6+ Useful Tips for Internet Explorer Users

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I have left Internet Explorer behind for quite a while. Not that it’s completely out of my eyes. It’s just not my go-to browser anymore since Chrome.  But with IE 10 closing to Windows 7, I took the chance spending a few serious hours using the new IE to see what’s been changed.

And here are 6+ useful tips I found that you may not know you can do in IE. Note that they are not only limited to IE 10. Some of them may apply to other browsers as well. Feel free to try out on both IE and others.

All-in-one address bar

The address bar in IE is not only  for typing in web addresses but for searching as well. You don’t have to open Google or Bing page to conduct the search. Instead, you can just type in the keywords and Enter, the search result page will show up automatically for you.

And what’s more convenient is that the search bar provides you a list of potential sites in a dropdown list as you type, from history, and the suggestions from the default search engine.

IE Tips - Search bar

Manage Search Provider

Bing is the default search engine in IE. But if it’s not your thing, you can add another provider by simply clicking Add button shown in the above screenshot. You can manage multiple search providers through Manage Add-ons Search Providers section. You can change the default Search Provider, Enable/Disable them, or enable or disable search in Address Bar.

IE Tips - Manage Add-ons

Reopen Last Session

Reopening last session is to reopen all closed tabs from last time you used IE. It’s extremely useful and life saver when IE suddenly decided to crash and to restart on its own. You can simply bring all websites back by clicking Reopen last session at the bottom of the Tab Preview (we will get onto Tab Preview in a minute).

You can even turn Reopen Last Session by default so that when IE starts it automatically brings back all websites you were previously visiting. And you can do so by clicking the Gear icon, go to Internet Options, and select Start with tabs from the last session option under Startup.

IE Tips - Start with tabs from last session

Reopen closed tabs

It’s equally useful that you can reopen the tabs you accidently closed with only a couple clicks. You can right-click the tab and either reopen all closed tabs there or reopen single closed tabs recently closed. You can also do so from the Tab Preview as well.

IE Tips - Reopen closed tabs

Tab Preview page is your friend

The Tab Preview page contains 10 most frequently sites you accessed in the past, as well as 3 more options that let you discover other sites you might like, such as

  • Reopen closed tabs
  • Reopen last session
  • InPrivate Browsing

You can set Tab Preview as the default page for new tabs you open, from Tabbed Browsing Settings in Internet Options.

IE Tips - Tab Preview as default tab page

You can even set it as your default home page so the Tab Preview shows up every time when you open Internet Explorer. You can do so by adding “about:tabs” to the Home Page setting in Internet Options.

IE Tips - set Tab Preview as home page

Efficiently use keyboard and mouse to operate Tabs

Here are a few my favorite keyboard and mouse tricks that will help you easily jump between the tabs in IE, if you hadn’t known.

Open new tab: Ctrl + T

Close the active tab: Ctrl + W or Ctrl + F4, or middle mouse click on the tab.

Open InPrivate Browsing: Ctrl + Shift + P, which is different from Chrome.

Open link in new tab: middle mouse click the link.

Go one page back: press Backspace

Go one page forward: Shift + Backspace

[updated on Nov. 16, 2012]

Reopen last closed tab: Ctrl + Shift + T

Cycle through tabs: Ctrl + Tab

Thanks to the tip, Tipper.

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