How To Set Work Offline as the Default for Internet Explorer

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Article ID: 195730 - View products that this article applies to.
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On Internet Explorer's File menu is a "Work Offline" item that toggles Internet Explorer between online and offline modes of operation.

When Internet Explorer is set to the offline mode, clicking on hyperlinks and updating channels that refer to online content causes a dialog box to appear asking if Internet Explorer should connect to the network to download the requested content. If the connection is made, Internet Explorer will automatically change from offline mode to online mode for the remainder of the session or until you reselect Work Offline. If Internet Explorer is closed in Online mode, a registry key is written to indicate this. The next time that Internet Explorer is opened it will be in online mode.

In some cases, you may want to have Internet Explorer open in offline mode, regardless of what mode it was in when it was closed. Often this is because channels or other automatic download mechanisms have been set up to push content to the desktop, but the user does not want a potentially lengthy update each time Internet Explorer is started.


The offline mode that Internet Explorer starts in is determined by the registry data value "GlobalUserOffline." Setting this data value to 1 will cause Internet Explorer to start up in offline mode. Because this value is written with the current offline state when Internet Explorer is shut down, it is necessary to toggle the value manually through the Registry Editor before Internet Explorer is started, or to run a program that use the Registry APIs to change the setting.

For Windows 98, the "GlobalUserOffline" data value can be found under the following key:
Under Windows NT 4 and Windows 2000, the key is as follows:
where SID is the security ID for the user who desires Internet Explorer to startup in offline mode.


Article ID: 195730 - Last Review: July 13, 2004 - Revision: 1.1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 128-Bit Edition
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 2
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 Service Pack 1
  • Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0
kbhowto KB195730
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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