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Issue #281: December 09, 2012

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Q: How do I eliminate or stop this instruction across the bottom of the monitor, “Speed up browsing by disabling add-ons”. This comes up quite frequently and all I can do at present is close it.  Only options given are Ask me later or Don’t disable. My operating system is Windows 7.

Jim W.
Navarre, Florida

A: This sounds like such a simple question on the surface, Jim, but the actual procedure might be very complicated depending on your system configuration.  For example, you said your operating system is Windows 7, but that is an incomplete description.  Win7 comes in several versions, like Basic, Home Premium, and Ultimate.  I’m going to guess that you have Home Premium, since that’s the version that came bundled with most home computers before Windows 8 was released.

The reason it might be complicated is that the system setting for this question is what’s called a “Group Policy”, and the tool to adjust these policies (which just happens to be called the “Group Policy Editor”) is only enabled in Windows 7 Ultimate and above.  So before you can proceed, you must determine whether the files are present on your computer.  The easiest way to do this is probably to try and run it.  If it runs, it’s on your system, and if it doesn’t, it’s not.  To try and run it, click the Start button, and in the “Search programs and files” box, enter gpedit.msc and hit [Enter].  If GP Editor runs, stop reading here, and skip down to the steps to disable the message.  If you get a “Search Results” box, you need to install the GP Editor before you can proceed.  If I tried to give the complete, comprehensive instructions to install the editor it would be so long that it would fill the entire column all by itself. So instead, I’m going to refer you to a 3rd-party website that has good, comprehensive instructions on how to perform the installation.  Visit tinyurl.com/44x4cql, read carefully, and follow all the instructions.

Once you have the GP Editor up, the disabling is pretty straightforward.  Navigate to Computer Configuration->Administrative Templates->Windows Components->Internet Explorer and find the entry that says “Disable add-on performance notifications”.  Double-click on it to open it, and select “Enabled”.  This may sound counter-intuitive, but it’s a double-negative.  You are “Enabling” the “Disabling” of the messages.  If you don’t get it, then just trust me and select “Enabled”.  Click “OK” and close the GP Editor.  A simple re-start of the browser should be sufficient to put the axe to these messages, but if you still see it, a full reboot might be in order.

From the I.G.T.M. Shameless Plug Division:  I’d like to remind all my readers that a complete, searchable archive of every I.G.T.M. column ever published is available on my website at ItsGeekToMe.co (not .com).  New columns and occasional web-only bonus content are available every Saturday night at midnight.  You can also register on the site (it’s free, of course) to post comments on the articles and interact with yours truly and your other fellow geeks.  Come check it out!

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