The Favorites menu in Internet Explorer stores links to any webpages that you want to save for viewing later or to pages that you visit too often. This article details managing the links in the Favorites menu so that it is cleaner and properly arranged, offering convenient usage of the feature.
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Introduction to the Favorites Menu
Before proceeding to learn about organizing the Favorites menu in Internet Explorer, it is necessary to know that the links you add to the Favorites menu in Internet Explorer are profile-specific. This means that, if you add a webpage to your Favorites in your user profile, you will not be able to access it through any other user profile on the computer. This is because, for each user profile, there is a separate folder that stores the links you add to the Favorites menu.
Thus, if there are three user profiles on the computer, there will be three different Favorites folders, one for each user. For each webpage that you add to the Favorites menu in Internet Explorer, a corresponding entry is created in the Favorites folder of the current user.
Tip: To find the location of the Favorites folder, initiate a search with hidden files included. The key term to use for the search is "Favorites" without the quotes. To narrow the search, search in C:\Documents and Settings if you are using Windows XP or a previous version. This will help you add the folder to your backup list.
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Adding a Webpage to the Favorites Menu
Adding webpages to the Favorites menu will help you access the folder without having to remember or type the URL of the webpage in the address bar. When you add a webpage to Favorites, the HTML title of the webpage and the corresponding link are stored. You may later rename the HTML title to something that makes it easier for you to remember the webpage.
To add a web page to the Favorites Menu, click on the Favorites menu tab, and then click on the Add to Favorites option. When you click on the Add to Favorites option, Internet Explorer presents you with a dialog box (See Fig 1) that helps you with adding the webpage as such, renaming the webpage, creating a new folder, and adding the webpage to the new folder. The textbox next to the label Name contains the HTML title of your saved webpages by default. You can change the names to anything you want before clicking on the Add button to add the webpage to your favorites. The default location is displayed next to the Create in label. It is the first level of the Favorites menu and is displayed as Favorites.
If you wish to save all web \pages pertaining to a relevant topic as a group, you can create a subfolder using the New Folder button next to the Create in textbox. Similarly, you can use the New Folder button to create sub-subfolders. To create a sub-subfolder, first select the main folder in the Create in drop down list, and then click on the New Folder button.
Now that you know how to add webpages to the Favorites menu of your Internet Explorer, let us study the different methods available for re-organizing your favorites. Re-organizing is necessary to keep the Favorites menu uncluttered and well-arranged for ease of locating links when you have stored references to many webpages. The next page details two easy methods for re-arranging Internet Explorer Favorites.
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Using the Context Menu to Manage Favorites
As with any application from Microsoft, Internet Explorer also opens up a context menu whenever you right click on any of the entry in the Favorites menu. The context menu offers a number of options to manage your favorites (see Fig 2). You can remove, delete, and sort the webpages stored in the Favorites folder using the context menu.
To remove a webpage or an entire subfolder from the Favorites menu is easy. Just right click on the link or subfolder that you wish to remove. From the context menu, select Delete. This will present you with a confirmation box. Once you click on OK, the link or subfolder will be removed from the Favorites menu.
To rename a webpage, right click on the name of the webpage or folder to open the context menu, and click on Rename. In the dialog box that appears, type in a new name, and click OK.
To sort the entries in the Favorites menu, open the context menu, and select Sort by Name. This command will keep all the folders on the top and re-arrange the other items alphabetically.
To assign a shortcut to a link, select the option Properties at the bottom of the context menu. In the Properties dialog, select the Web Document tab. Place the cursor in the shortcut textbox and press the key combination that you wish to use as shortcut (example CTRL + ALT + F11). Note that you will not be able to use the Windows shortcuts such as CTRL + C (copy) or CTRL + V (paste). Internet Explorer will automatically add in one more special key (for example, CTRL + ALT + C) when you try to use such shortcuts.
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Using the Organize Favorites Option to Re-Organize Favorites
There is an option called Organize Favorites in the Favorites menu that helps in organizing the webpages and folders that you stored in the menu. Selecting the option brings up a dialog box (see Fig 3) containing the entire contents of the Favorites menu with options to rename, delete, and move the stored items. To expand or collapse a subfolder, double click the folder. To apply the commands to any item in the Favorites menu, you need to select it first.
The context menu is available from within the Organize Favorites dialog also. To see the context menu, right click on item that you wish to rename or delete using the context menu. You can also use the Organize Folders dialog to create folders and then move the desired webpages to the folder for re-organizing favorites in Internet Explorer.
Note: It is important tobackup your favorites regularly so that you do not lose your URLs in case you need to re-install Internet Explorer. An Export option is available in the File menu. However, as most people forget to backup favorites, I recommend using a third party free auto backup tool to backup your Internet Explorer favorites. The best thing about such tools is that they backup your data to a remote server using the Internet. So, you can download them from anywhere to any computer. Additionally, they retain the format that you create when you re-organize favorites in Microsoft Internet Explorer.
Which is the best browser from Microsoft? Certainly, the latest version of Internet Explorer is the best browser. However people are divided on the question. This series deals with IE, helps you determine the best browser from MSFT, helps you reinstall Internet Explorer in Windows 7, and more.