Enterprise Software

Remove the Internet Explorer Content Advisor Password

Users wanting to disable the Internet Explorer Content Advisor will sometimes find they have forgotten the required password.

This article was originally published on June 3, 2004, but the registry hack is the same for Internet Explorer 8. This blog post is available in PDF format in a TechRepublic download.

Problem

The Content Advisor in Internet Explorer is a fine example of good intentions sometimes leading to undesirable consequences. As users surf the Web under the watchful Content Advisor's eye, there will likely come a point where the restrictions imposed will become undesirable, even if only temporarily. However, users wanting to disable the Content Advisor will sometimes find themselves barred from making changes because they have forgotten the required password (Figure A). Fortunately, this annoying little problem can be solved quickly with a Windows Registry edit.

Figure A

Now what was that password again?

Solution

Removing the Internet Explorer Content Advisor Password from its Windows Registry key will disable all the restrictions. If you have ever edited the Windows Registry, the procedure will seem quite familiar. However, if you are new to the experience, don't worry, as Registry edits go, this one is fairly painless. (Always back up the Windows Registry before you begin editing.)

Here is the basic procedure:

  • Open regedit.exe (usually performed via the Run command).
  • Navigate to this key (Figure B):

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ratings

  • Right-click the key and delete it.

Figure B

Right-click the key to delete the password.
  • Open Internet Explorer and navigate to Tools | Internet Options | Content.
  • Click the Disable Content Advisor button.
  • Enter a new, more easily remembered password if you want (Figure C).

Figure C

Any password will work now.

This simple Windows Registry hack will disable the Internet Explorer Content advisor and return Internet Explorer to its default state.

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About

Mark W. Kaelin has been writing and editing stories about the IT industry, gadgets, finance, accounting, and tech-life for more than 25 years. Most recently, he has been a regular contributor to BreakingModern.com, aNewDomain.net, and TechRepublic.

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