web page designers have their way with whatever method they choose to use to alert you to a link.
The Multimedia section of Advanced Options allows you to customize your view of the web pages by giving permission to allow graphics, video, sounds, and all the bells and whistles many web pages offer. These can be distracting, take a tremendous time to load onto your computer, and waste a lot of time. If this frustrates you, turn them off. If you turn off the images, you can easily show the images by RIGHT CLICK on the graphic and selecting SHOW GRAPHIC or SHOW PICTURE.
In the Searching Section, you can customize how your search works when searching from the Address Bar.

Look through all the different options available within Internet Explorer Internet Options. Nothing you do will hurt your computer, and you may discover a feature you didn’t know about.

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