Windows 10

Windows 10 FAQ

Web Browsers FAQ

Internet Explorer

Update: 24 Jan 2020

1. How do I use the new Web Browsers in Windows 10?

Windows 10 has added Internet Explorer 11 and the Microsoft Edge web browsers. Internet Explorer is provided for backward compatibility but the new Edge browser is brand new. An early version of Edge used a engine called EdgeHTML which supports the latest HTML, CSS, Javascript protocols but no longer supports the legacy ActiveX and Browser Help objects used by IE. From 2019, Micosoft have developed a new version of the Edge browser, which is based on Chromium, which is similar to Google Chrome, but it is also multi-platform compatible. Download new Edge browser from here.

Internet Explorer 11 start menu shortcut can be found within the All Apps, Windows Accessories sub-menu.

2. I do not wish to have Internet Explorer on my desktop, how do I remove it?

By default Internet Explorer is not shown, if an icon is shown you can just delete it. You can also remove it from the quick launch bar by dragging the icon off the bar onto the desktop and then into the Recycle Bin. Internet Explorer can be removed from Control Panel, Programs, Turn Windows Features on or off. To add Edge to the desktop, create a shortcut to C:\Windows\SystemApps\Microsoft.MicrosoftEdge_8wekyb3d8bbwe\MicrosoftEdge.exe.

If you want a shortcut to the original desktop version of Internet Explorer, create a shortcut to C:\Programs files (x86)\Internet Explore\iexplorer.exe, a 64-bit version is in C:\Program files\Internet Explorer\.

3. How do I shutdown my dial up when I finish with Internet Explorer?

Open Internet Options (via Control panel, Network and Internet), click on Connections, then Settings, then Advanced and finally tick
Disconnect when connection may no longer be used.

4. I cannot change my home page, it reverts to another page again?

You probably have some advertising or spyware installed. Look in Add/Remove Programs to remove it or download Adaware, Microsoft Defender or Malwarebytes Anti-malware program to search and remove spy sofware.
A list of other security programs can be found on the AntiVirus-Partners page.

5. How can I reduce the number of Cookies saved on my PC?

You need to increase the Security level for cookies under Privacy in Internet Options. You may add sites manually that require a lower setting. Click Edit and then enter web address and click Allow or click Block to block specific sites.

6. Where can I update my version of Internet Explorer?

Most Windows come with a version of Internet Explorer, but you can update it either via windows update site or Internet Explorer home page. You can only have one version of IE installed at any time. But you can install other third party browsers or something like IETester.
Internet Explorer 11 is the latest Internet Explorer for Windows 10.

7. Where can I download other web browsers?

If you do not like Microsoft browsers, try other browsers such as Firefox, Avant , Opera, Maxthon, Chrome, AVG Secure Browser.
Other browsers include k-Meleon, Lunascape, SRWare Iron, Sleipnir and Comodo Dragon.
Older browsers can be found on OldApps.

8. I am unable to view web pages, they are not found or blocked?

Check settings in Tools, Internet Options. Make sure that Security settings are not too high (Medium is preferred). If you have a firewall program installed, then check that your browser is allowed access to the internet, and re-check other settings. You need ports 80 (HTTP), 443 (HTTPS) and possibly 21 (FTP) enabled. Also, make sure your connection is active (use Ping to check a web site address or gateway address) and use ipconfig /all to check that you have the correct IP and DNS addresses set up. Sometimes re-connecting to your ISP or rebooting your Modem or recent ADSL or a modern Fibre Router may help.

9. What ís the difference between JavaScript and Java?

These are two entirely different scripting languages. Javascript is a client-side programming language to provide dynamic web content such as login scripts, check to see what browser you have, picture changes and so on. Internet Explorer has Javascript built in (see JScript and ECMAScript). If you look at the html source, you may find code that start with <SCRIPT language="JavaScript">.
Java, is a platform independant programming language by Oracle, and runs programs called applets which runs a Java program called a .class file within a web page, if you look at html source, you may find an entry that looks like: <APPLET CODE="program.class">. Java programs are written using a JDK (Java Development Kit), some are free and some are commercial e.g. Borland's J Builder. Windows does not include Java by default.

10. How do I clear out the list of web sites I have visited?

In IE, open Tools, Internet Tools and on the General tab, select Clear History.
In Edge, click on dots (...) at top right, select History, then Clear browsing data.

11. How do I enable or disable the auto-storage of username, passwords and other user information?

In IE, open Tools, Internet Tools and on the Content tab, click on the AutoComplete button and enable or disable what features you want to save.
In Edge, click on dots (...) at top right, select Settings, Profiles, Passwords, and turn on or off the Offer to save passwords option.

12. How I disconnect from the Internet when I close down Internet Explorer?

Open Tools Internet Options, then on the Connections tab, click Settings next to Dial up and Virtual Private Network settings and click on Advanced then tick the Disconnect when connection may no longer be needed.

13. What is a Proxy and where do I change the settings to point to my proxy server?

A Proxy server is a server used to cache web content from web sites visited by users, this improves performance for users as it cuts down traffic to or from the internet when common web sites are accessed. You need to specify the Hostname or address and Port of the proxy server in Internet Options under Connections, LAN Settings. The proxy program for Windows is WinProxy.
In Edge, click on dots (...) at top right, select Settings, System and then click Open your computer's proxy settings.

14. I am unable to browse the internet after an upgrade or an uninstall?

Some programs can interfere with IE and browsing. A configuration error in your network settings can also stop browsing, see Network Connections to change network settings esp. TCPIPv4 settings and the DNS setting.

15. How do I reinstall Internet Explorer or Edge?

Internet Explorer is built into Windows 10 so it cannot be uninstalled or reinstalled. Run SFC /Scannow to restore any missing files. Internet Explorer 11 can be disabled via the Control Panel, Programs, Turn Windows Features on or off.
Microsoft Edge can be downloaded from Microsoft Edge page and installed or removed as normal.

16. How do I know what plugins or ActiveX addons are installed?

With Internet Explorer, there is a Manage Add-ons option on the IE Tools menu which lists installed plugins. Here you can Enable or Disable any installed ActiveX plugins such as those for Acrobat Reader, Flash, Shockwave, Toolbars etc.
In Edge, enter in the address bar; edge://components or edge://extensions to view and manage additonal add-ons.

17. How do I turn off pop up windows in IE or Edge?

In IE, there is a Pop-up Blocker option on the IE Tools menu. Alternatively, you can download extra toolbars from Google, Yahoo or MSN websites.
In Edge, select the dots (...) at the top right, Settings, Site permissions and enable or disable Pop-ups and redirects.

18. How do I prevent access to certain undesirable web pages?

There are plenty of web sites with undesirable content such as those concerned with sex, violence and bad language. You can block these using the Restricted Sites feature in the Security tab of Internet Options and add the web site name there. You can also enable the Content Advisor on the Content tab. Click Enable and set the level you require. This is recommended if you have Children to access the internet and need to block sites automatically.
In Edge, select the dots (...) at the top right, Settings, and select Family Safety to configure Content filters and so on.

19. How do i get the menu options back in Internet Explorer?

To get the File, Edit, View, Favorites, Tools and Help menus back, click on Tools, Menu Bar on the right hand side. You can also move the menu to the top of the window using this registry fix. Open Regedit and browse to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\Toolbar\WebBrowser. Select New, DWORD and enter ITBar7Position and assign it a value of 1. Reload IE to see new setting take effect.

20. What is 'Protected Mode' in the Security tab in Internet Explorer?

Protected Mode isolates the web browser from the system, so that downloads including malware (ad ware, spyware etc) does not infect your Windows system and compromise your personal information to outside sources. Turning off Protected mode for Internet or Intranet websites will cause a warning to appear at the top of the browser.

In Edge, open Settings, Privacy and Services and configure the following to maximise Edge protection:
a) Tracking Prevention: Strict.
b) Clear browsing data. Enable options what to clear when closing the browser e.g. history, cache, passwords, autofill, site permissions.
c) Privacy. Send 'Do not track' requests enabled.
d) Security. Enable Microsoft Defender SmartScreen.
e) Secure DNS. Select a Secure DNS provider.
f) Search. Disable search and site suggestions.
g) Search Engine. Use the default Bing search provider for Inprivate search service.

21. What is Phishing and how do I enable or disable it?

Thieves and fraudsters tend to create fake websites which emulate banks, building societies, auction sites and so on which ask for your personal details and use that information to get your identity and thus use it to steal information, money or goods on the internet. Phishing detection should be left on to detect such sites and block them automatically.
To turn it on or off, go to Tools, Phishing Filter and tick or un-tick Turn on automatically website checking. In Edge, enable the Defender Smartscreen setting for Anti-phishing security.

22. How do I transfer or view usernames and passwords in IE?

Usernames and passwords are stored in Protected Storage on the PC. Some can be viewed in the Credentials Manager in Control Panel. Although it is not very secure as there are utilities that can view the Protected Storage. For example, try the freeware tool called IE PassView from NirSoft. The passwords are cleared out if the History cache is also cleared out so you need to visit the sites again. Ideally you should not use the built in password manager but a secure third party solution like LastPass. Lastpass has the advantage of being mobile and can be accessed from other browsers and other locations when installed and logged onto.

23. Can I install an older Internet Explorer on Windows 10?

No, you cannot install older versions of Internet Explorer on Windows 10. If you need to run applications that specifically need IE6 (which will shows some bad programming practises), the you can either:
- Use Hyper-V or Virtualbox and use Windows XP with IE 6, 7 or 8. Windows 7 for IE 8 or 9.
- Use Microsoft's Web SuperPreview tool.
- Use a tool called IETester to test different browser versions.
- Use the Compatibility View Settings in the Page menu in IE 11 for old web sites.

24. How do I change the default download directory?

Open Regedit and change the following entry, for example, change it to your desktop:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
Download Directory="C:\Users\username\Desktop"

25. What keyboard shortcuts can I use in Internet Explorer?

Shortcut Description
F1 Help
F3 Find string
F4 Address line
F5 Refresh
F6 Address line
F7 Caret Browsing
F10 Open menu bar
F11 Full screen
F12 Developer tools
Ctrl+Shift+Del Delete history
Ctrl+Shift+P Inprivate browsing
Ctrl+Shift+F Inprivate filtering
Ctrl+P Print
Ctrl+D Add a favourite
Ctrl+B Organize favourites
Ctrl+T New tab
Ctrl+W Close tab
Ctrl+E Search
Ctrl+R Refresh
Ctrl+I View favourites
Ctrl+O Open address
Ctrl+F Find string
Ctrl+H View history
Ctrl+J View feeds
Ctrl+K Open new tab
Ctrl+F4 Close window

Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts can be found here.
Edge keyboard shortcuts can be found here.

26. How can I tell what version of Adobe Flash or Shockwave I have installed?

There are a couple of tester pages to check the version of Flash. If you find that you have an out of date version, you can update them via the appropiate link on Adobe's main page. Note that other browsers such as Firefox require their own version of Flash Player.

Flash also has its own Control Panel, which you can use to change settings including how often to check for updates. Alternatively, a mms.cfg file can be created in the Flash folder to control update settings.

27. Where can I get other plugins for Internet Explorer?

a) Silverlight - Microsoft's multi-platform media plugin.
b)  Adobe AIR - A cross-platform tool for games and apps.
c) SVG Viewer - a scalable vector graphics plug-in.
d) Cosmo Player - a VRML player plug-in.
e) Turntool - a 3D model viewer plug-in.
f) Citrix Receiver - Web plugin for access to Citrix Presentation servers.
g) Cisco Webex - Online meetings, training and support.

28. I have Internet Explorer 11 but can I install older version of IE ?

You cannot installed older versions of IE, but you can use a tool called IETester to test different browser versions.
To test real versions of older IE, you need to use a virtual machine manager such as Hyper-V or VirtualBox.

29. How do I stop drive-by malware and other unwanted programs?

Make sure that the following are applied to your computer:
a) Make sure that Windows' Automatic updates are enabled and they are all installed every month.
b) Leave User Account Control on to notify you of potential unwanted installs.
c) Regularly upgrade any applications that have plugins to your browser especially: Adobe Flash, Shockware, Acrobat Reader, Java and RealPlayer.
d) Install a good and trusted Anti-Virus product and if possible install security addons for the browser such as McAfee's WebAdvisor, AVG Secure Search, Norton Safe Web.
e) Switch to an alternative web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari or Opera.

30. How do I make Internet Explorer the default browser?

Open Control Panel, Network and Internet then Internet Options. Click on the Programs tab and click on the Make Default button.

31. I get debug messages, how do I turn them off?

Open Internet Options (via Tools menu or control panel), click on Advanced and tick Disable Script Debugging. A debug message appears when there is an error in client side scripts (e.g. Javascript) written on the web page and hasn`t been fixed since. be curteous and inform the author about them.

32. I cannot view secure web pages using HTTPS?

More and more websites are now secured using HTTPS (Hypertext Transport Protocol Secure) which are encrypted using TLS certificates (SSL is the old name). The current supported and secure version is TLS 1.2.
If you visit a site, you can view the certificate by either clicking on the padlock icon on the Address bar or select File, Properties and look at the Connection properties and also the certificate button. Things to check is that the certificate name matches the actual web site name and that it has not expired. Do not automatically assume, that a web site that is encrypted is trustworthy, scammers can use name variations and copied graphics and layout to mimic the real thing to fool users.
If your machine does not have a the correct root certificate, certificates may be flagged as untrusted, so you should visit the Certificate Authority's website to download and install your certificates , once installed, any web sites that uses that root certificate will be trusted by the computer.