How to Make IE11 the Default Browser in Windows

Automatically open web files and links in Internet Explorer

When you open a web file or link in Windows, it launches in the default web browser. For example, in Windows 10, selecting an email link in Microsoft Outlook will open the URL in Microsoft Edge. If you prefer using IE 11, here's how to make Internet Explorer the default web browser.

Instructions in this article apply to Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7.

How to Set IE as the Default Browser in Windows 10

Although Microsoft Edge is the preferred web browser for Windows 10, you can still set Internet Explorer as your default browser.

  1. In the Windows Start Menu search bar, type Default apps, then select Default apps in the search results.

    Opening default apps
  2. Select the current browser under Web Browser in the Default apps window.

    The Web Browser category in Default Apps
  3. Select Internet Explorer 11.

    Screenshot of Default Browser settings in Windows 10

    To configure IE 11 to only open certain file types, select Choose default apps by file type at the bottom of the Default apps window.


  4. Close the settings window. Your default browser will be set as Internet Explorer 11.

How To Make Internet Explorer the Default Browser for Windows 8 and 7

Internet Explorer is already the default browser for Windows 8 and Windows 7; however, if you've changed it to something else, here's how to change it back:

  1. Select the Settings Gear in the top-right corner of IE 11 and choose Internet Options from the drop-down menu.

    Internet Options under settings
  2. Select the Programs tab.

    Programs tab in IE settings
  3. Select Make Default under the Default Web Browser section.

    The Make Default button
  4. Select OK to close the dialog box. Internet Explorer will be set as your computer's default web browser.

    The OK button