Exploring the Desktop Version of Internet Explorer 11

In our last three tutorials, we have covered the app version of the Internet Explorer 11 browser which comes built-in with all Windows 8.1 computers but that’s not everything yet, Internet Explorer 11 also has its desktop counterpart which you’re surely familiar of. However, some of the options and tweaks have been improved and relocated so you need to learn how to access them in the brand new and redesigned screen of Internet Explorer 11’s desktop version. This time, we will be going through the tweaks that you can do with Internet Explorer on your desktop and master some options that will help you customize some aspects of it.

Accessing Internet Explorer 11 on Your Desktop

Just like the other desktop programs and apps installed on your computer, there are also many ways in accessing Internet Explorer’s desktop version in your Windows 8.1 machine and I will be demonstrating each of them here so be sure to select which one is most comfortable to you which you would like to use whenever you want to use the browser.

1. Clicking the Quick Launch Icon on the Taskbar

If you are using a brand new Windows 8.1 machine then you should be able to find a quick launch icon for Internet Explorer 11 on the taskbar. This is true in all brand new Windows machine and as well as those old ones with a new reinstalled Windows operating system even if its not Windows 8.1. To open the browser, all you need to do is click or tap on the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar and a new tab will open right away.


2. Accessing it From the Apps View Screen

If Internet Explorer (IE 11) is not set as your default browser, you will be able to access the desktop version of it when you click on its time available on the Apps view. To access this section, simply open the Start Screen by clicking on the Start Button or pressing the Windows Key. Once the Start Screen opens, simply hover your mouse over the screen and once you see a button that has an arrow which points down located near the bottom-left corner of the screen, simply click on it to open the Apps view.


Now, on the App view screen, simply look for the Internet Explorer tile and click or tap on it once you find it. After doing so, Internet Explorer 11’s desktop version will open on the desktop screen.

3. Accessing it from the Start Screen

Aside from the Apps view section, you can also access Internet Explorer’s desktop version from the Start Screen. To do this, simply open the Start Screen using the methods I’ve shown in the previous step and click on the Internet Explorer tile that is pinned on it.



You can only access the desktop version of Internet Explorer 11 using the last two methods I have shown above if the browser is not set as your default browser. If the opposite is true, clicking on the Internet Explorer tile on the Apps view or the Start Screen will access the modern style version of the app so be sure to set another browser as the default one if you plan to access the desktop version of Internet Explorer by clicking on the its tile available in the previously mentioned locations.

Getting Familiar with The Main Screen

After Internet Explorer’s desktop version opens, you will arrive at its main screen and see some very familiar options and buttons at the top. We’ll go over each one of these options and buttons and see what they are used for. We will start at the left side of the address bar.

The Back and the Forward Button

Just like its app version, Internet Explorer’s desktop version also has a “Back” and as well as a “Forward” button but everything including the address bar and some other options are found on top of the screen. You can use these buttons whenever you want to go back to a previously opened website or go forward to a site that was open before you clicked the “Back” button without typing the URL into the address box. The “Back” and the “Forward” button will be blue in color if there is an available website which you can go back or move forward to.


The Address Bar

There’s really no need to explain what the “Address” bar is used for but for the sake of those who will be using Internet Explorer desktop version for the first time, the “Address bar” is where you will need to input the website name. The address bar accepts just the website name like “windowstechies.loc” or “ucg.org” and any other website. Once the website name gets entered into the box, simply hit the “Enter” key on your keyboard or click on the “Go” icon located at the extreme-right end of the address box.


The Home Button

Moving on towards the right are three more buttons and the first one is called the “Home” button. You can use it to access the home page in the quickest way without the need of entering the website’s name into the address box. Another way of executing the action that the “Home” button does is done using your computer’s keyboard. Just press the “Alt + Home” keys and you will be able to access the home page right away without really clicking on the “Home” button. Easier and faster right?


The Favorites Button

You might have a list of favorite websites and you’re tired of typing in each website name into the address box whenever you’re accessing them. If this is the case then you can easily add them to the favorites list simply by clicking on the “Favorite” button located just beside “Home”. The steps in adding a website to your favorites list is a bit long so we will leave the details in doing it on a separate tutorial.


The Tools Button

Just like any program or app, Internet Explorer 11 on your desktop also has a set of tools and options for each type of user. You can access all these stuff by clicking on the “Tools” button located at the extreme-right edge of the bar at the top or by pressing the “Alt + X” keyboard shortcut combination.


More Internet Explorer Tips Coming Up!

We have only covered the basics about the Internet Explorer 11’s desktop version in this tutorial but there are still even things that you need to learn about it and we’ll be discussing them on our next tutorial. For now, you can start exploring and using IE 11 on your desktop and get acquainted with all the basics we’ve shown here.