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Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Moving your IE7 Menu Bar Back to the Top

The first thing I noticed when I installed IE7 on my Windows box was the very inconvenient location of the address bar. Why the heck is it located above the menu bar? (File, edit, view, etc.) I don't know what the folks at Microsoft thought when they designed IE7 that way, but this must be one of the most idiotic design decision they've ever made (For me at least).

For those who think that the address bar should be back at the bottom of IE7's menu section, do not despair! There is a simple registry tweak that will let you put it back as it was in IE6. All you need to do to set thing right again is add a simple key to your XP registry. Here's how to do it:

(Warning: Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall your operating system. Microsoft or I cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.)

  • If IE is opened, close it before doing anything
  • Start your registry editor (Start -> Run, type regedit in the run field and press OK)
  • Browse to HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ Software \ Microsoft \ InternetExplorer \ Toolbar \ WebBrowser and be sure that the WebBrowser key is selected
  • Right-click the right part of the registry editor, select New->DWORD Value, and name it "ITBar7Position"
  • Double click that new value, and assign it with a decimal value of 1
  • Restart IE7, and voilĂ ! You're done.

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36 Comments:

  • Thanks for the fix. Why'd they do such a stupid thing?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:27 PM  

  • sweeet... yeah i've been waiting 2 figure this out :)
    its definitely very stupid!.. almost makes u think what the software designers at microsoft were thinking..
    goofheads!

    By Blogger M@ANiTRuLe$, at 12:27 AM  

  • It's not just the menu bar, I hate how the entire array of bars and buttons is a lot less customizable than it was in IE6..

    By Blogger Michel Heemskerk, at 3:58 AM  

  • Useful stuff, thanks. They've also moved the bar on the new MSN Messenger Beta. It's been replaced with a fourth icon to the left of the minimize/restore/close buttons, which works as a drop down list.

    The person behind this needs to be taken away for re-education in HCI techniques.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:22 AM  

  • Oh, and for those of you who are going to ask: "Why don't you simply unlock the menu and drag it under the menu bar?" the answer is simple: You can't!

    By Blogger Kiltak, at 9:32 AM  

  • There's a menu bar?

    That's the first thing that blew me away. But I kind of like it that way.

    Now let's see if Blogger actually saves this comment. (I "upgraded" to the new Blogger, boy, do I wish I hadn't at this point!)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:16 PM  

  • Why the hell are you using IE in the first place?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:43 AM  

  • or you could just turn the menu bar off because its damn near useless anyway. microsoft put everything you actually use on the interface allowing you to view more of the web page.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:27 AM  

  • Yea, why the heck you're using IE, it's so immature browser.
    Get Firefox today, the best browser ever.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9:12 AM  

  • You could always just click on 'Tools' then 'Menu Bar'

    By Anonymous Dunc, at 9:59 AM  

  • With all due respect,
    why you guys even use IE?
    Use FireFox and you will be
    much happier!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:33 PM  

  • Sweet, thanks!!!

    Oh, and I hate IE. I use Firefox 99% of the time, but sometimes FF doesnt display websites correctly (or they don't play well), so I use IE just for a site or two. I just couldn't stand that menubar being in the middle. SO STUPID MICROSOFT!!!

    They are just trying to do SOMETHIGN so IE7 looks different than Firefox. Freaking COPYCATS, it looks almost identical and I think MS needs to get a life.

    /end rant

    Thanks again for the fix!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:54 PM  

  • thank you and thank you!! ie sucks big time. It was really stupid to put the address bar above the menu bar.
    I use firefox most of the time, but have to use ie once in a while and the address bar was annoying me

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:08 PM  

  • This hack also permanently moved my Google toolbar to the top along with my Menu bar.. anyway to separate the two?

    Also - I don't care if the buttons are in the interface, as an interface designer I can't count how many rules of consistency MS has broken here. Goodbye marketshare...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:25 PM  

  • Couldn't agree more with the fact that MS has a ton of inconsistencies! Another good inconsistency can be found in MS Word 2003 with their "improved" mail merge "helper". I love Firefox, but like another person stated my husband and I do a lot of website work and since there are people out there that for some reason still use IE we need to make sure everything runs smoothly in all web browsers. Thanks for this fix!

    By Anonymous LadyLolindrath, at 9:58 AM  

  • My personal opinion that blogging is the biggest waste of Internet space and bandwith we've come up with yet! Has anyone ever wondered about the real reason behind www2, www3, ad infinitium?

    However since I found this useful information here, plus this Comment Box, I'd like to express my sincere thanks to whoever it was at Geeks Are Sexy for the Registry hack to give me back MY Menu Bar back where I WANT IT which is at the top of the open window in the browser of my choice.

    No we're not all FireFox or Opera fans, as well as Microsoft bashers. There are some of us who are truly grateful for what Bill Gates along with his small but brillant band of coders started in that garage so many years ago. If it wasn't for Gates and Microsoft you wouldn't even have this place to post your public ranting. Just something you might want to think about before your next Microsoft or IE7 bashing party.

    Personally I agree with what Heemsherk said, "it's not just the menu bar..." I want MY Button Bar back too, I used them and miss them. Further, I'm in total disagreement with what a poster said at 8:27am "or you could just turn the menu bar off because its damn near useless anyway. microsoft put everything you actually use on the interface allowing you to view more of the web page." If that's true then why are so many people expressing thanks for this solution?

    Hope I haven't offended anyone, and if I have, that's why I posted anonymously.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:46 AM  

  • Thanks for this tip, but note that opening an Explorer Bar will 'temporarily' move the Menu Bar back BELOW the address garbage line again (?!!). Closing the Explorer Bar restores the Menu Bar to the top again (!?!).
    To those who claim 'microsoft put everything you actually use on the interface,' dream on! Actually I think MS specifically REMOVED everything useful from the interface!
    PS To all FF users: stop trying to convert everyone to YOUR preference at EVERY opportunity. I've tried FF and I think it's rubbish compared to IE6 (or even the new IE7).

    By Anonymous Cad Delworth, at 6:57 AM  

  • Thank you for making IE7 bearable to use... I finally installed it today, and upgraded my Windows Media Player too, only to be disgusted at both. Now I can handle IE7 with the address bar back where it belongs =D.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:32 PM  

  • Remember that you can add the Key to HKLM instead of HKCU so that it applies to every instance of IE, not just for that one user (you). If the Key does not exist, just add it.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:31 PM  

  • I have got win2003 with IE7 I could not find an option for option "new" ?

    Thanks

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:24 AM  

  • I like the bar at the top a lot. And that the "Menu bar" is hidden standard. Saves a lot of space too. With one hit on the Alt-button, and you got it. After a while, you see why some designers do some things different then most people used to have.

    By Anonymous Peter van de Beek, at 6:09 PM  

  • how about just using lynx? :-)

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:41 PM  

  • Well, I like it just where it is.
    Ok, so it looks a bit different, but so does Vista!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:07 PM  

  • I usually don't mind change but, image if you went to buy a new car and the driver side was on the right (or the left if your overseas). It would feel awkward for awhile but you would get used to it, or you could buy a car that keeps things as they are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 PM  

  • I usually don't mind change but, image if you went to buy a new car and the driver side was on the right (or the left if your overseas). It would feel awkward for awhile but you would get used to it, or you could buy a car that keeps things as they are.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:14 PM  

  • Just does not make sense to ask why people use MS IE! It is still the most compatible browser out there. I used FireFox for a while and figured out that there is plenty of stuff just not supported by the FF browser. The functinality should be the main reason for using a browser, followed by security! To advertise FF might be a good thing but this is not really the right blog for it!

    By Anonymous Junner2003, at 6:00 AM  

  • Alternatively, you can download the IE7 Pro add-on, which will allow you to just check a box, for those who are uncomfortable with hacking a registry, no matter how easy this one may be.

    And to those who are yapping on unceasingly about firefox this, lynx that, keep in mind that some of us are required to use particular software in some settings, like work. Instead of trying to seem superior by talking about how much you use firefox, be helpful. Or, just shut up.

    By Anonymous Tolerant, at 10:42 AM  

  • There are some really quite good reasons to use IE:

    It's fast. Astonishingly so. It's amazing how accustomed one can get to Gecko's slow rendering (especially when it comes to incrementally rendering a page a few thousand times as the images spool in), but flick between Gecko and Trident a few times, and the difference is apparent and annoying.

    It's has less dependence on a single thread: it's not possible to lock up every single browser window because one site has requested a few hundred slow-loading images.

    It has different behaviour when it uses all the GDI resources. Not necessarily better, but different.

    It shows you the page source by keeping the actual page the server sent, rather than painstakingly reconstructing it from the DOM tree.

    It shows you the page source in your editor of choice.

    It can save an image even when the cache has dropped it. (Gecko, you need to use print-screen).

    It uses native widgets, and thus gets along a lot better with touchpads, mice, automation tools.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:42 AM  

  • For some unknown reason, they hid this:
    C:\WINDOWS\ie7\iexplore.exe

    Old shell, new engine. No tabbed browsing or such without special toolbars, but it gives you the IE6 look and feel with the IE7 functionality.

    *shrug*

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:21 AM  

  • Thanks for the solution. The world, atleast the IE browsing world, would be poorer without blogs such as yours

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7:11 PM  

  • yes. geeks ARE sexy! thank you for this hack!
    now if i could just find a way to turn those three lines into two i'd be happy -personally i think all those bars waste page space

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:42 AM  

  • OK this tip is great I am an IT guy and know am comfortable playing with the registry. some of my customers only will use IE. My question is how do i move the Links bar under the Address bar after changing this value

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:29 AM  

  • I love you. My blood pressure is going back down.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:19 PM  

  • Thanks, super helpful!!!

    By Blogger Lydia, at 12:39 PM  

  • thank you so much!!! I hated having my menu bar in such a stupid place!

    By Blogger Iris Bjorg, at 6:17 AM  

  • Hi.

    I know it works but I notice that when you click on show History, the menu bar goes back to the default position, which is below the address bar. When the History is off, the menu bar goes back to the top.

    What do we do to fix it completely?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:51 PM  

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