Quero Toolbar IE add-on

Quero Toolbar

Enhanced Navigation Bar and Ad Blocker for Internet Explorer

photo ©iStockphoto.com/abu

Executive Summary: improved support for High DPI displays, IE11, and Windows 8.1 added. Quero Toolbar is an open-source navigation bar, search tool, and ad blocker add-on for IE11 and below. See IE11 Toolbar Flexibility for popular user configurations.

Quero Toolbar 8 + IE11 + Windows 8.1

High resolution displays, a trend which emerged from the mobile and tablet space (originally led by Apple's iPhone Retina display) is now quickly reaching the Windows desktop as more and more Windows 8 devices are released with high density displays such as the Full HD Surface Pro and Surface 2 tablet.

Quero and Windows have long supported High DPI displays, but the support was until now not optimal. In fact, High DPI support requires substantial support from software publishers (ISVs) to correctly scale their apps, graphics and layout on high DPI displays.

Quero Toolbar 8 now adds full Windows 8 High DPI support and features a set of fully remastered high-res icons in order to run on high resolution tablet and desktop PCs.

Quero Toolbar 8 has been modernized for Windows 8.1 but also works great on Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. Check out the full change log below. As always, it is recommended to update to the newest version on all platforms.

Quero Toolbar 8 feature list

  • Improved support for IE11 and Windows 8.1
  • Improved High DPI support: icons now scale according to your DPI setting on high DPI displays such as the Surface Pro tablet
  • Remastered high resolution icons
  • New search and lock icon
  • Two new Quero HD Themes for download available: Internet Explorer Black and Black XS
  • Search terms are now displayed in the Quero box for https connections and AJAX powered searches on Google
  • Redesigned options dialog and search engine drop-down list
  • New option added to turn address navigation off
  • New option added to toggle between black and white Quero button
  • New Option added to control DPI scaling
  • Hide IE8 Favorites button option moved to the Advanced tab
  • Removed the search prompt when "Show address" is enabled
  • Improved installer: now automatically closes IE before installation
  • Fixed: Ctrl+W did not close the current tab if focus was in the Quero box, full-screen video playback brought the IE back/forward buttons back in Windows 8 even though they were disabled, highlight and find issues fixed
  • Performance improvements

Related posts
IE11 Toolbar Flexibility
New Search Icon
New Lock Icon
New Options Dialog
Internet Explorer Black

If you like the project, please continue to support Quero and keep it alive by making a donation. Thanks!

Happy browsing with Quero Toolbar 8 :)

New Search Icon
2013-12-16

The new search engine drop-down list of Quero Toolbar 8:

Search engine list of Quero Toolbar 8 in Windows 8.1 IE11.

The search engine list has been slightly redesigned in Quero Toolbar 8 to match the new design of Windows 8. First the separator lines have been removed for a cleaner look and secondly you will notice the new search icon. Favicons are still displayed in the list, but the activation icon in the Quero box will now always display the new search icon.

Tip: If you dislike favicons, you can switch them off under Quero > Options > Advanced.

The new options dialog of Quero Toolbar 8:

Quero Toolbar 8 Options Dialog Windows 8

I have removed the dialog icons for a cleaner look and to save some 300 kilobytes on DLL footprint. For the first time there is now a new option to disable the address navigation feature and to use Quero as a pure search bar.

For support inquiries there is now also a new version line in the dialog which displays the Quero, IE and Windows version at a glance.

Tip: Use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+L to toggle between search and navigation mode. If address navigation is disabled, Quero will always perform a search instead of a navigation.

IE11: Enable 64-bit processes for Enhanced Protected Mode | Internet options dialog

Since IE10 you are required to run IE in Enhanced Protected Mode (EPM) to enable 64-bit mode. Interestingly, IE11 added a separate option to control 64-bit mode, and although the option is called "Enable 64-bit processes for Enhanced Protected Mode", 64-bit mode also works with EPM disabled as I found out today.

EPM adds two additional layers of protection to mitigate the impact of exploits. A successful exploit has to circumvent IE's Protected Mode sandbox, the Windows 8 EPM AppContainer model, and has to target the 64-bit architecture.

Of course, if you increase security there is in most cases also a usability trade-off. Past IE versions ran a bit slower in 64-bit mode since the Chakra JIT engine was optimized for 32-bit. This drawback has been removed in IE11 however. Besides that you may also encounter compatibility issues (not all plug-ins are compatible with EPM and 64-bit yet and may require an additional click to activate) and other side effects may occur (as blocking drag & drop operations between add-ons and IE for example).

The tablet version of IE11 already runs in 64-bit mode, but for the desktop version you need to activate it. The two options are found under Tools > Internet options > Advanced, "Enable Enhanced Protected Mode" and "Enable 64-bit processes for Enhanced Protected Mode".

After restarting IE the tabs should now run in 64-bit mode. You can verify this by clicking on Quero > About or in the Task Manager Details view if you add the column "platform".

IEInternals: Understanding Enhanced Protected Mode

Do you run IE in 32- or 64-bit mode?

Internet Explorer Black Quero Theme in IE11 Windows 8.1

The white Quero Toolbar 8 icons are designed to blend in with the white icons of IE and Windows 8 and also work against different background colors and Aero Glass. This was achieved by adding an outline effect to the buttons in order to make them visible on all backgrounds.

If you prefer flat, black buttons instead, here is a new theme for IE which works best in Windows 8 or when you have the Aero Toolbar Theme disabled.

Internet Explorer Black Quero Theme in IE11 Windows 8.1

In order to install the theme download the IE Black theme to your Quero folder and specify the file location under Quero > Options > Appearance. Note: Enhanced Protected Mode does not allow to browse to the programs folder but you can still specify the path manually.

Quero Toolbar 8 is not yet another toolbar, but supports a variety of configuration options allowing you to customize the look of Internet Explorer.

Quero was the first Web browser add-on on the market to combine the address, search, and find box into one box in 2004. The upcoming version 8 will add improved support for Windows 8.1 and IE11.

Here are the six most common and popular Quero configurations. In order to recreate the following looks, go to the Quero settings by clicking on the Quero button.

1 Aero Theme

IE11 + Windows 8.1 + Quero Toolbar 8 theme with Aero Glass enabled

Hide the address bar under Quero > Options > Appearance > IE address and navigation buttons and leave IE navigation and tab bar checked for tabbed browsing support. You can also enable the title bar text there.

2 Standard Toolbar Theme

IE11 + Windows 8.1 + Quero Toolbar 8 theme with Aero Theme disabled

You can turn off the Aero Theme effect under Quero > Options > Appearance > Aero Theme. Although Windows 8 removed the Glass transparency effect, Aero is still present and extends the chrome color into the toolbar.

3 Classic menu

IE11 + Windows 8.1 + Quero Toolbar 8 + classic menu bar

The menu bar and Quero bar can also be merged in one line if you unlock the toolbars.

4 Remove Tab bar

IE11 + Windows 8.1 + Quero Toolbar 8 with tab bar removed

Although IE11 does not support to turn tabbed browsing off any more, it is still possible to hide the entire tab bar under Quero > Options > Appearance > IE navigation and tab bar.

5 Search bar

IE11 + Windows 8.1 + Quero Toolbar 8 as a search bar

You can use Quero also as a dedicated large search bar. Turn off Quero > Options > Show address for this scenario.

6 Minimize toolbar

IE11 + Windows 8.1 + Quero Toolbar 8 minimized

Last but not least it is also possible to completely hide the Quero Tooblar and only use its functions by deselecting all buttons and the Quero box under Quero > Options > Appearance. Use Alt+Q to access the Toolbar functions.

What is your preferred IE11 + Quero configuration?

New Lock Icon
2013-11-25

Preview screenshot of the upcoming Quero Toolbar 8 running in IE11 + Windows 8.1 :)

https lock icon of Quero Toolbar 8 running in IE11 / Windows 8.1

Quero Toolbar 8 will feature a redesigned lock icon for https connections.

I installed the several Gigabytes large Window 8.1 update yesterday and I am happy to announce that Quero Toolbar 7.1 is compatible with the Desktop version of IE11. The Quero AdBlock IE Tracking Protection List also supports IE11 and works both in Modern UI and Desktop IE.

Windows 8.1 + IE11 Tabs on Top with Quero Toolbar

Windows 8.1 has a lot of small but important improvements over Windows 8, such as the visible Start Button, enhanced right-click Start Menu, integrated Bing search, App List, Boot to Desktop, better transition between Touch and Desktop UI, and of course also features the new Internet Explorer 11.

IE11 brings also a lot of under the hood improvements such as new the developer tools, inspect element, support for WebGL, SPDY protocol, HTML5 pre-fetch, CSS border-image as well as other performance improvements (see full IE11 feature list). IE11 also makes it easier to toggle Tracking Protection on/off (Settings icon > Safety) and has Enhanced Protected Mode turned on by default. Interestingly, EPM does not trigger 64-bit IE any more, but IE11 now comes with a separate option (Internet Options > Advanced) to enable 64-bit IE processes.

I plan to release further Quero updates. If you like the project, please continue to support Quero and keep it alive by making a donation. Thanks!

Executive Summary: Support for IE10 Enhanced Protected Mode on Windows 8 added; As a consequence Quero uses now a new Registry location to store its settings: "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\InternetRegistry\Software\Quero Toolbar".

IE10 Screenshot: Internet Options > Advanced > Security > Enable Enhanced Protected Mode

Enhanced Protected Mode (EPM) is a new security concept introduced in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 and adds additional sandbox mechanisms and restrictions to IE tabs and add-ons in order to make it even harder to exploit potential security vulnerabilities and mitigate their impact.

The new Quero update now adds support for Enhanced Protected Mode and brings 64-bit support back in Desktop IE10. While EPM is enabled by default in the Modern UI/Metro version of IE10, the option is quite hidden in the Desktop edition of IE10 under Internet Options > Advanced > Security. Interestingly, the EPM option is also available in IE10 on Windows 7, but only enables 64-bit mode there and nothing more.

Basically EPM does the following: it runs IE tabs and add-ons in 64-bit mode, sandboxes every tab including add-ons in an AppContainer and Low Integrity level process, enforces Network restrictions and substantially restricts read/write access to the System and Registry. A more detailed summary is available here: Understanding Enhanced Protected Mode by EricLaw.

As a consequence of the new restrictions Quero uses now the following Registry keys to store its settings and search profiles:

Windows 8
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\InternetRegistry\Software\Quero Toolbar

Windows 7, Windows Vista
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\AppDataLow\Software\Quero Toolbar

Windows XP and below
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Quero Toolbar

Quero Toolbar 7.1 update

  • Support for Enhanced Protected Mode on Windows 8 added
  • Option added to enable/disable the Quero context menu extension (Quero > Options > Advanced). Disabling the Quero context menu restores the Find Bar of IE10 and the "Save As web archive" option (unwanted side effects when registering a custom context menu in Internet Explorer).
  • Added text glow to page title display on Windows 7
  • Hide Ads: Flash content on facebook.com now whitelisted
  • Disappearing toolbar buttons bug fixed

Please post feedback in the forum or on Facebook.

Have fun with the new toolbar!

Executive Summary: Quero's proven and award-winning user interface is now available for IE10. Here is how to replace the address bar with Quero: Go to Quero > Options > Appearance and uncheck "IE9 / IE10 address box". Optionally enable "IE9 / IE10 page title in title bar". Leave "IE navigation bar" enabled for tab support.

Screenshot Quero Toolbar 7 IE10 Desktop Windows 8

Just in time for the release of Windows 8, I am happy to present a new IE10-optimized Quero version. Quero Toolbar 7 now supports five generations of Internet Explorer, including IE10 (Desktop) and 64-bit IE :P

Important: Windows 8 is a hybrid OS combining two UX paradigms. Quero Toolbar is an add-on for the full-featured IE10 version on the Desktop and not the full-screen Metro-styled IE10 app, which does not support add-ons (except a built-in Flash version). The Quero AdBlock IE TPL however, works on both IE versions.

The new version also includes several bug fixes for IE9 and a new Auto Maximize feature, which allows you to automatically maximize every newly opened IE window, which was previously quite tedious, because IE remembers the size of the last closed IE window.

Additionally, Quero brings the page title back to the title bar, where it belongs to in my opinion. Note: The title bar is blank by default in IE9 and IE10.

Here is the full feature list:

  • Desktop IE10 and Windows 8 support added
  • IE Auto Maximize option added: Automatically maximizes the IE window (Quero > Resize Window > Auto Maximize)
  • New option added to display the title bar text in white (IE9 / IE10)
  • New context menu implementation (fixes crashes in IE9)
  • New pop-up blocker implementation (fixes crashes in IE9)
  • "Allow pop-ups" now also allows pop-ups from the specified domain on other domains
  • fixed: disappearing Favorites bar bug in IE9
  • Changed keyboard shortcut for toggling the ad blocker from Ctrl+Ins to Ctrl+Pause/Break in order to avoid conflict with Copy/Paste
  • Support for Blekko slashtags: If Quick Find is enabled (enabled by default), a leading slash performs a search instead of a find on page operation.
  • Quick Type now also works on the New Tab Page (about:Tabs) in IE9 and IE10.
  • Whitelisted the Facebook video player
  • Known issues in Windows 8: Dragging tabs to the Desktop sometimes hides all toolbars including Quero (bug of IE10). Full-screen Flash playback brings IE back/forward button back, even if they were previously hidden. The issue: The flash player switches IE to full-screen (F11) mode in a slightly non-standard way during full-screen playback.

If you find other issues please post them in the forum or on Facebook.

Remains to wish you,

Happy browsing with Quero Toolbar 7 :)