IE: how do I stop the program from being so 'helpful'?

Last week I spent two hours going through the literally hundreds of ‘favorites’ I’d accumulated. I went through all of them, checking to see if the links were still good, if I were still interested in the site, set up some folders and categorized the keepers and threw away well over two hundred others.

Things were good.

Today when I clicked on Favorites ALL OF THE LINKS ARE BACK! In fact, not only are all the links I deleted back, but so are second copies of all the ones I’d kept. And instead of being in the order I’d created them (as they were before my purge) they are now in alphabetic order.

All I can guess is that Windows ‘noticed’ the change in the length of the file, decided something must have gone wrong, and so added back all the favorites from some earlier time on top of the ones I’d kept.

I am majorly annoyed by this. Hey, you stupid program, when I throw something away, I expect it to stay thrown away! I do NOT want to have hours of my work overridden to suit YOUR whims!

Anyway, is there any way of preventing IE from doing this again?

I wish I had a definitive answer, but I can only offer a possible (untested) fix.

Favorites are stored as shortcuts in the “Favorites” folder. In other words, they are actual files.

So if you emptied the trashcan after the purge, it may permanently delete them.

Download Mozilla?


Delete unwanted “Favorites.”

Wipe Trashcan.

Wipe protected files.

Restart and all should be well. :smiley:

I can definitely kill the Favorites, and emptying the trash is a no brainer, but what do you mean by “wipe protected files”? Which files? Where?

And…if they’re protected, won’t they be resistant to being wiped?

I am seriously tempted.

There’s no reason not to try it out. You won’t (be able to*) get rid of MSIE, and you’ll be able to experience something better in web browsing.

*(This isn’t entirely true. There is software for sale that can root out MSIE and allow you to replace it with something else, but that’s a pretty severe change to make to any (32-bit) Windows system. MSIE isn’t, as MSFT contends, integrated into the OS, but it is the single most important part of the user interface. Plus, you need it for some badly-designed websites and for Windows Updates.)

Firefox is a very good browser, and it isn’t nearly as beefy as Mozilla if you aren’t sitting behind a fast connection. And even that is better than MSIE in all respects.

So, in short, give it a try. It’s free, you can import all your bookmarks, and nobody expects you to switch over completely.

You don’t say what OS you’re using, but if it’s XP (other NT-based OSes may be similar), then you should be aware that there are more than one Favorites folder. Each user account has one, as well as the Administrator account, and another one for All Users. This last one is the one you should be looking at. If your bookmarks are all in the Favorites folder for All Users, then deleting bookmarks when logged in as an individual user will result in the behavior you describe. To find out if this is the case, navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Favorites. If you see all your bookmarks here, then Cut and Paste them to C:\Documents and Settings*yourusername*\Favorites, where yourusername is the user you normally log in as. Then close and restart IE. You should now be able to prune your bookmarks successfully and permanently.

You can’t.

Bill Gates knows better than you what you’re trying to do, and how to do it.

IE is simply carrying out the will of the Dark Master.

You will be assimilated.

What’s stopping you? I suppose it must be getting tedious to many :slight_smile: , but so many threads like this end up with a recommendation to switch to Firefox for a reason. It seriously is better than IE. And the reason that is are;

  • Better design, better functionality.

  • Not so integrated into the rest of your Windows system, which is a good thing. It means less danger from viruses etc or changes to one messing up the other.

  • It’s was designed from the point of view of the user, not the website. That means you get the web as you want it, not as Microsoft or other vested interests might want you to have it. (Yes, I’m aware that sounds like advertiser-speak, but it happens to be true.)

  • No unwanted popups. Ever! I’ve practically forgetten such things exist.

  • It’s free.

In addition, if you are in a domain and using roaming profiles if you delete them from your local profile they may not be deleted from the server copy of the profile when you log off. Then the next time you log on they are copied back from the server profile to your local machine.

If that’s the case go to your server profile directory and delete all the favorites there. Then make whatever changes you want locally, and when you log off the changed favorites will be saved back to the server.

Very interesting. Okay, after some poking about I discovered the “All Users” favorites was empty, and the only other account (Default – must be me, I’m the only one who uses this computer) had all the book marks. So that wasn’t what was causing it.

OTOH, I hadn’t realized that the favorites were just ordinary little shortcut files. Shuffling, reordering various ways so as to find and delete duplicates, creating new folders – everything is at least thirty times faster and easier using Explorer than fighting with IE’s “organize favorites” tool. I managed to redo about 80% of my previous ‘pruning’ in less than fifteen minutes. :slight_smile:

I’m also thinking: since I still don’t know where/why/how IE undid my work before, is there any reason I can’t simply copy the ‘favorites’ folder under another name, like “favorites the way I want them to be dammit”? And then, if IE stomps all other it again, I could just delete what it creates and copy it back to the way I want it? Hah! Take that, BG! Power to the People! :smiley:

BTW, I will also follow the suggestion of emptying the trash bin in case that was the sourse of the earlier problem, but I darkly suspect there is another hidden copy of the favorites, tucked away somewhere ‘safe’ from the users, which it uses to regenerate the Favorites-That-Will-Not-Die.

BTW II, I have installed Firefox and used it a few times. It looks nice, and was very easy to set up…but unfortunately, it won’t play nice with some sites I really need to access, like my online banking stuff, so I’ve have to switch back to IE as default.

Simpler: File, Import and Export, Next, Export Favorites, and stash the resulting file somewhere easy to remember. If necessary, you can always import from it later.


You can disguise Firefox to make it pretend to be IE to web sites. I used User Agent Switcher to do this and now my bank is happy :slight_smile: . I think all it does is change the value of a string that browsers use to identify themselves.