Crank up your favorite registry editor and make the following change:

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Internet Settings]

Make shortcuts to your favorite sites:
Create a normal Windows shortcut, in the "Type the location of the item:" text box enter: "c:\program files\internet explorer\iexplore.exe"

Hold the shift key while clicking a hyperlink to open the page in a new window

Automatically delete temporary internet files when exiting internet explorer: Click Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab - scroll to the security section and select the: Empty Temporary Internet files folder when browser is closed check box.

Make Google Internet Explorer's default search engine:
Google has a link for a registry hack:

The changes are:
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]
"Use Search Asst"="no"
"Search Page"=""
"Search Bar"=""
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\SearchURL]
[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Search]

To download the full version of Internet Explorer, download the iesetup.exe file from MS. Once you have that file, run the following command:
ie6setup.exe /c:\"ie6wzd.exe /d /s:\"\"#E\"
It will ask you which folder to save the files to and which OSs you want to download for.

How to make Internet Explorer your default browser
  • Open Internet Explorer
  • On the top toolbar, select Tools >> Internet Options
  • Click the "Programs" tab
  • Place a check mark in the box: "Internet Explorer should check to see whether it is the default browser"
  • Click OK and close Internet Explorer
  • Next reopen Internet Explorer, a box will appear saying "Internet Explorer is no longer your default browser, would you like to make it your default?"
  • Click Yes
  • Next open Netscape.
  • Netscape will show a box saying that it is no longer "associated with Internet shortcuts"
  • Remove the checkmark in the box that says "Netscape should always check to see....."
  • Click NO (you don't want it to be your default browser)
  • Take the checkmark out of the box that says "Netscape should always check to see if it is your default browser"
  • Click "never show this again"
  • Click OK.
  • Now Internet Explorer is your default browser and will remain so.