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Internet Explorer has its share of design problems, one of them is the Favorites button which refuses to disappear upon unchecking it from the options menu. We are given complete control over display of the various toolbars, but the Favorites button, the one with the orange star to the extreme right of your tabs menu, cannot be disabled. Netbook users who use Internet Explorer 8 would benefit from extra screen real estate to display their open tabs. Granted, the Favorites button is in the same line as the tabs, but having the ability to disable the Favorites button and display an extra tab is definitely an advantage for those using a 10-inch screen to surf online.
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Workaround that Doesn't Work
One possible method to fix the problem is to disable the command bar, which consists of the horizontal toolbar and the tabs, by editing the Windows registry. It involves setting a registry entry that disables the command bar to 1. The unfortunate consequence of doing this is that you lose the ability to browse using tabs altogether, since the Favorites button and the tabs display are part of the same horizontal toolbar.
You would need to resort to opening pages in new windows which can get cumbersome. Moreover, it defeats the whole purpose of using a browser for user-friendly surfing.
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Since you cannot disable the Favorites button and get rid of it, you could save some screen real estate by just displaying its icon instead of the entire button with its text. It provides some consolation to netbook users and to those who value their screen space and want to maximize usage of their on-screen free space while browsing.
To shrink the favorites button to an icon do the following:
- Right Click the toolbar which displays your tabs.
- Navigate to the Customize option in the pop up menu.
- Check the option Show Only Icons.
You will now have an orange icon occupying the favorites button area.
So thats it folks, for those of you who have absolutely no use for the Favorites button, this is the only possible way to have the Favorites button take up the least amount of space without hampering your browsing experience in Internet Explorer 8.
Related Reading: For more tips and tricks, check out this article on how to repair, reset, or restore Internet Explorer 8.