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Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI/Metro

By . Last modified: 2014-08-14.

How to use Metro-style Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8 - Address bar, Tabs, search and privacy

Internet Explorer 10 has two versions in Windows 8 - the touch-friendly and minimalistic Modern UI/Metro version on Start screen, and traditional full-featured Desktop version accessible from Taskbar.

Modern UI version has no support for add-ons or toolbars, no Favorites Center and no Download Manager. It covers the whole screen like other Metro apps and it supports tabbed browsing, searching (including from Address Bar), InPrivate browsing and site pinning.

As with all Modern UI apps, you can close Internet Explorer 10 using keyboard shortcut Alt+F4 or by moving mouse pointer to the top of screen where it turns into a hand and then dragging the window all the way down.

Overview of Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI interface

Metro version of Internet Explorer 10 has two bars: the one on top is called Tab switcher and it displays Tabs plus provides buttons for opening a new Tab, closing existing ones and opening a new InPrivate Tab; the one on bottom is called Navigation bar and it has Back button, Site icon, Address Bar with integrated Search, Refresh/Stop button, Pin to Start button, Page Tools button and Forward button.
Both bars are hidden while browsing the web, but can be invoked by right-clicking on a page (not on links!) or using keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Z. If you open Modern UI-style Internet Explorer 10 from Start screen, only the bottom bar is displayed.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI. If you right-click on a page, top bar (Tab switcher) displays Tabbed browsing, and bottom bar (Navigation bar) displays navigation and page options.

To manage home page(s), you must use the Desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, or open Internet Options using Settings search (Windows Key+W) and type "internet". See the Internet Explorer 10 article for further instructions.

Because Modern UI version does not support ActiveX or other extensions/add-ons, some pages might not display correctly. To relaunch the problematic site in Desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, click Page tools button (wrench inside a circle) on Navigation bar and select View on the desktop.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar. To open a page in Desktop version of Internet Explorer, click Page tools button and select "View on the desktop".

Using Address Bar in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI

Essentially, opening web sites is what we use Internet Explorer most often for. Address Bar is the field where we type in addresses of web sites or web pages. Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI Address Bar integrates Search and Autocomplete from History, Favorites, Pinned sites and Feeds contents.

You can open and activate Address Bar using keyboard shortcuts F4 or Alt+D. Both display only the bottom bar and select all contents of Address Bar.
Alternatively, right-click anywhere on screen (except web links) or use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Z to reveal both Tab switcher and Navigation bar.
Upon activating Address Bar, a list of Frequent and Pinned sites is displayed above it. You can click any item to open it in current Tab, or right-click an item to open it in a new Tab or remove it from the list. Please note that Ctrl+click does not work here for opening pages in new Tabs - use Shift+click instead.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address Bar. At first, a list of Frequent and Pinned sites is displayed.

Keyboard fans can use Tab key to navigate forwards, Shift+Tab to navigate backwards and Enter to confirm selection. As usual, the Menu key (on the right, between Alt or Alt Gr and Ctrl keys) simulates right-click.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address Bar, Frequent item right-click. To delete an item, select Remove.

If you start typing into Address Bar, search starts automatically. It displays results from History, Favorites, Pinned sites and Feeds. In case Top Result Search is enabled for default Search Engine, some most visited site names matching the search term might also appear. Again, click an item to open it in current Tab, Shift+click to open it in new Tab, or right-click a result to remove it or open it in a new Tab. All keyboard shortcuts are the same as above.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address Bar, Search results. Address Bar searches in History, Feeds, Favorites and Pinned items.

Using Tabs in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI

Modern UI version of Internet Explorer 10 cannot have multiple windows open, but Tabs are supported. Please note that the number of Tabs you can have open is limited to ten.
Just like in Desktop version, each Tab has its own browsing history and in case one Tab crashes, all other Tabs and Internet Explorer itself will continue working normally. Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI is also able to save all open Tabs and reopen these after app or computer restart, but you must use Internet Options in the Desktop version of IE for configuring this.

To open a link on a webpage in a new Tab and switch to the new Tab immediately, hold down Ctrl and Shift keys on your keyboard and click on the link.
To open a link on a webpage in a new background Tab and leave the currently open Tab active, hold down Ctrl key on your keyboard and click on the link. You can also right-click on the link and select Open link in new tab to do that.
In Address Bar search results, use Shift+click instead of Ctrl+click to open pages in new Tabs.

To open a new Tab and activate Address Bar, use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+T. Alternatively, right-click on screen (not on links!) or use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Z to open Tab switcher and Navigation bar and use the New Tab button (the big circle with plus sign) on the right side of Tab switcher.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Tab switcher. Click New Tab (plus sign inside circle) to open an empty Tab.

You can also use Tab switcher to activate open Tabs or close any of the open ones using the X button. Currently active Tab has highlighted border around it.
Keyboard fans can use shortcut Ctrl+W to close currently active tab, Ctrl+Tab to scroll forwards between Tabs, Ctrl+Shift+Tab to scroll backwards between Tabs, Ctrl+K to duplicate active Tab and Ctrl+Shift+T to reopen last closed Tab.

To close all other Tabs except the currently active one, open Tab switcher, click the Tab tools button (three dots inside a circle) and select Close tabs from the menu.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Tab switcher. Click Tab Tools and select "Close tabs" to close all other open Tabs.

Changing Tab order and Tab grouping are not supported in Metro version of Internet Explorer 10.

Favorites in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI

Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI/Metro shares favorites with its Desktop version. However, no folders are displayed and all favorites are listed as a long row.

To add the currently open page as a favorite, click/tap the Pin Site button on Navigation Bar or use keyboard shortcut Ctrl+D. Then click Add to favorites.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar. Click "Pin Site" button and then select "Add to favorites" to add current page to Favorites Center.

This will add the page to the root of Favorites Center (Favorites folder in your user profile folder). There are no additional options available.

To remove a favorite, open Navigation Bar using keyboard shortcut F4 or Alt+D and scroll to the right to the Favorites section. Then right-click or tap and hold the link you want to delete and select Remove.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar. Right-click the favorite you want to delete and select "Remove".

That's about all you can do with Favorites in Internet Explorer 10 Metro/Modern UI.

Site pinning in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI

Just like in Desktop version, you can use Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI to pin sites to Start screen. Pinning to Taskbar is not possible in Modern UI version (essentially).

Pinning allows using special features such as notifications, quick links, unread e-mail count, etc for sites that support it. Please be aware that you can pin any site, but not all sites offer additional features.

To pin the currently open site, use keyboard shortcut F4 or Alt+D to open Navigation bar. Alternatively, right-click on screen.
Then click the Pin Site button to the right of Address Bar, change the name of the site if you want to and click the blue Pin to Start button.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar. Click "Pin to start" to add a pinned site to Start screen. Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar, Pin to Start. Change the site name if needed. Then click Pin to Start.

The pinned site now appears in the end (the rightmost edge) of Start screen. Internet Explorer 10 restarts the Tab right away to allow access to any additional features the site might offer - the Pin to Start button on Navigation bar now turns into Site tasks button.
To access the additional features later, open the site from Start screen. Please note that clicking the site in Pinned category of Address bar does not work.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar, Site tasks. Pinned sites often offer additional navigation or notification options.

To unpin a site, either remove (unpin) it from Start screen, or activate Address Bar (Alt+D), right-click the site in Pinned list and select Remove. Then click the blue Unpin from Start button.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address bar. To unpin a site, right-click it in Pinned list. Then select Remove. Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address bar, Remove a pinned site. Click Unpin from Start.

Searching in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI

Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI has search capabilities built into Address Bar. When you type a keyword or phrase into the Address Bar and press Enter key or click the Go button, Internet Explorer will open search results from selected search provider in currently active Tab. If you want to open search results in a new Tab, use Alt+Enter instead.
You will also see search suggestions and top results from your default Search Provider while typing a word or a phrase into Address Bar. To manage Search Providers, you need to use Desktop version of Internet Explorer 10.

You can still open Find Bar for quickly searching in currently open page by pressing Ctrl+F or F3. Find Bar searches right away for any characters that you type in the Find box and it highlights all matches on the page. This makes finding information really easy. Smile

Searching from Address Bar

To search from Address Bar, click it or activate it by pressing F4 on your keyboard. Type a few letters to start automatic searching. You can either accept results from History, Favorites, Pinned sites and automatic suggestions, or you can press Enter to search for the term on your default search engine.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address Bar, Search results. Address Bar searches in History, Feeds, Favorites and Pinned items.

Searching from Search bar

Another way of searching in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI is to open Search bar using keyboard shortcut Windows Key+Q. Yes, that's the same key combination as opening Apps Search in Windows 8.
The Search bar will appear on the right and display your default Search Provider name and previous searches.

Type your search term and press Enter or click the Search button (magnifying glass). Internet Explorer also displays a list of suggestions as you type, so click one if it suites you.
To use previous searches instead, click one in the list.
The results will appear in current Tab and Search bar will remain open. To hide it, click anywhere on results page.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Search bar. Windows Key+Q opens Search bar that uses your default Search Provider. Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Search bar. As you type, a list of suggestions appears.

Using Find Bar for searching contents of currently open web page

If you want to search for something in currently open web page, use Find Bar. You can open it by pressing Ctrl+F or F3 on your keyboard, or you can click Page tools button (the wrench) on Navigation bar and select Find on page.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Navigation bar. To open Find bar for searching on current web page, click "Find on page".

The black Find bar appears in the bottom part of screen.
Type something in the Find box and all matches will be automatically highlighted. Use Previous and Next buttons to navigate between results. Click Close after you're done.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Find bar. Results on current page are highlighted.

Find bar searches for any matches, not whole words and it is not case-sensitive:

  • office matches "office", "office-ready", "Microsoft Office" and "libreoffice"
  • present matches "present", "Present", "presentation" and "Represent"

Privacy in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI

Internet Explorer remembers visited web pages, searches, cookies (small files that websites store to keep your preferences or track your behavior), user names on forms (for some careless people passwords, too!) and it saves displayed images in a special Temporary Internet Files folder to make loading them faster the next time you visit the page (this is also called caching or cache).

This all might be convenient on your own computer at all times, but what if you are on your friend's computer or a public computer and you need to check your webmail account or read company mail? Are you sure that your user name and password will not be remembered? What if you want to visit some web sites or execute some searches that you do not want to be seen in browsing history later?

Here come InPrivate Browsing, Tracking Protection and deleting Browsing History.

Using InPrivate Browsing

InPrivate Browsing allows visiting web sites with ease of mind - no trace will be retained about visited sites, entered user names or passwords and executed searches. Some humorous people call this the "Porn Mode". Laughing Yeah, funny, but you actually need InPrivate Browsing when you are at an Internet Café or someone else's computer. Well, they need to have Internet Explorer 9 or 10 installed, too.

To start InPrivate Browsing in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, press Ctrl+Shift+P on your keyboard or open Tab switcher by right-clicking on screen (but not on web links!), clicking the Tab tools button (three dots inside a circle) and selecting New InPrivate tab from the menu.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Tab switcher. Click Tab tools and select "New InPrivate tab".

Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI then opens an overview of InPrivate browsing and opens Navigation bar. Type a web address and browse with ease of mind. You can easily distinguish between normal and InPrivate tabs by taking a look at Address bar - if it includes the blue InPrivate icon, you are browsing privately.
To stop InPrivate browsing, close the InPrivate Tab.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, new InPrivate tab.

Deleting Browsing History

Sometimes it is best to delete all browsing history, user names and passwords, search history and items in Temporary Internet Files folder.
Unlike the Desktop version of Internet Explorer 10, you cannot choose which data to keep.

To delete all browsing history, use keyboard shortcut Windows Key+I to open Settings charm. Click Internet Options.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Settings Charm. Click Internet Options.

Then click Delete in the Delete Browsing History section. Please note that no confirmation will appear. The process is complete after "Done" is displayed next to the button.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Settings Charm, Internet Explorer Settings. To clear Browsing History, click Delete.

As you can see from the picture above, you can also disable geolocation in Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI. Just set Ask for location to Off and click Clear to remove all location tracking permissions for existing sites.

Now, what about Tracking Protection? You must enable it using the Desktop version as described in the Internet Explorer 10 Privacy article.
If Tracking Protection is turned on, the following indicator appears on Address bar. To disable protection for current site only, click the icon and use the Turn off Tracking Protection button.
Windows 8, Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI, Address Bar, Tracking Protection icon.

Because there are no add-ons and toolbars in Metro version of Internet Explorer 10, ActiveX Filtering is not available - no extensions means no ActiveX.

Disabling Modern UI Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8

If you do not want to use Internet Explorer 10 Modern UI in Windows 8 at all, you can turn it off completely using Internet Options (or by installing another web browser and making it the default one).
First, open Settings search using keyboard shortcut Windows Key+W and type "internet". Click Internet Options.
Windows 8, Start screen, Settings Search. To access Internet Explorer settings, type "internet" and click Internet Options.

Internet Properties window opens. Open Programs tab and enable the Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop option.
Then select Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop from the Choose how you open links combo box.
Windows 8, Internet Properties, Programs tab. To disable Metro version of Internet Explorer, enable the "Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop" option. Windows 8, Internet Properties, Programs tab. To open links in Internet Explorer 10 Desktop only, select "Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop" from Choose how you open links combo box.

Click OK to close Internet Properties. Now Modern UI/Metro version is disabled, all links open in Internet Explorer Desktop version and the tile on Start screen also opens Desktop IE.

 

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