Troubleshooting Windows: Internet Browsing (Part 2 of 4)

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Article ID: 314456
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Summary

The following article describes steps you can take when you are viewing web pages that do not show pictures or play sounds. The information covered in this article is provided by: Microsoft Press.

This article is part 2 of a series of four articles that explain how to troubleshoot Internet browsing in Microsoft Windows. To view the other articles in this series, please see the "Additional Resources" section later in this article.

This information is an excerpt from the Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows book, "Internet, browsing". Learn More About Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows.

More information

Web pages don't show pictures or play sound

Source of the problem

To speed up Web browsing, particularly when you're using a slow modem line, you can turn off graphics, multimedia, videos, and sounds and view only the text on Web pages. Text comes in across a slow modem line quickly; everything else takes much longer. But if you don't see pictures when you want them and you can't hear sounds or play multimedia files, you need to re-enable multimedia and graphics.

How to fix it

  1. Double-click the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop.
  2. On the View menu (in Internet Explorer 4) or the Tools menu (in Internet Explorer 5), click Internet Options.
  3. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab, and select the Play Animations, Play Sound, Play Videos, and Show Pictures check boxes under Multimedia in the list.

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    Picture of Advanced Tab in Internet Options Dialog Box
Showing one picture

If you've intentionally turned off graphics because your modem connection is slow but you've just got to see a particular picture on a page because the text that appears in its place is so tantalizing, right-click the placeholder text, and click Show Picture on the shortcut menu.

My browser doesn't start at the page I want

Source of the problem

Unless you specify a different home page, each time you start your Web browser you'll see the default home page. In Internet Explorer, the initial default home page is www.msn.com, but other browsers have their own initial default home pages that can be changed.

MSN is a great starting place for your exploration of the Web, but you might want to change your home page to another Internet portal that offers similarly helpful information like news, stock market updates, movie reviews, and television schedules, or you might want to start at a Web page devoted to your hobby or special interest. Of course, if you've created your own Web site, you can make it your home page.

How to fix it

  1. Double-click the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop.
  2. In the Address bar, type the address of the Web page that you'd like to make your new home page, and press ENTER.
  3. On the View menu (in Internet Explorer 4) or the Tools menu (in Internet Explorer 5), click Internet Options.
  4. On the General tab in the Internet Options dialog box, click Use Current in the Home Page section, and click OK.
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Picture of General Tab in Internet Options Dialog Box


Going home

Clicking the Home button on the Internet Explorer toolbar always takes you back to your home page.

Web sites don't remember me

Source of the problem

Many Web sites send your computer very small files called cookies so that they can identify you the next time you visit. When you return to a site that has sent a cookie, the site retrieves the cookie, identifies you, and personalizes the Web pages you see. But if you have Internet Explorer set to refuse cookies because you're worried about privacy, Web sites can't tell that you're a returnee, so they can't display your personalized information. An online shopping site, for example, can't greet you by name and display products that fit the interests you identified on an earlier visit. If you mind that Web sites that greeted you warmly in the past have now forgotten who you are, you need to restore Internet Explorer's ability to accept cookies.

How to fix it (in Internet Explorer 4)

  1. Double-click the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop.
  2. On the View menu, click Internet Options.
  3. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab, click Always Accept Cookies under Cookies in the list, and click OK.
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Picture of Advanced Tab in Internet Options Dialog Box


How to fix it (in Internet Explorer 5)

  1. Double-click the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  3. In the Internet Options dialog box, click the Security tab, drag the Security Level For This Zone slider from High to Medium, and click OK. (In Windows Me, you'll need to click Default Level to see the Security Level For This Zone slider.)

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    Picture of Security Tab in Internet Options Dialog Box


    If the Security Level is already at Medium or lower, click Custom Level, click Enable under Allow Cookies That Are Stored On Your Computer in the Settings list, and click OK.

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    Picture of the Security Settings Dialog Box
  4. Click OK again to close the Internet Options dialog box.
Choosing your cookies

Rather than reject all cookies outright or accept every cookie a Web site sends your way, you can review each cookie when it arrives and decide whether you want to accept or reject it. This gives you the ultimate in control, but it can also make browsing annoying, as endless messages about incoming cookies pop up. To try this option, follow the steps for enabling cookies above, but instead of choosing Enable, choose Prompt Before Accepting Cookies (in Internet Explorer 4) or Prompt (in Internet Explorer 5). When you see how many cookies arrive, you'll almost certainly want to avoid being prompted about each one.

Worried about your privacy?

Cookies give Web site operators the ability to store information on your hard disk about you and your visit. The cookies record your personal preferences, selections you've made, or any other personal information that you've entered in forms. Cookies were established as a convenience, enabling you to return to a Web site, receive a personalized greeting, and find all your preferences instituted. The Web site reads your cookie and puts all your customized settings in place. But cookies can also be used to track you on line, and they allow those who create Web sites to create a profile about you without your realizing it.

Whether you choose to accept cookies or universally reject them is up to you. But if you reject cookies, you'll be trading convenience for privacy on the odd chance that a Web site has malicious intent. Remember, cookies can store only the information that you've entered about yourself at a Web site, so you might want to focus your efforts on being cautious about the information you choose to reveal.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Part 1: Troubleshooting Windows: Internet Browsing (Part 1 of 4) Q316894
Part 3: Troubleshooting Windows: Internet Browsing (Part 3 of 4) Q314465
Part 4: Troubleshooting Windows: Internet Browsing (Part 4 of 4) Q314473

References

The information in this article is an excerpt from the Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows book, published by Microsoft Press.

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Picture of Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows book


Learn More About Troubleshooting Microsoft Windows

For more information about this publication and other Microsoft Press titles, see http://mspress.microsoft.com.

Properties

Article ID: 314456 - Last Review: June 19, 2014 - Revision: 2.0
Keywords: 
kbinfo KB314456
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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