Walt Mossberg

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Mossberg’s Mailbox

Turning Off Tabbed Browsing

There’s no other major item most of us own that is as confusing, unpredictable and unreliable as our personal computers. Everybody has questions about them, and we aim to help.

Here are a few questions about computers I’ve received recently from people like you, and my answers. I have edited and restated the questions a bit, for readability. This week my mailbox contained questions about turning off tabbed browsing in the new Internet Explorer, ripping DVDs into iTunes and transferring contacts from one computer to another in Outlook and Outlook Express.


Is there a way to totally turn off tabbed browsing in the new Internet Explorer 7.0?

Yes. Click on the Tools icon at the upper right, and select the last item, Internet Options. In the window that appears, go to the General tab, and find the Tabs section. Click the Settings button in that Tabs section. That will open a new window called Tabbed Browsing Settings. In that window, uncheck the first option, “Enabled Tabbed Browsing.” Then click OK in that window, and in the previous window. Then, quit Internet Explorer and restart it. You should now be able to use the browser in the old nontabbed manner.

Why is it that Apple supports ripping one’s CDs to iTunes in order to sync them to one’s iPod but the same is not true for movies using purchased DVDs? Is there a work-around?

I suspect it’s because DVDs are copy-protected by the movie studios, while CDs aren’t (with a few exceptions) copy-protected by the record labels. However, there are some programs that will rip DVDs. I haven’t tested them and can’t recommend any.

How can I transfer my contacts from my work computer’s Outlook program to my home computer’s Outlook Express program — assuming that I can’t directly connect the two computers by USB, wireless or other direct link?

Using Outlook’s Import and Export function, from the File menu, you would export the Contacts as a “Comma Separated Values” file, then save that to your hard disk. Next, copy this file to a USB thumb drive, or burn it to a blank CD. Then, take the thumb drive or CD home, insert it in your home PC, and copy the file to its hard disk. Then, fire up Outlook Express, open the address book, and select “Import” from the File menu. Choose “Other Address Book,” then choose “Text File (Comma Separated Values).” Locate the file, and you should be able to import it.

* * *

Because of the volume of e-mail I receive, I can’t routinely answer individual questions by e-mail, or consult on individual problems or purchasing decisions. I read all questions I receive and select three each week to answer in the column.

Write to Walter S. Mossberg at mossberg@wsj.com


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