Warning: For those who are unfamiliar with the registry, it is a database maintained by Windows that stores all of the settings,
from the trivial to the critical, that govern how Windows actually works. Changing some of these settings
manually via regedit.exe (included with Windows), or through registry patches, can be very useful to tweak Windows' or other
programs' performance. Small applications you may have seen or used, such as TweakUI and X-Setup, essentially give you
preset options and safely change the registry according to these limited options, but mindless tampering with the registry is one
of the fastest ways to completely hose your system and force you to reinstall Windows.
The edit described here, and the patches I've made available, are as simple and safe as registry editing gets. This edit involves
only a single, non-critical setting in the registry, one that can even be deleted with no harm to the system (Internet Explorer will
automatically recreate this setting if it doesn't find it), but you are not encouraged to poke around randomly. The fix I provide
works safely for me, and I have received only positive feedback on how it works for others, but I can take no responsibility
whatsoever for any damage that may occur. You use the advice or patches contained herein at your own risk.
Any user of IE for Windows can
skip straight to the patches via the link above for the fastest and
simplest solution. The patches use new window dimensions set exactly
for common screen resolutions so, if you want to tweak these sizes a bit
in IE 5.0 to get a 'more maximized' look, read the section on manually
editing the registry. Users of IE 5.5 and up can specify larger
dimensions but there's no point... IE will cut them down to fit the
current screen resolution exactly. They'll still fill the screen and
won't need maximizing to be usable, but they won't quite look fully
maximized (I got used to it after a day and don't notice it now).
For IE 5.5 and 6.0 Users
You may still use
the manual edit or the patch as a definite solution, but an alternative
is that Microsoft seems to have vaguely fixed the problem of default new
window sizes in IE 5.5 and up. One of the fixes I found in help
forums, that never worked for me in 5.0, worked for higher versions.
After taking the steps on the right, new windows should open at that essentially maximized size from now
Open IE as usual
Right-click a link and open it in a new window
Close the original window
Move the new window's upper-left corner so it's flush with the upper-left of the screen.
Drag the bottom-right corner to the bottom-right of the screen (or to the taskbar).
You've pretty much maximized it. Don't actually click maximize.
IE 5.0 Users (Especially)
Step 1: The
IE will revert back to the 600x411 pixel
default if it does not open maximized. So, while this shortcut won't
change anything, it will maintain the default you're about to set.
Go to C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer, right-click Iexplore.exe, and choose Create Shortcut.
Move that shortcut to your desktop, right-click on it, and choose Properties.
On the 'Shortcut' tab, choose Maximized from the 'Run' drop-down.
Step 2: The
Any registry editor is fine. RegEdit
is just the one I use and the one I'm certain everyone has.
In the directory tree, click down until
you find: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet
Double-click 'Window_Placement' in the
You should see something very like the
The numbers in this
value are shown in hexadecimal, even though this is a binary value (it's
vastly easier to work with than 1s and 0s). The numbers representing
the dimensions of new windows are '58 02' and '9B 01'. Each pair of
numbers is a byte, and these sets of two bytes are 'words'. For a
rather complicated reason, the cpu reads words in reverse order so the
actual values are 258 and 19B. In decimal, they are 600 and 411.
When you edit this value, place the cursor
after the byte you want to change, hit backspace once, then type in the
new byte. You do not want extra bytes or fewer bytes.
assumes a screen resolution of 800x600. If you have a different
resolution, you will need to enter the hex values appropriate for your
resolution. You can use the calculator included with Windows to
convert between decimal and hexadecimal.
Change the 5th byte (00) to 02
Change the 9th byte (01) to 03
Change the 28th through 36th bytes to FF
Change the word starting at the 37th byte to 20 03
(320 in hex, 800 in decimal)
Change the word starting at the 41st byte to 3C 02
(23C in hex, 572 rather than 600. The taskbar is 28 pixels tall)
The end result should be:
I've added an extra couple of
pixels because I think it looks a bit better in 5.0. You're free to
experiment with the dimensions but, again, if you use IE 5.5 or 6.0, there's no
point in specifying dimensions greater than the screen resolution.
IE 5.5 and up will cut new window sizes down to fit exactly.
IE 5.0, IE 5.5, IE 6.0, Internet Explorer, and Windows 98se, Me, and 2k/2000 are all trademarks of Microsoft Corp.
Page Created: August 15, 2001.
All rights to page contents reserved by author, copyright 2001.
The program that is completely responsible for making possible this little bit of work I've done is
RegMon, the free version of
Winternal's enterprise-version real-time registry monitor. I have no money whatsoever, so I highly recommend that people with
money buy many products from them :). If you also lack money, you can acquire their delightful and tiny free utility at:
You can watch on your own as IE makes its customary few thousand accesses to the registry every time it starts up, and you
can see for yourself how it deals with Window_Placement (far more easily, once you filter out the other few thousand
accesses). I guess I was just the first to try to fix IE with it <shrug>.