Internet Explorer 6 Tips

Internet Explorer 6.0 Tips


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Microsoft to secure IE for XP only

Sep 23 2004-If you're one of about 200 million people using older versions of Windows and you want the latest security enhancements to Internet Explorer, get your credit card ready.
Microsoft this week reiterated that it would keep the new version of Microsoft's IE Web browser available only as part of the recently released Windows XP operating system, Service Pack 2. The upgrade to XP from any previous Windows versions is $99 when ordered from Microsoft. Starting from scratch, the OS costs $199.
That, say analysts, is a steep price to pay to secure a browser that swept the market as a free, standalone product.
"It's a problem that people should have to pay for a whole OS upgrade to get a safe browser," said Michael Cherry, analyst with Directions on Microsoft in Redmond, Wash. "It does look like a certain amount of this is to encourage upgrade to XP."
Microsoft affirmed that its recent security improvements to IE would be made available only to XP users.
"We do not have plans to deliver Windows XP SP2 enhancements for Windows 2000 or other older versions of Windows," the company said in a statement. "The most secure version of Windows today is Windows XP with SP2. We recommend that customers upgrade to XP and SP2 as quickly as possible."
Go here for more.

IE flaw under SP2: User’s problem or Microsoft’s?

Aug 23 2004-A security researcher has turned up another problem with Internet Explorer that paves the way for malicious code to sneak by all that Microsoft’s Service Pack 2 for Windows XP has to offer (from a security perspective), store itself on a hard drive, and install itself the next time a system boots up. But the exploit (and Microsoft’s response to it) raises questions about how far Microsoft must go to keep users from being their worst enemies. Unlike worms which may wriggle their way into systems with no involvement from end-users, this exploit depends on a Web site’s ability to turn a user into a willing participant in the infection process by dragging and dropping an object from one part of a Web page to another.
Go here for more.

IE6 Fix Is Incomplete, Security Experts Say

First Service Pack update to browser called flawed, but users urged to update anyway.
Only three days after Microsoft released the first service pack for Internet Explorer 6, security experts are raising concerns about vulnerabilities that are not addressed in the update.
Service Pack 1 was posted Monday on Microsoft's Web site and contains fixes for more than 300 issues with Internet Explorer 6, which first shipped with Windows XP last October. Microsoft also released SP1 for Windows XP on Monday. That service pack apparently fixes a major flaw involving the IE browser. The IE6 service pack, however, applies to versions of IE6 running under Windows Me, 2000, 98, and NT 4--as well as Windows XP.
Despite the fixes, however, security experts warn that significant vulnerabilities remain even after applying the patch. "Security-wise, I would say it's pretty bad right now," says Thor Larholm, a researcher for security consulting company Pivx Solutions. "You can do anything to anyone's Web page with Internet Explorer 6. It's wide open to anyone."
Click here for more.


Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1

Whether you use the Web to read e-mail, news or sports reports, shop online, listen to music or play videos, or share your images and photos with friends, family or work colleagues, Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (SP1) makes it easy, exciting and fun.
From the end user simply browsing content on the Web, to the IT administrator deploying and maintaining a rich set of Windows Internet technologies, to the Web developer creating rich Web content, Internet Explorer 6 SP1 provides the freedom to experience the best of the Internet.
Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 (SP1) is the most recent version of the Internet Explorer 6 core technologies in Windows® XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional. Internet Explorer 6 Service Pack 1 provides a private, reliable, and flexible browsing experience and the freedom to experience the best of the Internet for users of Windows XP, Windows Millennium Edition (Windows Me), Windows 2000, Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0 Service Pack 6a. Total download size for a typical installation is approximately 25 megabytes (MB). However, because setup downloads only those files that are necessary for your computer, this size can vary between 11 and 75 MB.
Click here to download from Microsoft.

Cumulative Patch for Internet Explorer (Q323759)

This is a cumulative patch that includes the functionality of all previously released patches for IE 5.01, 5.5 and 6.0. In addition, it eliminates the following six newly discovered vulnerabilities:
  • A buffer overrun vulnerability affecting the Gopher protocol handler. This vulnerability was originally discussed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-027, which provided workaround instructions while the patch provided here was being completed.
  • A buffer overrun vulnerability affecting an ActiveX control used to display specially formatted text. The control contains a buffer overrun vulnerability that could enable an attacker to run code on a user’s system in the context of the user.
  • A vulnerability involving how Internet Explorer handles an HTML directive that displays XML data. By design, the directive should only allow XML data from the web site itself to be displayed. However, it does not correctly check for the case where a referenced XML data source is in fact redirected to a data source in a different domain. This flaw could enable an attacker’s web page to open an XML-based files residing a remote system within a browser window that the site could read, thereby enabling the attacker to read contents from websites that users had access to but the attacker was not able to navigate to.
  • A vulnerability involving how Internet Explorer represents the origin of a file in the File Download Dialogue box. This flaw could enable an attacker to misrepresent the source of a file offered for download in an attempt to fool users into accepting a file download from an untrusted source believing it to be coming from a trusted source.
  • A Cross Domain verification vulnerability that occurs because of improper domain checking in conjunction with the Object tag. As a result, the vulnerability could enable a malicious web site operator to access data across different domains, for example one in a web site’s domain and the other on the user’s local file system and then pass information from the latter to the former. This could enable the web site operator to read, but not change, any file on the user’s local computer that could be viewed n a browser window. In addition, this can also enable an attacker to invoke, but not pass parameters to, an executable on the local system, much like the "Local Executable Invocation via Object tag" vulnerability discussed in MS02-015.
  • A newly reported variant of the "Cross-Site Scripting in Local HTML Resource" vulnerability originally discussed in Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-023. Like the original vulnerability, this variant could enable an attacker to create a web page that, when opened, would run in the Local Computer zone, allowing it to run with fewer restrictions than it would in the Internet Zone.

Click here for more from Microsoft.

How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP (Q318378)

This article describes how to reinstall or repair Internet Explorer 6 and Outlook Express 6 in Windows XP. This may be necessary if you are having problems with Internet Explorer or Outlook Express because of damaged files or missing registration information.
IMPORTANT : After you use the procedures in this article, you must reinstall any updates to Windows XP again. To reinstall Windows XP updates, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site, windowsupdate.microsoft.com.
By default, Internet Explorer 6 is preinstalled in all versions of Windows XP and cannot be uninstalled. To provide computer manufacturers greater flexibility in configuring desktop versions of Windows XP, Microsoft has made it possible for OEMs, administrators, and users to remove user access to Internet Explorer while leaving the Internet Explorer code intact and fully functional to ensure the functionality of programs and operating system functions that rely on it. For example, Windows XP supports an "IEAccess=off" switch in the Unattend.txt file, and Internet Explorer has been added to the Add/Remove Windows Components section of the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel. This does not reinstall Internet Explorer.
Click here for the kb article.

Speed up Browsing Speed

Found this on dslreports forums:
This tip works on ALL Windows 95/98/ME and NT4/2000 systems with MS Internet Explorer 4/5/6 installed. This Registry tip speeds up internet/remote (using Windows Explorer and/or Internet Explorer) browsing process considerably on most MS Windows 32-bit machines connected to a network and/or remote computer(s).
This actually fixes a BUG in MS Windows OSes that scan shared (remote) folders/files across the network for Scheduled Tasks, and can add a delay as long as 30 seconds (!), because it uses extra time to search the remote computer(s). To do this, open Regedit (Win95/98/ME) or Regedt32 (WinNT4/2000) and go to:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\RemoteComputer\NameSpace
Highlight this value:
{D6277990-4C6A-11CF-8D87-00AA0060F5BF}
and delete it: right-click on it -> select Delete -> click OK.
RECOMMENDED: Export (BACKUP) this Registry key to a REG file FIRST, to be able to restore it (by running the REG file) if necessary. In Regedit: highlight the key name in the left hand pane -> click "Registry" from the menu -> select "Export Registry File..." -> type a file name in the "File name" field -> browse to the destination of your choice -> push the Save button.
This Registry change takes effect immediately. Just start MS IE while connected to the network/internet to see the difference.
NOTE: Upgrading to a newer MS Internet Explorer release may add this key to your Registry during Setup, therefore you may need to delete it again after installing MS IE.
I tried it myself, and so far it seems a little faster, I will update if I notcie a considerable difference on another machine.

An Error Occurs in Mshtml.dll in Internet Explorer 6 on Windows Me (Q318153)

While you are using Internet Explorer 6, you may receive the following error message:
Iexplore.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
Internet Explorer 6 requires Mshtml.dll version 6.0.2600.0. The error message may occur if you are using a different version of Mshtml.dll. An incorrect version of this dynamic-link library (DLL) can cause an access violation.
Click here for the whole article.

How to Remove Internet Explorer 6.0 or Outlook Express 6.0 Before You Reinstall Windows (Q312474)

Before you reinstall Microsoft Windows, you must first remove Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 and Outlook Express 6.0.
However, if you cannot remove Internet Explorer 6.0 and Outlook Express 6.0 with the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel, you must rename the related migration dynamic link library (DLL) files and remove their associated registry keys before you reinstall Windows. This article shows you how to remove Internet Explorer 6.0 and Outlook Express 6.0 by renaming the related migration dynamic link library (DLL) files and removing their associated registry keys.
Click here for the kb article.

Disable Script Debugging in the XP Internet Explorer

Have you been harassed by that damn message from Internet Explorer asking you if you want to "debug" a script when you visit a particular Web page? There seems to be a lot of Web pages that don't get along with Internet Explorer and so we're seeing a lot of those errors pop up. Let's get rid of that error.
In Internet Explorer, click Tools and then click Internet Options.
Click on the Advanced tab.
In the Advanced tab, place a checkmark in the Disable script debugging checkbox. Click OK.
Close all Internet Explorer windows. When you reopen Internet Explorer, you won't ever be asked to debug a script again.

Microsoft Security Bulletin MS02-009

Incorrect VBScript Handling in IE can Allow Web Pages to Read Local Files
Frames are used in Internet Explorer to provide for a fuller browsing experience. By design, scripts in the frame of one site or domain should be prohibited from accessing the content of frames in another site or domain. However, a flaw exists in how VBScript is handled in IE relating to validating cross-domain access. This flaw can allow scripts of one domain to access the contents of another domain in a frame.
A malicious user could exploit this vulnerability by using scripting to extract the contents of frames in other domains, then sending that content back to their web site. This would enable the attacker to view files on the user's local machine or capture the contents of third-party web sites the user visited after leaving the attacker’s site. The latter scenario could, in the worst case, enable the attacker to learn personal information like user names, passwords, or credit card information.
In both cases, the user would either have to go to a site under the attacker's control or view an HTML email sent by the attacker. In addition, the attacker would have to know the exact name and location of any files on the user's system. Further, the attacker could only gain access to files that can be displayed in a browser window, such as text files, HTML files, or image files.
Click here for the bulletin, or goto Windowsupdate to download the patch.

Changing Titles

If you wish you can change the Internet Explorer title to something more appealing than Microsoft Internet Explorer, if you wish to do so take the following steps. Click on Start, Run, type in regedit & hit Enter. Open the following registry key [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]. Now Add/Edit a New String Value entitled Window Title. In the Value data field enter your desired title, then hit Ok (If you delete the Window Title key it will default to Microsoft Internet Explorer instead). Using a custom title can also interfere with some programs, although to my knowledge only the All Advantage Viewbar was such a program (& they are out of business now so that’s irrelevant).
You can also change the Outlook Express title by opening the following registry key. [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Identities\{xxx}\Software\Microsoft\Outlook Express\5.0], where xxx represents the Identity number displayed. Add/Edit a New String Value entitled WindowTitle. Right click on this setting & select Modify. In the Value data field enter your desired title, then hit Ok (If you delete the WindowTitle key it will default to Outlook Express instead).

Another problem for webmasters with IE 6

Of all the changes to IE 6, perhaps the most important for Webmasters is the addition of dual CSS rendering engines. While this new feature helps Internet Explorer comply with the W3C HTML standards, it may also break your existing Web pages.
Why? The new rendering engine changes the rules for writing style sheets so that some things that were permitted in the past are now illegal. In our example, there are three specific rules that we've violated. These minor errors were forgiven by older versions of Internet Explorer and by IE 6 when it uses its classic rendering engine, but the new rendering engine isn't so generous.
This switch between the new and classic rendering engines is triggered by a single line of HTML code known as your Document Type Definition, or DTD.
IE 6 uses the DOCTYPE tag to decide which rendering engine to use. If your page doesn't use a DOCTYPE, then IE 6 will use its classic engine. Also, if you use a DOCTYPE that includes the words "Transitional," then IE 6 will usually use the classic engine. Using this DOCTYPE tag:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN">

it will use the classic engine, however, if your DOCTYPE tag includes the words "Transitional" and gives a URL where the DTD can be found, then IE 6 will instead switch to the new rendering engine. So this version of the tag will use the new engine:

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Transitional//EN"
"http://www.w3.org/TR/html4/loose.dtd">

Likewise, if your DOCTYPE doesn't include the word "Transitional" or includes the word "Strict," then IE 6 will use the new rendering engine. So either of these DOCTYPE tags will trigger the new rendering engine:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0//EN">

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.0 Strict//EN">

Why is Microsoft doing this? This way is easier on webmasters than what Netscape did, they completely rewrote their browser to be strict on the standards, which broke a lot of webpages in version 6 that worked fine in earlier netscape browsers. So what do you do? Test your web pages with every browser that you can, I'm afraid to look at mine in Netscape, :).

Configuring Privacy Preferences

On the Privacy tab, you can perform the following tasks:
  • Set your privacy level for the Internet zone.
  • Import custom privacy settings.
  • Customize your privacy settings for cookie handling (if you want to specify settings for cookie handling other than the settings defined for Internet Explorer privacy levels).
  • Customize your privacy settings for individual Web sites.
To set your privacy level for the Internet zone
  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab.
  2. Under Settings, move the slider to the privacy level you want:
Select this To specify this
Block All Cookies. Internet Explorer prevents all Web sites from storing cookies on your computer, and Web sites cannot read existing cookies on your computer.
High. Internet Explorer prevents Web sites from storing cookies that do not have a compact privacy policy—a condensed computer-readable privacy statement. The browser also prevents Web sites from storing cookies that use personally identifiable information without your explicit consent.
Medium High. Internet Explorer prevents Web sites from storing third-party cookies that do not have a compact privacy policy or that use personally identifiable information without your explicit consent. The browser also prevents Web sites from storing first-party cookies that use personally identifiable information without your implicit consent.
Medium. Internet Explorer prevents Web sites from storing third-party cookies that do not have a compact privacy policy or that use personally identifiable information without your implicit consent. The browser allows first-party cookies that use personally identifiable information without your implicit consent but deletes these cookies from your computer when you close the browser.
Low. Internet Explorer allows Web sites to store cookies on your computer, including third-party cookies that do not have a compact privacy policy or that use personally identifiable information without your implicit consent. When you close the browser, though, it deletes these third-party cookies from your computer.
Accept All Cookies. Internet Explorer allows all Web sites to store cookies on your computer, and Web sites that create cookies on your computer can read them.

NOTE If you decide to select a privacy level that does not allow cookies to be saved on your computer, you may not be able to view certain Web sites.
When you change your privacy level, it may not affect the cookies that Web sites have already stored on your computer. If you want to ensure that all cookies on your computer meet your selected privacy level, delete all of the existing cookies on your computer.

To import custom privacy settings

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab.
  2. Click Import.
  3. Locate the file that contains the custom privacy settings, and then click Open.
The file must be located on your computer. You can download files that contain custom privacy settings from privacy organizations and other Web sites on the Internet.

To customize your privacy settings for cookie handling

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab.
  2. Click Advanced.
  3. Click Override automatic cookie handling, and then for first-party and third-party cookies, click Accept, Block, or Prompt.

To customize your privacy settings
for individual Web sites

  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. In the Address of Web site box, type the complete address of the Web site for which you want to specify custom privacy settings.
  4. If you want Internet Explorer to always allow cookies from the specified Web site to be saved on your computer, click Allow.
    -Or-
    If you want Internet Explorer to never allow cookies from the specified Web site to be saved on your computer, click Block.
  5. The Managed Web sites list shows all of the Web sites for which you have specified custom privacy settings. If you want to delete custom privacy settings for a specific Web site, highlight the site on the Managed Web sites list, and then click Remove.
    -Or-
    If you want to delete custom privacy settings for all the Web sites on the Managed Web sites list, click Remove All.

NOTE When you remove a Web site from the Managed Web sites list, your privacy settings for all Web sites without custom privacy settings will apply to that site.

Configuring Profile Assistant

You can use Profile Assistant to store or update your user profile, which contains the information you want to share with Web sites. Other Internet programs, including Microsoft NetMeeting and Microsoft Outlook Express, also use Profile Assistant.
To create or update a user profile
  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Content tab.
  2. Click My Profile.
  3. If you are creating a new user profile, in the Address Book - Choose Profile dialog box, click Create a new entry in the Address Book to represent your profile, and then click OK.
  4. In the appropriate boxes on the Name, Home, Business, Personal, and Other tabs, type the personal information you want to share.

Configuring Advanced Security Options for Users' Privacy

You can configure a variety of security options for users' privacy in Internet Explorer.
To configure advanced security options for users' privacy
  1. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Advanced tab.
  2. In the Security area, review the selected options.
  3. Depending on your needs, select or clear the Security check boxes. For example, if you want to enable Profile Assistant, select the Enable Profile Assistant check box.

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Disable the new HTML Explorer Bars

If you're not keen on the new HTML-look Explorer Bars you can get the old IE5 ones back, though it will require a restart. Go to Tools, Internet Options... and select the Advanced tab. About half way down, you should see an option titled Enable HTML based Explorer Bars (requires restart) which you need to un-check.

Disabling the Image Toolbar

If the Image Toolbar is starting to annoy you, right-click it when it next pops up and choose Disable Image Toolbar. To get it back again should you change your mind, go to Tools, Internet Options..., Advanced. Scroll down to the Multimedia section and check Enable Image Toolbar.

Lock the browser toolbars

Since IE4, it has been possible to arrange the browser toolbars and menu in any way you wish. This allows you to make the most of your screen space and put all your toolbars on one row if they'll all fit! Sometimes though you may accidentally grab one of the re-positioning handles and ruin your carefully positioned layout. To prevent this, IE6 allows you to lock the position of your toolbars - simply right-click an empty area of the toolbar and choose Lock the Toolbars.

Using the Image Toolbar

When you hover your mouse over certain1 web page images, a small toolbar will appear towards the top-left corner. From left to right, there are four buttons - Save, saves the image to your computer, Print, prints the image, E-mail, creates a new e-mail with the image as an attachment and My Pictures, which opens the My Pictures folder on your computer. Nothing all that new, but it's a handy addition all the same.
There seems to be a limit on which images the toolbar pops up on, possibly connected with the width and height. This would make sense, otherwise it would keep appearing over image buttons and so on when most people will find the toolbar most useful with photographs and other large images.

Speed up Internet Explorer 6 Favorites

For some reason, the Favorites menu in IE 6 seems to slow down dramatically sometimes--I've noticed this happens when you install Tweak UI 1.33, for example, and when you use the preview tip to speed up the Start menu. But here's a fix for the problem that does work, though it's unclear why, just open a command line window (Start button -> Run -> cmd) and type sfc, then hit ENTER. This command line runs the System File Checker, which performs a number of services, all of which are completely unrelated to IE 6. But there you go: It works.

INTERNET EXPLORER TASKBAR PROPERTIES

WinXP will group multiple open windows (IE windows for example) into one group on the task bar to keep the desktop clear. This can be annoying at times - especially when comparing different web pages because you have to go back to the task bar, click on the group and then click on the page you want and then you only get one page because you have to click on each one seperately. I think the default for this is 8 windows - any combination of apps or utilities open.
You can modify this behavoir by adding this reg key at:
HKEY_CURRRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
CurrentVersion\Explorer\Advanced\ add reg_Dword "TaskbarGroupSize"
modify "TaskbarGroupSize" entry to be the number of windows you want open before XP starts to group them on the task bar. A value of 2 will cause the Taskbar buttons to always group.

Set Internet Explorer 6 to Run in Kiosk Mode

Kiosk mode means setting the browser window to full screen view with just a scroll bar for navigation. To provide additional controls, such as access to the Back, Forward, or Refresh buttons, you can set Internet Explorer 6 in partial kiosk mode, which includes a smaller toolbar at the top of the browser window. To add a Full Screen button to this toolbar, so that you can move easily from full screen view to the standard browser window, do this:
  1. Right-click the toolbar at the top of the browser window, and then click Customize.
  2. In the Customize Toolbar dialog box, click Full Screen under Available toolbar buttons, click Add, and then click Close.
To hide the toolbar at the top of the window entirely, do this:
  1. When in full screen mode, right-click the toolbar.
  2. Click Auto-Hide.
Now you can view Web pages at full size without any controls getting in the way. When you want to view the toolbar again, move the pointer over the top of the Web page. If you don’t want to add a Full Screen button to the toolbar, you can also toggle between full screen and the standard view by pressing F11.

Customize the Internet Explorer 6 Toolbar

You can choose which features you want on the Internet Explorer 6 toolbar. If you want to simplify the toolbar, you can remove icons, change to smaller icons, or remove the text labels displayed next to the icons. To customize the toolbar:
  1. Right–click the Standard toolbar, and then click Customize.
  2. In the Text options list, click No text labels to remove them.
  3. In the Icon options list, click Small icons to change the default setting.
  4. In the Current toolbars list, click any icon that you want to remove, and then click Remove.
To keep your changes safe, right–click the toolbar again, and make sure to select the Lock Toolbars check box.

Your Account Is Locked Out When You View an FTP Server with Internet Explorer 6

When you are using Internet Explorer view an FTP server that has many levels of folders and you view folders that are five or more levels deep, your account may be locked out. This symptom only occurs on an FTP server that does now allow anonymous logons.
After the first logon, a new login attempt is made when you connect to another folder. Because Internet Explorer did not keep the password, a blank password was sent, and a logon that was not valid was recorded. If an account is set to lock out after three failed logons, the account is locked out when you go five levels deep in the folder structure.
Click here for the article from Microsoft.