Windows Registry Hacks/Internet Explorer

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This chapter deals with tweaks related to visual enhancement, performance and miscellaneous factors related to Internet Explorer


Custom Information pages[edit]

There are 10 information pages in total which include "navigation failure", "web page unavailable", "about:tabs" etc. The pages along with their default paths are:


Value Default Data ( in IE 6) Default Data ( in IE 7)
blank res://mshtml.dll/blank.htm res://mshtml.dll/blank.htm
NavigationFailure res://shdoclc.dll/navcancl.htm res://ieframe.dll/navcancl.htm
DesktopItemNavigationFailure res://shdoclc.dll/navcancl.htm res://ieframe.dll/navcancl.htm
NavigationCanceled res://shdoclc.dll/navcancl.htm res://ieframe.dll/navcancl.htm
OfflineInformation res://shdoclc.dll/offcancl.htm res://ieframe.dll/offcancl.htm
PostNotCached res://mshtml.dll/repost.htm res://ieframe.dll/repost.htm
NoAdd-ons value not available res://ieframe.dll/noaddon.htm
NoAdd-onsInfo value not available res://ieframe.dll/noaddoninfo.htm
SecurityRisk value not available res://ieframe.dll/securityatrisk.htm
Tabs value not available res://ieframe.dll/tabswelcome.htm

Note: "res://" in above paths stands for "resource".

The Key and data type are:

System Key: HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs
Data type : REG_SZ


Sample registry to change "Navigation Failure" page
Key HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\AboutURLs
Value Name NavigationFailure
Data Type REG_SZ
Data path to custom html page

TIP: * In case of a browser hijack, the values will be changed to reflect a particular URL. Putting back the default values can help in counter measures.

  • All the default pages can bee seen by copy-pasting the path to Run dialog box (e.g. pasting "res://shdoclc.dll/offcancl.htm" in Run dialog box will open up the "web page unavailable offline" page.
  • Or they can be seen by typing in the Run Dialog box OR IE address bar the following:
    • about:<value>
      • replacing <value> with one of the values from table above as below
    • about:OfflineInformation
    • about:Tabs

Background bitmap for explorer toolbars[edit]

Description: Internet explorer can be customized to use a bitmap image as a background for toolbars.

Note: Only images with bmp as extension will work.

Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar
Value Name BackBitmapShell < This is the name of your new "String Value"
Data Type String Value (Right click on right-hand pane and select "New > String Value")
Data Enter the direct path to your bitmap image (e.g. C:\WINDOWS\Resources\"New Folder Name")

Custom loading icon and animation[edit]

Description: Internet Explorer uses static and dynamic icons which can be seen at top-right. 4 Values are needed for customization which are:

Value Description
BigBitmap A 38x38 pixel bitmap image which is in use when no data transfer takes place.
SmallBitmap A 22x22 pixel bitmap which is in use when no data transfer takes place.
BrandBitmap A 38x38 pixel GIF image which is in use when data transfer takes place.
SmBrandBitmap A 22x22 pixel GIF image which is in use when data transfer takes place.
Registry to use custom "BigBitmap". Other Values also have same properties except for "value"
Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar
Value Name BigBitmap
Data Type REG_SZ
Data path to 38x38 bitmap image

Custom title bar text[edit]

Description: The title-bar in Internet Explorer can be customized to show personalized text.

Registry to change title bar text to "Wikibooks"
Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
Value Name Window Title
Data Type REG_SZ
Data Wikibooks

Change hyperlink colors[edit]

Description: Hyperlink and visited hyperlink colors are shown in blue (0,0,255) and purple (128,0,128) respectively. Changing the hover text color requires the setting to be enabled first. It can be done by using the following registry:

Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Settings
Value Name Use Anchor Hover Color
Data Type REG_SZ
Data Yes

The format for colors is

 RRR,GGG,BBB (in decimal)
Registry for changing the hyperlink color to green.
Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Settings
Value Name Anchor Color
Data Type REG_SZ
Data 0,255,0
Registry for changing visited hyperlink color to red.
Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Settings
Value Name Anchor Color Visited
Data Type REG_SZ
Data 255,0,0
Registry for changing hover color to blue.
Key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Settings
Value Name Anchor Color Hover
Data Type REG_SZ
Data 0,0,255