By default, IE opens the source of the web page in another IE window, which is fine for most people. If you are a developer or coder, you can use another text editor or code editor to view the source code.
The method differs depending on which version of IE you have installed. From IE 8 to 10, it’s really easy and you can change the default source viewer in IE itself.
In IE 11, you need to edit the registry key to make the change. Nothing fancy, but if you don’t like messing with the registry, it’s annoying.
Change View Source Editor IE 8 to 10
In these versions of IE, it is very easy to change the editor because Microsoft has built this option into the browser itself. You need to open Developer Tools to access this option, which is very simple.
You can either press F12 on your keyboard or press “Tools” and then “Developer Tools”.
Another IE window will appear, and here you want to click File, then Customize Internet Explorer View Source, and then choose one of the options.
You can choose Notepad or click Other if you have a different code editor that you want to use. When you click Other, just navigate to the program file (EXE) folder for your editor.
Change IE 11 Display Source Editor
In IE 11, you need to edit the registry to change the editor because they removed this option from the developer tools section now.
Before making any changes to the registry, be sure to check out my guide on how to back up your registry in case something goes wrong.
Now open the Registry Editor by clicking Start and typing regedit. Then navigate to the following key:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Internet Explorer
Make sure you are under the CURRENT_USER key and not LOCAL_MACHINE, because it won’t work if you change the keys in the last place. The latter is mentioned in several online guides, but it is not true.
Right-click the Internet Explorer section and select New and then Section.
Name the new key View Source Editor and press Enter. Now right click on the new View Source Editor key and select New again and then Key.
This key will be created in the View Source Editor and you must name it Editor Name. The registry keys should look like the image below.
In the right pane, double-click the default key that has no value set. In the “Value” field, specify the path to the EXE file for the required code editor. Be sure to enclose the entire path in quotation marks as shown below.
Click “OK” and that’s it. Now you can open IE and preview the source code and it should open in your desired code editor. You don’t need to restart your computer or log out, the changes take effect immediately.
The only thing I haven’t been able to figure out yet is how to change the source editor for Microsoft Edge, the new browser included with Windows 10. As soon as I can resolve this issue, I’ll update this post. with a solution. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave comments. Enjoy!