Getting Started with Internet Explorer 8

If you're new to Internet Explorer 8 getting started is simple. Just follow these steps to start using this popular web browser.

Introduction

Internet Explorer 8 is a web browser from Microsoft. Compared to previous versions, IE 8 includes several options and features that will enhance your browsing experience, including tab groups, accelerators, web slices, and InPrivate Browsing. Throughout this tutorial, you will become familiar with Internet Explorer, and you'll learn how to customize its features to meet your browsing needs.

In this lesson, we will show you the tools and functions of the Internet Explorer 8 interface. In addition, we will teach you how to customize your toolbars and homepage.

The Internet Explorer 8 interface

If you're new to web browsing, this interactive will introduce you to the key functions and features of the Internet Explorer 8 interface. If you are already familiar with previous versions of Internet Explorer or other web browsers, you can review the interactive for some Internet Explorer 8 features like tab groups, visual suggestions, and the Compatibility View button.

Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the IE 8 interface.

doneedit hotspots

Internet Explorer 8 toolbars

Video: IE 8 Toolbars

Launch video! Watch the video (3:28).

Toolbars allow for one-click access to the menus, functions, and features of the web browser. Once you understand the Internet Explorer toolbars, your browsing experience will become more convenient and even tailored to your specific needs. For example, you can place your favorite websites in the Favorites bar for faster, one-click access.

The toolbar menu

The Favorites bar, Command bar, and Status bar are all standard toolbars in Internet Explorer. Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about the various toolbars in IE 8.

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Customizing toolbars

Now that you have a better understanding of toolbars, you can customize them to suit your needs. You can hide toolbars, rearrange them in the browser, or change the look of the icons. You can even add, remove, and reorder toolbar buttons.

Toolbar menu and view options

Right-click in the toolbar area to access the Toolbar menu. Click the box to the left of each toolbar to hide or show it in the browser.

Toolbar Menu Toolbar Menu

If you want to rearrange the placement and view of toolbars, uncheck the Lock the Toolbar option. You can then click the dotted line to adjust the view of the toolbar. You can also click and drag toolbars to adjust their placement in the browser.

Expand Toolbars Reduce or Expand Toolbars

Customizing the toolbar

There are several options for customizing the view of the buttons, icons, and text in the toolbar. Select Customize from the Toolbar menu, then adjust the settings as desired.

Customize Toolbar Options Customize Toolbar Options

To add or remove commands:

  1. Click Add or Remove Commands from the Customize options.
  2. As desired, select a toolbar button, then click Add or Remove.
  3. Click Move Up or Move Down to change the order of the icons in the Command bar.
  4. Click Close when finished.
    Customize Toolbar Options Customize Toolbar

Customize your homepage

You may want to change Internet Explorer's default homepage to another page you like. Click Tools in the Menu bar, then select Internet Options.

Access Internet Options Access Internet Options

Under homepage, delete the default link and type the URL for the desired homepage, then click OK.

If there are certain pages you use every time you open your browser, like your email or calendar, you might consider making them all homepages. Each homepage will open in its own tab whenever you start Internet Explorer. Just enter the URL of each desired homepage on a new line in the homepage text box, then click OK.

Set homepage Set homepage or homepage Tabs