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Internet Explorer Command-line Options

IE Command-Line Options

Updated: January, 2011

Windows Internet Explorer includes several command-line options that enable you to troubleshoot and configure the browser. This topic describes the options that Internet Explorer supports.

Supported Command-Line Options

The following declaration shows the command-line definition for Internet Explorer.


iexplore.exe [ [ -embedding ] 
               [ -extoff ] 
               [ -framemerging ] 
               [ -k ] 
               [ -noframemerging ]
               [ -nohangrecovery ]
               [ -private ] ]
             [ URL ]


The following table describes the supported command-line options for Internet Explorer.

Command-line optionDescription
-embeddingStarts Windows Internet Explorer through OLE embedding (such as the WebBrowser Control).
-extoffWindows Internet Explorer 7 and later versions. Starts Internet Explorer in No Add-ons mode, which you can use to troubleshoot problems with browser add-ons. For more information, see Troubleshooting Internet Explorer Add-ons.
‑framemergingWindows Internet Explorer 8 and later versions. Enables Internet Explorer to opportunistically merge new frame processes into existing frame processes. For more information, see Internet Explorer 8 and Reliability.
-kStarts Internet Explorer in kiosk mode. The browser opens in a maximized window that does not display the address bar, the navigation buttons, or the status bar.
‑noframemergingInternet Explorer 8 and later versions. Prevents Internet Explorer from opportunistically merging new frame processes into existing frame processes. This has the effect of preventing session merging as well, because session merging can only happen with a merged frame process. You can also set this option via registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
   SOFTWARE
      Microsoft
         Internet Explorer
            Main
               FrameMerging
                  (DWORD) 00000000

The feature is enabled when the value is set to (DWORD) 00000001 and disabled when the value is (DWORD) 00000000. By default, it is enabled.

For more info, see Session management within Internet Explorer 8.0, Session Cookies, sessionStorage, and IE8 and Understanding Session Lifetime

-nohangrecoveryWindows Internet Explorer 9. Prevents Internet Explorer from restarting a tab when it stops responding. This option enables application developers to use debugging tools to investigate problems with Browser Helper Objects (BHOs), Microsoft ActiveX controls, and other browser extentions.
-privateInternet Explorer 8 and later versions. Starts Internet Explorer with InPrivate Browsing set to active. For more information, see IE Blog: Online Privacy, Tracking, and InPrivate Filtering.
‑nosessionmergingInternet Explorer 8 and later versions. Internet Explorer 8 and later versions. Prevents Internet Explorer from merging tab processes and thus sharing session cookies across tabs. Even if you have the –framemerging feature turned on (which it is by default; see above), specifying this option will isolate your tabs into separate processes and prevent session sharing, even if those tabs are associated with the same frame process. You can also set this option via registry key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER
   SOFTWARE
      Microsoft
         Internet Explorer
            Main
               SessionMerging
                  (DWORD) 00000000

The feature is enabled when the value is set to (DWORD) 00000001 and disabled when the value is (DWORD) 00000000. By default, it is enabled.

For more info, see Session management within Internet Explorer 8.0, Session Cookies, sessionStorage, and IE8, and Understanding Session Lifetime.

‑sessionmergingInternet Explorer 8 and later versions. Enables Internet Explorer to opportunistically merge new tab processes into existing tab processes within a merged frame process. By default, this setting is turned on. However, if you set the SessionMerging registry key to zero (thus disabling session merging), you can use this command line option to override that setting.
URL Navigates to the page or resource that you specify as URL, after Internet Explorer opens.

 

Superseded, Deprecated, and Obsolete Options

Some command-line options that earlier Internet Explorer versions supported are not supported in later versions of the browser because of one of the following reasons:

  • An option is replaced by another option. (That is, the option has been superseded.)

  • An option is recognized by the browser, but it does not function like it used to or we no longer recommend that you use it. (That is, the option is deprecated.)

  • An option is no longer recognized by the browser and might generate error conditions if you use it. (That is, the option is obsolete.)

The following table lists command-line options that are no longer supported and that you should not use.

Command–line optionStatus
-channelbandObsolete as of Internet Explorer 7.
-eObsolete as of Internet Explorer 7.
-evalObsolete as of Internet Explorer 7.
-nomergeAvailable in pre-release versions of Internet Explorer 8. This option has been superseded by the -noframemerging option that is described in the earlier table.
-newObsolete as of Internet Explorer 7.
-nowaitObsolete as of Internet Explorer 7.
-remoteObsolete as of Internet Explorer 8.
-vObsolete as of Internet Explorer 8.
-versionObsolete as of Internet Explorer 8.

 

Related topics

Conceptual
Defining Document Compatibility
Scripting with Elements and Collections

 

 

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