Windows 7: Touch gestures in IE not working without explorer.exe being run once

Posted by Michael on Super User See other posts from Super User or by Michael
Published on 2012-07-10T09:02:22Z Indexed on 2012/07/10 9:17 UTC
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Details: Internet Explorer 9 and Windows 7 Professional, running on a HP TouchSmart (touch screen PC). It is going to be a kiosk PC (running a custom GUI for displaying websites).

Scenario 1:

When running Internet Explorer as a normal program in Windows 7, touch functions work perfectly. I can scroll the website by dragging it with my finger, I can pinch zoom and I can touch-and-hold right click.

I now change the default shell in Windows to Internet Explorer (ie. IE starts instead of explorer.exe). Internet Explorer of course starts up when logging in. However, touch functions are reduced to basic clicking (no dragging, no pinch zooming, no touch-and-hold right click).

Then I manually start explorer.exe, and the touch functions work again!

And here is the weird part: When I kill explorer.exe, the touch functions keeps working - even if I close IE and start a new instance.

Scenario 2:

The exact same, but instead of changing the default shell to Internet Explorer, I change it to my own program, which uses an embedded Internet Explorer ("WebBrowser"). Same thing happens.

What I've tried:

Autorun programs: When explorer.exe launches, it launches all the autorun programs. There are no relevant programs being run by explorer, but just in case, I have manually started all the autorun programs, so that it is identical (but without explorer.exe) to a normal login. It still does not work (until I launch explorer.exe).

Specifically TabTip.exe, TabTip32.exe and wisptis.exe are all running.

All services are also started.

To sum it up

Running explorer.exe once changes something in the touch capabilities of Internet Explorer. It doesn't matter if explorer.exe is running - as long as it has been run once.

Does anyone know what causes this behavior? Or how I can circumvent it neatly?


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