How To Tell IE 10 To Switch From Metro Style to Desktop Version

IE 10 on Windows 8 has two versions, one for Metro and one for desktop. The one for Metro Style only supports the websites that are plug-in free, i.e. no flash, for better battery life, security, reliability, as well as privacy for consumers.

But how to smoothly transfer those sites that do require plug-in seamlessly from Metro to desktop? Here is one way of doing that, but has to be done by the developers, not you as the end user.

Add an HTTP header or meta tag like below on to your plug-in-must-have site

HTTP Header

X-UA-Compatible: requiresActiveX=true


<meta http-equiv=”X-UA-Compatible” content=”requiresActiveX=true” />

Once Metro Style IE 10 detects either of these flags, it prompts the end user a one-touch option to switch to desktop version.


Idea is simple and the motivation is clear, making a plug-in free web. With HTML5 getting more and more evolved, it’s time putting an end signal to all those plug-ins. But let’s see how well the web reacts.

[via IE Blog]

Kent Chen

Microsoft MVP, IT Professional, Developer, Geek, and the co-founder of Next of Windows.

Last updated: 10/28/2014

Posted in: Windows 8
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