Windows optimize

Reset Internet Explorer's window size in Windows XP

If in Windows XP you typically maximize a too-small Internet Explorer window, every subsequent time you launch Internet Explorer, its windows may remain too small. By default, Internet Explorer is supposed to open at the same size it was at the last time it was closed; however, sometimes the default setting gets out of whack, and you need to manually reset it. Here’s how.

If in Windows XP you typically maximize a too-small Internet Explorer window, every subsequent time you launch Internet Explorer, its windows may remain too small. By default, Internet Explorer is supposed to open at the same size it was at the last time it was closed; however, sometimes the default setting gets out of whack, and you need to manually reset it. Here's how:

1. Launch Internet Explorer.

2. Click one of the window corners and drag it out to completely fill your screen. Do not use the Maximize button.

3. Press [Alt] to view the menu bar (if you are using Internet Explorer 7).

4. Press and hold down either [Ctrl] or [Shift] while selecting Exit from the File menu. Do not use the Close button.

Now when you launch Internet Explorer, it should open in a full window. If it opens in the same small window, repeat the steps but hold down the opposite key in step 4, that is either [Ctrl] or [Shift].

Note: This tip applies to both Windows XP Home and Windows XP Professional. As this is a function of Windows XP, it will work on all versions of IE.

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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.

56 comments
Aramel
Aramel

Great article, I really enjoyed reading it.I wonder though if you know something about it services phoenix because I am afraid that I will need their help and I don't have any clue about their approach when it comes of pc problems.

ccrider2
ccrider2

Never opens in the spot it was closed in on the screen....Always have to move it to my favorite spot. Any tips on how to fix this? Tried the shift & Ctl bit....no luck. Thanks!

abacrotto
abacrotto

Definitelly, you rule, Greg. I had this machine for four days in a row and I couldn't fix it. But with this tip, it worked flowlessly. You rule. Thanks a lot. Ariel from Argentina.

michael2244
michael2244

use IE Winsize, it works really fast.

gsveeb
gsveeb

I have the same problem with Outlook Express e-mail composition windows.

zach
zach

Thanks for the info, I can now add this into our helpdesk system and stop all those unwanted petty calls! RESULT ...

hykema
hykema

Is there a way to have windows boot up to full panel screen? Everytime I shut down and reboot I have to right click on the screen, choose panel fit, select full screen.

konstantin.nikolaev
konstantin.nikolaev

does anybody knows the same trick for Remote Desktop window? it refuses to open fullscreen

teberak
teberak

this a good tips for me

murphusa
murphusa

I have been using a small utility called AutoSizer 1.61 for many years. It lets you choose which windows to maximize on startup. You can find ut at http://www.southbaypc.com/ . I works for the majority of windows, but not all. I am going to try your method on the ones AutoSizer won't do.

twt97
twt97

Why not just press "F11"? TGT

dashworks@eastlink.ca
dashworks@eastlink.ca

Will this work with Windows Explorer also? If not, what would be the steps to make it work?

dlcartin
dlcartin

RE: Reset Internet Explorer's window size in Windows XP Didn't work for me!

des
des

Ctrl worked for me

fedm235
fedm235

Web sites should be designed to match my browser size, not the other way around. I know what size/location works best for my display, visual requirements and work style. No web designer should force me to adjust to what they like best. Anyone else have this peeve?

frazierrg
frazierrg

Why would you want full screen? I thought we were using Windows, so we could see other things happening at the same time!!

plelle
plelle

Tweeka, tweeka, tweeka...Yeah!

lord_nemesis23
lord_nemesis23

Kinda funny how those who don't face the problems, comment that this tip is redundant.

xerema
xerema

I think its much easier to go into to shortcut properties and select maximized from the RUN drop down list, it will then always open MAXIMIZED.

Peter.Murschall
Peter.Murschall

I've create/modifed a Link in the Link-Toolbar: Title: _IE Resize URL: javascript:window.resizeTo(900,1024);javascript:window.moveTo(380,0); That works also in FireFox and .......

fof9l
fof9l

Either my IE6 installation is doing what it should OR this tip also works with Windows 2000. Great one, Greg. Thanks.

RandaraC
RandaraC

In IE 6, the same procedure but "just press Close"

Dasec
Dasec

Thanks, it works if launching from the iexplore.exe icon but not if you launch a site directly via a desktop shortcut.

gtimandan
gtimandan

Even easier - this has worked for the last several iterations of IE, and also for FireFox, Netscape, and I think also Opera: If you want a full-screen browser when you launch it, simply close every open browser window and then open a single instance of the browser you're targetting. Maximize it with the maximize button in the upper-right of the window. Now click the "X" to close it. Reopen the browser. Viola! :) To add a custom-sized windowed-browser if yours is either too large or annoyingly too small, launch a single window of the browser, click the Restore Down button if it's already maximized to full-screen, drag the bottom-right corner of the browser to the size you want, click the "X" to close it. Reopen it - Viola! Your windowed browser will now stick to that size. Note: Whatever the size of the *final* browser window when you close them, that will be its restarting size. Eg: if you close a smaller windowed browser last, that will be your startup size. Maximize before closing that final window, and you'll always get a full-screen browser when it launches. No funky button-pressing needed.

Dwoodson
Dwoodson

That seems to solve one of my problems, but how do you get IE to always open in the same screen location.............

TG2
TG2

I don't know why you're saying to hold any keys down. I've never had a problem getting the window position saved without holding keys in both IE 6 and IE 7 !! 1) Close ALL ie windows (and programs for safe measure in case they have ie windows open) 2) Open IE 3) set the window size as you want it 4) do CTRL + N for a new window (which will come up the same size as the window you just manually set) 5)and then Close the new window first, then the other IE window the next time you open IE it should open at the size you set! If this isn't happening for you, then there's something messed up in your IE (BHO, Spy/Adwares, etc)

petesdrifter
petesdrifter

Excellent, this has REALLY bothered me since year zero! I've seen and tried the tip at other forum/sites but it's NEVER worked. However, following Greg's advice has made it work. Cheers Greg. The 'new' info I recieved from this tip...was to close from the Menu. That appears to have been the key for me :-)

gdmaskovyak
gdmaskovyak

Press and hold down either [Ctrl] or [Shift] while selecting Exit from the File menu. Do not use the Close button. --- Don't see any "exit" button in IE 6.

Peter.Murschall
Peter.Murschall

for this hint for handy little tool :-)) I've been searching for it since a long time, for the godd*****'n f*** Adobe Reader - this ugly bastard will start every time in another position and size ! And it's also very useful for services.msc/diskmgmt.msc and so on. I acknowledge to you: It works not for all, but for the majority of windows I've been working with.

TG2
TG2

F11 maximizes the program. on a system running 1280x1024, you don't need explorer to be full screen, additionally, it means you have to minimize it to get access to icons on your deskstop. I run an approximate 1000x800 sized window for explorer which is large enough to do pretty much every average task needed, and I can place my window so that much of my desktop at the edge gives me about two rows of icons for access to other programs without having to hit the start menu. Additionally I have a minimum of 3 tasks open at all times, and when working I have had more than three rows of small buttons (that is if I were to expand the start bar) So.. F11 .. not something even remotely involved in the original post.

link470
link470

You bet, Windows remembers up to 500 different window sizes. The way they were closed is memorized and the oldest window opened is forgotten if it's past 500 windows remembered. My experience with Internet Explorer is that one popup from a program or from anything else directing to the internet will cause Internet Explorer to open only with the width of what is opened. So if it's popping up a banner ad, it will pop up in the size of a banner. Or say, one of those boxes, 200x200 pixels or so, that says you've won a vacation to somewhere. Often their in the background to what your browsing, known as "pop-under's" so people close their browser window which WAS at full size at the time, and realize they have an ad underneith. They close that window, and then for the rest of their life wonder why their IE window comes up at 200x200. This is the same with all Explorer windows. Give it a try. Open your My Computer or My Documents folder, and drag it to the top corner of your screen, then hit the X in the corner. Open My Computer or My Documents again. My bet is it's still up in that corner. Another annoying thing about Windows Explorer, let's say you open My Documents, and it IS up in that corner. You drag it down to the middle or wherever you like it, and then you click "My Pictures" inside that folder. You browse around at your pictures for a bit, and then click the X to close the Windows Explorer window. You open My Documents, and it's still up in the freakin corner. That's because you closed it at "My Pictures", not "My Documents". So you'd have to open My Documents, drag it where you like it, close My Documents. Open My Documents [which is now where you like it] and continue on to My Pictures. So yes, my long answer is yes, it is the same :P Enjoy.

dashworks@eastlink.ca
dashworks@eastlink.ca

Will this work with Windows Explorer also? If not, what would be the steps to make it work?

gmrad
gmrad

If you use shortcut to launch IE Browser go to Browser Properties, then choose Shortcut panel, Run and choose Maximize in the Menu. All your problems will end. And you might do so with any other applications.

Realvdude
Realvdude

Though many web sites are applications that have their requirements, much like hardware requirements for operating systems and installed applications. By in large though, I believe this is more a IE behavior problem. I have visited numerous shopping websites that want to open some odd sized window, making me enlarge the window to see what's in it.

Realvdude
Realvdude

Unless you can afford those monster or multiple displays, then you have to worry, about neck strain.

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

Exactly! Goes to show you how different people's habits while surfing can change the computer's settings without knowing it. Everybody does things a bit different. Some end up with windows that won't maximize when opened. Others do not. And, those who say "mine never does that" haven't had to go fix one that has and is driving the user nuts!

holmescd
holmescd

On other folks' computers I'll use the method Greg gave us. I've always wondered why the windows sometimes need to be resized repeatedly, even though I've set them to what I preferred, closed them and reopened them. But your idea works great on my own computer, Peter! I substituted my own preferred window sizes, naturally. Thanks to both of you!

Realvdude
Realvdude

Rather than creating a web shortcut, create a program shortcut. While creating a shortcut, browse to iexplore.exe under c:\program files\internet explorer (default location). Once you have it in the item field, move to the end and enter a space then your url. Finish creating the shortcut, then you can change the properties to have it start in a maximized window.

dwilkins
dwilkins

Just to say my IE(7, on XPSP2) works (re-opens window same size as saved) from desktop shortcuts as well. In addition, I can work the trick by just manually resizing then closing in any way (Close button, Exit on File menu, Alt-F4, anything but End Task, really) without holding Ctrl or Shift. However, I CANNOT get it to save the Maximised state (using Max button, as one poster mentioned) with any combination, including modifier keys Just goes to show Windows is not exactly consistent :-)

hollismatise
hollismatise

If you have the "Status Bar" checked in the "View" menu, you will see a zoom control in the bottom right corner of the window. When I had this issue, I noticed that this zoom control was set on 125%. I just reset it back to 100%, and the window was back to normal.

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

"Maximize before closing that final window, and you'll always get a full-screen browser when it launches. No funky button-pressing needed." Not True. Sometimes, not always, but sometimes, the window open size needs to be reset and that's what this article was addressing. IF it needs to be reset, here's how you do it.

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

Opening a non-maximized window in the same screen location is sometimes dependent on the command that opens the window, like clicking a link which opens a new window. So, there is no way to "always" control the new one. For example, pop-up windows with no buttons or menus can be controled as to where they open (x / y coordinates) in the HTML. However, if you always close the window which is positioned where you want it LAST, chances are you can keep it nailed down MOST of the time.

wayneg
wayneg

Thank you so much for the tip!

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

This tip has nothing to do with retaining the size of an IE window which is NOT maximized. Well, it does, but the focus is on MAXIMIZED windows. Your instructions only work for non-maximized windows. This article is talking about when you have maximized the window, closed it, and then it doesn't open back up AS maximized like it should. Sometimes THAT needs to be reset and it's been that way for quite some time. It happens when you have opened several windows, one of which is not the same size as your original window (smaller), then you close all of the windows in a different order and closing the wrong sized window last. It works for non-maximized windows too, like your tip. But, it's the only thing that works for retaining the maximized window on first open.

Your Mom 2.0
Your Mom 2.0

Except I didn't have to open a new window and then close it. Of course, maybe that's the purpose of the "default settings get out of whack" disclaimer in the original article. Funny; the very first tech Q&A I answered when I first signed up with TR over 7 years ago was this same issue regarding a previous version of IE.

rjwiderman
rjwiderman

HI everybody I provide IT service a public library that has open Internet access. One of the annoying problems is the previous user closes the IE browser in small sizes. Does anyone have a script that will reset this option to full mode, similar to a kiosk?

ThumbsUp2
ThumbsUp2

In IE6, the Menu Bar isn't hidden. You simply click File/Exit while holding down the [Ctrl] or [Shift] button. The point is, don't use the X to close the window, use the exit command on the menu.

RandaraC
RandaraC

In IE 6, the same procedure and just press "Close".

TG2
TG2

The next window opened (after the first) by default shifts to allow you to have about a title bar sized space around the window to see the previous IE window behind to the left and above. Thus you can click on that other window with your mouse. having a nearly maximized screen stops that behavior.. maximized via maximize button or by dragging to nearly full screen will stop ie from opening down and over, or up and to the left should there be no more "down and to the right" to go.

TG2
TG2

ThumbsUp2 .. you need to try the instructions. I can maximize the window (maximize button) and have my instructions make the window come up the that size I can manually drag my window to the full size of the screen **not** using the maximize button, and AGAIN.. my instructions work, without having to hold keys down when you open or close. The KEYS to the method, are 1) open a new window from the RESIZED window, regardless of what size you want to make it (full area, not using the maximize button) or anything between full size and smallest you'd ever want. 2) making sure that when you close your windows, the last one closed is the size you wanted. 99.9% of the time if the last window closed is the right size, it will open that way.. the problem is in hidden (ad) windows, dot bot windows, and anything that screws with the window size via registry. If you do the "new window" while IE is the size you want it, you can close and open the next ie session (double clicking the icon on the desktop or from the quick launch) and it should show you at that point that the next subsequent time you start that it will be that size.

gmrad
gmrad

Use the right mouse button to find Properties of the shortcut, go to Run on the Shortcut panel and choose Maximized.

Peter.Murschall
Peter.Murschall

You can insert a variation of the Resize-link: ----------------------------------------- IE -Default Start Page Automatically Move & Resize javascript:window.resizeTo(900,1024) javascript:window.moveTo(380,0) -------------------------------------------- Mit freundlichsten Gr??en Peter Murschall