Choose which version of Internet Explorer to open

There are two versions of Internet Explorer in Windows 8 and this can lead to some confusion. There is a full screen version of IE that can be opened from the Start screen and the desktop version that can be run on the old desktop. When you click a link, which version of the browser will open? You might want to open one version of the browser when in fact, the other one opens. How do you choose which one to use?

If you are on the Start screen, go to the desktop and run Internet Explorer. If there isn’t an icon on the taskbar to do this, press Windows+R and enter iexplore. If you are still having problems running the desktop version of Internet Explorer, go to C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ in an Explorer window and double click iexplore.exe. Once it is running you can right click the icon in the taskbar and choose to pin it. This adds the icon so it is easier to run the next time you need it.

Click the gear icon in the top right corner of IE and select Internet Options. Go to the Programs tab and if there is a link, Make Internet Explorer the default browser, click it. A Control Panel window then opens and on the left is a list of programs. Select Internet Explorer and then click Set this program as default. Close the Internet Options window, then return by clicking the gear icon, selecting Internet Options and the Programs tab. The reason for this is because if IE is not the default web browser this next bit won’t work.

Internet Explorer options

On the Programs tab is a section called Opening Internet Explorer. Click Choose how you open links. There are three options: Let Internet Explorer decide, Always in Internet Explorer, and Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop. That last one forces the desktop version of IE to be used. Select it and below is another option, Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop. This is so that links in tiles on the Start screen are also opened on the desktop. (Internet Explorer from the Start screen lets you pin websites as Start screen tiles.)

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