There’s some new wording on a security warning in Internet Explorer 8 that nearly drove me nuts. If you don’t like it either, instructions to disable it are below.

All too often after I installed Internet Explorer 8, I’d click on a website and Internet Explorer would stop dead to ask: “Do you want to view only the webpage content that was delivered securely?”


It happened all over the place, including sites that I trusted. Happens all the time on GMail. I saw it again tonight on a Microsoft download page. You’ve probably seen it too.

Read it again. Do you click on “Yes” or “No” to see everything on the web page? Ha! I see you. You’re doing a double-take trying to figure it out, aren’t you?

If you click “Yes,” some parts of the page will be blocked. Maybe it will be an invisible little component of Google Analytics, but maybe it will be half the pictures on the page. You have to click “No” to see the entire page.

There’s a perfectly good security reason for that warning. You’re going to a page that is delivered securely (https://), which gives you some reassurance that the site is really what it appears to be. But something on the page is not covered by that security certificate – frequently an image that’s displayed on the page but originates on some other page.

The default choice (“Yes”) blocks whatever is potentially unsafe. Here’s the threat: imagine that you’re led to a page that appears to be secure; you are reassured by the comforting padlock icon at the top. The place on the page where you type in the secret formula, however, is actually not secure, and pirates make off with your mueslix recipe or your bank account or something.

I hate it. It’s a trivial risk for people who go to safe websites, and the window is confusing and annoying.

This is the way the same choice appeared in Internet Explorer 7: “This page contains both secure and nonsecure items. Do you want to display the nonsecure items?”


I didn’t like it then either but at least the choice was clear and easy to understand.

Microsoft apparently thinks the annoying warnings help put pressure on web site developers to redesign their sites so mixed content is not allowed.

I think I don’t want to see those warnings any more.


  • Click on Tools / Internet Options.
  • Select the Security tab.
  • Highlight Internet zone and click the “Custom level…” button.
  • Scroll down to the Miscellaneous section.
  • Change Display mixed content to Enable.
  • ie-displaymixedcontent

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