[Tip] Remove “Send a Smile” (Feedback) and Other Toolbar Buttons from Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10
When Microsoft released Windows 8.1 operating system, it came with the new Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) version. Microsoft also released the same IE11 version to Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 users which can be downloaded from here.
The latest Windows 10 operating system also comes with an updated version of IE11 along with the brand new Microsoft Edge web browser which has actually replaced IE as the default web browser in Windows 10 OS.
Microsoft has added a new smiley icon to Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) toolbar in Windows 10 which is known as "Send a Smile or Frown" button. Its actually a new button present in IE11 toolbar which can be used to send user feedback directly to Microsoft.
The "Send a Smile" button along with a few other buttons such as Home, Favorites/Feeds/History and Tools is shown at the extreme top-right corner of IE11 browser window just below the titlebar caption buttons i.e. minimize, maximize and close buttons.
Although its a nice initiative from Microsoft which helps IE11 users in providing their valuable feedback to IE team quickly and easily, but the smiley button might become annoying for some IE users. I have received requests from many AskVG readers in past to find a way to get rid of this or all four toolbar buttons from Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10. Actually Microsoft should have provided a built-in option to customize the toolbar in IE11 and removing desired buttons from the toolbar using a context menu.
That's why today in this tutorial, I'm going to share a way to remove or hide this "Send a Smile" and other toolbar buttons from IE11 in Windows 10.
I couldn't find any Registry tweak to remove the buttons from IE11 toolbar, that's why I'm going to take help of my favorite tool Resource Hacker to disable these buttons from IE11 toolbar.
UPDATE: A simple Registry tweak and Group Policy trick to remove the "Send a Smile" button from IE11 toolbar have been found. Interested people can read details about them in following tutorial:
If you also want to remove these buttons from Internet Explorer toolbar in Windows 10, check out following steps:
DISCLAIMER: This method requires modifying system file which might be dangerous for your computer. Use this method only if you are familiar with Resource Hacker tool and customizing system files.
First of all download and install Resource Hacker if you don't have it already in your computer:
After downloading and installing the tool, check out our following exclusive tutorials to learn how to use Resource Hacker tool to modify system files in Windows OS:
- [Review] All About Resource Hacker, The Ultimate Windows Customization Tool
- List of Resource Hacker Tutorials to Customize Windows Look-n-Feel
We are going to modify a system file ieframe.dll present in C:\Windows\System32 folder to remove the toolbar buttons from IE11. Actually this DLL file contains various graphics and other resources to show the GUI of Internet Explorer in Windows. This is the file which contains the "Send a Smile" and other toolbar buttons graphics inside it.
Now copy the ieframe.dll file from C:\Windows\System32 folder and paste it on Desktop or any other drive or folder. We are doing this because we have to edit this DLL file and Windows will not allow us to directly modify and save this file. That's why we'll first create a copy of this file on Desktop or other places, then we'll modify it according to our requirements and at last we'll replace original DLL file with our modified file.
Open Resource Hacker tool and then open the ieframe.dll file in it which you copied on Desktop or other folder.
Now expand the Bitmap section in the file and you'll see various BMP files present under it. We just need following 6 BMP files present at the beginning of Bitmap section:
If you see carefully, these 6 files contain the image resources of all 4 toolbar buttons in Internet Explorer 11. The BMP files with "120" term in their names are responsible for showing bigger toolbar buttons for larger DPI settings. The CONTROL_ENABLED.BMP file shows the normal toolbar buttons when they are inactive. The CONTROL_HOT.BMP file shows the buttons in highlighted state when you hover the mouse cursor over the buttons. The CONTROL_PRESSED.BMP file shows the buttons when you click on the buttons.
Since we want to remove all 4 buttons from IE11 toolbar, just right-click on all 6 BMP resources one by one and select "Delete Resource" option. You can also press Ctrl+D keys together to delete the BMP resource file.
PS: If you want to remove just "Send a Smile" button from IE11 toolbar, you can extract all 6 BMP files using Resource Hacker and then open the BMP files in any image editing program such as Adobe Photoshop, Gimp, etc and then replace the part containing Smiley icon with a blank transparent image in all 6 BMP image files. After that you can replace the default BMP files present in the DLL file with the new modified BMP files using Resource Hacker. This will only remove the smiley button from IE11 toolbar.
Once you delete all 6 BMP resources, save the file and exit from Resource Hacker tool.
Now we need to replace existing ieframe.dll file present in C:\Windows\System32 folder with the new modified DLL file which we saved using Resource Hacker tool.
To replace the file, first we'll need to take ownership of ieframe.dll file present in C:\Windows\System32 folder. You can take ownership using any of following methods:
- [Tip] Add Take Ownership Option in Files and Folders Context Menu in Windows
- [Guide] How to Take Ownership (Permission) of a File or Folder Manually in Windows?
After taking ownership, rename the original ieframe.dll file present in C:\Windows\System32 folder to any other name such as ieframe_back.dll.
Now copy the new modified ieframe.dll file from Desktop and paste it in C:\Windows\System32 folder.
You can also check out following detailed tutorial to learn how to replace system files:
That's it. Open Internet Explorer and you'll no longer see those annoying toolbar buttons.
Since we have just removed the image resources from DLL file, it'll not completely remove the buttons, it'll just hide them. If you hover mouse cursor over the area containing those buttons, you'll notice that the button are still present there and you can actually click on them.
You should only remove the first two BMP files CONTROL_ENABLED.BMP and CONTROL_ENABLED_120.BMP from the DLL file. It'll hide the buttons from IE11 toolbar but when you'll hover the mouse cursor over the buttons location, the buttons will re-appear. It'll work like an auto-hide feature which will look quite good as shown in following screenshot:
Following animated image shows clearly how the mouse hovering feature looks like:
In future if you want to show the toolbar buttons again, you can restore the original ieframe.dll file again in C:\Windows\System32 folder and it'll restore default settings.
Also check out following exclusive video showing the whole process live in action:
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