Surfari Internet-Information Gem #8
Gem #8 - Internet Explorer 3.0 Usage Tips

The following is a *living* compilation of Internet Explorer Tips that I've dug up from time-to-time. *Living* means this list will be constantly updated as more tips are found/received. If you have a 'tip' you'd like to share, please send it to and ask to have it included in the Information Gem Page.

TIP #1
When you're in a page divided into frames, it's hard to tell the URL of the active frame. What normally shows is the Location field is the address of the "menu" pane. To find out where you've ended up in your travels through frames, right-click the frame you're curious about and select Frame Info. There you'll see the URL. If you copy it and paste it back into the Location field, the same site will appear without frames.

When viewing multiframe Web sites, you can move between frames by clicking in the frame that you want to make active. You can also move to a new frame by pressing Ctrl-Tab.

TIP #2
If you haven't installed the security update for Explorer 3.01, now is the time. Go to Read all the information and then download and install the update. You never know.

TIP #3
Running Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0, you may get the message IEXPLORE caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll The problem could be that one or more dynamic link libraries (DLLs) are located on the desktop. Another possible problem is that you've enabled IE's internal Java JIT compiler and the page you're trying to load contains an incompatible Java program. It's also possible that the page you are loading contains active content that is malfunctioning. If you suspect that Java is your problem, you should disable Internet Explorer's internal Java JIT compiler. To do this, choose View|Options and then click the Advanced tab. Locate the check box labeled Enable Java JIT Compiler and deselect it. Click OK to save your changes and close the dialog box.

TIP #4
If you're trying to troubleshoot an IE problem, you might want to configure the program so it doesn't automatically run certain items such as vertical marquees or animations. Choose View|Options and when the dialog box opens, click the Security tab. Now you can locate the check box marked Enable ActiveX Controls And Plug-Ins and deselect it. Click OK when finished.

TIP #5
By default, Microsoft Internet Explorer will install into the Program Files\Plus!\Microsoft Internet folder. If you have a previous installation (regardless of its location) Setup will locate it and install your new IE in the same folder.

If you want to install IE in a different folder, open Control Panel and double-click Add/Remove Programs. Uninstall IE and restart the computer. This gets rid of the old installation and you can install your new IE anywhere you like. Doing this will erase any bookmarks, password and other cache information.

TIP #6
When you install Microsoft Internet Explorer for Windows 3.1 into different folder from the folder that contained an older IE, you may not be able to run the new version. This can happen when you leave a SET statement in the Autoexec.bat file that was put there by an earlier version of Internet Explore. To eliminate the problem, use NotePad (or any text editor you choose) to open the Autoexec.bat file. Remove any of the lines shown here that you find in your Autoexec file.

set ieppp=c:\[folder]
set pctcp=c:\[folder]\pctcp.shv
set path=%path%;c:\[folder]\mail
set path=%path%;c:\[folder]

where [folder] is the folder where the earlier version of Internet Explorer for Windows 3.1 is installed. Save the Autoexec.bat file and restart the computer.

TIP #7
Using Microsoft Internet Explorer 3.0 you may encounter hang-ups when you select a URL at a site that substitutes %7E for the tilde. This doesn't occur in IE 3.02, so the best cure is probably to go ahead and take the plunge--update to 3.02.

TIP #8
If you try to load a page that automatically plays a movie clip, you may get the message:

MMSYSTEM296 The file cannot be played on the specified MCI device. The file may be corrupt, or not in the correct format.

You get this message when you try to play a movie clip that is incompatible with Media Player. By default, Windows 95 is configured so that Media Player plays all media clips.

You may be able to work around the problem by installing ActiveMovie if it isn't already installed. If ActiveMovie can't play the clip in question, the only thing left is to install a third-party program that can play clips in the desired format. Unless the clip is very important to you--forget it.

TIP #9
As you surf the web with Microsoft Internet Explorer, the program saves a ton of graphics and other files in a temporary folder for quick loading later. This folder can become quite full, and if you're short on disk space, you may want to empty it periodically. To do this open Windows Explorer. Locate the C:\Windows folder and click it. Now find the Temporary Internet Files folder and click it. To delete all the files in the folder press Ctrl+A, then Delete.

TIP #10
Extraneous Winsock files can cause problems. To see if you have any, use Windows Explorer's Find command (on the Tools menu) to search for Winsock.dll. You should find the file in the C:\Windows folder. The Windows 95 version is 42 KB in size. If you find any other versions of Winsock, move them out of the C:\Windows folder. If you use Compuserve and find a 130 KB Winsock.dll, move the file to \Cserve\Csnav.

TIP #11
Do you often get a busy signal when you try to connect to your Internet service provider? As long as the connection was initiated by you (as opposed to an automatic dialing response from an application, such as your Web browser), Dial-Up Networking will redial the number if it can't connect the first time. This feature saves you from having to attempt the connection again manually.

Open up My Computer and double-click Dial-Up Networking. Select Settings in the Connections menu, and select Redial. Fill in the Between tries wait option to set the timing between each redial, then select a number next to Before giving up retry. Click OK to make the settings stick.

TIP #12
If you'd like to modify some of your Explorer settings, you don't have to run the program, then choose View|Options. All you have to do is right-click the Internet Explorer icon and choose Properties. Now you can make whatever changes you like and your changes will apply the next time you run Explorer.

TIP #13
If your children have access to your computer, you may want to consider using Microsoft Internet Explorer's security options to control access to the Internet. To do this, choose View|Options and click the Security tab. Now click Enable Ratings and enter a password. Next, click Settings and select the levels of language, nudity, sex, and violence that you feel you can allow. After you make your selections, click the General tab. If you disallow unrated sites, you'll find yourself entering a password almost all the time. We recommend that you select the check box labeled Users can see sites which have no rating. To complete the settings, click OK twice to close all the dialog boxes.

Be aware that the protection offered by Microsoft Internet Explorer is not complete and some undesirable unrated sites might slip through. If security is a serious problem for you, you should consider one of the third-party net watcher programs.

TIP #14
If you enable security to keep some users from viewing selected material on the Internet, you may find it a pain to always have to enter a password to search for material. The best way to handle the situation is to disable the security while you work.

To disable security, choose View|Options and click the security tab. Click Disable Ratings and enter your password. Click OK, then OK in the alert dialog box.

Don't forget to re-enable the ratings before you shut down the computer. The settings will remain as you set them, so all you have to do is click Enable Ratings and enter the password.

TIP #15
When you see an Internet address on TV (or on a baseball cap or those photos coming back from Mars) that you'd like to visit, don't bother typing in the entire address. You can ignore the "http://" part. For example, to get to you can click on the Address box and type:

and let Microsoft Internet Explorer add the remainder.

TIP #16
One thing to watch for when surfing the Web is that many servers run Unix and are case-sensitive. This means that `Index' and `index' are not the same. If you get an error message after you manually enter a name in the Address box, check the case.

TIP #17
Don't you just hate it when you're viewing a lengthy Web page and the links are at the bottom? You don't have to scroll through the entire page to get to the links. All you have to do is press the End key. If you want to quickly get to the top of a page, press Home.

TIP #18
There are a number of secure sites available on the Internet. For example, you can invoke a secure Microsoft site by entering:

into the Address box and then pressing Enter.

How can you tell when you're visiting a secure site? Look for the lock icon at the bottom right side of the Status bar.

If you're going to make a purchase via the Internet, you might feel safer with a secure site. So try the https version of the URL.

TIP #19
As you know, you can choose View|Options, click on the Navigation tab, and click on View History to see where you've been. To clear the entire history, all you have to do is click on Clear History, confirm your choice, and click on OK. You can also delete only portions of the history: Click on View History, and when the History window opens, select and delete the files you no longer need. When you finish, close the History window and click on OK in the Options dialog box.

TIP #20
Ratings Password Fix
Several readers are having a problem: They forgot the password for the Ratings and can no longer access a huge number of Web sites. It does no good to reinstall Microsoft Internet Explorer 3, because the password in still in effect--it's in a hidden file in the \Windows\System folder.

To resolve the problem, run Windows Explorer and make sure it's set to display hidden files. To do this, choose View, Options. Under the View tab, select Show All Files and click OK. Now go to \Windows\System and look for a file named Ratings.pol. Rename this file to "Ratings.old" and run IE 3. The old ratings password is no more. Now you can set a new password--just don't forget it this time!

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