What Is Internet Explorer (IE)?

Internet Explorer

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (IE) web browser has long been an indispensable feature on Windows computers. Once available on other operating systems such as UNIX and Apple Mac OS, Microsoft discontinued developing IE for those platforms in 2003 and 2001 respectively.

Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer on June 15, 2022 and now offers more functionality than its predecessor ever did. To access Internet Explorer again, click the square icon with an “e” inside to access IE on your taskbar.


Internet Explorer (IE) is the world’s most widely used web browser, used to view web pages, conduct online banking transactions and complete other tasks. IE boasts features not available elsewhere such as InPrivate browsing and Automatic Tab-Crash Recovery; additionally it boasts security enhancements which protect users against malware, phishing schemes and cross-site scripting attacks.

Microsoft initially developed Internet Explorer as an answer to Netscape Navigator browser, and released its initial version for public consumption with Windows 95 in 1995. Over time, new features were added and eventually it became compatible with all versions of Windows.

Security Zones in Internet Explorer (IE) are an integral feature, serving as sets of permissions that control what access a browser has to websites. There are four zones – Internet, local intranet, trusted sites and restricted sites. Each has individual privileges which can be modified; for instance allowing a site access only for reading passwords but not credit card or personal data.

IE8 improved upon previous versions’ search functionality with an innovative dropdown list that suggests search terms as you type. Entries that don’t interest you can be deleted with just one click and small visual cues appear within the dropdown list to highlight especially significant searches.

IE8 makes page tab management more stable by limiting each web application running at once, thus avoiding crashes in one tab from bringing down the entire browser. Furthermore, its Microsoft Defender SmartScreen adds extra protection against websites known for malicious behavior by alerting you whenever opening one of those webpages.

Another useful feature is the Performance Dashboard, which gives you a bird’s-eye view of how much computer resources each tab is consuming in each category: CPU, RAM and paint time usage as well as network requests. Furthermore, you can use this dashboard to discover which tabs are using up most resources so you can take measures to reduce their burden.

Address bar

The familiar text field at the top of most web browsers, known as an address bar or search box, allows users to type Internet addresses or other text directly into it in order to request websites or pages, providing instant feedback about search results.

An address bar depends on your browser and may provide suggestions (auto-completion) of previously entered addresses or text, display recent Web searches, offer to add default search engines as a search option, and may provide buttons that allow for searches from within a page itself.

Most web browsers feature a bookmark feature that enables users to mark certain websites as favorites that can be quickly and conveniently accessed via an icon in the address bar. This can help reduce having to remember complex URLs while giving access to favorites more quickly and conveniently. Furthermore, many Internet browsers allow users to display a small icon indicating featured content of a given website (also referred to as favicons).

Internet Explorer’s search feature displays suggested search terms as you type into the search box, and when clicked upon, opens up its associated website’s search result page. However, many users prefer using another search engine such as Google when surfing the Internet; to change their search engine simply navigate into Tools (or, depending on your version of Windows OS, Control Panel) and choose an option under Search Settings to make necessary adjustments.

Older versions of Internet Explorer contain a bug that makes it easier for attackers to steal personal information through its address bar. This vulnerability has been exploited by malicious websites who attempt to gain access to user’s web browsing history as well as autocomplete lists – this technique is known as phishing attacks.


Tabs are an integral feature of Web browsers that allow you to keep multiple websites open at the same time. Internet Explorer supports this functionality with features like custom home pages and starting up tabs from previous sessions.

To open a new tab, use either the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+T or click on the tab button found at the top of your browser window. Each group of pages uses its own distinctive color so they’re easily distinguishable. If an accidental tab closure happens, right-clicking it and selecting “Reopen Last Tab” or alternatively the “Recently Closed Tabs” will bring it back.

IE 8 introduces a feature known as tab groups that makes it easy to locate pages and tabs within your browser. They’re automatically created when opening links from websites in a new tab; if you have multiple pages open at once, use this feature to group similar tabs so they’re easier to locate.

Additionally to those tabs automatically added by Internet Explorer 8, you can add any number of extra ones using the “Add Tab” button on top of your browser window. Furthermore, you have the ability to reorder them by dragging and clicking. Furthermore, right-clicking any tab offers various options for closing, restoring, or opening it again.

If you use multiple tabs, setting one group as your default can help prevent multiple tabs from opening when closing your browser. Simply select your group and click “Make Default.” If this feature is no longer desired, simply disable it in your browser settings.


Internet Explorer’s Favorites feature is an efficient way to track websites you visit frequently. It makes navigating quickly to any page when needed a snap, providing quick and easy access. Your Favorites can be found via various methods including the address bar or by pressing its button; they’re even customizable into folders so they’re easier to locate later – create them for specific categories like news websites or social media websites, then further organize them with subfolders!

Edit your Favorites by renaming, deleting and moving them. Additionally, you can choose whether they appear alphabetically or chronologically and customize the shortcut icons – simply drag any shortcut you want to change into its new position – a message will indicate whether this has worked correctly when it says “Move Here”.

Another way of managing Favorites is exporting them. This will save them as a file that you can import later into another browser or computer. To export, click the star icon in the menu bar, and select “Import and Export”. Select Export to File then Click Next; check “Favorites”, and set where to save this file – for best results store in a folder dedicated to favorites on desktop computer, or store with other web documents.

Once you’ve exported your Favorites, they can be imported back into Microsoft Edge or another browser via an HTM file that’s saved on your computer – this provides a great way of backing up IE favorites in case of computer virus attack or hardware malfunction.

Although Microsoft’s decision to discontinue Internet Explorer was unfortuitous, a workaround exists within Windows 10 that allows you to maintain many of your old IE favorites with Edge. With the help of this tutorial, you can migrate them over in just a few steps!

Press ESC to close