How to Make IE11 the Default Browser in Windows

If you aren't happy with your browser, change it

Person using laptop while relaxing with a beverage


Anytime a web browser is needed in Windows, the default option usually launches. If Firefox is your default browser, for example, clicking on a link in an email causes Firefox to open and go to the appropriate URL. You can set Internet Explorer 11 to be the default browser if you prefer.

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

Changing the Default Browser in Windows 10

The default web browser in Windows 10 is the new Microsoft Edge browser. However, you do have the ability to use Internet Explorer, which you can set as the default from Windows Settings.

  1. Select the Start button.

  2. Type Default apps.

    Screenshot of Default Apps in Windows Search results
  3. Select Default apps in the search results. The Default Apps Settings window will open.

    Screenshot of the Default Apps Settings window
  4. Under Web Browser, choose the current browser, which might be Microsoft Edge or another browser, and then select IE11.

    You can also configure IE11 to only open certain file types and protocols by clicking on the Choose defaults for this program link found at the bottom of the Set Default Programs window.

    Screenshot of Default Browser settings in Windows 10
  5. Close the settings window. Your default browser will be set as Internet Explorer 11.

How To Make Internet Explorer Default

Set IE as the default from the browser settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8.

  1. Open your IE11 browser.

  2. Select the Gear icon located in the upper right corner of the browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select Internet Options to open the Internet Options dialog box.

    Screenshot of Internet Options in Internet Exporer menu
  3. Select the Programs tab.

    Screenshot of the Programs tab on the Internet Options dialog box
  4. Select the Make Default button in the Default Web Browser section.

    Screenshot showing Make Default button in Internet Options
  5. Select OK to close the dialog box. Internet Explorer will be set as your computer's default web browser.