Windows

Get more out of Internet Explorer 7 tabs when using Windows XP

Most Windows XP users have upgraded to Internet Explorer 7.0 in order to take advantage of the Tabs feature, which allows you to view multiple sites at the same time. Here are some shortcuts and tricks that you can use to get even more out of Internet Explorer 7.0's tabs.

Many Windows XP users have upgraded to Internet Explorer 7 in order to take advantage of the Tabs feature, which allows you to view multiple sites at the same time. Here are some shortcuts and tricks that you can use to get even more out of Internet Explorer 7's tabs.

  • While clicking the tabs to switch between them is handy, you can also switch between tabs by pressing [Ctrl][Tab].
  • If you have a wheel mouse, you can open a link in a new tab by clicking the link with the wheel button.
  • While you can start a new tab by clicking the small New Tab button, you can also open a new tab by pressing [Ctrl]T.
  • If you're scanning several sites on multiple tabs and want to return to this same set of tabs at a later date, click the Add To Favorites button and use the Add Tab Group To Favorites command.
  • If you have a wheel mouse, you can close any tab by clicking it with the wheel button.
  • When scanning several sites on multiple tabs, you can click and drag the tabs in any arrangement that you wish.
Note: This tip applies to Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional.

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About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

57 comments
epro24
epro24

Even though Microsoft didn't come up with the tabs idea (the first I saw of it was on Opera), they really did a great job of giving it a lot of options, as you outlined above. If anyone wants the most of out using tabs, I highly recommend they Download Internet Explorer 7. It's a great browser.

Kumaran
Kumaran

Love these shorcuts in IE7 Thanks for the article

rinseout
rinseout

Are you the guy they modelled Peter Griffin on mate?

MarkGyver
MarkGyver

Notes: The following list was made by pasting in the one from the article and editing. Stuff in [brackets] are additional shortcuts in Firefox beyond the Internet Explorer ones listed in the article (compatibility in non-Mozilla browsers is not guaranteed). In case anyone is wondering from my icon, these are the Windows Firefox shortcuts, not the ones I'd use in Linux (I'm making a very slow switch from Windows to Linux and plan on keeping both in a duel-boot configuration for years to come). * Ctrl+Tab [and Ctrl-Shift+Tab] switch between the tabs in Firefox. * Middle-clicking or [Ctrl-clicking] opens a link in a new tab in Firefox. * Ctrl+T opens a new blank tab in Firefox. [Ctrl-Shift+T reopens the most recently closed tab in Firefox.] * Click Bookmarks and then Bookmark All Tabs [or just press Ctrl-Shift+D] to bookmark all open tabs in Firefox. This one is a bit different than Internet Explorer 7's steps. * Middle-click any tab (active or inactive) [or press Ctrl+F4 or Ctrl+W] in Firefox to close it. * Click-drag tabs in Firefox to different locations in the tab bar to move them. The one major Firefox tab-related shortcut not listed is Ctrl+(1-8) to switch to the first through eighth tabs, respectively; could the corresponding Internet Explorer shortcut be added to the article?

sykandtyed
sykandtyed

Look you can do most of those things in IE6 and still have more screen and not loose the history button. First, to compact the tool bar, click on a blank space on the tool bar and select; Lock Tool Bar. Place the cursor on The 3 vertical dots of the Address window and drag it to the left until is smaller than Help and drag it up to the end of Help. Second, click on a blank spot on the tool bar and select Links if you don't already have it. Last, click on a blank spot and select Lock Tool Bar. Instead of Tabs, when you need a new window, press Ctrl-N and your new window wiil be a tab in the Task Bar.

madorantes
madorantes

Good but it is not new. At least for the FireFox Mozilla users.

willie.a
willie.a

Please! Please! Show me how to make IE7 open new tabs whenever I click a link in my e-mail. Mine always opens a new IE7 window instead. It's the only thing keeping me with Firefox.

renier
renier

IE 7 is just VERY slow. When opening, when opening a new tab, to browsing. everything is just slow. Opera is your answer

DanLM
DanLM

I finally downloaded it due to FireFox constantly crashing on me. But, I'm having issues with IE7 also. When this dog hangs up, I can't close it out with the big x in the corner. I have to go to task manager and kill it. Anyone else having these issues? I'm running xp media on a dual 2.8 processor with 2 gig of memory. Also, I'm running activesync at the same time for my pda. My opinion of both IE7 and FireFox? They suck, both of them. They are both peaces of crap. Sorry, I'm getting sick of the crash's. Dan

twtull
twtull

You can also save a home page with multiple tabs. Launch and select a page for each tab you want to save as home pages and then simply click the "use current" button in the internet exporer tools dialogue box "general" tab.

john3347
john3347

For me, the tabs are the most frustrating thing on my computer. I HATE the silly tabs. It always takes me 3 or 4 clicks when I am ready to close a webpage. With IE-6, I just clicked the "X" and the page closed. I don't want to learn how to take advantage of the silly tabs, I want to know how to eliminate them!

zyzzyva57
zyzzyva57

Basically, this is IE8 The big deal for me is my Favorites now can be sync'd with any computer when I log into my IE account With this addition, I have moved back to IE from Firefox I like IE because no more work arounds and IE does NOT leak as the now bloated FireFox does

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

Ctrl+1..8 work for my IE, putting focus onto Tab #(1-8), and Ctrl+9 is moving to the last tab. Not sure if it's an IE7Pro features or an IE7 one though.

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

so Mozilla "FireFox" users can easily migrate back to dad... err, IE7 :)

LurkeyLou
LurkeyLou

Have you tried holding down the Ctrl key before clicking? Ctrl-click is my FAVORITE part about using the tabs in IE7. It also works in FF. Try it from your email.

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

play with the options -- may be it'll help?

tonious
tonious

Right click on link, and choose: Open in New Tab.

BOUND4DOOM
BOUND4DOOM

Why don't people look at the options? Seriously. I am a programmer I have never understood why people just do not go to the option and change the settings? I seriously would like to know why people don't. Anyway, click on Tools, Internet Options, then on the first tab there which is General, the one right before the bottom, is Tabs, it says change how web pages are displayed in tabs, click the settings button there. then at the bottom there are options Open Links from other programs in: Change your selection from A New Window to A new tab in the current window

MarkSpeevak
MarkSpeevak

When one click on the tool bar, Favorites, add to favorites, then 'create in" you are present with your entier folder list,expanded, quite difficult to use if you have a large tree. I don t think this is an imporovement :(

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

Try IE7 with anti-fishing filter off -- see if that makes any difference?

Tech_Monkey
Tech_Monkey

have been using Opera for about 2months, there's not a noticeable page loading difference, but Opera does seem to have a better pop-up/pop-under blocker & Zoom feature. biggest difference is that system resources IE7 uses, double that of Opera. Opera's Tab browsing is kinda weird, when i close a tab, it goes back to the page i previously viewed, not the next in line.

BOUND4DOOM
BOUND4DOOM

LOL, obviously they both have one thing in common, the operator aka YOU. You are listed as a software developer so you should know that there could be something totally different and something totally unexpected the user is doing. Now I also have IE crashes as well however i had them before doing the same thing. If I opened 20-30 browser windows in IE 6 IE would crash, if I open 20 to 30 tabs in IE 7 it crashes. Basically it is running out of memory and handles as each object in the DOM requires a handle and so on. Other than that scenario above I find IE and Firefox both pretty stable. I also set my internet temp files really low as well some people actually set gigs of internet temp files. Well duh, if you had an app that needed to go through gigs of files looking to see if something was cached or not ever single page call, your app would bog down as well. Safari for windows is a total piece of crap, that crashes on proxy calls and all kinds of things but both Firefox and IE are pretty stable browsers I would say

lech
lech

Have you checked that your activesynch isn't using the same IRQ and/or memory as your network card? I'd first try to uninstall activesynch, then see if the browsers still crash. It could be as easy as changing the IRQ for the network card in the BIOS (or if it's incorporated in the motherboard, buy a cheap network card and set its IRQ at something different from the USB IRQ)

LurkeyLou
LurkeyLou

You can close a single tab with Ctrl-W. This is useful when you have multiple tabs open on a window and just want to close the current one. Ctrl-F4 does the same thing, closes the current tab. If you want to close ALL the tabs, after you click the X to close (or Alt-F4) and the diaglog comes up, Click on the Options (or Click Alt-O) in the dialog box that comes up to ask if you want to close all tabs. You then have a checkbox available to prevent the Close All Confirmation from showing from then on. Click the checkbox (or Alt-D), click Close Tabs (or Alt-T) and you're done without having to go to the Internet Options. Here are the keystrokes summarized. Do this ONCE and you can be done in under 2 seconds, without a need to scroll through Internet Options. You may want to offer these keystrokes to selected users. Hold down ALT and type [F4]ODT. Release ALT. DONE.

Jamsan
Jamsan

Go to Tools --> Internet Options --> Tabs and uncheck "Warn me when closing multiple tabs". You will be able to close the window with a simple click of the X.

miller33
miller33

Go to tools; internet options; click settings under the tabs section; uncheck Enable Tabbed Browsing. Now same functionality as IE 6.

maurice
maurice

Where do you get it on the MS site? Read most of the responses on thsi subject and I see a bunch of wimps. It seems like no one likes much of anything. Complaints because it has tabs. Complaints because they don't like the way tabs work or don't work. Good grief, guys and gals there is a syaing that's been around for years "you can please some of the people some of the time but you can't please all the people all the time. I've been in the business close to 30 years and it is always the same thing. The complainers are still complaining about little insignificant things. Let's remember we all like some thing but we all don't like everything and be thankful for what we have. I don't see the complainers building better products or programs or really doing anything about what they are complaining about. Let's be honest, if MS brought out IE8 and the UI worked exactly like IE7 on the surface and all the changes and imporvements were in the background those that liked the old one would be complaning that there were no changes in the UI. We all want change but when we get it we complain about it.

willie.a
willie.a

I just did try it and a new IE7 window opened for each try. In FF I always get a new tab when clicking a link in OE, even without the Ctrl key. Do tabs, from OE, work for anyone else in IE7? I don't hear anyone saying so.

willie.a
willie.a

I know this isn't a troubleshooting site, but here is what has been happening today. I clicked several links in OE at the same sitting. 2 opened new windows. After that, ALL links opened in one and only one tab, all in the same window. I'll give pro a try.

willie.a
willie.a

I'm talking about links in OE. A new window opens every time.

willie.a
willie.a

I've selected that option ever since IE7 came out. It never did work. I've tried various settings. No Good! What's the point of tabs when a new window opens each time?

EastExpertG
EastExpertG

The IE7Pro add-on actually adds what IE7 longed to have. Great, advanced pop-up blocker/white-/black-list is IE7Pro answer to the competitors. Really, after I've added IE7Pro, I decided I no longer need Firefox on my machine, and only occasionally fire up Opera (it's not like IE7, that's why :) when I get bored with IE7 :))

Cadillac84
Cadillac84

On my laptop, I frequently get bunches of windows open (IE6) at the same time and it is not uncommon for that to be well up into the twenties. I see something I want to look at, so I "open in a new window" and then Alt+Tab back to what I was doing and pretty soon I've got lots and lots of windows open. Some of them are new "instances" and some of them are "open in a new window." The reason I can get away with that on my laptop is that my screen rez is 1920 x 1200 and that allows me to have three lines of Task Bar and still have a very large field for windows. 2 Gigs of RAM and WinXP-Pro SP2. Anyway, here's what I came here to say: I've noticed that the maximum number of IE6 windows open at one time is 32 -- a magic number, eh wot? More windows will open, but if I try to r-click in the 33rd or 34th window, there is no response (no menu pops up). I close the excess windows and it works ok once again. Here's what I have not yet tried: I haven't tried going back to one of the original 32 windows and see if the r-click operates. I suspect it will operate because otherwise the 34th window would not have opened. BUT, in the instances I recall, the 33rd window was opened by a left click that opened the new window automatically. Anyway, I'm interested to know that IE7 can be expected to act the same way. FWIW (probably not much -- I mean who in the world (besides me!) opens that many windows at once?) :-)

dagenester
dagenester

I agree with Bound4Doom. Sounds like you may have more going on than possibly just browser issues. Might you have spyware on your box? I would suggest a scanner of spyware to fix your issues. I use both as well, and they are both really stable. Spyware / viruses are a great destabilizer, though. Might wanna check for that. Here are four that I use to keep my boxes okie dokie: 1. Spybot Search & Destroy (www.spybot.info) 2. Ad-Aware SE Personal (www.lavasoft.com) 3. Windows Defender (don't laugh!) (www.microsoft.com/defender) 4. SpywareBlaster (www.javacoolsoftware.com) Don't forget that you can use Trace Logs as well to analyze memory and hard disk usage, and NetMon or WireShark (www.wireshark.org) to keep an eye on network usage. My two cents... Gene.

Cadillac84
Cadillac84

The person who beat you to the post by a few seconds had a different method. Yours is great for those of us who meant to disable the warning but keep forgetting to do it. Now, we procrastinators can do it on the fly! Thanks. [ Well, I guess it was more than a few seconds! But, regardless, procrastination makes months out of seconds, doesn't it! :-) ]

john3347
john3347

Thank you miller33 for the instructions. You have made an old-f*rt's pasttime activities more pleasant. Thanks.

zyzzyva57
zyzzyva57

I apologize about not telling how to get the download, but I see it has been posted--I found it originally at M$'s IE7 download site I have gone back to IE after throwing my hands up this past weekend with FF leaking, e.g., leave FF up overnite and note how sluggish it is the next morning, or use FF hard over a couple of hours I tried to get Opera to plug into IE, but gave up in frustration For those who want more or less tab control, IE7 pro offers more control Note, too, you have to log in to use it--This may take some time learning how, but it is worth it The simple truth is the way IE is written, Windows and IE are mated

john3347
john3347

Not really, maurice, we all want improvement, but not change for the sake of change or to obsolete a working function. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." We complain when something that is functioning well is pulled out from under us and replaced with something that requires a steeper learning curve than the working function that the new one replaces. Think what the world would be like if automobiles were treated as computers. Some manufacturer whimsically decides to move the brake activation device from a pedal on the floor to a button on the dashboard, for instance.

sjivey1967
sjivey1967

I used to hate IE 5-7. So I used firfox, But now i am back with IE7. I haven't had any problems---So far

jehouston
jehouston

You are complaining, about the complainers

BigHamster
BigHamster

Some are not happy unless they are complaining.

willie.a
willie.a

I've tried all three options in the TABS section. The top and bottom work, but not 'New Tabs, Same Window'. My Vista machine works, and I'm using OE7. I'll continue with FF in XP. Maybe a new install of IE7 or maybe it is in OE, but I'm not going there. Wouldn't it be nice to use 'Windows Mail' in XP?

LurkeyLou
LurkeyLou

Confirm your settings: Tools | Internet Options | General tab | TABS section | Settings button. Then Review/Experiment with all of the choices here. Sumptings gotta work!

willie.a
willie.a

Using OE. I tried IE7Pro, set Tools/Internet Options/Tabs-Settings to open New Tab/Current Window. Works great in FireFox and Opera. Doesn't work in IE7 or PRO. Using Thunderbird, it works great in ALL 3 browsers. Am I the only 1 with this problem? I would love to change to IE7Pro, but tabs are important to me.

willie.a
willie.a

I like OE when @ home, and Thunderbird Portable when away (via thumbdrive). I have Hotmail by way of internet, Gmail and Yahoo, by way of OE. I am giving up on IE7 and will default to FF until MS fixes it, or tells me what I am doing wrong. Thanks for the input everyone! ~Willie~

marc.rust
marc.rust

You really are an artist! Some do like there mail to have avaliable off-line as well. Moreover most of us don't want to change 3 time a year, especially senior members. I did read youre post webbased, and could not even repply on my Internet/Mail PC because this site does not support IE5.5 anymore. What can I say? Like now when I really want to post I change to an other machine wich is not really for Internet nor Mail but work. So, youre advice is pretty useless. If people don't want to pay for programs, OE is free, don't complain if you have to follow the rules of the maker.

tonious
tonious

Then convert to a web based e-mail program. From there, you can open links on tabs. I forgot that OE still exists, because I use exclusively web based e-mail programs: Windows Live Mail and Google Mail. Sorry!

LurkeyLou
LurkeyLou

I don't know if IE6 would do this, but on IE7, you can open your favorites and an arrow that points to the right will display as you highlight (by mousing over) each folder (in your favorites). If you click on the arrow, ALL of the favorites in the folder will open. If you have a lot, IE7 will ask for confirmation before opening all of those tabs. Here's my point (FINALLY), I open a folder of stuff that I want to look at daily (and don't want to RSS). It contains 24 items. A lot of times, I have other windows and tabs open or I open more. I frequently have 30+ webpages viewable in various windows and tabs. You are not alone in your viewing habits, Cadillac84! And I suspect that there are plenty of others, especially in this group that would have 50+ open if they could!

Cadillac84
Cadillac84

I have also had good luck with AVG Anti-SpyWare (free edition).

LurkeyLou
LurkeyLou

Both of you (dagenester & epfrenzy) mentioned tools I already have & use but you both also mentioned 1 or 2 I hadn't heard of before and will check out! Thanks!

cSpeak
cSpeak

Dagenester, thats a nice list you have there. I have never had a problem with my browsers crashing but a co-worker of mine has a laptop that couldn't run either browser, FF or IE. Both browsers would crash within a few seconds of loading. It was spyware and malware keeping the machine from working as intended. Here were the tools I used to remove the spyware and malware. 1. Ad-Aware 2007 Free (www.lavasoft.com) 2. PrevX2 (www.prevx1.com) 3. NoD32 (www.eset.com) 4. Windows Defender (www.microsoft.com/defender) I ran those in that order one at a time and when I was done, it ran flawless. This has been my team of spyware/malware tools on all of my home computers and I've never had a problem. Definitely something to look into.

Cadillac84
Cadillac84

I MIGHT get a program from somebody with a gmail addy and a GoDaddy domain registered in China. But I damned sure won't get a Microsoft Update from anyplace other than MS! It may be just dandy, but not for this dude! (or YOU, either, from the sound of it!) :-)

retro77
retro77

This IE7 Pro at IE7Pro.com [Googled since Microsoft's site didnt have it] seems fishy. The support email address is @gmail. The domain is registered to Someone out of China and hosting on Godaddy...just seems fishy. Too fishy for me to install it on my system. Anyone else see this?

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