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Enhance Internet Explorer 9 with Add-Ons

00_lead_image_ie_gallery_site

If you’re one of those who still use that “other” browser (Internet Explorer or IE), you’ll be glad to know that there are ways to extend the functionality of IE just like you can in Firefox or Chrome.

There are not as many add-ons for Internet Explorer as there are for Firefox and Chrome, but you can explore the official Internet Explorer Gallery to see if there are any that peek your interest. In this article, we show you how to install add-ons in Internet Explorer 9.

To begin, activate the Command bar, if it’s not already available. Right-click on an empty area of the tab bar and select Command bar from the popup menu.

01_selecting_command_bar

Click the Tools button on the Command bar and select Toolbars | Manage add-ons from the popup menu.

02_selecting_manage_addons

On the Manage Add-ons dialog box, click the Find more toolbars and extensions link in the bottom left corner of the dialog box.

03_selecting_find_more_toolbars

The Internet Explorer Gallery site displays in your default browser. Click the Add-ons link at the top of the page.

04_clicking_add_ons

If you know the category for your desired add-on, click on it in the list on the left. You can also click “all” to display all available add-ons.

05_clicking_all

Click on the image of the add-on you want to install. We chose the Webpage Screenshots add-on.

06_selecting_web_page_screenshots

When the web page for the add-on displays, click the Add to Internet Explorer button.

07_installing_an_addon

You can save .zip file to your hard drive before installing the add-on, or you can open it directly. We chose to open the .zip file from the site.

08_opening_addon

The file is downloaded to a temporary location.

09_downloading_message

Once the file is downloaded, a Windows Explorer window opens, displaying the contents of the .zip file. Double-click on the .exe file to start the installation.

10_running_fireshot_install

If the User Account Control dialog box displays, click Yes to continue.

NOTE: You may not see this dialog box, depending on your User Account Control settings.

11_uac_dialog_for_addon

The Select components to install screen displays. The Create Shortcuts check box is selected by default. If you don’t want shortcuts, select it again so there’s no check mark in the box. Click Next.

12_select_components_to_install

If you want to choose a different destination folder for the program, use the Browse button. We chose the default destination folder, and that’s what we recommend you do as well. Click Install.

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The progress of the installation displays.

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When the installation is completed, click Close.

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You must restart Internet Explorer to complete the installation. Click OK to close the dialog box. Internet Explorer is not restarted automatically. You must exit the program manually and then start it again.

16_restart_ie_dialog

A message displays at the bottom of the Internet Explorer window for the add-on we installed, allowing us to enable the add-on. Click Enable.

17_fireshot_ready_for_use

Depending on the add-on, a special toolbar may be added to Internet Explorer, providing access to the add-on’s functionality. We decided to take a screenshot of the browser window and save the file.

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A dialog box displays allowing us to choose a location and specify a name for the file.

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Once we save the file, we have the option to open the folder in which it was saved.

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Each add-on you install takes up time when loading Internet Explorer, so you may want to limit the number of add-ons you install. The more you install, the more unstable IE becomes and the more likely it may crash.

Lori Kaufman is a freelance technical writer who likes to write geeky how-to articles to help make people's lives easier through the use of technology. She loves watching and reading mysteries and is an avid Doctor Who fan.

  • Published 05/30/12

Comments (5)

  1. gyffes

    Yeah… that’s LOADS easier than adding a FF extension..

    I’m fairly certain NOONE at MS actually uses any of their products.

  2. Rance Mohanitz

    FreePriceAlerts addon? You mean I can get popups alerting me of prices? And it’s free??!?! Wow, I love Internet Explorer.

  3. Red

    I used IE9 more and more latly, I like how you can turn off almost anything, and I’m now using it as my securest Browser. And Maxthon 3 as my normal Browser

  4. Danny

    This is hilarious.
    I clicked ‘find more toolbars and extensions’ and rather than keep things in IE it snapped to my ‘default browser’ so a new tab opened in firefox.

    I only tried this because I thought to myself ‘I wonder if IE has anything like flashblock, or adblock’ which are two addons for firefox I cannot do without. Chrome has a built in ‘click to play’ option for plugins which means I only need adblock in chrome.

    So I’ve clicked on ‘add-ons’ in the Internet Explorer Gallery and intuition tells me ‘anything like adblock would probably be a utility’. I click on utilities and laugh out loud. 0 results.

    In an attempt to make any sense of the situation, I click on ‘all’ and ‘most popular’. Adblock appears in the most popular add ons for both firefox and chrome. IE results are as follows:
    google search
    google search (yes, twice)
    ebay search
    ciao search
    ebay search (also twice)
    multimap
    ask jeeves
    directgov
    amazon search
    dictionary
    ebay (zomg, again)
    bing translator
    expedia currency converter
    bing search (lol, owned by microsoft, but pwned by all other search engines)
    timeanddate.com
    imdb search
    tesco
    bbc music search.

    Yes, those were the ‘most popular’. And the most popular of them all (google) only had 48 ratings. No sign of download or install numbers.

    Very good of you to explain how things are done in IE9, HTG. I learned a lot. But as much as I love learning, there are times when the poor thing needs to be put out of its misery.

  5. PhantomTurtle

    Wow… this is soooo much more convenient than just it is on Chrome or Firefox… (that was sarcasm if you didn’t notice). I guess it’s good that they are trying…

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