How to Disable Developer Tools in Internet Explorer


Developer Tools

Internet Explorer 9 has a new feature called Developer Tools that can be accessed through the Options Menu or by using the F12 key. IE 8 may have had this feature, too. (I don’t use IE so I’m not sure about that.)

I don’t use Developer Tools in Internet Explorer either, so I can’t comment on its usefulness.

For whatever reason the Developer Tools window in Internet Explorer 9 kept opening up on its own on a friend’s computer. She is not a developer and doesn’t need this feature. Even if she did, it shouldn’t be opening on its own anyway. What a nuisance that must be.

I don’t know what would cause this erratic behavior but I do know how to disable the Developer Tools in IE9.

This requires a Registry hack so the following caveat applies:

Make a backup of your Registry before making any changes. Errors in the Registry can cause Windows to fail. You have been warned.

To Disable Developer Tools change/add these Keys:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IEDevTools]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IEDevTools]

These Keys did not appear by default in my Registry so you may have to add them. Once you have changed the Registry settings, the Developer Tools will no longer appear in the IE9 options menu, nor will the F12 toggle key work anymore.

To Enable Developer Tools change/add these Keys:

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IEDevTools]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IEDevTools]

For those of you who are unfamiliar with editing the Registry or if you don’t feel comfortable doing so, here are some options:

  1. Have a knowledgeable friend do it for you
  2. Create a .REG file and let Windows manage the process for you

How to create a .REG file with NotePad

  • Open NotePad
  • Paste the following into NotePad:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IEDevTools]


[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\IEDevTools]


  • Open File>Save As
  • In the Drop-Down box choose All Files
  • Give it a Name. like Disable DT (or whatever makes sense to you)
  • Make absolutely sure that the extension is .reg and not .txt
  • Now you can Right-Click on your new .REG file and choose Merge from the context menu
  • Windows will complain that what you are about to do can be dangerous, blah-blah-blah…

Go ahead and do it anyway. No re-boot is required for this to take effect. You may have to close and re-open your browser if you haven’t already done so.

You can also create a .REG file to Enable Developer Tools in the same way.

Have you experienced this problem? How did you resolve this issue? Let us know.

I hope this proves helpful,


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