Browser Choice In Microsoft Windows Ends

Microsoft's Browser Choice Screen

Browser Choice – What’s That About

In December 2009 the European Union obliged Microsoft to offer a choice of browsers to their European customers when they installed new versions of Windows. This browser choice was also delivered in updates to Windows and so the Browser Choice screen was born and has been with us ever since. See my featured image of Microsoft’s browser choice screen offering Google Chrome, Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and the Opera browsers amongst others.

Browser Choice Ends

It turns out that this requirement by the EU had a time limit of five years which has now expired. Consequently Microsoft have quietly withdrawn the option to choose other browsers and returned to providing Internet Explorer alone. People can of course continue to use other browsers with Windows as they see fit but Internet Explorer is now what comes out of the box.

Norton Safe Web & Search Engine Interaction


While updating software on a friend’s Windows 8.1 PC he remarked that he could no longer see the Norton Safe Web (NSW) icons in his search results. He was using Internet Explorer with Google as his home page and search engine. He had Norton Internet Security (NIS) installed and the Norton Toolbar was present in his browser. At the time I couldn’t find a solution to his problem so I came home and conducted tests on my Windows 7 PC which also uses NIS.

The featured image at the top of the page shows how it looks when it works OK and an NSW icon is selected.

Targeted Attacks via Internet Explorer Confirmed by Microsoft

There is a vulnerability (flaw) which allows targeted attacks via Internet Explorer versions 6 through 11 to be made on MS Windows PC’s.

The attack seems complex to me and probably not easily made against the masses. The ultimate goal of an attacker would be to encourage a PC user to visit dangerous websites.

Microsoft plan to fix the problem with updates distributed in their normal way, i.e. monthly updates.


If you want to find out more you can visit ITPRO here. Some PC’s will be more vulnerable than others depending on what version of Windows is used and whether Outlook, Outlook Express or Windows Mail are viewing an HTML document.

Or you could visit Microsoft here and read Microsoft Security Advisory 2963983, Published: April 26, 2014.

Internet Explorer Suggested Sites – Not My Favourites

I don’t necessarily want Internet Explorer Suggested Sites on my Favourites Bar in Internet Explorer. I just want My Favourites. Yes, I’m talking about the Suggested Sites shortcut which appears on the Favourites Bar and defies all attempts to remove it permanently. Deleting the shortcut from the Favourites Bar does not prevent it from returning.

Using This Site

“This page contains basic instructions for my site. When I realise it may not be easy to navigate part of my site I write something here to help.

Whilst it doesn’t have many instructions it is not in any particular order, but that may change as time passes and I have more to say.” – Helpful Colin

Making an Item or Context Menu Selection By Mouse

In the days when there were only desktop computers selection of a Link, Menu Item or Button was made by moving the mouse to hover the pointer over the item to be selected, which usually highlighted it in some way, whilst the pointer changed shape from an I-beam or arrow to a hand with a pointing index finger and then the item was selected by clicking the left mouse button (or the only mouse button). This made it relatively easy to write about the process by referring to clicking on an item to select it.

With the advent of touchpads on laptops and touch sensitive screens the action of ‘clicking’, ‘double clicking’ or ‘right clicking’ is no longer an appropriate term to use when describing the selection process. Consequently I will use the term ‘Select’ when describing the action of ‘single clicking’ in the event of a hand pointer being present or ‘double clicking’ in the event of an arrow pointer being present. The reader will have to interpret that as best they can to describe the method they use to choose a link, select from a menu or press on a button.

In the event the reader chooses context menus by ‘right clicking’ (Windows), ‘Ctrl + clicking’ (Mac) or ‘long tapping’ (touch screens) I shall refer to ‘select the context menu’.

Making A Selection By Long Tapping on Touch Screens

This is the art of:

  • tapping an item on a touch screen followed immediately by touching the screen in an unused area for a long period (Windows 8, 8.1, 10) refer here,
  • just holding the finger on an item for a long time (Android) refer here,
  • ‘single-finger long tap’ (tap the screen with one finger and hold it down on the surface until the menu/list is displayed) refer here.

A list of colours used within the text of this blog:

  • The blog title Helpful Colin and post titles in the long list of All Posts and other lists of posts, selected by filtering, will change from BLACK to BLUE when the pointer hovers over them.
  • Selecting the blog title Helpful Colin on the header will take you to the Home page – which is a long list of my Blog Posts. This is the same as selecting Home – All Posts on the main menu.
  • Links in Content have BLUE underlined text which changes to GREEN while the pointer hovers over them.
  • Links in the Sidebar have BLUE text which changes to GREEN while the pointer hovers over them.
  • Unselected Main Menu item text is BLACK on a WHITE background and changes to BLUE text while the pointer hovers over it. The text remains BLUE when selected.
  • Main menu items have a BLACK arrow head on the right of the item which points to the left when the item has sub menus.
  • Sub menus of the Main Menu appear while the pointer hovers over Main Menu items. The sub menus have the same colour scheme as the main menu.
  • Selected Sub Menu items, or those on route to selected items, appear with BLUE text when the sub menu subsequently appears. They change back to BLACK when a new item is selected which changes the sub menu route.
  • Tags appear as GREEN text on a WHITE background under the left corner of the featured image. As with the other items in this location tag text turns BLUE and becomes underlined when the pointer hovers over it.

These links are GREEN until the pointer hovers over them whence they turn BLUE and become underlined. They are grouped in the following order:

  1. Author,
  2. Date post was published,
  3. Categories in which the post appears,
  4. Tags used in the post,
  5. A link to the post’s comments.

Navigating The Blog Posts

Select Home – All Posts from the sub menu of Posts on the Main Menu or select the Helpful Colin on the header to get to the top of the Blog Post list.

The Blog Posts can be scrolled from top to bottom (most recent to oldest) using a ‘Continuous Scroll’ process.


At any time readers can return to the top of the page by clicking this To Top icon which will appear translucent until pointed at when it becomes opaque. On large screens this icon is to the bottom right of the page. As the screen gets smaller the icon appears nearer to the centre of the screen. NOTE: It’s only visible after the page has been scrolled up so that the top is out of view.

Enlarging Images

To show the enlarged image: Hover the pointer over an embedded image. Then if it can be selected it will change to a hand pointer. Expect to see the message ‘Select this image to enlarge it’ (or something similar). Select it and it will be shown either in the current tab or a new tab (in most cases a new tab) in the same browser window according to the way the author has programmed it. If it can be enlarged it will be shown enlarged. If images can’t be enlarged they probably won’t be selectable.

To force the enlarged image to be shown in a new tab or window: Using Internet Explorer select the context menu and from it select ‘Open link in new tab’ or ‘Open link in new window’ to open the image in either a new tab in the current browser window or in a new browser window. If it can be enlarged it will be shown enlarged.

Commenting or Replying To A Post

From The Home Page

When scrolling through the list of All Posts on the Home page select the link underneath the featured image which looks like this – Leave a comment – (if there are no comments), or like this – 14 Comments – (if there are 14 comments already). You will be taken to the top of the comment section, below the article, on a page with only your chosen post on it.

From The Comments Section Below The Article

The post title will be reiterated in a sentence like this – 5 comments on “UK 13 Amp Plug and Mains Extension Cable Safety Issues”: – above any existing comments. The comment form will be seen initially below the last comment.

When there are no existing comments the post title won’t be reiterated. Just the comment form will be made available.

To Start A New Comment Thread

The comment form headed – Please Comment Below (or Select An Existing Comment’s “REPLY” Button First) – See HELP for Details. – is initially positioned for you to enter a comment on a new thread. To enter such a comment select the field entitled COMMENT and enter your comment. Then enter your details, as required, below it.

To Reply To An Existing Comment

Select the appropriate Reply button below the comment to which you want to reply and the comment form with its header – Please Comment Below (or Select An Existing Comment’s “REPLY” Button First) – See HELP for Details. – will be repositioned beneath it. To enter a reply select the field entitled COMMENT and enter your comment. Then enter your details, as required, below it.

To Complete Any Comment

You must agree to the storage and handling of your data by this site before you can post a comment. There is another checkbox to be checked for this.

Decide if you want to receive emails advising you of further comments and replies, and/or any new post on this blog, by completing the checkboxes appropriately.

Finally select the POST COMMENT button.

NOTE: If you have already selected a Reply button but decide to send a New Comment instead, just select the ‘X’ following the header above the top right corner of the comment field (it may look like part of the post title text). Selecting the ‘X’ will move the comment form from the selected comment to the bottom of the page again.

Your comment (when approved) will then be linked directly to the comment you are replying to.

NOTE: If comments appear incorrectly linked the author of this blog reserves the right to relink them as appropriate.

Saving a Post as a Browser Favourite

1. When Using Microsoft Edge

Section Under Construction

2. When Using Internet Explorer (IE11 in particular)

2.1  Whilst looking at the page you may want to return to just select this icon on the Favourites bar: and the page address will be saved on the favourites bar right next to the icon. It will look like this:

2.2  If you want the favourite to be saved in a folder select this Star icon  to the right of the Address bar, then select ‘Add to favourites’:

2.3  The ‘Add a Favourite’ window will then open:

2.4  Point to the ‘Create in’ field where it has a yellow star and ‘Favourites’ written and select it. A list of all favourite folders will then be shown thus:

Either select the ‘Favourites bar’ or a sub folder. The ‘Add a Favourite’ window will open. Then select the ‘New folder’ button to the right of the ‘Create in’ field to open the ‘Create a Folder’ window if you need to create a new folder, like this:

2.5  Enter a folder name of your choosing and select the ‘Create’ button. The ‘Create a Folder’ window will close and the ‘Add a Favourite’ window will change to look like this:

2.6  Further sub folders can be created in the same way.

2.7  When the folder you want your favourite in is showing in the ‘Create in’ field select ‘Add’ and the favourite will be added to that folder. The ‘Add a Favourite’ window will close. That’s it, favourite added.

2.8  If you want to add more favourites to the same folder in the same browsing session just keep browsing for the appropriate page and when you have it on screen perform the operations in 2.2 and 2.3 above. You will find your folder has been retained in the ‘Create in’ field of the ‘Add a Favourite’ window. You can then go straight to operation 2.7.

3. When Using Google Chrome

3.1  The Top Right-hand corner of the Google Chrome browser looks like this after selecting the yellow Star in the Address bar and then selecting the drop-down list of folders:

3.2  I suggest selecting the ‘Bookmarks bar’ else ‘Choose another folder’ which opens this window:

3.3  From here you can make a ‘New folder’. It will be placed in whatever folder is currently highlighted. Again I would select the ‘Bookmarks bar’. Select Save. The windows that have been opened will close. Go back to 3.1 above and restart the process but this time select the folder you created.

NOTE: To reorder bookmarks select this icon  to the right-hand side of the Address bar. On the first menu point at ‘Bookmarks‘ and a second menu will appear. Select ‘Bookmark manager’ from it:

‘Bookmark manager’ opens in a new tab. Select the folder to be reordered and then select ‘Organize‘. At this stage Chrome looks like this:

By selecting ‘Reorder by title’ the bookmarks in the highlighted folder will be sorted into alpha-numeric order and the ‘Organize window will close. You can then select further folders to reorder or close the ‘Bookmark manager’ tab.

Using Google Maps On This Site

I have used a tool which allows me to include Google Maps on this site. The maps respond in the same way they do on the Google Maps site. I have the option to affect the way they display and have made the following adjustments:

  1. I have prevented a mouse wheel from being used to zoom in or out of maps. If I didn’t do this then scrolling a post or page with a mouse wheel would be problematic. Maps passing under the pointer would commence zooming and the text would stop scrolling.  I found this to be a general nuisance. Zooming can still be achieved by:
    • using the +/- signs displayed on the map.
    • double clicking the left mouse button to zoom in and double clicking the right mouse button to zoom out.
  2. By selecting (clicking) the pins on a map their location details can be seen. From the details it is possible to get a route and directions to the pinned site.
  3. Selecting (clicking) the background clears the details shown for the pin and displays the button which will display a larger Google Map filling a new browser tab when selected.