How to Reset IE10 to Its Default Settings

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Open Your IE10 Browser

One of the major positives of Internet Explorer 10 is the fact that it is highly customizable. From defining its startup behavior to managing its various private data components, IE10 provides the ability to tweak just about anything. While having carte blanche over your browser's configuration can be beneficial, it can also prove problematic at times for even the most advanced user.

If your browser has slowed down to a crawl, or you feel that your modifications may have caused some other problems, returning IE10 to its factory state may be just what the doctor ordered. Fortunately, Microsoft has included a fairly straightforward method to reset the browser to its default settings.

First, open your IE10 browser.

Windows 8 users: Please note that this tutorial is for IE10 in Desktop Mode.

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Internet Options

Internet options

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Click on the Gear icon, also known as the Action or Tools menu, located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, select Internet options.

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Advanced Options

Advanced Internet options

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IE10's Internet Options dialog should now be displayed, overlaying your browser window. Click on the Advanced tab.

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Reset IE Settings

Reset Internet Explorer settings

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The Advanced Options tab should now be displayed. Towards the bottom of this tab is a section labeled Reset Internet Explorer settings. Click on the Reset... button, found within this section.

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Are You Sure...?

Reset internet explorer settings

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The Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog, shown in the example above, should now be displayed. By default, the following items will be reset to their original state if you choose to continue with the process.

  • Any user-defined settings configured via IE10's Internet Options dialog; This includes privacy and security settings, as well as any items modified within the Advanced tab.
  • Any modifications made to IE10's tabbed browsing settings
  • Changes made to IE10's pop-up blocker, including the user-defined whitelist.
  • Settings that were modified by toolbars or other add-ons
  • All browser extensions and toolbars will be disabled, but not removed.

There are also a number of other personal settings that are not reset by default. To include these settings in the reset process you must first place a check mark next to the Delete personal settings option, highlighted in the example above. These items are as follows.

  • Any modifications made to IE10's homepage and startup settings.
  • Any modifications made to IE10's default search providers.
  • All private data components including temporary Internet files (cache), cookies, browsing history, saved passwords, ActiveX Filtering data and more will be deleted. Temporary Internet files, or cache, consists of images, multimedia files and even full copies of Web pages that are stored locally to reduce page load times on future visits. Browsing history is essentially a record of the websites that you have visited in the past, maintained by IE10 on your hard drive. Saved passwords, meanwhile, can be kept on your PC for a number of purposes such as accessing your email account or logging in to pay your bills.

Now that you understand which items will be reset to their default state, click on the Reset button to initiate the process.

Note: Proceed at your own risk, as this action cannot be reversed.

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reset internet explorer settings confirmation page

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The reset process should now be complete, as evidenced in the example above. Click on Close to return to your main browser window. At this point, you should restart your computer to ensure that all changes have been correctly applied.