How can I add or modify Microsoft Internet Explorer (IE) command shortcuts?

A. IE 5.5 lets you search the Microsoft Knowledge Base for a specific Microsoft article by typing the article number at the IE address bar. For example, to display the contents of the Microsoft article "BUG: MSCDEX May Not Detect Disk Change", you'd type

MSKB Q123456

In the address bar. Microsoft removed this functionality in IE 6.0, but you can reenable this feature as well as add your own shortcuts by performing the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (e.g., regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl registry subkey.
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, Key.
  4. Enter the name that you want to use as the shortcut command (e.g., MSKB), then press Enter.
  5. Select the new key, then double-click the Default value in the right-hand pane.
  6. Set the value to be the Web address you want to use and append "%s" (without the quotes) to the end of the URL that the shortcut points to. For example, type
    to enable the Microsoft Knowledge Base functionality.
  7. Click OK.
  8. Close the registry editor.

The change will take effect immediately. The table below presents other popular shortcuts.

Key name Default value
AV (Altavista)
GGL (Google)
WINFAQ (Windows FAQ)

After you create a shortcut, you simply type the shortcut, followed by your search terms, in IE's address bar. For example, type

WINFAQ active directory

to search the Windows 2000 FAQ for the term "active directory." To save time, you can paste the following information into a reg file to automate the addition of the shortcuts I've mentioned:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

\[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\AV\]
@="" \[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\Ggl\]
@="" \[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\MSKB\]
@="" \[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchUrl\WINFAQ\]
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