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Got a Problem not found here? Email Me HereF.

Be sure to check out, Bo Previews Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 PR2

Dump the MSIE Search Autocomplete MRU List:

John writes:

The problem: When I use Yahoo as my search engine in Microsoft Internet, it records different key words for quick picking in the search bar. (Not the URL address bar but the search window bar). All of the clean-up programs and hints tell me how to get rid of the URL stuff but I can't find anything to tell me how to clear the Yahoo search bar window.

It's not the www.xxxxxx stuff I want to clear but when I start to type a word in the search bar that stuff that I have typed in the past years comes into view. I want to clear that search keyword stuff.

If the search words are on the Yahoo site
Now, if this is the Yahoo.com site from which you are searching, then you will have to do the following:

Go to the Yahoo page, click in the search box, press the down arrow and press delete on the entries you want to remove. This way you can selectively delete entries for fields on forms without clearing every form's  field history. Select each enter to delete by using the up and down arrow keys on your keyboard, not with the mouse.

Same theme, different technique:

Here is the steps to take to clear history in Yahoo;
(1) go to the Yahoo home page
(2) click on view
(3) click on explorer bar
(4) click on history
(5) highlight the ones you wish to delete
(6) right click on it
(7) click on delete

If the Keyword Autocomplete and AutoScan functions are on MSIE 6.0 itself:

Okay. Lets take a look at your auto-complete search history. Here is how:

  1. Open Microsoft Internet Explorer or go to Control Panel and click on the Internet Options icon
  2. With MSIE open, select Tools | Internet Options
  3. Switch to the Content Tab
  4. Click on the AutoComplete button
  5. Choose to Clear Forms.

It wouldn't be a bad idea to clear your Internet cache files either. Here is how:

  1. Follow steps 1 & 2 above
  2. Select the General Tab
  3. Click on the Delete Files button
  4. When the next dialog opens, "Delete all files in the temporary Internet Files" Place a check mark in the dialog box and press okay.
  5. This insures that any files or search items which have found their way to the internet cache folder are removed.

Another method, and the one which will really work, is to edit the system registry. As you admit that you are new to computing (Everyone was new once) I think it would be better to skip that technique for the time being. The system registry is nothing to monkey around with, though if your careful and back up everything, it isn't as daunting as most would have you believe. There will be time for that if you find that the results from the information I have given you above, don't work out for you. Simply resubmit your email (Just click the reply button to this email) and let me know what you have for an operating system (Windows Me, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP and etc..), and what you have done thus far to resolve this issue.

Stop that pesky Internet Search Assistant Cold

Stan writes:

I'm running XP and IE6
Yahoo is my" default" home page.

When I type a search query in the Yahoo box, Yahoo searches and lists various sites.  However the screen then also splits and a new window on the left of the screen appears - it's the Search Assistant - it displays various  indirectly related results which tend to be products that may be related to the original Yahoo query.  This window can be closed by clicking the X.  BUT  on then going to a Yahoo suggested listing then after the page has loaded and then clicking the BACK button the Search Assistant window always returns.

I have gone to registry to "disable" the Search Assistant in IE6 by inserting the value "No" in the string UseSearchAssistant.   This made no difference.  How do you stop this very annoying pop up of the Search Assistant ?  Is it related to a Yahoo sponsor function search ?
Bo ~ It could be Stan

The above does not happen with Google.

Microsoft, as usual , have been totally unhelpful about this.

As all who have read anything to do with BLCOW knows, I hate Microsoft! I love Microsoft! I love to hate Microsoft! That being said, this isn't really a problem with your MSIE 6.0 or your Windows XP. You may need to check your YaHoo search preferences for this. But first, try the fix below. If it is successful great, if not, check with YaHoo, they most likely have had this problem before.

Search Assistant will try to connect to http://sa.windows.com This is done to check for updates to its features, tips, wording and etc. Not allowing access can cause its own set of problems, usually a "A file that is required........." error message. If you start getting these, you may want to re-enable your registry tweak.

You can stop the internet access by changing the search behavior to Classic Search. Here is how:

To use Classic Search for the Internet

  1. Click Start, and then click Search.
  2. Click Change preferences.
  3. Click Change Internet search behavior.
  4. Click With classic Internet search, and then click OK.
  5. While you have the search preferences open, look around a bit. You can change a lot of the ways the search operates including selecting your preferred Internet Search Engine.

Register MSIE to use Google

If you would like to register Google as your default internet search engine do the following:

  1. In the Address bar of Internet Explorer type:

  2. Then hit enter
  3. If you want to go back to the default MSIE search pane type the following:


    to run the Registry script that puts it back.

URL Shortcut in IE

Although favorites, bookmarks, and customized start pages have helped organize and streamline our web surfing experience, every once in a while it is still necessary to type in a web site's address by hand. For times when you find yourself in this situation, here is a keyboard shortcut that can save you some typing.

When you type in a web address, you can just type in the part between the www. and the .com, and then press CTRL-Enter and Internet Explorer will fill in the rest. For instance, if I want to check on my favorite website, I can simply click in the address field in Internet Explorer, type "ZdNet" without the quotes, and then press CTRL-Enter. IE will automatically convert this into http://www.zdnet.com for me.

Hotmail with Outlook Express                         
A nicer way to Hotmail

A recently added feature of Outlook Express (it's included in version 6, which comes with Windows XP) is the ability to read your Hotmail messages. This gives you an easier to use and nicer way to compose and read messages, compared to accessing Hotmail through a browser. If you are familiar with the features of Outlook Express for reading regular POP3 email, you will really appreciate having the same format and tools for using Hotmail.

To set up a Hotmail account with Outlook Express, first open it from the Start Menu. If this is the first time you are opening OE, you will automatically find yourself in the new account wizard. If you have already been using OE, and you want to add a Hotmail account, click the Tools menu, then click "Accounts..." Click the Add button, then choose "Mail..." Enter a display name for you to use to reference the account, then click Next. Then enter in your Hotmail email address and click Next. Make sure that your email server is HTTP, and your provider is Hotmail, and click Next. Verify your email address, and enter your password (optional). if you leave the password field blank, you will be prompted for it each time you open Hotmail in OE. Click Next, then Finish to complete the setup. You may be prompted to download the folders from Hotmail; choose Yes to be able to read your Hotmail email now.

OE will not really download your messages - instead it synchronizes them with the Hotmail web server. This can actually be convenient if you switch back and forth between using OE and using Hotmail from a browser. If you receive many messages, or have a really slow network connection, you may want to change your synchronization settings. Right-click the Inbox (or any folder), and hold the mouse cursor over "Synchronization Settings," then click "Headers Only." This means that only the title of the messages will be downloaded into OE, and the message itself won't be downloaded until you open it. This is also handy for SPAM, which you can delete without opening it.

You can now use Outlook Express for Hotmail in all the same ways that you use it for your regular POP3 email, including creating new folders, moving messages to different folders, contacts/address book, receipts, signatures, etc. Once you have OE set up for Hotmail, you can send a blank email message to hmoex@hotmail.com, and you will receive an automatic response back from Microsoft with some useful information about using Hotmail with Outlook Express.

URL Management

Delete Unwanted URLS   G
When you type a URL in the Address Bar it gets added to a listing that can be accessed by clicking on the down arrow at the right side of the address bar. You can remove the URLs listed in the Address Bar pull-down listing by launching RegEdit and going to HKEY_USERS\Default\Software\Microsoft\
InternetExplorer\TypedURLs. Delete any URLs you don't want viewed.

In Windows 2000, this key is located here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\
Internet Explorer\TypedURLs.

Navigate Long URLs    G
Editing Web addresses in the Address field can be frustrating, but IE helps you navigate. First, make sure your cursor is in the address field. Use Ctrl+Left Arrow and Ctrl+Right Arrow to move among URL sections separated by periods and forward slashes in the Address Bar.

Relocate Favorites    G
You can change the location of your Favorites folder by editing the Registry. Launch RegEdit from the Run command line and go to these two entries:
CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders and, in the same tree, Shell Folders. In each, set the Favorites value to the path of your new Favorites folder. You must use a double slash instead of a single slash when entering the path (for example, C:\\MYNEWFAV).

Return to Index     G

Saving IE

Remember Your Own Passwords   G
Internet Explorer can remember the passwords you use to log on to specific Web sites. When you return to a site, the browser will automatically fill in your password. To disable this feature -- called Password Caching -- open the Registry editor and drill down to the key
CurrentVersion\Internet Settings. Right-click the white space in the left pane and select New/DWORD Value. Give the new value the name DisablePasswordCaching and set the value to 0x00000001.

Click to See a Larger Image Save the Complete Web Page   G
When you save a Web page, all you really save is the HTML; images and other components remain at the original site. But IE 5.5 lets you save an entire Web page, including the graphics. Select Save As from the IE 5.5 File menu and choose Web Page/Complete from the Save As Type drop-down menu. When you do this, the Web page is saved along with a corresponding folder that contains the graphics for the page. If you delete the page, the folder vanishes as well.

Return to Index   G

Make IE Yours

Kill the MSN Messenger   G
In a typical pushy Microsoft manner, anyone who has added HotMail to its Outlook Express list of "accounts," has also won Microsoft's instant messaging program, MSN Messenger. To evict invading applets taking up resources and crowding the system tray with unnecessary icons, you have two options. One is to uninstall Messenger altogether through the Add/Remove Programs applet in Control Panel. But before you do, think -- you may have friends who use Messenger and dislike ICQ or AIM. For their sake, keep the program but prevent it from going into action whenever you launch Outlook Express.

In Outlook Express, select Tools/MSN Messenger/Options. Click the Preferences tab, check off "Show the program icon on the taskbar" and select "Always run the program…".

Hide the Address Bar   G
If you're like most IE users, you probably maximize your browsing space by hiding various toolbars, enabling small icons, or turning off text labels. To save even more space, hide the Address bar (right-click it and deselect it from the Context menu), and then simply hit Ctrl+O to access the Open dialog whenever you need to enter a URL.

Full Screen vs. Small Window   G
You can toggle back and forth between a full-screen view and a smaller window in Internet Explorer by pressing the F11 key.
Return to Index

Under the Hood

Choose Your HTML Editor   G
When you click the Edit button on IE's toolbar, you open the current page in your default HTML editor. Not all editors are created equal, however, and not all of them register themselves with IE as bona fide editors. To see which editors IE recognizes, select Tools/Internet Options and click the Programs Tab. Click the pull-down arrow next to HTML Editor, and you'll see a list most likely made up of Word, Excel, and Notepad.

Here's how to add your preferred editor to that list:

  1. Click Start and type Regedit in the Run field.

  2. In the Registry editor, navigate your way to HKEY_USERS\.DEFAULT\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Default HTML Editor.

  3. Expand the tree completely below Default HTML Editor.

  4. Click the Command icon.

  5. Click the Default icon on the right pane of Regedit.

  6. Delete whichever program (along with its path) is listed in quotation marks, but leave the "%1" in place.

  7. Type in the complete path and the application's executable in quotation marks, before the "%1". For example, in our case, HomeSite 4.5 refuses to install itself into a beta of IE 5.5, so we typed in "C:\Program Files\Allaire\HomeSite 4.5\homesite45.exe" "%1"

Quick and Dirty FTP   G
Click to See a Larger Image Now that IE has added drag-and-drop File Transfer Protocol or FTP support, you might think that you can throw your old WS_FTP or CuteFTP out the door. Not quite. IE still lacks some serious bells and whistles, but as a rudimentary tool, it does an adequate job. Say you want to upload your latest baby photos to your Web site. Type an FTP address (such as ftp.winzip.com -- you don't need to type the ftp:// part), and you'll notice that IE's icon on the Windows taskbar has changed to a folder with a tiny globe. What do you know, that's a regular window. You can grab one of the files from it and drop it to any folder on your hard disk or to the Desktop.

But if you're trying to FTP your way into a password-protected site (such as your own), you'll need to go through an extra step. By default, IE assumes that your username is Anonymous, which all-open FTP sites allow into their doors. But to tell it your real username and password, select File/Login As and fill in the necessary information. The bad news: IE has a bug -- or feature -- that prevents it from remembering your information from session to session, so you need to repeat that step each time you log on to your site.

NOTE: If you don't see a folder view on an FTP page, you might need to enable it. Select Tools/Internet Options, scroll down to Browsing, and click next to "Enable folder view for FTP sites."
Return to Index    G

Restoring the File Download Prompt in Internet Explorer

Q: I regularly download ZIP files using Internet Explorer 5.0. When I do, Internet Explorer displays the File Download dialog box which prompts me to choose whether I want to open the file from it's current location or to save the file to the disk. Recently, I cleared the Always Ask Before Opening This Type Of File check box. Now, the file immediately begins to download without displaying the File Download dialog box. However, when I download EXE files, I do see the prompt. How do I restore the prompt for ZIP files?

A: When you cleared the Always Ask Before Opening This Type Of File check box in the File Download dialog box, you changed a setting for the ZIP file type. To restore the prompt for ZIP files you need to restore the setting on the ZIP file type.

To do so, open My Computer, pull down the View menu and select the Folder Options command. When you see the Folder Options dialog box, select the File Type tab. Now, scroll through the list of file types to locate and select the WinZip File item. Then, click the Edit button.

When you see the Edit File Type dialog box, locate the Confirm Open After Download check box and select it, as shown in Figure B. To continue, click OK twice-once to close the Edit File Type dialog box and once to close the Folder Options dialog box.

Figure B: Select the Confirm Open After Download check box to configure Internet Explorer to prompt you before downloading files.


PROBLEM: Back during the browser wars, changing the default browser was something everyone did all the time, but do you still remember how to do it?

SOLUTION: It still comes up: You suddenly need to change your default browser because of a mandate at your job or the need to test something on your system. Never fear, if you're changing
between Internet Explorer to Netscape Navigator. The folks at eHow have simple instructions that can have you switched in seconds.


PROBLEM: You remember seeing a particular Web page while you were surfing earlier, but you can't remember the URL or exactly when you saw it.

SOLUTION: Use your browser's built-in History feature. In Netscape Navigator, press Ctrl+H to call up the History window. It shows a chronological listing of every page you've visited, starting with the most recent and moving backward. Access the History feature in Internet Explorer by clicking on the History icon on the toolbar (the sundial). IE does not do nearly as well as Navigator in providing a history trail. Pages are grouped under the single sites and are displayed by the current week's days, then last week, two weeks ago, and three weeks ago. You have to expand each group to see the sites, then expand each site to see the individual pages.


When you download files, are you miffed by a box that tells you the download is complete? You can lose this box by making a quick change to your IE5 settings. Select Tools, Internet Options. Click the Advanced tab to bring it forward. Deselect Notify When Downloads Complete and click OK to save your changes.


In previous tips, I told you how to remove the animated logo from a customized version of IE5. For instance, if your ISP provides your version of IE5, you may see a logo associated with your ISP instead of the usual spinning globe. I told you how to get the default logo back (It is covered again in this instruction set), but I was missing part of the story. If you have a co-branded browser, you may also see the name of the company in the title bar. Here's how to remove both of these annoyances.

IMPORTANT Please read before continuing
Note: Messing with the Registry can cause all kinds of strange weirdness with your PC. If you don't know what you're doing, it's best to live with these inconveniences. improperly editing the system registry may cause loss of data or may result you not being able to boot to your GUI (General User Interface = Windows). Bohunky0, Blaisdell's Little Corner of the Web or any of it's affiliates can not and will not take any responsibility for any loss. The end user, YOU, take full liability.

Ok brave souls, if you decide to edit the Registry, make sure to back up your system.dat and user.dat files in your Windows folder, preferably to a floppy or another folder on your hard drive.

Now, launch the Registry Editor by clicking Start, and selecting Run. Type


in the Run dialog box that appears. Navigate to the key HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar.

In the right pane, select BrandBitmap and SmBrandBitmap. Delete these entries.

When Windows restarts the registry will be repaired to show the default BitMap which is the spinning globe.

To get rid of the name in the title bar, navigate to

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\WindowTitle.

Select the name in the right pane and delete the entry. Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer.


Do you feel that IE isn't quite, well ... personal enough? The interface is a bit cold and steely, no? You can shake things up a bit by using IE Personalizer 2.0. This utility enables you to edit the title menu to whatever you want, change the toolbar background to the wallpaper of your choice, or even add your own logo. It even slices and dices*. All this for the very fair price of zero dollars--it's freeware.

You'll find the Personalizer at the following address:


**IE Personalizer 2.0 does not slice or dice.

Want Extra Room for the Browser? Try this tip.
Want extra room for browsing? To see more Web of your favorite Web pages and less of the IE5 toolbar, you can hide the text labels from the buttons on the Standard Buttons toolbar. Right-click on the menu bar. Select View, Toolbars, Customize. Under Text Options, select No Text Labels. Good luck!

Don't wait for the graphics in MSIE 5.x. Mama taught you to use place holders so do it.
Instead of waiting for graphics to download before you see all the text in a page, you can set IE5 to put placeholders where the graphics will appear. You start browsing more quickly. Choose Tools, Internet Options and click the Advanced tab. Type 'M' to jump to the Multimedia section. Under Multimedia, select Show Image Download Placeholders. Click OK to save your changes

Uninstalling IE 5

If you install Window 98 with IE4 already installed your system, you may find yourself unable to remove IE5. Ideally, you would uninstall IE5 before installing Windows 98. However, if you have already installed Windows 98 and want to remove IE5, check out the following Knowledge Base article:


Unfortunately, these steps involve re-installing Windows 98. And we all know how painful installing Windows can be.

Increase the number of downloads thatIE can perform at once (Requires editing the registry) See also IE Connection Limit

I re-discovered the registry tweak which frees up file downloads implemented through Internet Explorer. Before I say anything more I must make a disclaimer.

If you wish to use the tweak which follows, be it on your own head if your registry tampering affects anything else on your system. Making changes to the registry, while easy, is not for the uninitiated. If you are not sure about what you are doing - don't do it! That's another way of saying I take all care and no responsibility.

The tweak - as follows:-


************FOR W/95/98/NT4 - COPY EVERYTHING BELOW*****************


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]



*****************COPY EVERYTHING ABOVE*************

MTU is variable, so more connections are possible

***********FOR W/ME/2000 - COPY EVERYTHING BELOW*****************


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]



*****************COPY EVERYTHING ABOVE*************

I simply created a new text file called "connections.reg" and copied the first block for use in Windows 98, into that file. I checked the registry location first with Regedit and there was nothing there in the "MaxConnections..." headings. By right clicking on my "connections.reg" file I was presented with a "merge" option. I did. It worked fine and I was able to download five files at a time. As to the limit on concurrent downloads - I must say I don't know, but the above worked for me. I haven't tried the W/ME/2000 alternative so can't comment on its effectiveness.

IE Connection Limit


The HTTP 1.0 specification allows for 4 concurrent connections from a browser to a web server. HTTP 1.1 decreases this to 2 concurrent connections, which basically means that up to 2 files can be downloaded at the same time. The more images on a site, the longer it can take to download all of them because of the limit in how many connections can be established. You can tweak the maximum number of connections for Microsoft Internet Explorer by modifying a registry entry, though you are breaking the rules a bit. Some web servers are configured to throttle the number of connections, so it may not work entirely, but it could speed up your general surfing ability. The downside is that on slower Internet connections, you'll have more files downloading at the same time, possibly resulting in slower overall surfing, so it may be not for everyone.

HKEY_CURRENT_USER \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Internet Settings

HTTP 1.1 Servers:
Value Name: MaxConnectionsPerServer
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 2
Notes: 2 is the default, suggested max of 8

HTTP 1.0 Servers:
Value Name: MaxConnectionsPer1_0Server
Data Type: REG_DWORD
Data: 4
Notes: 4 is the default, suggested max of 8


Fix for Errors Installing Internet Explorer 5.5

The following errors may erupt after installing Internet Explorer (4.01 SP1, 4.01 SP2, and 5 for Windows NT 4) or (5.5 for Windows 2000), says Microsoft: "Unable to find function "DLLRegisterServer" in file C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\COMCAT.DLL. Error occurred calling "DLLRegisterServer" in C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\ASCTRLS.OCX (HRESULT=80004005). Error occurred calling "DLLRegisterServer" in C:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\DAXCTLE.OCX (HRESULT=80004005)". Additionally, when About Internet Explorer is selected on the Help menu, no information is displayed. A damaged COMCAT.DLL file or a wrong version number is the likely the one wreaking havoc. Rename the file in the %SystemRoot%\System32 folder, and then reinstall Internet Explorer to remedy the situation. And here's a tip: If Internet Explorer is removed before reinstalling, rename the Comcat.dll file after removing Internet Explorer to steer clear of future hassles.

Fix if Internet Explorer 5 Locks Up

Internet Explorer (5, 5.01) for Windows 98 may lockup if the number of iterations in a JScript "for" loop on an HTML page exceed 80, says Microsoft. A fix is available, but hasn't been tested for backward compatibility; therefore, apply only if this bug causes major grief. Contact Product Support Services here for the fix. At the minimum, the fix should contain these attributes: Date: 15/05/2000; Time: 12:36pm; Version: 5.0.3017.1500; Size: 2,352,500, and; File name: Mshtml.dll.


PROBLEM: Many sites use frames despite the practice's unpopularity. How can you get a given frame to display as a Web page outside of the frame context?

SOLUTION: Netscape Navigator makes this easy. Right-click inside the target frame and choose Open Frame in New Window from the pop- up menu. Internet Explorer is a bit trickier. Right-click inside the frame, then click on the Properties option. Next select the Address (URL) as displayed on the General tab. Right-click on the URL and select copy. In IE paste the URL into the address bar and press enter.

Add and remove Toolbars
(Internet Explorer 5)
IE 5 has four different toolbars that you can turn on or off. To see the toolbars currently in use, click on View and select Toolbars. If a toolbar has a checkmark in front of it, then it's active. To activate an inactive toolbar or deactivate an active one, simply select the option you want checked or unchecked. You can also access the Toolbars menu by right-clicking anywhere on an open toolbar.

Put an end to pop-up hell

Want a quick and dirty way to ditch those massively annoying pop- up ads that sites think actually work? While this isn't likely a permanent solution, these pop-ups are generated using JavaScript, so a quick disabling of the scripting features can leave you to surf in peace.
In Netscape, click Edit - Preferences - Advanced and uncheck the Enable JavaScript box.
Internet Explorer is a bit different, in that you have to dive into the zone security settings. Click Tools - Internet Options - Security - Internet zone, then click the Custom Level button at the bottom of the window. Scroll all the way down to the Scripting section and change the Active Scripting item to either Disable, or Prompt. This will likely affect how some sites display in a browser, however, as some elements of page layout and navigation can be done using JavaScript. By the way, since JavaScript is a Netscape invention, you can thank them for the ability of websites to bombard you with pop-up ads.

A: You are not alone in your frenzy and, yes, there is something you can do about them.

This company has blitzed the market with its back-door ads which pop-up under your browser window. X10 claims the 'pop-under' ads are less intrusive than traditional pop-up ads because they don't obscure the page you're reading and only appear when you close or minimise your browser window. Whether you swallow this line or not, I find it interesting that the company has deemed it necessary to create a page on its site justifying its ads as "100% legal and 100% safe". The company has claimed a high success rate with the pop-unders, but one wonders how many of those click-throughs came from enraged surfers looking for a place to vent.

Anyway, if you examine the URL of the link used to banish the ads, it looks like this: www.x10.com/home/optout.cgi?DAY=30&PAGE=http://www.x10.com/x10ads1.htm You should be able to increase the period of banishment by upping that DAY=30 count. That's what this link does.

More substantial solutions:
If you're interested in a more widespread solution to the spread of pop-ups, pop-unders and other so-called interstitials, you might like to try Panicware's free Pop-up Stopper. This will stop ads like the X10 pop-unders as well as many other ads. Its solution, however, is a little draconian: It prevents more than one instance of a browser window from opening, so it will even prevent legitimate windows, such as e-mail links and site links which appear in a separate window, from opening. You can get around this limitation by Shift-clicking or Ctrl-clicking links. You can also quickly disable Pop-up Stopper by double-clicking its system tray icon.

An alternative to Pop-up Stopper is WebWasher. This program is free for personal and home use, $29 for businesses. WebWasher not only lets you stop the pop-ups, it also provides cookie filters, script suppression, URL filters, site blocking, and a variety of other privacy, content and access tools.

There are many other similar programs available. A quick search at ZDNet's Software Library for 'pop-up ads' will reveal several dozen utilities that will help you regain control of your browser.

How The Cookie Crumbles

Time and time again we get inquiries on removing various aspects of the Temporary Internet Folder. TIF is a place where downloaded pages from the web are stored to facilitate reloading of same or like content when one returns to a site. The cookie folder stores all manner of information on your local hard drive such as login names for sites which require it and a mass of other information a web site owner can use to remember you when you return. It just sounds better than, "Welcome back, you know who you are". So, in that light here is another in a long series of questions concerning the TIF folder on your hard drive.

Q: How can I delete the index.dat files that have to do with cookies and temporary Internet files that are stored on my hard drive? When I try to delete them I get a message that says they are protected or in use by someone else. These files are getting quite large and I would like to have the option of clearing them out periodically. Can it be done?

A: You are confusing three different pieces of Windows data.  Index.dat is part of the registry and has nothing to do with cookies or Internet storage.  You mess with index.dat at your peril.  Although there are some third- party tools that claim to clean and compress the registry, I'd be reluctant to use them.

On the other hand, you can delete most of the temporary Internet files by choosing Tools, Internet Options in IE and clicking Delete Files within the Temporary Internet Files pane. To deal with Cookies, you can use one of the many third- party cookie managers. Of course Microsoft is playing with cookie management in the new release of MSIE 6.0 Public Preview Release. You can learn more about MSIE 6.0 PP here.

A quick search at one of the big online shareware libraries such as ZDNet's Software Library or CNet's Downloads will uncover a host of them.

Script based virus prevention in Outlook Express

If you use Outlook Express or Outlook 2000, you should immediately take the following important steps to prevent this type of script-based virus from attacking your system:

  1. Open Outlook Express and choose the Tools, Options menu.
  2. Click the Security tab.
  3. In the Security Zones section, select the Restricted sites zone (More secure) box.
  4. Click OK to apply the change.

This simple but important measure disables potentially dangerous scripts like the BubleBoy virus and others which use the VBS scripting language. Do it today, and share this tip with a friend or family member!

To double up on this type of prevention make your Notepad the default viewer for *.vbs file. Here is how:

  1. Open NotePad (Start | Run | Type Notepad0
  2. Save it to a temporary folder such as C:\Temp and save it as untitled.vbs
  3. Open Windows Explorer
  4. Navigate to C:\Temp\untitled.vbs
  5. Hold down on the Shift key and right click on the file
  6. Select Open with from the menu
  7. Be sure the Always open this type of file with this program is checked.
  8. Select Notepad as the program to open this file
  9. This way the VBS script can not execute and will be opened in Windows NotePad.exe. This is also a good way to see what the script will do if executed.
  10. This works with all versions of MSIE, Outlook, Outlook Express, Netscape, Opera, Eudora, or any other of VBS script enabled program.

Another way to do this, in Windows File Associations, was sent to us courtesy of "The Schwartz Family", give it a try:

Another method for:Script based virus prevention in Outlook Express is to make EDIT the default option of double clicking a VBS file.  This way a VBS file won't execute unless it is right clicked and OPEN is chosen:

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop to start Windows Explorer.
  2. On the View menu, click Folder Options.
  3. On the File Types tab, click VBScript Script File in the list, and then click Edit.
  4. If it does not exists do the following to create it:
    1. Follow steps 1-3 above
    2. To ascertain if the VBS Scripter is installed on your computer highlight any file in the list and press V. This brings you to all files beginning with the letter V. Scroll down the list to see if the VBScript Script File is in the list. If it is, go to 5 by clicking here. If not, do this section to create the association:
      1. Click the New Type Button
      2. In the Description of type box, type:
        VBScript Script File
      3. In the Associated Extension type:
      4. Be sure to place a check mark in the:
        Always Show Extension (
        See Figure 1 Below)
      5. Click the New Button
      6. In the Action box type:
      7. In the "Applications Used to Perform Action", type (See Figure 2 Below)
        C:\WINDOWS\WScript.exe "%1" %*
      8. Click Okay
        NOTE: If after clicking okay you get an error message, you do not have Windows WScript.exe on your machine. This is especially true if you are using Windows 98 and haven't updated. In which case, I would encourage you to go immediately to the
        Windows Update Site and get the latest updates for your Windows version.
      9. Highlight Edit in the Action Window
      10. Click the Default Button
      11. If you wish to change the default Icon, click the Change Icon Button and locate an Icon which looks right to you otherwise, click close. (Bo Tip: You can usually find icons in most *.EXE* or *.DLL* files click the browse button if the defaults do not suit you) The default Icon will be used by Windows otherwise.
      12. If you have VBScript Script File in your file list, skip this section and move on to 5 below
  5. In the Edit File Type dialog box that appears, click the EDIT entry in the Actions box, and then click SET DEFAULT.

Figure 1

Figure 2

Software Secret: Cover Your Tracks
PROBLEM: When I use Internet Explorer's search function, terms I previously searched for appear in a drop-down box on the left of my screen, underneath the box that I type my keywords in. How can I protect my privacy and delete my previous entries?

SOLUTION: This feature, called Forms AutoComplete, is one of several options in Internet Explorer that remember previous entries. (Other AutoComplete options save user names, passwords, and Web addresses.)

To disable IE's memory for search terms and Web-based forms, choose Internet Options from the Tools menu. In the resulting dialog box, click the Contents tab, click the AutoComplete button, and then uncheck the Use AutoComplete for Forms box

To continue using the Forms AutoComplete feature but just clean up entries that could compromise your privacy, use either of these techniques:

  1. To erase all records of search text, open the AutoComplete dialog box and click Clear Forms in the Clear AutoComplete History section. IE will remember future entries, but past entries vanish into the ether.

  2. To erase a single saved entry, double-click in the Search box to reveal the drop-down list of saved Search terms. Use the arrow key to move the selection down through the list until the entry you want to erase is highlighted. Then press Delete.

Really concerned about security? Install Microsoft's unofficial, unsupported Tweak UI utility and run through the settings on the Paranoia tab. Options let you purge the contents of every Windows list that has a memory.

Q: When filling out an online form, Windows will quickly supply all the alternatives ever entered that start with the letter of the alphabet I've just typed. Unfortunately that includes all the mistyped ones and one-offs as well. Since this is a handy feature, I don't want to turn it off. How do I edit this list to just the useful entries I am likely to use again?

A: This is a neat feature of Internet Explorer.  There is no way to edit this list as a whole that I know of.  But when the drop down list is displayed, if you highlight any entry and hit Del, you'll remove it.

More of your Favorites Scope of the, Did you know section
What good is a utilities abilities if no one knows that they exist? In that light, see our Did You Know section...coming soon.

You might have noticed that your Internet Explorer favorites list is accessible right from your Windows 98 Start menu. But did you know that you can put more than just bookmarks in your browser's favorites list? To add file and folder shortcuts to your Favorites list, go to C:WindowsFavorites, then drag and drop your shortcut into the window.

Clear AutoComplete Forms

To clear AutoComplete forms, from the Tools menu select Internet Options, then click the Content tab. In the Personal information area, click AutoComplete, then click Clear Forms.

Outlook Express inadvertent script execution
Text e-mails process scripts
By Lisa Williams BUGNET

Sept. 20 — The only way to secure a computer from hackers is not connect it to the Internet. Since none of us have that luxury, it’s important to keep up to date on current security vulnerabilities. For Microsoft Outlook Express users, that means realizing that maybe there is no way to secure it from malicious attacks. Go to the Full Story

The quick fix: Changing the Internet security level in Internet Explorer prevents any script in a plain text e-mail message from executing when viewed with Outlook Express. In Internet Explorer on the Tools menu, select Internet Options…. Then click the Security tab and raise the sliding bar all the way up to High. This will protect you from the hidden scripts in plain text messages.

E-mail Screen Shots
E-mail Screen Shots To send a screen shot via e-mail, open the desired window, and press Alt+PrtScrn. Open a new message in Outlook, then press Ctrl-V to paste the window into your message. To capture the entire desktop, rather than just the active window, press the PrtScrn key without the Alt key.

Block Popups In IE6

To make popup windows go away in Internet Explorer 6 simply go to the site with the popup and then go into the Content Advisor and block the site where the popup loads, the popup won't show up again.

For more details on this and other little annoyances, see Closing Windows

Remove Personalized Menus

Microsoft adds new features to its operating system to make it easier for new users, however power users can find them to be an annoyance. One of these annoyances we are speaking of is our friends the Personalized Menus.

Personalized menus make only the options you have used recently show up on the menus. Its a great idea but for users who are constantly using a programs options this can get to be annoying.

To stop the flow of questions about killing them now.. we will give you the scoop at this moment... Yes now.

Simply go into Internet Explorer, select Advanced Options and uncheck Use Personalized Menus.

Not to bad ehh?

Microsoft Internet Explorer Slows or Halts Connection:

Q. I am using IE6 with Windows 98 (first edition). I regularly empty my cache, delete all files, clear history, perform scandisk & defragment my PC. However, after I have clicked on and visited 10/15 web sites my connection seems to hang, the two PC icons in the system tray stop communicating and the page/link I have clicked on takes an age to load. Once loaded I can then surf happily for another 10/15 sites/pages but then it hangs again. This continues throughout my connection. I had been experiencing the same problem using IE5, I thought upgrading to IE6 might have solved the problem, unfortunately it hasn't. I have used all settings i.e. never check for new pages...always check for new pages...automatically check for new pages, I still get the same problem. I also use the latest Opera browser, with no problems (hangups whatsoever), so I know it is not a problem with my modem. Any assistance/advice would be appreciated

A. First let me congratulate you on doing everything right...great job! You'd be surprised how many do not perform even the simplest system maintenance procedures.

While I can easily sympathize with your problem, I have seen it before. As for Opera, it handles modem interfaces differently then MSIE does. Let me backup a bit, MSIE is not only your browser, but also an integral part of your operating system. So, in essence your statement is true as far as it goes. However there is more to it than that.

Method 1
Increase Cache Folder Size
You may want to increase your cache folder size. Sometimes this cache becomes so bloated after multiple connections to various sites that it just refuses to extend the proper identifiers. This is especially true if you visit allot of sites which are graphics intensive. In an ideal world MSIE would delete the older file versions in the cache folder to make room for a newer version...this is rarely true unfortunately.

Here is how to perform this adjustment:

  1. Click Start Select Settings
  2. Select Internet Options
  3. Under Temporary Internet Files on the General tab click the settings button
  4. Slide the slider slightly to the right or type in a value in megabytes which is somewhat larger than it is now.
  5. See if that works for you..if not try the AT Commands listed below.

Some of my clients have had some success with installing new modem drivers.

I also find that with some modems, particularly with the HP56 brand of modem a simple
AT command will generally fix the problem.

Method 2
Try this At Command:

  1. Click Start | Settings | Control Panel
  2. Double click on the modem icon
  3. Select Properties from the modem dialog
  4. Select the Connections Tab
  5. Click the Advanced button
  6. In the Extra Settings box type
  7. Click okay
  8. Click okay
  9. Click Closed
  10. Reboot to lock this settings into your Systems Registry database Once your computer restarts to Windows try surfing the net again, see if this command has solved the problem

If not, please contact your local ISP's Tech Support

As you can no doubt tell, I hate add-popups. Think about it. Have you seen any adds to anything on Blaisdell's Little corner of the Web? Of course not. this site is free to you. Even if I did go to advertising, I'd be hard pressed to use the popup add mentality. In particular, I hate the pop-up advertising trend in all its forms: pop-up, pop-under, pop-over. I hate it because it wrests control of
my browsing from me. I hate it ecause its confusing to inexperienced computer users (I get lots of pleas for help from newcomers who can't work out why these pop-ups keep appearing). I hate it because it has no limits - if one pop-up doesn't work, advertisers resort to two, three and more pop-up windows after I have closed my main browser window. Enough already!

I'm not alone in my pop-up aversion, hence the plethora of filtering utilities designed to close pop-ups automatically. Do a search at ZDNet's Software Library (http://www.hotfiles.com ) or Downloads.com ( http://www.downloads.com ) for 'popup' and you'll find dozens of these tools. Some of these utilities also block all ads on a site, including in-page ads. I'm not fussed about in-page ads, but I understand why surfers still burdened with slow connections do anything they can to speed up page loading, including blocking ads and all graphics.

Well, it appears that the advertising industry is hitting back. A company called mediaBeam
( http://www.mediabeam.com  ) has created Adkey, a program which allows site operators to block access to any visitor who uses ad filtering software, whether it merely kills popups or blocks all ads
indiscriminately. Adkey recognises "more or less all" the available filtering software. When a visitor with ad-blocking software enabled visits an Adkey-protected site, Adkey denies access and pops up a message suggesting they disable their software or pay for an advertising-free subscription to the site.

Of course, it'll be interesting to see how Adkey handles Internet Explorer 6 and Netscape 6, which provide much greater control over site blocking. With IE 6, for example, you can kill many popups (or at least block their content) by adjusting the privacy options:

  1. Select Internet Options from the Tools Menu.
  2. Click the Privacy tab and click the Edit button in the
     Web Sites section.
  3. Type in the name of a Web site and click Block. 

How to Configure Outlook Express to Open Links in E-mail Messages in a New Browser Window
See also:
Links in Outlook Express Stop Working

To configure Outlook Express to always open additional URLs in a new Internet Explorer window, you need to change the file associations for Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP) under the folder settings in Windows Explorer. To do so, use the following steps for the appropriate operating system.

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop to start Windows Explorer.
  2. On the View menu, click Folder Options.
  3. On the File Types tab, click URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol in the list, and then click Edit.
  4. In the Edit File Type dialog box that appears, click the OPEN entry in the Actions box, and then click Edit.
  5. In the Editing action for type: URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol window, click to clear the Use DDE check box.
  6. In the Application used to perform action box, type %1 at the end of the string so it looks like the following example (the drive and location of Iexplore.exe may be different):

    "D:\Progra~1\Intern~1\iexplore.exe" -nohome %1

  7. Click OK, click Close, and then click Close.
  8. Quit Windows Explorer.
  9. Quit all versions of Internet Explorer.

Now when you run Outlook Express, additional links are opened in a new Internet Explorer window.

To run Outlook Express, additional links are opened in the same Internet Explorer window.

Windows 95 or Windows 98

  1. Double-click the My Computer icon on the desktop to start Windows Explorer.
  2. On the View menu, click Folder Options.
  3. On the File Types tab, click the URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol entry, and then click Edit.
  4. In the Edit File Type dialog box that appears, click the OPEN entry in the Actions box, and then click Edit.
  5. In the Editing action for type: URL:HyperText Transfer Protocol window, click to select the Use DDE check box.
  6. In the Application used to perform action box, delete the %1 that appears after the -nohome entry, as shown in the following example (the drive and location of Iexplore.exe may be different):

    "D:\Progra~1\Intern~1\iexplore.exe" -nohome

  7. In the DDE Message box, type the following:

  8. In the Application box, type IExplore.
  9. Leave the DDE Application Not Running box empty.
  10. In the Topic box, type WWW_OpenURL.
  11. Click OK, click Close, and then click Close.
  12. Quit Windows Explorer.
  13. Quit all versions of Internet Explorer.

Here is another twist to this idea
Links in Outlook Express Stop Working

When you click on a link in Outlook Express either nothing happens, or when you open a link in a new window all you get is a blank page. The solution is fairly painless, all you need to do is re-register the URL monitor. Click on Start | Run and enter: "REGSVR32 URLMON.DLL" (without the quotes). You should then have a dialog tell you that the procedure was completed. Next, fire up Internet Explorer and Click Tools | Internet Options | Programs | then click the "Reset Web Settings" button. Now, check to see if Web links work like they should in your e-mail client. With any luck, you'll have returned your system to normal.

Q.-It Ain't Over Till the Hard Drive Sings-
Retrieving Deleted Email

I'm using Outlook Express 5 with Windows 98. I had placed some email messages in the Delete folder (and had set the options to "empty messages from delete folder at exit") when Windows crashed and I had to restart the PC. The Delete folder emptied, and I lost those messages. I would like to know if I can recover them.

A. - The site below is for downloading DBXtract.  Scroll down and read the revovery mode.  I believe this will do what you want and is spyware free freeware.


Q2. - But What if it is Outlook which comes with MsOffice?

A2. - If you have .mbx files rather than .dbx files, there is a program called MBXtract which is put out by the same persons responsible for DBXtract.

What about opening the files in Notepad? My suggestion, don't bother. *.DBX* files are encrypted and even though you should find some text, the bulk is scattered with encrypted machine code. Changing it to text (*.txt) may not help very much. ----Bo

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Version Dec 7 Copyright 2001 Larry Blaisdell