IE8 – Sessions Overlapping

I recently ran into an issue with Internet Explorer 8 reusing sessions between new windows and tabs.  The behavior was somewhat different from previous version of IE, which followed this model:

  • Click IE shortcut from desktop, start->run -> New Session
  • Run iexplore.exe -> New Session
  • Click File->New Window -> Same session
  • Click “Open link in new tab” (IE7) -> Same session
  • Click “Open link in new window” ->  Same session
  • Window.open() ->  Same session

According to Microsoft the merging of sessions was designed to improve memory usage and reduce complexity.

So, if your application depended on this behavior,  how do you get it back?

There are a couple of ways.

First, and easiest, create a shortcut to the web application with “-noframemerging” as part of it.

Ex:  “C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” -noframemerging

Or, you can edit the registry and make this the default setting.

(Note:  Editing the registry and break your windows install, make sure you back it up before you edit.  And of course, know what you are doing – I am not responsible for you or what you do.)

Open Regedit and navigate to:
HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\FrameMerging

Changing the value of this key will turn FrameMerging on and off.

0 = Off
1 = On

Exit Regedit and Reboot

Reference:  http://blogs.msdn.com/b/askie/archive/2009/05/08/session-management-within-internet-explorer-8-0.aspx

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