Archive for February, 2013

What happened to my IE accelerators?

February 2, 2013

I love the Internet Explorer accelerators.  In fact, they’re probably one of the coolest, most useful features in IE.  Don’t know what they are?  Accelerators give you a quick shortcut to other sites using the context of whatever you highlight.  To activate the accelerators, you simply highlight some text and click the blue accelerator button accelerator button

acc1The accelerator context menu allows you to select one of the installed accelerators to act on the selected text, e.g. Search with Bing.

I’ve installed Windows 8 on a few machines and discovered that the accelerators are no longer present in Internet Explorer 10 in desktop mode.  My initial attempt to get them back was to simply install them from the Internet Explorer Gallery, but unfortunately, it had no effect.  I noticed that the IE Manage add-ons dialog no longer listed Accelerators as an Add-on type.  Could it be that accelerators are no longer supported in IE 10!?  Blasphemy!

Turns out that they are indeed supported in IE 10, but for some strange reason, they may not appear in the list of add-on types.  And if accelerators are not listed, you will not be able to install and activate any accelerator.  I was able to get the accelerators once again listed in the add-on types by resetting IE 10 settings to their default condition.  You can reach this dialog from the IE Tools | Internet Options | Advanced dialog:


Clicking the reset button will bring up another dialog which will allow you to reset the IE settings to their defaults.  As the dialog implies, this action will disable all add-ons, advanced options, privacy settings, and more.  You’ll also need to select the Delete personal settings option to ensure that the accelerators option gets re-added to the add-on types list.


You may find it a bit painful to have to do this reset since it will wipe out cached files, passwords, browser history, etc.  However, if you’re sync’ing app settings with Windows 8. you’ll get most of these back.  After restarting IE (I didn’t have to reboot to see the change) I could once again see accelerators proudly listed in add-on types:


Once you can see accelerators listed as a valid add-on type, you can manage and install new ones.  You can use the Find more accelerators link to visit the IE gallery and browse through hundreds of options.  For me, most of them are not that useful, but some are just pure Internet gold.

It’s great to have my accelerators back!