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Maximize Your IE7 Tab Bar Space by Removing the Command Bar

One of the many annoyances I have with Internet Explorer is the fairly small default width of the tab bar… as somebody who opens a lot of tabs all the time, it becomes difficult to manage. With a simple tweak, we can remove the command bar that usually sits on the right of the tabs.

Instead of the default like this:

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We can remove those buttons, giving us more space:

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Add or Remove Buttons

Instead of removing the entire bar, you can simply add or remove the buttons from the bar by right-clicking on it, choosing Customize Command Bar and then Add or Remove Commands.

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From here you can limit the buttons to only the ones you want… do you ever really use the Help button?

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Or you can just make the toolbar’s width small enough that it only shows a single button, with the others still being accessible through clicking on the chevron (make sure to un-check the “Lock the Toolbars” option)

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If you still insist on removing the toolbar entirely, keep reading.

Manual Registry Hack

Open up regedit.exe through the start menu search or run box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\CommandBar

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Find the key named “Enabled” in the right-hand side, and set the value to 0. You’ll have to restart IE for the change to take place. Obviously you would set it back to 1 to put the command bar back in place.

Disable the Command Bar the Easy Way

Instead of messing with the registry, you can simply download the IntelliAdmin IE 7 Tweak Utility, which will perform the registry edits for you, and also let you hide the search bar, or force the menu bar to the top, both topics we’ve covered the registry hack method for in the past.

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Download IE 7 Tweak Utility from intelliadmin.com

You can really minimize the amount of browser UI space by removing both the search and command bars:

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You can always use the Alt key to temporarily show the menu, or get to things via keyboard shortcuts.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 08/7/08

Comments (5)

  1. Gary

    Now if you can come up with a way to decrease the width of the address bar and use the left over space for other things that would be great.

  2. Henk

    I know a more suitable utility to improve the IE interface. It will make IE completely customizable, add a lot of handy new functions and options, greatly improve loading times, and even add much better security. This little-known marvel is called “Opera” and it can be downloaded for free at http://www.opera.com.
    (;-))

  3. Gary

    Usually it’s “Get Firefox”.

    I use Roboform alot and we all know it won’t run on Opera. It seems the RF developers have something against Opera.

  4. MorpH

    Or, you could just bury it somewhere and only ever use it for microsoft update, and get a REAL browser instead…

  5. bassmadrigal

    @MorpH

    You don’t even need to find it for Windows Update. With Firefox you can get IETab, and it will just load up IE within a firefox tab and you can do windows update from there.

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