Internet Explorer Architecture

Windows Internet Explorer's modular architecture enables developers to reuse some of its components as well as extend and enhance the browser's functionality. Examples of extensions to Internet Explorer include custom shortcut menus, browser toolbars, Microsoft ActiveX controls, Active documents, and binary behaviors. It is important to understand the architecture and the available extension mechanisms to enure you use the one most appropriate for your application needs.

As Internet Explorer's component architecture is based on Component Object Model (COM), there are many different ways to extend its capabilities. These can be broken down into three broad categories of extensions, as follows:

  • Browser Extensions. This category of end-user extensions adds additional functionality to Internet Explorer content. It includes features such as shortcut menu extensions, custom toolbars, Explorer Bars, and Browser Helper Objects (BHOs).

  • Content Extensions. These extend the types of content that can be parsed and displayed; their use depends on the content being loaded into the browser. This category includes ActiveX Controls and active documents.

  • Hosting and Reuse. By hosting and reusing the Internet Explorer components as part of your own application, you can build your own browser or add rich rendering and Internet capabilities.


Topic Contents
Adjusting Scale for Higher DPI Screens

To improve the browsing experience for users with higher-resolution systems, Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 and later can automatically adjust the scale of the display.

Circular-Memory Leak Mitigation in Internet Explorer 8

Windows Internet Explorer 8 improvements in memory management.

Determining the Preferred Hypertext Link Color

This topic explains the registry values which store the default hypertext link colors.

Internet Explorer Architecture

This topic provides a high-level overview of Internet Explorer's architecture, information on the reuse of its components, and a summary of some of the powerful methods of extensibility available to developers.

Internet Explorer Client Registry Layout

Internet Explorer supports user selection of Internet service applications, such as mail and news clients. This article describes how to make your Internet service applications available to Internet Explorer. The registry settings referred to in this article are supported in Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 and later, unless otherwise indicated.

Internet Explorer for Windows CE

Internet Explorer for Windows CE is the most compatible, feature-rich browser control for the Windows CE operating system. Developers, OEMs, independent software vendors (ISVs), and independent hardware vendors (IHVs) can use the technologies provided by Internet Explorer for Windows CE to build a custom browser for a specific device or market.

Making the Web Bigger: DPI Scaling and Internet Explorer 8

Scaling Web pages to take advantage of varying DPI displays in Internet Explorer 8.

Windows Search Assistant

In Windows Internet Explorer 7, the legacy Windows Search Assistant is disabled by default. See Security and Compatibility in Internet Explorer 7 for additional information.