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Internet Explorer 8 Favorites

By . Last modified: 2014-08-14.

How to use Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar and Favorites Center in Windows XP, Vista and 7

Favorites are links to the web sites or web pages you visit most often. For example, if your Internet Explorer home page is set to Google, but you also visit YouTube every day, you can add a link to YouTube to your Favorites for quick access.

All created favorites are actually normal files and subfolders in the Favorites folder of your user profile - Documents and Settings folder in Windows XP, Users folder in Windows Vista and 7. In case you need to perform a major cleanup or rearrangement, it might be better to use Windows Explorer for this task.
Windows XP, Windows Explorer. Internet Explorer Favorites are located in user profile folder of Documents and Settings.

To add a currently open page to any folder of Favorites, use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D or right-click on the page contents and select Add to Favorites... from the menu.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8. To add a favorite, right-click the page contents and select Add to Favorites.

Add a Favorite dialog appears. You can change the new favorite's Name and destination folder (Create in) before clicking Add. By default, the link will be created in Favorites Center.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8, Add a Favorite. Click Add to put the link to Favorites Center.

Favorites Center can be accessed using keyboard shortcut Alt+C or clicking the Favorites button on the left.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8. Favorites button on the left opens Favorites Center. 

Folders and links added to Favorites Bar are always visible - as long as the bar itself is displayed. To show or hide the Favorites Bar, right-click on an empty space below Address Bar and click Favorites Bar.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8. To reveal or hide Favorites Bar, right-click an empty space below Address Bar.

Favorites Bar

Favorites Bar is actually a sub-folder of Favorites Center. To add a link to Favorites Bar, click Add to Favorites Bar button.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. Click Add to Favorites Bar button to add a link to the bar.

The link then appears as a button in Favorites Bar, just like the Google button in picture above. You can now click the button to open Google in currently active Tab. If you want to open it in a new Tab, right-click on the button and select Open in New Tab, or hold down Ctrl key while clicking it. If you want to open the link in a new tab and switch to it immediately, hold down Ctrl and Shift keys while clicking it. Holding down Shift key while clicking the favorite opens it in a new window.

Using folders in Favorites Bar

You can also create folders in Favorites Bar - this is especially useful because its space is limited. For example, you can add music-related web sites into a folder named Music and news-related sites into a folder named News. When you click on a folder name on Favorites Bar, the list of favorites opens and you can click on any of the links there to open it in currently active Tab or new window.

Here is a folder named Search Engines open in Favorites Bar. You can also click Open in Tabs to open all links in the folder at once.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. You can add folders to Favorites Bar to save space.

To add a folder to Favorites Bar, right-click on any link or folder present there (Suggested Sites and Get More Add-ons work, too) and select New Folder.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. To create a folder in Favorites Bar, right-click on any present link and select New Folder.

Create a Folder dialog opens. Type in a name for your folder and click Create button.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. Type in a name for your folder and click Create.

Now the folder appears on Favorites Bar.

To add a link in the folder created, press Ctrl+D on your keyboard to add the currently open web page to Favorites.
Add a Favorite dialog opens. Click the down arrow button of Create in box and select your folder from the list.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar, Add a Favorite dialog (Ctrl+D) allows creating a link in the folder on Favorites Bar.

You can also change the name of the link in Name box. Click Add button to put the favorite in folder you selected.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar, Add a Favorite dialog (Ctrl+D). After selecting destination folder for the Favorite, click Add button.

In case you already have links that you want to move to the new folder on your Favorites Bar, click on the link and hold mouse button down. Then drag the link onto the destination folder and release mouse button.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. To move an existing link to a folder on Favorites Bar, click and hold on the link and drag it onto the folder.

You can also open all links in a folder at once in a colored Tab Group by right-clicking on the folder and selecting Open in Tab Group.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. To open all links in a folder at once in a colored Tab Group, right-click on the folder and select Open in Tab Group.

Sizing items on Favorites Bar

If Favorites Bar get really crowded, you can choose to display shortened titles or just icons by right-clicking on a link and selecting Short Titles or Icons Only from the Customize Title Widths menu.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. To fit more content on the bar, right-click a link, open Customize Title Widths menu and select Short Titles or Icons Only.

Renaming links and folders on Favorites Bar

By default, all links added to Favorites Bar get their names from the web page title they link to unless you rename these in the Add to Favorites dialog. Sometimes the titles are short (for example, just "Google"), sometimes they contain way too much information or strange capitalization. In latter case, it is better to rename them.

To rename a link or folder, right-click it and select Rename.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. To rename a link or folder, right-click on it and select Rename.

In the Rename dialog, type a new name and click OK.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar, Rename dialog. Type in a new name for the link or folder and click OK.

Removing links or folders from Favorites Bar

If you want to delete a link or a folder from Favorites Bar, right-click on it and select Delete.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. Right-click on a link and select Delete to remove it from Favorites Bar.

Internet Explorer will then ask whether you want to delete the item or not. Click Yes to delete it.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Bar. Click Yes to confirm moving the item to Recycle Bin.

Windows moves deleted items to Recycle Bin - favorites are actually normal files in the Favorites folder of your user profile (Documents and Settings folder in Windows XP; Users folder in Windows Vista and 7). If you accidentally removed something, you can always recover it from there. Read about using Recycle Bin in Windows here.

Favorites Center

While Favorites Bar can include links to many web pages by using folders, its space is still limited. In case you need to have myriads of links, it is better to use Favorites Center for the ones used less and keep only the everyday links on Favorites Bar.
You can click any link in Favorites Center to open it in currently active Tab. To open a link in a new Tab, right-click it and select Open in New Tab, or hold down Ctrl while clicking it. To switch to the tab immediately, hold down Ctrl and Shift keys instead. Holding down Shift key while clicking a favorite opens it in a new window.

You can display Favorites Center in two modes:

  • Normal - Favorites Center hides a left part of currently open web page. After you click on a link there, Favorites Center disappears and you can see the whole webpage again.
  • Pinned - Favorites Center opens in a separate frame on the left and web page contents move to the right. In this mode, Favorites Center remains visible until you close it manually.

Favorites button is the very left button on Favorites Bar and it opens Favorites Center in normal mode, just like using keyboard shortcut Ctrl+I or Alt+C.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8. Favorites button on the left opens Favorites Center.

In normal mode, Favorites Center hides the left part of open web page. You can change the mode to pinned by clicking the Pin the Favorites Center button or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I keys on your keyboard.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center in normal (unpinned) mode. Click the Pin the Favorites Center button to keep it visible.

When Favorites Center is pinned, it is always visible in a separate frame and therefore it does not hide webpage contents. To open Favorites Center in pinned mode, use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+I. You can close Favorites Center by clicking the X button on the top right of the Favorites Center frame or by clicking the Favorites button on Favorites Bar or by pressing Ctrl+Shift+I again.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center in pinned mode. Click the X button on top right of the frame to hide Favorites Center.

Adding new favorites to Favorites Center

On the top of the frame is Add to Favorites... button. When you click it, it acts just like using Ctrl+D keyboard shortcut and opens the Add a Favorite dialog. But this time the link will be created in Favorites folder, not on Favorites Bar.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8, Add a Favorite. Click Add to put the link to Favorites Center.

You can still select a different folder for the link from Create in: box before clicking Add button.

Here's are links in Favorites Center (in the Favorites folder of user profile).
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. Links in Favorites Center.

There is also a down arrow mark on the right of the Add to Favorites... button. When you click on it, you can add the current web page to Favorites Bar by selecting Add to Favorites Bar command.
If you have more than one Tab open, you can use Add Current Tabs to Favorites... command to create a new folder in Favorites Center and add links to currently open web pages there.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. Click Add Current Tabs to Favorites to create a new folder in Favorites Center with links in it.

Add Tabs to Favorites dialog opens. Type a Folder Name for the new folder and click Add.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center, Add Tabs to Favorites dialog. Type a name for the new folder and click Add button to put links to all currently open webpages in the new folder in Favorites Center.

Renaming links and folders in Favorites Center

To rename a link or a folder in Favorites Center, right-click on it and select Rename. If you like to use keyboard, navigate with arrow keys and press F2 to rename an item.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. To rename a link or a folder, right-click on it and select Rename command.

Type in a new name for the item and press Enter key on your keyboard to confirm the change.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. After using the Rename command, type in a new name for the item and press Enter on your keyboard to confirm.

Using folders in Favorites Center

To create a new folder in Favorites Center, right-click on any item already present there and select Create New Folder.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. To create a new folder, right-click on any item already present and select Create New Folder.

Type in a name for the folder and press Enter on your keyboard to confirm.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. After clicking Create New Folder command, type a name for the new folder and press Enter key on your keyboard to confirm.

To add a link to the newly created folder, press Ctrl+D on your keyboard, select the new folder from Create in: box and click Add button.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center, Add a Favorite dialog (Ctrl+D). After selecting destination folder for the new favorite, click Add.

If you want to move an existing link to the new folder, click and hold on the link and drag it on the destination folder. Then release mouse button.

To open all links in a folder in a new colored Tab Group, right-click on the folder and select Open in Tab Group.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. To open all links in a folder in a new colored Tab Group, right-click on the folder name and select Open in Tab Group.

You can also copy a folder from Favorites Center to Favorites Bar. This does not mean that the two folders will be kept synchronized, so it is best to delete the folder from Favorites Center after copying it to Favorites Bar.
To copy a folder to Favorites Bar, right-click on the folder and choose Add to Favorites Bar.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. To copy a folder from Favorites Center to Favorites Bar, right-click on the folder and select Add to Favorites Bar.

Add to Favorites Bar command applies to links, too. Because there is no reason for keeping the same link in two places, delete the link from Favorites Center after copying it to Favorites Bar.

Deleting links or folders from Favorites Center

To remove a link or a folder, right-click on it and select Delete.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. To remove a link or folder from Favorites Center, right-click on the item and select Delete command.

Internet Explorer will then confirm the action. Click Yes to remove the item.
Windows XP, Internet Explorer 8 Favorites Center. After clicking Delete command, Internet Explorer will ask if you want to delete the item or not. Click Yes.

Windows moves deleted items to Recycle Bin - favorites are actually normal files in the Favorites folder of your user profile (Documents and Settings folder in Windows XP; Users folder in Windows Vista and 7). If you accidentally removed something, you can always recover it from there. Read about using Recycle Bin in Windows here.

 

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