Tuesday, March 24, 2009

IE Menu bars gone? Can't add them back? Gray text? Maybe you did an IE reset

I went to use IE 7 and found that Windows Live Writer's Blog This tool was missing.

Not only that, but the Omea and Windows Live toolbars were gone, and they couldn't be added back in. The text for these menu bars was gray (or grey) and couldn't be selected.

I reinstalled Windows Live Writer, but nothing changed.

A bug? Virus? Corporate security error?

No, IE was working as designed. I'd foolishly used IE's (Internet Options) "Reset Internet Explorer settings" button when I was debugging another problem.

I really should have read the fine print about "disabled browser add-ons".

Here's how to reactivate your add-ons, menu bars and so on ..

How to reset Internet Explorer settings

The Reset Internet Explorer Settings feature disables all toolbars, browser extensions, and customizations that you install. To use any of these disabled customizations, you must selectively enable each customization through the Manage Add-ons dialog box.
Note Some toolbars may require that two or more controls are enabled to work correctly. These toolbars have controls for the corresponding Browser Helper Object and toolbar extensions. You can easily use the Manage Add-ons dialog box to enable any disabled controls that are from a trusted publisher.

"Manage Add-ons" can be found under IE 7's "Programs" tab. You don't need to click OK after each change. Sort by status and set all disabled to enabled, then click OK.

There is a genuine bug here by the way. It's "fine" to disable add-ons per the fine print, but the reinstall should have worked. The disabled add-ons apparently blocked the reinstall.

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