Can’t Move Menubar in Internet Explorer 9

Here’s a simple trick to solve a minor-yet-annoying problem with IE9 …

Microsoft for some unknown reason has made the decision to hide the menubar in Internet Explorer 9 by default. Some users are apparently able to display the menubar permanently by right-clicking on free space in one of the toolbars and selecting the menu bar from the available options. Others do not see the menu bar entry in the context menu.

They are still able to display the menu bar, but have to do so either by editing the Windows Registry directly, or using the Group Policy Editor to do so. You can take a look at Display Internet Explorer 9 Menu Bar Always, And On Top for instructions on how to do that.

Having to edit the Registry or Group Policies to add a menubar is troublesome enough. It is likely that it is a bug and not intentional.

The menu bar appears on screen after the changes have been made. Microsoft has made the unfortunate decision to place the menubar at the very bottom of the header toolbar section, below the page title, address bar and tabs.

Every other web browser under the sun places the menubar at the top.

internet explorer 9 menubar

A right-click on the menubar displays a context menu with an option to “unlock” the toolbars so that they can be moved around. This however does nothing at all. The menubar won’t move at all.

It was previously possible to use another Registry setting to move the menubar to the very top of the browser. This Registry setting appears to be incompatible with Internet Explorer 9. Nothing happens if you set it directly, or if you use the Group Policy Editor to set it.

With the previous tweak, the menu bar is shown all the time. It still sits below other browser controls in the header. If you want to move it to the top of the browser, do the following:

Locate the Windows Registry key

KEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser

Right-click that key and select New > Dword (32-bit) Value from the context menu. Name the new parameter ITBar7Position and give it the value 1.

I was able to move the menubar in a preview build of IE9 back in September, but not in the final build.

I can think of three options why this is not working anymore:

  • Microsoft has blocked or disabled the setting in Internet Explorer 9 final.
  • The installation and uninstallation of preview, beta and RC builds of Internet Explorer caused a bug or file corruption
  • It is specifically a 64-bit problem

I have reset all settings in Internet Explorer, disabled add-ons and run a third party Internet Explorer repair tool, all to no avail.

I’m not sure what caused the change, but it is terribly annoying to see the menu bar below the address bar and tabs as it is distracting and means that I have to move the mouse further to reach the tabs or address bar.

Have you found a way to display and move the menubar to the top of the Internet Explorer 9 web browser?


© Martin Brinkmann for gHacks Technology News, 2011. | Permalink | Add to del.icio.us, digg, facebook, reddit, twitter
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