Internet Explorer 9 Favorites Bar

The Favorites Bar in Internet Explorer deserves some attention. It’s a simple concept that might turn out to be a good friend.

The Favorites Bar extends across the top of the browser window. It is intended to hold links to 6-8 websites that you visit most frequently.

Many of you have the Favorites Bar turned off. If you’re not going to use it, leave it turned off.

You can turn it on by right-clicking on an empty area at the top of Internet Explorer and clicking to put a checkmark in front of “Favorites bar.”

Internet Explorer 9 Favorites Bar checkmark

The important thing is to remember the difference between “Favorites” and the “Favorites Bar.”

  • Your “Favorites” are under the star in the upper right corner of Internet Explorer 9. It’s the long list of everything you bookmark. You can have hundreds of Favorites.
  • The “Favorites Bar” holds 6-8 shortcuts that you want to have available all the time at the top of Internet Explorer.

When you understand that distinction, it makes it easier to understand why there are two different star-shaped buttons.

  • In the upper right is the star that displays the dropdown menu with all your Favorites. When you visit a web site that you want to bookmark, you can add it to your Favorites list by clicking on the star, then clicking on “Add to favorites.”

Internet Explorer 9 Favorites

  • When the Favorites Bar is displayed, it has a star with an arrow. That button adds a web site to the Favorites Bar. It’s not used to add a site to your longer list of Favorites!

Internet Explorer 9 Add To Favorites Bar

The star with an arrow causes much confusion. Remember – it’s only used for the Favorites Bar, for sites that you want to visit frequently, the ones you plan to visit so often that you want the shortcut to be visible all the time. It’s not for random bookmarks.

There are many ways to customize your Favorites Bar. Here are a few tips.

  • If you want to delete a site from the Favorites Bar, right-click it and click on Delete.
  • If you want to display the full name of web sites instead of truncated names, right-click on one of the shortcuts on the Favorites Bar, hover over Customize Title Widths, and click on Long Titles.
  • If you want to edit a name on the Favorites Bar, right-click on the shortcut and click on Rename.
  • Click on the Start button, then click on your name in the upper right of the Start menu. You’ll see the Favorites folder listed along with Documents, Photos, and the rest. The Favorites menu is constructed from the shortcuts in that folder. You can create subfolders, drag shortcuts from one subfolder to another (including the Favorites Bar), and delete and rename shortcuts. Keep your Favorites as organized as you like!
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