IE 9 Shortcut Behaviors

I’ve recently upgraded from IE 8 to IE 9 on my Windows 7 machine and started noticing some strange behavior. When I want to save “bookmarks” I usually just drag the URL to a folder on my computer instead of actually creating a bookmark within the application. I seem less likely to forget about going back to them later this way.

Since the upgrade I’ve noticed inconsistencies with these shortcuts. When I double-click on them, some would open in a new tab while others would open in a completely new window. Those who know me would initially think “You have too many tabs open, so it’s opening the overflow into new windows” – but that doesn’t appear to be the case.

I’m not sure if it’s strictly the shortcuts from after the upgrade that are exhibiting this behavior, or just some of them (I haven’t done enough testing). I do know that at a minimum that it is not a random behavior – it’s always the same shortcuts that open in a new window.

My IE preferences are already configured to always open links and pop-ups in new tabs, so that wasn’t it, and viewing the properties of the shortcuts didn’t see to help either. I figured I’d try to edit the shortcuts and see if I could figure out what the difference was that caused this behavior. Bingo! I should have looked a little closer at the shortcut properties.

The shortcuts that opened in new tabs were “.url” files, while the shortcuts that opened in new windows are “.website” files. There’s about twice as much data in the shortcuts that open new windows, and all had different GUIDs. The shortcuts that opened in new tabs seemed to have all the same generic content with the exception of the URL propertly. Also, the .website shortcuts are called “Pinned Site Shortcuts” while the .url shortcuts are called “Internet Shortcuts”. I was able to copy the URL from one of the new-window shortcuts and paste it into one of the new-tab files and save it with a new name and it worked beautifully.

What a frustration. Now I have to figure out how to create the appropriate shortcut types on-demand. 🙂

Here is an example of the contents of a .website file:

[{000214A0-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
Prop4=31,Page Title Here
Prop3=19,11
[{A7AF692E-098D-4C08-A225-D433CA835ED0}]
Prop5=3,0
Prop9=19,0
Prop2=65,2C0000000000000001000000FFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF840000005C000000F0040000860300007A
[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://google.com
IDList=
[{9F4C2855-9F79-4B39-A8D0-E1D42DE1D5F3}]
Prop5=8,Microsoft.Website.1E0E98C3.ED613691

And here is an example of the contents of a .url file:
[{000214A0-0000-0000-C000-000000000046}]
Prop3=19,11
[InternetShortcut]
URL=http://google.com
IDList=

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