Internet Explorer 10 Tips and Tricks: It Can Do More Than You Think

Christian Cawley 23-11-2012

internet explorer 10 tipsWhen Microsoft unveiled Windows 8, one of the most interesting things about it was the new iteration of Internet Explorer. If viewed via the Start screen, the slimmed-down browser offers maximum space for viewing web pages thanks to the position of buttons and the address bar striped across the bottom of the screen (where people don’t usually read). It’s a fascinating new approach, but Internet Explorer 10 is apparently low on features and options.


In fact, you might think that it can’t do much other than browse the web. Of course, you would be wrong. Thanks to the Desktop view in Windows 8 you can configure both the Metro and traditional “views” of the browser.

This article refers to the new-look Windows 8 as “Metro”, a term popularised by Microsoft and technology journalists to describe the tile-based interface seen in Windows 8 (and preceded on Windows Phone devices). Although this is no longer the name given to the user interface, it is the one that most people are familiar with.

Change The Default Search Engine

Recent figures have shown that Bing’s market share is growing – but if you still prefer to use Google for search, you can reconfigure Internet Explorer in the Windows 8 Desktop view. This is where the options for both versions of the browser can be found, via Tools > Internet Options. Once a change is made, it reflects on both the Start screen and the Desktop versions of the browser.

internet explorer 10 tips

Using the gear/settings menu in the “full” Internet Explorer 10, open Manage add-ons and select Search Providers in the Add-on Types pane; you will see Bing listed on its own. At the foot of the window, click the Find more search providers… link and select your preferred search engine from the gallery of options. As well as Google, you’ll find DuckDuckGo listed.


Make your choice, click the Add to Internet Explorer button and look out for the Add Search Provider dialogue box. Check the Make this my default search provider option, click Add and close Internet Explorer. Now both versions will have your new search tool set as default.

Pinning & Favourites

On first glance, Internet Explorer 10 doesn’t appear to have a favourites button/star. The reason for this is simple – there are now two ways to add a website to your bookmarks.

internet explorer 10 review

In Windows 8, you can have both a traditional index of bookmarks and a series of Start screen shortcuts, known as pins. Internet Explorer 10 features a Pin button, found to the right of the address bar. By clicking or tapping this, you have the option of adding the website to your favourites or pinning, using the Add to favourites and Pin to Start options that are displayed on a small pop-up menu.


Frequently Visited Sites & Internet History

Favourites and browser history are shared between the two versions of IE10. These can be accessed in a variety of different ways depending on the browser view.

internet explorer 10 review

If you’re using the streamlined Metro browser, favourite websites can be viewed by clicking the Address Bar or pressing Alt + D. Although browsing history is not displayed in this view of the browser, it can be accessed through the Desktop version.

When using the Desktop Internet Explorer 10 browser, Favourites can be viewed by clicking the star icon in the top right corner of the window or by pressing the Alt + C keyboard combination. This displays the Favorites, Feeds, and History center. Browsing history can be accessed from the History tab.


Internet Explorer 10 Add-ons

It should come as no surprise to learn that the Metro view of Internet Explorer 10 features no support for Add-ons.

internet explorer 10 review

Instead, these must be installed and used in the Desktop version. To do this, switch to Desktop view, launch the browser and click the gear/settings button in the top-right corner. In the resulting menu, select Manage add-ons and use the Add-on Types list to find the add-on (another term for “plugin”) that you want to use. It is via this screen that you can enable, disable, or remove the add-ons.

Block Websites From Requesting Your Location

More and more websites rely on localization technology to tailor content for your browsing experience. To offer you the ability to opt-out of this sort of commercial surveillance, Microsoft has added a useful localization control to Windows 8 and Internet Explorer 10.


internet explorer 10 tips

In the Start screen, launch Internet Explorer and tap Win + C or tap the right-edge of the display to open the Charms bar. Click Settings > Internet Options and under Permissions you will see the Ask for location switch. Set to On by default, a tap will disable the function.

Note also the Clear option beneath the switch. This allows you to prevent sites that you have previously shared your location with from locating you.


Although on first glance Internet Explorer 10 in Metro view looks like little more than a button-free window for fast browsing, the browser remains as flexible as previous versions in Windows 8’s Desktop view.

While history and configuration options are sparse in the Metro view, these are all available in the traditional Internet Explorer window, available through the desktop. Privacy options, add-ons and more can all be managed here, and those that determine background settings for the browser will impact both views, Desktop and Metro.

Related topics: Internet Explorer, Windows 8.

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  1. OzrenSirola
    April 30, 2013 at 8:52 am

    I found nothing new in IE10 that Chrome doesn't already have ... Every new feature like FREQUENT sites when you open new tab is old Chrome feature. Also writting keywords directly in address bar is also old thing. I must say that IE10 is better now than before. But all new things was implemented in Chrome or Firefox before 2-3 years, so why Microsoft is always at the end with modifications. Also I doesn't know any browser except Avant Browser who have ability to open few sites with one click. I am talking about saving few sites under a group name and then you simply click on group named "Morning" and you get 3-4 sites which you read every day at the morning. Maybe Chrome or Firefox have some extensions or plugins for that. But for me that is very cool thing and I used that group feature before 4 years on Avant Browser which not browser, it is a shell for IE. At the end I must say that now IE10 can stand up to Chrome. Because of rendering enging, supporting of a standard CSS, and I think it is a little bit faster than previous one. Also I will check how much memory consume !! IE10 have great F12 "Developers Tools" so that is reason why I will always use IE10 but always with some other browser like now Google Chrome.


  2. Shixx
    April 30, 2013 at 8:38 am

    IE10 new features are implemented in Chrome before 2 years. Also I don't understand why any browser except maybe Firefox with Plugin or some Chrome extension doesn't have option to create a group of sites which could be saved under some name and then simply with one click you can open 4 sites. That option I founded in Avant Browser before 5 years !!! BTW IE10 is nothing special if you have Chrome already installed ... But it is cool now to have same features in IE10 ... Regards Shixx

  3. Frank Zedmore
    December 10, 2012 at 10:02 am

    I'm kind of curious how IE has turned out since I stopped using it, but I don't think i"m going to give up Chrome anytime soon...

  4. pp potana
    December 10, 2012 at 4:09 am

    Can you compare it with other browsers like chrome, firefox, safari ?

  5. Shawn Wolken
    December 6, 2012 at 5:20 am

    alienation again

  6. Shahbaz Amin
    December 4, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    I find it IE sooo slow and difficult to use I only ever use it to download Chrome...

  7. Abba Jee
    November 30, 2012 at 11:24 am

    When it comes to Browsers :S and then when it comes to be more specific to Microsoft Internet Explorer :S well now i read your article, i,m gonna give a try to IE10...hope won't have a bad experience as always :S, thanks for sharing with us anyway

  8. Md Nur-Un-Nabi Tutul
    November 29, 2012 at 1:55 am

    Most of the time I use Chrome & Mozilla rather than explorer. They are user friendly and has a nice interface & provides nice browsing. Whereas IE is quite slow .

  9. Paul Tim
    November 28, 2012 at 8:36 pm

    why use internet explorer, mozilla firefox and google chrome have SO many more features

  10. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    November 25, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Why can't they provide a button to toggle between 'standard' and 'Metro' version?

  11. Nick Bruce
    November 25, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Internet Explorer has become remarkably competent recently. It's encouraging even if it's still not the best, it is far better than it used to be (I'm looking at you IE6, 7, and 8).

  12. Prasanth Mathialagan
    November 25, 2012 at 4:59 am

    IE10 is really gonna make a change in the history of Internet Explorer.

    • Giggity Goebbels
      December 9, 2012 at 7:17 am


  13. Adrian
    November 24, 2012 at 9:51 am

    Microsoft rang the death knell for IE when they stopped offering it for Windows XP. I will never use it again.

  14. Matjaz Mirt
    November 24, 2012 at 7:32 am

    I try IE from time to time. And always is something that I don't like.

  15. Sean A
    November 24, 2012 at 7:10 am

    The add-ons are going to be a cool feature

  16. Mangesh Kharche
    November 24, 2012 at 2:45 am

    more features,more add ons,more speed so IE 8 but still i think mozilla firefox is better.

  17. Terafall
    November 24, 2012 at 12:56 am

    I never tried it yet but how is internet explorer better than Firefox or Chrome?

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      November 25, 2012 at 11:24 am

      It's supposed to have caught up with these major browsers in term of speed, security, or stability.

      Drawback: no add-ons, not w3c compliant.

  18. Anonymous
    November 24, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I have not used IE for a long while and really don't miss it much. I am quite happy with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox for my browsing needs.

    • Mark Alsisto
      November 24, 2012 at 1:21 am

      same here... But i sometimes use IE just for fun...

      • Zhong Jiang
        November 24, 2012 at 4:04 am

        Internet Explorer have grown exponentially ever since IE8, and this improvement excites me for what improvement they will bring next.

  19. Anonymous
    November 23, 2012 at 11:47 pm

    I know I'm probably asking too much, and wishing for the impossible, but I'd just like it to comply with the W3C guidelines and not to be fulll of sill IE-only features, so that when I make websites that comply with the various web standards, I don't keep having to code "IE only" fixes. They can keep all the rest of the features.

    • Lisa Santika Onggrid
      November 25, 2012 at 11:23 am

      Oh my, wrong reply. Sorry.

      In regard to your comment, yes, I hope they fix that. It's boring and time consuming to design an IE-only site.