How to open an inprivate tab in the metro version of internet explorer

Using IE on the Start Screen

Lesson 7: Using IE on the Start Screen

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:

  • To open IE, locate and select Internet Explorer on the Startscreen. IE will appear.

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

Tabs Bar

Whenever you are interacting with a website, the tabs bar and address bar will disappear. To reopen them, just right-click anywhere on the screen, or swipe up from the bottom if you’re using a touch screen.

New Tab Button

Click here to open a new tab.

Tab Options Button

Click here to to reopen a closed tab or to open an InPrivate window. An InPrivate window will not track your browsing history.

Refresh Button

Click the Refresh button to reload the current page. If a webpage doesn’t load properly, the Refresh button will change temporarily to the Stop button. Click this button to stop a webpage from loading.

Tabs Button

Click the Tabs button to view all open tabs.

Favorites Button

Click here to access the Favorites bar, where you can view and add favorites. You can also pin websites to the Start screen.

Page Tools Button

Click the Page tools button to search for content on the current page, view downloads, or open the Desktop version of IE.

Forward Button

Click the Forward button to move forward in your browsing history.

Address Bar

Right-click the mouse to see the address bar, which you’ll use to navigate to a website or conduct a web search. Frequently visited sites and suggestions will appear as you type.

Back Button

Click the Back button to move backward in your browsing history.

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.

    Navigating to a website: Type a URL in the address bar, then press Enter on your keyboard.

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

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 Tabbutton. You can also press Ctrl+T on your keyboard. A new tab will appear.

To switch between tabs:

  1. Right-click to open the Tabs bar, then select the desired tab.

To close a tab:

  • Select the Close tab button on the desired tab in the Tabs bar.

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.

To open a link in a new window:

  1. Right-click the desired link, then select Open link in new window.

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


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 Favoritesbutton. The Favorites toolbar will appear.

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 Favoritesbutton from the address bar menu.
  2. The Favorites toolbar will appear. Select the Pin site button.

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.

How does the Metro Internet Explorer 10 compare to the desktop version? Here are the differences.

There are two different versions of Internet Explorer, actually. Metro has gained the attention, but we’ll look at both

It’s no surprise that the Metro side of Windows 8 has been getting all the attention. After all, it’s the big change in Windows 8 and its marquee feature. One of the programs, or apps, as they’re now called, that has undergone a change is Internet Explorer. The much-maligned browser than now its competitive with Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox in every way goes full screen in Metro. In this post, we’ll take a look at the differences between the desktop and Metro versions.

The Metro version of Windows 8 is pretty simple, really. You open the “app”, at which point all distractions will be removed. Internet Explorer 10 goes full screen, even removing the address bar until you need it. The aim is to create an experience – the unofficial buzzword for Metro, it seems.

As CNET report, viewing recent pages also displays them in a Metro-esque style and allows you to pin websites. “The address field also serves as a search field,” like Google Chrome and the upcoming version of Safari in Mountain Lion, so you can just just search for websites.

Users can also open all tabs, open tabs individually or browse through InPrivate. InPrivate is Internet Explorer 10’s version of private browsing. As we’ve reported before, web sites can be pinned to the start screen in the Metro side of Windows 8. As with all Metro apps, they can be moved around and resized.

The Charms bar also moves some of the functionality around. As the bar is context-sensitive, commands in IE could be different to commands in Cut the Rope. In IE 10, users can share a page through e-mail or search the web.

Internet Explorer 10: No plug-ins

However, IE 10 “doesn’t support plug-ins.” This includes Flash and Microsoft Silverlight. Installing a plug-in “switches to the desktop flavour.”

It also lacks folder support, something that SkyDrive seems to be pushing. It seems that the Metro version of IE 10 is geared towards being a more stripped-down, user-friendly version of the browser. That seems a shame considering Microsoft is pushing Metro in such a big way.

Tomorrow, we take a look at the desktop version.

Windows 8 packages Internet Explorer 10 in two different flavors–Metro and desktop, each with their own pros and cons. Which one is better, and how can you manage both?

Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He’s written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He’s the author of two tech books–one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.

For better or worse, IE10 is one of those Windows 8 apps with a split personality–part Metro and part desktop. Microsoft dubs it a “Metro style enabled desktop browser,” which means that technically it’s a single app that offers two different “experiences.”

That sounds cool in theory. But in reality, bouncing back and forth between the Metro browser and the desktop browser can be clumsy and jarring. Both flavors do share the same history list, but otherwise there’s a lack of consistency and standardization between the two.

I like the design of the Metro version. It’s clean, quick, and simple. No fiddling with menus, toolbars, or other items. The browser opens to display a blank screen or your previous page with no distractions. Right-clicking in the browser window then reveals the navigation bar at the bottom with the address field, backward and forward buttons, and other options.

Clicking in the address bar displays thumbnails of frequently used sites and pinned sites, letting you easily return to any previous site. If the site you need isn’t listed, you can start typing the first few characters in the address field. IE10 will search its database of popular sites to try to find the right one. Any site you visit then becomes part of the browser’s history. The address field also serves as a search field, so you can enter any term to search for it on the Web.

A bar at the top allows you to open a new page in another tab and move from one open page to another. Other options let you close individual tabs or all open tabs and launch a new page in an InPrivate tab. You can also pin any site to the Metro Start screen, search for content on the page, and open the page in the desktop version of IE.

But in keeping with the new Metro approach, printing or e-mailing a Web page is no longer done within the browser but rather through the Charms bar.

You can display the Charms bar by moving your mouse to the upper right or upper left hot corners of the screen. You can then click on individual charms. The functions within the Charms bar change depending on the current app. With IE open, the Search charm lets you search the Web, the Devices charm lets you print, and the Sharing charm lets you share a page via e-mail.

The Charms bar does create a consistent approach among all Metro apps. And it’s not too bad once you get used to it. But I think it will confuse people accustomed to clicking File, Print and File, Send by e-mail to perform such basic tasks.

Related stories

  • Microsoft to world: You will browse Metro-style, or else
  • Firefox for Windows 8 to run as single Metro and desktop app
  • Google to give Chrome a Metro sheen

Because of its simplicity, the Metro flavor of IE also lacks certain key features.

It doesn’t support plug-ins. Any site that requires Flash, Microsoft Silverlight, or other add-ons won’t work. Trying to install a plug-in just switches you to the desktop flavor.

You can’t create and manage a list of favorites divided by folder and subfolder. Your only option is to pin your favorite Web sites to the Start screen, where there’s no effective way to organize them, especially as they grow in number.

So I can see the Metro edition of IE as good for quick browsing to relatively simple sites, but not as a tool for people who want to use the browser for work, entertainment, or other common tasks.

In contrast, the desktop version of IE10 provides the browser experience we all know, with the usual toolbars, menus, Favorites, and other familiar items. It may not be as pretty or as clean as the Metro flavor, but it works.

IE10 in desktop mode Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

So how do you choose between the two to create a smoother browsing experience?

Well, in some cases, the choice is made for you. By default, launching a link in a Metro app opens the Metro version of IE. And launching one in the desktop opens the desktop version, says Microsoft. But you can change that.

Open the desktop version of IE10. Click on the Tools icon at the top right of the browser and then select Internet options. Click on the Programs tab. You’ll see a section called Opening Internet Explorer with an option to choose how you open links. You can change the default to always open the Metro version or always open the desktop version. You can also set the behavior to open Web sites pinned to the Metro Start menu in the desktop edition.

One limitation is that only your default browser can offer both a pure Metro and a pure desktop view. Non-default browsers will function strictly as desktop apps. Mozilla and Google are working on versions of their respective browsers designed to work as Metro-style-enabled desktop browsers.

So what will happen when all the various browsers battle to become the default in Windows 8? That’s sure to be yet another source of confusion and potential controversy greeting the upcoming OS.

In Windows 10 Microsoft is moving away from the Internet Explorer browser. The last Internet Explorer browser will be version 11. It may get security updates and the browser that Microsoft wants you to use is their new Microsoft Edge browser. The new browser is a metro app which is found on Windows 10 devices and does not have the old menus in it that went from left to right (that were in Internet Explorer).

At present most single letter navigation keys in NVDA can be used, but may be laggy in between and/or within pages. This will be improved in the Version 1703 (OS Build 15063.138) of Windows 10 and beyond. The speaking of characters in the location bar will then be echoed as well. At present you may also hear the repeating of links. Future updates to NVDA or from Microsoft for Windows 10 should fix these problems.

To bring up your copy of Microsoft Edge in Windows 10 you can do it a couple of different ways. One way is by locating the Edge browser under the running applications section. You can also locate it by typing Microsoft Edge (or even just edge) in the Windows search dialogue box. Alternately you can also find it through the all apps menu.

To get to any of the buttons etcetera, you will need to go to the top of the page. Use the Ctrl key + Home key to do this. You will need to use the Shift/Tab keys to get to the buttons. You might have to do this a few times to get to the application buttons. If you can’t seem to get to the buttons this way (by going to the top of the page and using the Shift/Tab method) you can jump to the location bar using Ctrl+L (or one of its alternatives) and tab to them.

To access any of these, you will need to use the Tab or Shift/Tab keys (depending on which way you navigate on the page) to access them. You will hear NVDA say button customize, go button, search or enter web address, more toggle, list make a web note button, hub, favourites, reading list, history and downloads toggle button, refresh button, and new tab button.

When this section is opened up you can jump down by headings or tab through the different sections here.

Under this section will be a customize heading and information cards section where you can choose your favourite topics.

These are buttons and can be toggled on and off with the Spacebar, and if selected will show in your personalised feed.

There are 3 buttons down the bottom. These are the save button, cancel button and reset to default settings button.

When the more toggle button is pressed it will come up with the following sections. It will pop up a pop up window which can be tabbed through. These options will be a new window, new in private window, zoom out, zoom in, cast media to device, find on page, print, F12 developers tools, send feedback, extensions, what’s new and tips, settings, then it will cycle back to new window.

Under this section when the button is pressed you will get the following. Web notes pen, highlighter, eraser, new note, clip a region, save button, share button and exit button. The above sections can be tabbed through.

When this button is pressed it will give you the following options. There are 4 tabs which say favourite tab, reading list tab, history tab and download tab. You can use the left and right arrow keys to go between the tabs, and the Tab key to go into any of these sections.

Under the favourite tab there will be settings link, import favourite button and pin this pane button.

Under the reading list tab there will be pin this pane button.

Under the history tab there will be clear all history link, last hour (etcetera) and pin this pane button.

Under the download tab there will be open folder link, pin this pane button.

Ctrl + D Add current site to favourites or reading list

Ctrl + E Open a search query in the address bar

Ctrl + H Open history pane

Ctrl + I Open favourites pane

Ctrl + J Open downloads pane

Ctrl + L or F4 or Alt + D Select the address bar

Backspace or Alt + Left arrow Go back

Alt + Right arrow Go forward

Esc Stop loading the page

You can use any of the following shortcut keys to jump up there quickly. These are: Ctrl + L or Alt + D or the F4 key.

Select the address bar, press the backspace key to clear the current entry, then type in your web address (for example ). Press the Enter key to take you to that web address.

You will need to go to the top of the page with the Ctrl key + Home key. The next step is to use the Shift/Tab key a couple of times until you hear NVDA say more toggle button. Press the Spacebar then Tab down until you hear NVDA say settings, then press the Enter key. When the next screen comes up, tab down until you hear NVDA say new tab page. Open the combo box with the Alt key + down arrow key then tab through the sections until you hear NVDA say a specific page or pages, then press the Enter key.

When the next page comes up, you will need to tab until you hear NVDA say new URL. Here, you enter in your web address that you want to use for your home page, for example After you have entered the web address, tab to the save button, then press the Enter key. Now, you should have the new homepage that you specified.

There is a shortcut to get to this section quickly. You can use the Ctrl key + the letter J. When this section appears, you will hear NVDA say downloads window. If you tab once you will hear NVDA say open folder link. Press the Enter key and you will be where your downloaded files are.

Ctrl + D Add current site to favourites or reading list

Ctrl + E Open a search query in the address bar

Ctrl + F Find on page

Ctrl + H Open history pane

Ctrl + I Open favourites pane

Ctrl + J Open downloads pane

Ctrl + K Duplicate tab

Ctrl + L or F4 or Alt + D Select the address bar

Ctrl + N Open a new window

Ctrl + P Print the current page

Ctrl + R or F5 Refresh the page

Ctrl + T Open a new tab

Ctrl + W Close current tab

Ctrl + Shift + P Open a new InPrivate Browsing window

Ctrl + Shift + R Enter reading view

Ctrl +1, 2, 3,…, 8 Switch to a specific tab number

Ctrl + 9 Switch to the last tab

Ctrl + plus (+) Zoom in (25%)

Ctrl + minus (-) Zoom out (25%)

Ctrl + 0 Reset zoom level

Backspace or Alt + Left arrow Go back

Alt + Right arrow Go forward

Esc Stop loading the page

Ctrl + Tab Switch to the next tab

Ctrl + Shift + Tab Open link in a new tab and switch to the tab

Internet Explorer 11 support ended

Support for Internet Explorer 11 has ended on June 15, 2022. If any site you visit needs Internet Explorer 11, you can reload it with Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge. We recommend you use Microsoft Edge for a faster, more secure and more modern web browsing experience.

Privacy settings

By adjusting Internet Explorer’s privacy settings, you can affect how websites monitor your online activity. For example, you can decide which cookies are stored, choose how and when sites can use your location info, and block unwanted pop-ups.

Cookies are small files that websites put on your PC to store information about you and your preferences. Cookies can make your browsing experience better by letting sites remember your preferences or letting you avoid signing in each time you visit certain sites. However, some cookies might put your privacy at risk by tracking sites that you visit. For more info, see Delete and manage cookies in Internet Explorer.

When Do Not Track is turned on, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track request to the sites you visit and to the third parties whose content is hosted on those sites to let the sites know that you would prefer not to be tracked. For more info, see Do Not Track.

Browsers store some info—like your search history—to help improve your experience on the web. When you use InPrivate Browsing, info like passwords, search history, and page history is deleted once you close the tab.

To open an InPrivate Browsing session, right–click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar, and select Start InPrivate Browsing.

To turn off add-ons in InPrivate Browsing sessions

Open the desktop, and then select the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

Select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

On the Privacy tab, select the Disable toolbars and extensions when InPrivate Browsing starts check box, and select OK.

Location Services lets sites ask for your physical location to improve your experience. For example, a mapping site can request your physical location to center the map for you. Internet Explorer will let you know when a site wants to use your location. When this happens, select Allow once to let a site use your location just one time. If you want the site to use your location each time you visit, select Always allow.

To turn off location sharing

If you don’t want sites to ask for your physical location, you can turn off location sharing. Here’s how:

Open Internet Explorer by selecting the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

Click the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

On the Privacy tab, under Location, select the Never allow websites to request your physical location check box.

Pop-up Blocker limits or blocks pop-ups on sites that you visit. You can choose the level of blocking you prefer, turn on or off notifications when pop-ups are blocked, or create a list of sites that you don’t want to block pop-ups on. Pop-up Blocker settings only apply to Internet Explorer.

To turn Pop-up Blocker on or off

Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select or clear the Turn on Pop-up Blocker check box, and then select OK.

Block all pop-ups

Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select Settings.

In the Pop-up Blocker settings dialog box, under Blocking level, set the blocking level to High: Block all pop-ups (Ctrl + Alt to override).

Select Close, and then select OK.

Turn off notifications when pop-ups are blocked

Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select Settings.

In the Pop-up Blocker settings dialog box, clear the Show Notification bar when a pop-up is blocked check box.

Select Close, and then select OK.

Tracking Protection helps prevent information about your browsing from being sent to third-party content providers on sites you visit. Think of a Tracking Protection Lists as a “do not call” list. Internet Explorer blocks any third-party content from sites on the list, and limits the info that those third-party sites can collect about you.

Security zones

By changing the security settings, you can customize how Internet Explorer helps protect your PC from potentially harmful or malicious web content. Internet Explorer automatically assigns all websites to a security zone: Internet, Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites. Each zone has a different default security level that determines what kind of content can be blocked for that site. Depending on the security level of a site, some content can be blocked until you choose to allow it, ActiveX controls might not run automatically, or you might see warning prompts on certain sites. You can customize the settings for each zone to decide how much protection you do or don’t want.

Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

Select the Security tab and customize your security zone settings in these ways:

To change settings for any security zone, select the zone icon, and then move the slider to the security level that you want.

To create your own security settings for a zone, select the zone icon, and then select Custom level and choose the settings that you want.

To restore all security levels to their original settings, select the Reset all zones to default level button.

Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button , and then select Internet options.

Select the Security tab, choose one of the security zone icons ( Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites), and then select Sites. You can add sites to the zone you chose, or delete sites that you no longer want in this zone.

If you chose Local intranet in the previous step, select Advanced, and then do one of the following:

Add a site. Enter a URL into the Add this website to the zone box, and then select Add.

Remove a site. Under Websites, select the URL you want to remove, and then select Remove.

Enhanced Protected Mode makes it harder for malware to run in Internet Explorer.

To turn on or off Enhanced Protected Mode

Open Internet Explorer, select the Tools button, and then select Internet Options.

On the Advanced tab, under Security, select (or clear) the Enable Enhanced Protected Mode check box, and then select OK. You’ll need to restart your PC before this setting takes effect.