Change the default size of new windows in IE for Windows with a simple and safe registry edit.

Manual Edit    Patches    Explanation

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

Non-Registry Fix

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 on.
  • 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.
  • Close it.


IE 5.0 Users (Especially)

The Manual Edit

Step 1: The Shortcut

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 Edit 

Any registry editor is fine.  RegEdit is just the one I use and the one I'm certain everyone has.

  • Open C:\Windows\regedit.exe
  • In the directory tree, click down until you find: HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  • Double-click 'Window_Placement' in the right-hand pane
  • You should see something very like the following:
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.

This example 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.


Simplest Solution for all Users

The Patches

Taskbar Always Visible

Taskbar Set to Auto-hide













Just right-click the appropriate link and choose 'Save as...'

Double-click the file from Explorer to run it.


Again, click here  for a more complete explanation of what's going on 'under the hood' and why the patch works.

Please contact me at to let me know how this works out for you.

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>.