Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*

Reader questions this week bring me back to IE 7 and the Taskbar, and a new topic: what to do when an Update causes crashes and other troubles. So today I will not post my usual Tip of the day, but the (hopefully) now familiar “Q’s and their A’s” format.

IE 7 Questions:   (you may want to review my post on IE7 Security zones, and Questions answered, as well.)

Q: My Explorer menu bar disappeared, how do I get it back?
A: In IE version 7, the old familiar menu bar (File, Edit, View, etc.) was removed from the default configuration to ‘streamline’ IE’s look, and quite possibly because Microsoft was aware that people were installing their own toolbars (see “toolbar madness“). To get it back, use a method similar to the one used for Windows’ Taskbar. Click on the down arrow next to the gray “gear” icon marked “Tools” and click on the Menu bar option. Now a checkmark will appear next to it, and your menu bar is back. To keep it there, hover your mouse over the option below Menu bar, “Toolbars”, and click on (select) the “Lock the toolbars” option.
While you’re there, you may want to play around with the “Customize” option and tweak which buttons appear on your bars.

Q: I can’t add a site to my Trusted zone:
A: I answered this in the previous answers post, but this detail is worth repeating: The person was on their personal machine and was running as an administrator, so there’s no problem there. The trouble was they hadn’t cleared the checkbox next to “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone”.https.jpgThe difference is the “s” at the end of “http”, which indicates a special, secured Internet protocol. You will know if you’re on such a Website by the gold lock icon that appears in the URL window (and/or elsewhere on the page). It is an encrypted connection generally only used for electronic payment sites. A check here prevents you from adding regular websites.

Q: Can I make IE block sites when my child is browsing, but allow them for me?
A: This is a great question! And the answers are: yes, sort of, and … how many sites are we talking about? There are a couple of ways to go about this, but I want to spend more time on this topic than there’s room for here today. Protecting your children from the dangers of the Internet is a huge subject. Please see my page on this topic. 

Taskbar question:

Q: What happened to the icons in my Taskbar?
A: These “my icons disappeared” questions depend on if we’re talking about the Notification area (on the right, by the clock), or the Quick Launch area (on the left, by the Start button).
In the Notification area, an icon’s disappearance usually indicates that the “process” has gone idle and is not “running” at the moment.That means it isn’t needed, and hasn’t been needed for quite some time. It will run when it’s needed so, in this case don’t worry about it. In some instances, such as the speaker icon or the the two PC’s network icon,
a checkbox has become unchecked and you simply need to check it again. Click on Start >Control Panel >Speakers and Audio devices, and select (check) the “Place an icon in the Taskbar”.

If the Quick Launch icons have disappeared, right-click on a blank area in the Taskbar and select Properties. Click on the Taskbar tab, and place a check in the checkbox labeled “Show Quick Launch”. As I have mentioned before, these Quick Launch icons are simply shortcuts. You can add more shortcuts here by simple drag-and-drop, or remove the ones you never use.

NOTE: If your icons have always been there and then, suddenly, some (or all) of them are gone — you may have picked up some malware. I recommend that you run “deep” antivirus and an anti-spyware scans immediately.

Windows Update:

Q: An Update is causing BSOD’s, what do I do?
A: From time to time a Microsoft security Update will not be compatible with the software and/or device drivers on your machine and the instability will trigger the Blue Screen Of Death (for more on BSOD’s and what to do, see “When good computers go bad“). Usually, Microsoft will repair this and issue a new Update … eventually. In the meantime, remove the Update (If you’re not sure which Update is the perp, remove the most recent ones) by going to Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel. (Start >Settings >Control Panel >Add/Remove Programs) Now look to the top area and place a check (select) in the “Show updates” checkbox. Now you will be able to see the list of installed Updates.

Click on the Update you want to remove, and click on the Remove button.

Today’s free link: I do NOT recommend uninstalling security updates unless they cause your machine to become inoperable. I am a big fan of security updates and want all my vulnerabilities patched. If you’re like me in that aspect, Secunia’s Personal Software Inspector is for you. While this software is still in beta, it is very good at scanning all your programs and reporting any missing updates and open vulnerabilities. (Thanks Ryan!)

Copyright 2007-8 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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May 20, 2008 - Posted by | advice, BSOD, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, removing Updates, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks, Vista, Windows, XP | , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. My Explorer menu bar disappeared.

    I Click on the down arrow next to the gray “gear” icon marked “Tools” and click on the Menu bar option. Now a checkmark will appear next to it, and my menu bar is not back.Whats is next step.I don have address bar.I can”t surf with internet explorer.Reinstal program not help me.


    Comment by wertzui | August 27, 2008 | Reply

  2. The Menu bar and the Address bar are two different things.
    The Menu bar is the “old school” File Edit View Favorites Tools Help menus, and when enabled, appear directly below the Address bar. If there’s a check next to “Menu bar” — as you say — it is there (as far as Microsoft’s concerned).
    The Address bar is the strip that contains your Back and Forward buttons, the long window where you enter Website URL’s, and a smaller “search” window. A browser would be quite useless without this!

    When IE fails to function correctly, restore it to “factory defaults” (essentially, you’re re-Installing it) by following the advice of Tip #2 here,

    If this fails to help, you’ve got something serious going on (most likely a bad malware infection), and I recommend you approach the problem from that angle.. and possibly, contact some kind of Tech Support.


    Comment by techpaul | August 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. […] “Hide” tip won’t help you (it’s too late). Please refer to the 3rd answer in this article, IE’s Menu bar, Taskbar icons, and bad Updates*, to see how to remove […]


    Pingback by Take Control – Stop Windows Update Prompts « Bill Mullins’ Weblog – Tech Thoughts | August 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. ur response was very quick 7 generous last time: now i have another question…. my norton annual ran out … mcafee was cheaper so i purchased that one before installation my wouldnt let me uninstall my norton.. (path: computer/uninstall/norton) i went ahead and installed my mcafee anyway.. but still my pc wont let me uninstall the norton… i use the uninstall feature and a window ask for admin permission to continue .. i click continue then nothing happens…will this affect my new security????….. thx frank


    Comment by frankr | February 27, 2011 | Reply

    • frankr,
      Yes, it can/will effect your security to not completely uninstall the previous security product.

      First you want to uninstall the McAfee (and you may want to look at some product reviews.. such as I posted today [McAfee is not on any Top 10 lists that I am aware of]), and then uninstall the Norton.
      You said you had trouble doing that, so you may want to download the Norton Removal Tool. Then reboot. Then re-Install the McAfee.
      If you should have trouble uninstalling the McAfee (and you might), you might need to download the McAfee Removal Tool.


      Comment by techpaul | February 27, 2011 | Reply

  5. HA, it worked! Thank you so much! I was going insane and about to beat my computer.


    Comment by Sierra | April 14, 2012 | Reply

    • Sierra,
      Thank you for taking the time to let me know you found me efforts here helpful.


      Comment by techpaul | April 15, 2012 | Reply

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