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Microsoft Internet Explorer 8

Stop Showing Friendly Error Messages

SUMMARY: Prevent Internet Explorer 8 from showing its own error message text when a web server reports a problem.

By default, if you access a webpage in Internet Explorer 8 that results in an error, such as a 404 Not Found or a 500 Internal Server Error, instead of displaying any text returned by the server, Internet Explorer shows its own "friendly" error page with an attempt to explain the error.

While this page may be useful for newer Internet users, there are reasons why you may not want it to be shown. Some website error pages may include links that help navigate the user back to the site's home page or appropriate section. Web developers and system administrators may need to test webpages and web applications, relying on information returned from the server when it outputs an error page. By only seeing Internet Explorer's "friendly" version, this valuable data may be lost.

Internet Explorer 8 displaying a "friendly" error page when a 404 error is received

1. Access the Internet Options dialog box. If the menu bar is visible, you can select "Tools" - "Internet Options". If the Command Bar is visible, click the "Tools" button and select "Internet Options". If neither are available, try typing Alt + T then O.

Accessing Internet Explorer 8 options via the Command Bar

2. When the "Internet Options" dialog box appears, click the "Advanced" tab.

3. Underneath "Settings", scroll down underneath "Browsing" and uncheck "Show friendly HTTP error messages".

4. Click "OK" to close the dialog box and store your settings.

Return to the Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 page.

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The MalekTips website was created in 1998 by Andrew Malek of Envision Programming. The page's goal is to freely disperse computer-related tips, hints, and informative articles. Tips are organized to be easy to find, and are presented clearly, in easy-to-understand language. MalekTips also provides information and links to public-domain, open source, freeware, shareware, and commercial software available for download.