Photographs courtesy of Toby Watt - lawyer, friend and photographer extraordinaire...


Welcome to IE-Vista

Dedicated to providing advice and support to users of IE7 and IE8


Tabbed Browsing


Click here for information about diagnosing and resolving problems with Tabbled Browsing in IE7

Information about Internet Explorer's advanced Tab features (Tab Groups, multiple home pages and Restore Last Tab Group) can be found here.

To open a new tab, click on the small blank tab to the far right or use the (Ctrl T) key combination.

A new tab will be opened to about:Tab, not about:blank

about:Tab includes a brief explanation of tabs.  Click on the Don't Show Again button to switch to about:blank.

When we open a new tab to about:blank or about:Tab the Address Bar is already highlighted allowing us to quickly enter the URL that we want to visit. The first benefit of opening to about: blank is that the new tab opens very quickly; the second benefit is that a common complaint from the past (being that IE opens new windows with pre-populated, duplicate, content) is no longer an issue.

It is possible to set IE to open new Tabs to your home page.  See the Tabs dialogue box at the bottom of this page.

If you do not want to change the default new tab behaviour, you can still open a tab displaying your home page by using the (Alt Home) key combination - this even works if you have set up Multiple Home Pages.

To close a tab, use the (Ctrl W) key combination, or click on the close button (X) that appears on any active tab.

Navigating tabs

Note that there is a minimum width for IE tabs. Once that minimum width is reached, pre-existing tabs are pushed out of sight to the left of screen.

Use the (ctrl tab) key combination to jump one tab at a time, left to right, and use the (ctrl shift tab) key combination to jump one tab at a time right to left.

Most recent order

This setting makes Ctrl+Tab and Ctrl+Shift+Tab behave like Alt+Tab in Windows. It allows tabs to be switched according to their most recent order. This setting will also close tabs in a most recently used order which makes IE look like its jumping around a lot in the tab row.

Use the (ctrl 1) key combination to jump to the far left tab.  Use the (ctrl 9) key to jump to the far right tab.  Use the (ctrl 2), (ctrl 3), (ctrl 4) etc (all the way up to ctrl 8) to navigate to the 2nd, 3rd, 4th (etc) tabs.

The (alt home) tab will load your home page in the active tab.

Dragging tabs

Simply hold down your left mouse button to drag a tab to a different position

If one of your tabs is a color to all other tabs, similar to the screenshot below, it means that there is dialogue box on that page that requires your attention:


Closing tabs, restoring tabs and refreshing screen content

Right click on any tab.  A context menu will appear.


The Close other tabs option is a nice feature, as is Refresh all and is self explanatory.

When we close Internet Explorer we are prompted to close all Tabs.  Click on the Show Options button to reveal an option to "Open these the next time I use Internet Explorer" option.  If we turn on this option when closing IE, the next time that IE is started it will open all the normal home pages PLUS all tabs that were open when IE was last shut down. Internet Explorer's home page settings will not be changed.

If you have disabled the option, you can enable it again Tabbed Browsing Settings.

If you are a heavy user of Tabs (50+) you may start to see problems - new tabs and windows may fail to open, right click may not work, programmes may not start.  If you experience this problem you can increase the number of tabs that can be opened by editing the registry.

The key to use is:


DWORD very similar to:

%SystemRoot%\system32\csrss.exe ObjectDirectory=\Windows SharedSection=1024,3072,512 Windows=On SubSystemType=Windows ServerDll=basesrv,1 ServerDll=winsrv:UserServerDllInitialization,3 ServerDll=winsrv:ConServerDllInitialization,2 ProfileControl=Off MaxRequestThreads=16

Change the highlighted 3072 to 4096 or even 5120.

Hyperlink behaviour

Right click on a hyperlink to access the following menu:


Open in New Tab will, of course, open the hyperlink in a new Tab.  The new Tab loads in the background and does not steal focus from the page currently being displayed.  Open in New Window will open a new instance of Internet Explorer with only one Tab.

If you want all Tabs to open at the front, go to Tools, Internet Options, General Tab, Tab behaviour settings and turn on the option to Always switch to new tabs when they are created.

Ctrl Click will open a link in a new tab, as will middle click (clicking using the scroll wheel or the middle of three mouse buttons, if your mouse supports such a feature).

Tab Groups, Quick Tabs and multiple home pages

See this page for comprehensive information about Tab Groups

Tab settings

Most Tab behaviour can be controlled via via Internet Explorer's General settings tab.


Screenshots - click on a thumbnail below to open a new window with full size graphic.

Tabs in Internet Explorer 7 on XP

Tabs in Internet Explorer 7 on Windows Server 2003