How to Manage Toolbars in Internet Explorer

The dawn of the 21st century also saw the dawn of the overabundance of Internet Explorer toolbars. Simultaneously, Microsoft decided to dispense of one of its toolbars — the menu bar — in several of its programs. This will tell you how to decide for yourself which toolbars show and which don’t in your web browser.

Show the menu bar

After the menu bar enjoyed a good 20 years as a computing paradigm, Microsoft decided to dispense with it in many of its programs. The menu bar has apparently vanished from Internet Explorer. But not really.

To see the good ol’ familiar menu bar in Internet Explorer, press the F10 key.

Indeed, the F10 key is an old paradigm itself. Pressing F10 in Windows programs selects the menu bar, which reveals menu bar shortcut keys in a traditional sense or reveals the entire menu in a modern sense.

Alas, the F10 menu bar trick will only last until you close the program. To see the menu bar full time in Internet Explorer, choose Tools→Toolbars→Menu Bar, where Tools is a button on the toolbar.

Show/remove toolbars

Developers are creating Internet Explorer toolbars more rapidly than teenagers are accumulating Facebook friends. Microsoft slaps one on, called the Windows Live toolbar. You can find an endless cornucopia of Google Desktop toolbars. Every program you install seems to have its own specialty toolbar it wants to add to your browser.

You don’t need all these toolbars. They add clutter to the web browser window. Plus, they add features you probably never use. It’s your computer — you be the boss!

Manage the toolbars in Internet Explorer by following these steps:

  1. From the Tools button on the toolbar, choose Tools→Toolbars.

    The Toolbars submenu appears. Active toolbars appear with a check mark by their names.

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  2. Choose a checked toolbar from the submenu to remove it.

  3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until Internet Explorer is purged of all unwanted toolbars.

Removing the check mark by a toolbar doesn’t uninstall the toolbar. You can reactivate the toolbar at any time by choosing the toolbar from the Toolbars submenu.

The Links bar is another toolbar you can remove, though many prefer keeping it active as a bookmarks menu. The status bar is also useful because it provides information about the web page you’re viewing (or trying to view).

To uninstall a toolbar, you remove the program that set the thing up in the first place.

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