How-To Geek

How to Rename Internet Explorer to Firefox/Chrome Downloader


Now that Internet Explorer has officially dropped below 50% market share, it’s high time that we rename it to a more fitting title: Google Chrome Downloader, or if you prefer, Firefox Downloader.

Obviously this is a very stupid geek trick, and the reality is that Internet Explorer 9 is a very capable browser that works well. But don’t spoil our fun!

Renaming Internet Explorer to Firefox/Chrome Downloader

The first thing you’ll want to do is open up regedit.exe through the Start Menu search or Run box, and browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Once there, create a new String key on the right-hand side, call it Window Title, and set the text to Chrome Downloader, Firefox Downloader, or something else entirely.


You should probably also open up the properties pane on any IE shortcuts and change the General tab to the new text.


Next, you should change the home page of Internet Explorer to the Chrome or Firefox download page:


Awesome Results

Now that you’ve done the rename and closed all the IE windows, you can launch it again and see that the title is really changed everywhere, including Alt-Tab:


And even Task Manager:


If you’re the techie fix-it guy in your family, all you have to do is set this up on everybody’s computer, and they won’t be confused again.

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 11/2/11

Comments (33)

  1. Brad Hoschar

    Ha! Google FTW!!

  2. Alex

    What is the point of this???

  3. patrick

    I repeat Alex’s remark: What is the point of this??

  4. Arston

    The point is that this way it’s clear what IE should be used for, so people don’t get confused.

  5. The Geek

    It’s the actual manifestation of a long-running joke about the only thing that IE is good for. Meant to be humorous.

  6. Andrew

    Hahah, this is awesome. Good stuff!

  7. trm96

    This is not new at all…

  8. Ian

    but it is still awesome!

  9. esam

    awesome indeed

  10. Bonaparte

    Alex and Patrick: “Obviously this is a very stupid geek trick, and the reality is that Internet Explorer 9 is a very capable browser that works well. But don’t spoil our fun!”

    Which part of this statement is confusing?

  11. Meddi N.

    I use Firefox and I’m not laughing at this. Mac-fanboys working on this site should know that Internet Explorer is farrrrrr more secure and usable than that trip through hell you call Safari.

  12. Ernest

    thanks for making that very clear @Bonaparte, am sure @Alex and @Patrick get it now…..Stupid geek tricks indeed.

  13. CitrusRain

    >Internet Explorer 9 is a very capable browser that works well.

    A very large part of me just died on the inside.

  14. Parth


  15. Matthew

    @ Meddi N. I don’t see anything on here about Mac. Stay on target. This is about IE in Windows. I use OS X, Windows, and Ubuntu. I support Firefox on all 3 OSes. Don’t be a douche.

  16. LASERman

    “Micro$oft Internet Exploder is a very capable browser that works well”
    Still don’t like it, and for long now it is indeed alternative browser downloader for me
    “Internet Explorer is farrrrrr more secure…”
    We heard this many times before about many it’s many versions before…

  17. cpx

    As Firefox user I must admit that IE 9 is… Well, I’m not slowly dying when I’m using it. They finally managed to produce a usable browser. But it’s too late already, Chrome and FF are better and people people know it.

    But yeah, this is fun =D

  18. 07734dan

    This was very useful to me years ago when I first got the dial-up with CenturyTel. They branded the browser by changing it to “Internet Explorer brought to you by CenturyTel” or something close to that. I couldn’t stand seeing that so I backed up my registry and went on a search to change it. Made me happy once I did.

  19. dima

    While this is fun and all, I don’t understand the hate towards IE9, it’s definitely faster than Firefox.
    All the losers complaining probably never tried it. I do agree that IE7 and 8 were a mess.
    The only reason I’m using Firefox is because of the AdBlock

  20. Tony

    ITT: People who actually use I.E. posting “What is this good for?!?!111oneone”

  21. UltimatePSV

    While IE6-8 weren’t the best, IE9 is really awesome. You can even add tracking protection lists that work as ad-blockers and use ActiveX filtering (There’s an article on these somewhere on this site). Firefox and Chrome are nice, but I prefer IE9 over most other browsers because it’s a stable, well-made browser, and it’s faster than you’d think.

  22. Eric

    This was funny years ago, but since IE8 it has made zero sense. Maybe if people would actually TRY IE before downloading another browser they would save themselves some disk space.

  23. Metalforever1973

    LoL… Awesome and funny…The best use of it…….

  24. Dr. Beverly Kurtin

    I stopped using IE when my virus checker damned near choked to death with the huge number of spywares and even keylogges. The INSTANT I brought up IE, crap filled my system. I got off of it, cleaned out the garbage and went back to Chrome and continue to use it. Plus I use Gmail. I’ve used Chrome since it was introduced and love it. Ditto Gmail; I’ve used it since 2005 and still have some mail archived that year because initially deleting mail was not an option.

  25. _Ron

    Why all the hate for internet explorer? Yes IE6 really did suck but since the rollout of 7 MS has been working very hard with making sure they are standards compliant. Look at HTML 5 support in IE9. Its very good and fast since it uses native video card acceleration. In private browsing, tracking protection, smart screen filtering far exceed what you can do with firefox and safari without downloading a bunch of add-on’s. I have always gone back in forth between IE and Firefox and in the latest round I am back to IE.

  26. Torch

    I think Internet Explorer should be renamed “This Page Can’t Be Displayed”
    Windows Explorer should be renamed “File Manager”

  27. Iain Robertson

    There is a better browser than Chrome – it’s a Chrome clone called Iron (by SRWare), using the same core code as Chrome. Available at all reliable download sites….

  28. Tracy Verlin

    Okay. tp be honest, I see nothing really that big of a deal or cool. The only cool thing is that you guys do know your way around the registry in order to do many things. That alone is cool. I use some of the reg edits/hacks i.e. GodMode. And the one to get rid of the Metro style desktop on the Win 8 Preview. But, just because this one was basically kind of stupid, by no means stop sending out the other cool stufff.

    Just my opinion. I do thank you for most of the cool stuff you send out.

  29. penguintamer

    I prefer to call it “Virus Catcher 9”.

  30. Jeff

    @Eric, @UltimatePSV,

    Yeah, when you come up with a way for Firefox Downloader to run on Linux without the use of either Wine or silly Virtualbox tricks, I’ll try IE.

    When I ran Windoze, I experimented with Internet Explorer a time or two, and I didn’t like it. I didn’t inhale and never tried it again.

  31. James

    It’s funny how worked people get over the most trivial thing.

  32. Abhay Mittal

    @Alex, @Patrick,
    The point of this trick is that you can give any name to your IE browser of your choice. But, calling it Firefox/Chrome downloader is humorous and just to make the article more interesting to read for users.
    @pengiuntamer Nothing in this article relates with your theory of virus catching.
    @lain robertson I kindly request you to provide use some details about your download suggestion- Chrome Clone; like it’s features.
    @_Ron If you try a little research with me, I can prove that all features u are telling about are already present in other browsers and they also auto-update. Well, some aren’t because, softwares installed on your machine install these add-ons for pre-installed web browsers only.
    @Ultimate PSV, @dima suggest you to see the results of researches by computer experts ion any good trusted downloading-review site like:
    @Laserman your point must be appreciated. But, only better security can’t make something your favourite.

  33. anton

    asking microsoft’s opinion about each website i open (to see if it is safe) doesn’t seem to be good idea for me. and i don’t think ie9 is faster than firefox or chrome. It does show you the window (the empty window) very fast, but to start browsing and all, it ll take some time.

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