Using IE on the Start Screen

Learn how to use Internet Explorer 11 start screen functionality so you can always use your favorite browser.

Using IE on the Start screen

Whereas most versions of Windows come with one version of Internet Explorer, Windows 8 comes with two versions: one for the Start screen (sometimes called the Metro version), and one for the Desktop. This lesson will focus on the Start screen app, which is only available for Windows 8. You can review previous lessons in this tutorial to learn more about the Desktop version.

The Start screen version of IE is designed to be easily used with a touch screen. As a result, some features are more difficult to use if you have a mouse-and-keyboard setup. If you're used to older versions of Internet Explorer, you'll also find that some features have been moved, like the address bar and tabs. This lesson will help you become familiar with the IE Start screen interface.

Getting started with IE:

Click the buttons in the interactive to become familiar with the IE Start screen interface.

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The address bar

The Internet Explorer address bar allows you to navigate to websites and search the web. As you enter a search term or URL, the address bar will offer suggestions for webpages and search terms, which makes navigating faster and easier.

To use the address bar:

When you right-click anywhere on the screen, the address bar will open.

If you don't want the browser to suggest search terms as you type, click Turn off suggestions from Microsoft.

screenshot of Internet Explorer 11

Tabs and windows

Internet Explorer allows you to open multiple websites using tabs. You can also open websites in a new window to view different sites side by side.

To open a new tab:

  1. Right-click anywhere in the screen to open the Tabs bar.
  2. Select the New Tab button. You can also press Ctrl+T on your keyboard. A new tab will appear.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  3. Type a URL in the address bar and press Enter, or select a frequently visited site to navigate to a new page.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  4. The page will appear in the new tab.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11

To switch between tabs:

  1. Right-click to open the Tabs bar, then select the desired tab.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  2. The tab will be selected.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11

To close a tab:

To view two windows side by side:

  1. Open the desired websites as tabs.
  2. Right-click a tab, then select Open tab in new window.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  3. The websites will appear side by side.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11

To open a link in a new window:

  1. Right-click the desired link, then select Open link in new window.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  2. The websites will appear side by side.

To close a window, click the top of the browser window and drag it to the bottom of the screen.

Favorites

If you find a website you'd like to visit later, you can add it to your favorites, which most browsers call bookmarks. You can also pin a site directly to the Start screen.

To add a favorite:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the screen to open the address bar, then select the Favorites button. The Favorites toolbar will appear.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  2. Select the Add to favorites button.
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  3. A dialog box will appear. Click the drop-down menu to select a folder for the website, then click Add to save the site as a favorite.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11

You can also press Ctrl+D on your keyboard to add a site to your favorites.

To pin a website:

When you pin a website, Internet Explorer will create a shortcut for it, which will appear on your Start screen. Unlike favorites, pinned websites don't require you to navigate to the browser to view them.

  1. Navigate to the website you want to pin. Right-click, then select the Favorites button from the address bar menu.
  2. The Favorites toolbar will appear. Select the Pin site button.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  3. A dialog box will appear. Click Pin to Start.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  4. The website will be pinned to the Start screen.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11

Privacy and security

Like all browsers, IE keeps a browsing history for the websites you visit. You may want to clear your browsing history periodically for the sake of privacy.

To delete browsing history:

  1. Hover the mouse in the lower-right corner to access the Charms bar, then select Settings.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  2. The Settings pane will appear on the right. Select Options.
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  3. The Internet Explorer settings will appear. Locate and click the Select button under History.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11
  4. A dialog box will appear. Select the browsing data you want to delete, then click Delete.
    screenshot of Internet Explorer 11