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How to disable IE9's Pinned Sites "feature"

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  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    I hadn't given this feature much though as I'm still on Vista and figured it was only for pinning sites to the Windows 7 taskbar when you want them to behave like an app. But it effects dragging urls to the desktop in Vista too.

    I hate it.

    Now when I try to drag a url to the desktop for future (yet temporary) reference:

    a) Instead of a shortcut like IE has created for the past zillion years I get a .website file that doesn't save the actual url but instead the root of the site (and the root's page title)

    b) The tab that had the page in it closes.

    c) A new window with the "web app" chrome opens up.

    Ugh.

    Luckily, there's a registry setting to disable this stupid behavior:

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/151853-internet-explorer-9-enable-disable-ability-pin-sites.html

    I'm sure this feature is the bee's knees on Windows 7's taskbar, but g-d-mn was it infuriating on Vista. But it's gone now.

     

     

  • User profile image
    Bas

    I'm on Windows 7, and it annoys me greatly that these shortcuts launch in a new, special Window. It completely defeats the point of the live previews when you hover over the IE icon on the task bar, since whatever you open via those shortcuts launches in its own window.

  • User profile image
    Ian2

    @Bas: I completely agree - this would be a far better feature if there was an option that said 'open this as a tab in existing IE' (waits for someone to post saying that there isindeed  such an option ...)

  • User profile image
    Sven Groot

    @Bas: That's also my reason for not using the feature.

    I can deal with tabs or multiple windows. As soon as I have multiple windows with multiple tabs, I just lose stuff. So, I make sure to never have more than one browser window open. Using pinned sites makes that impossible, so I don't use them.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    At the very least there should be an option to disable this functionality. The regular users I know all love this feature because it lowers the barrier of entry for the three sites per day that they visit. For the rest of us? Yeah...

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    , kettch wrote

    At the very least there should be an option to disable this functionality. The regular users I know all love this feature because it lowers the barrier of entry for the three sites per day that they visit. For the rest of us? Yeah...

    At home I'm visiting three sites max: Facebook, nhl.com, and C9. I like the pinned sites feature because I can visit them in one click instead of three.

  • User profile image
    JeremyJ

    @DCMonkey: That seems like an odd way to remember a site.  Why not just use bookmarks like people have been doing since the beginning of the internet?  You can just delete them when you are done (it is not even challenging to do Right-click->Delete).

    I am with spivonious... I like the feature.  I pin all the sights I check frequently and just click once to get to where I want to go.

  • User profile image
    kettch

    @JeremyJ:Or, you can remember a site the way I tend to, and just keep the tab open for days at a time. Tongue Out

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    , JeremyJ wrote

    @DCMonkey: That seems like an odd way to remember a site.  Why not just use bookmarks like people have been doing since the beginning of the internet?  You can just delete them when you are done (it is not even challenging to do Right-click->Delete).

    I am with spivonious... I like the feature.  I pin all the sights I check frequently and just click once to get to where I want to go.

     

    Because favorites are three clicks away (an extra click because I usualy have the Feeds tab selected in the Favorites window) and out-of-sight out-of-mind. And my Favorites bar has all the sites I regularly visit so there's no room there. (And I won't even get into the irritation about how they moved the favorite button to the opposite side of the window)

    I'm not complaining about the ability to pin sites to the Win7 taskbar. That makes sense and sounds useful. It's sort of like the favorites bar in that respect. I'm complaining that they also replaced an existing ability (to drag urls to the desktop) with the pinning ability (in a manner that behaves bizarrely IMHO) instead of making it an option. So I've had to resort to registry diving to make it an option. And I opt out.

  • User profile image
    contextfree`

    @Sven Groot: that's interesting - I like the pinned sites exactly because they enable a 3-level organization of browsing into multiple "activities" each with multiple tabs. Whenever I start a new task, I pin the "hub" site for that task to the taskbar, then unpin it when I'm done. So having the multiple windows help me remember which tabs go with which task. In fact, I really hated IE's taskbar-preview-per-tab "feature" in IE8 because I almost always have at least several dozen tabs (often hundreds) open in various windows at any given time, but in conjunction with Pinned Sites it makes a lot more sense.

  • User profile image
    magicalclick

    I liked it, I have facebook pinned. Which, yeah, increased my participations, which also is not really good for me as I used it too much. I don't see the problem, there is always a shortcut file you can drop out of favorites and so on. Or just use Fav Bar. Pinned site means the site should be treated as an app, not a shortcut.

    Leaving WM on 5/2018 if no apps, no dedicated billboards where I drive, no Store name.
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  • User profile image
    SoapSudz

    Sorry.... the link that you give DOES NOT change the behavior.  All it does is remove the menu option of adding the site as a 'pinned' item.  If you are someone who drags website URLs to your desktop, and want it to save the file as an actual link INSTEAD of a .website pinned site, then all you have to do is...   CLICK AND HOLD THE SHIFT KEY when you drag the file.  It will save a URL link instead of the .website link - which causes all sorts of other problems when you click on it.

  • User profile image
    DCMonkey

    , SoapSudz wrote

    Sorry.... the link that you give DOES NOT change the behavior.  All it does is remove the menu option of adding the site as a 'pinned' item.  If you are someone who drags website URLs to your desktop, and want it to save the file as an actual link INSTEAD of a .website pinned site, then all you have to do is...   CLICK AND HOLD THE SHIFT KEY when you drag the file.  It will save a URL link instead of the .website link - which causes all sorts of other problems when you click on it.

    Works on my machine.

     

  • User profile image
    Escamillo

    , SoapSudz wrote

    Sorry.... the link that you give DOES NOT change the behavior.  All it does is remove the menu option of adding the site as a 'pinned' item.  If you are someone who drags website URLs to your desktop, and want it to save the file as an actual link INSTEAD of a .website pinned site, then all you have to do is...   CLICK AND HOLD THE SHIFT KEY when you drag the file.  It will save a URL link instead of the .website link - which causes all sorts of other problems when you click on it.

    Thanks.  That tip about "CLICK AND HOLD THE SHIFT KEY while drag/dropping" is good to know.  It's not all that discoverable.  I think the IE team should implement Right-Button-Click-Drag, so on the drop a context menu is displayed giving options of whether to create a pinned site shortcut or a regular internet shortcut (and they should support Right-Button-Click-Drag/Drops for picture links, where the context menu would give options for creating a .url file, a .website file, or a picture file; currently, as has been the case for years, drag/dropping a picture link creates a .url file with no option to create a picture file).

    And I have to correct the first post where it says that drag-dropping a url from the address bar to the desktop creates a ".website file that doesn't save the actual url but instead the root of the site (and the root's page title)".  I've not seen that.  Every .website file I've created is a link to the actual page whose URL was dragged rather than the root of the site.

    Lastly, if one opens a .url and .websiite file in notepad, one can see that the .website file conatins information that is a superset of the info contained in a .url file.  So, I speculated that one could change the extention of a .website file from ".website" to ".url" so that double-clicking it will produce the old "Internet Shortcut" file behavior.  I tested that, and it seems to work.  That would "fix" any old .website files that one had created when one would've rather created a .url file.  Web shortcuts created henceforth would be best using the "CLICK AND OLD THE SHIFT KEY" solution whenever one wants a .url rather than a .website file.

  • User profile image
    AceyMan

    Besides the very debatable advantages of a pinned site (as I read else where, who can afford to take up valuable taskbar space with pinned sites), this default behavior in IE9 breaks my technique of bookmarking that I've used forever and that I recommend to my users.  I just drag the favicon, creating a .url file, and put it in the filesystem that's relevant to whatever the topic is (typically on my network home drive, but sometimes locally).

    I've never found bookmarks that useful because you have all your links in one place -- would you put all your PDFs or DOCs in one place, even if they had nothing to do with one another?

    Saving links (.url files) in the file system has the added advantage of letting you use whichever browser you prefer, without having to worry about copying/syncing bookmarks between browsers.

    Just open a blank tab and drag and drop the .url file on the tab pane -- boom, you load the target site.   I know that Microsoft would like everyone to use IE, but the truth is some sites work better in specific browsers and many technical users realize this fact and operate accordingly.

    The shift-drag action does work, but if I'm using the mouse I'd prefer to just use the mouse, and not have to add a meta-key (here, Shift) to get the result I want.

    Finally I'll point out that I'm not a complete bookmark Luddite -- I do use the Favorites bar for a handful of sites that I need to use every day, but in general sites I need to go back to get saved as .url files in the file system.

    Microsoft should make this a configurable option in IE9 for those of use that will never use it.  (I believe there is a registry tweak that will change this behavior but I have not tested it yet).  Flipping the current behavior would be great, where a plain drag on favicon creates a .url file, while a shift-drag creates a .website "pinned site".

  • User profile image
    spivonious

    , AceyMan wrote

    I've never found bookmarks that useful because you have all your links in one place -- would you put all your PDFs or DOCs in one place, even if they had nothing to do with one another?

    I create folders under the Favorites folder to organize my bookmarks. Having bookmarks floating around my filesystem would make them very hard to find.

  • User profile image
    ScanIAm

    Same here.  This tends to create a file structure as well in the favorites folder of your user.  I'm not adverse to having links spread out amongst the file system, but it seems easier to just use favorites.

  • User profile image
    mjda

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