How to Open Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10

Internet Explorer 11 is on your Windows 10 computer, it's just hidden

What to Know

  • Easiest way: Type Internet Explorer into the Search box and then select it to launch the browser.
  • Or, if you have Cortana enabled, say, "Hey, Cortana," and then say, "Open Internet Explorer."
  • For easy access, pin IE to the taskbar: Type Internet Explorer into the Search box. Right-click on it and select Pin to taskbar.

This article explains how to open and use Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10 if you don't want to use Microsoft Edge. Methods include locating IE11 through search or the file manager, using Cortana to launch IE11, or pinning IE11 to your Start menu or taskbar for easy access.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download the newest version.

Locate IE11 Through Search or the File Manager

Here's the easiest way to launch Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10:

  1. Move your mouse to the taskbar and click the Type here to search box.

    You can press the Windows key instead.

  2. Type Internet Explorer.

  3. Select Internet Explorer when it appears.

  4. Internet Explorer will launch, and you can browse the web using the same experience you remember from Windows 8 and 8.1.

    Edge will still be the default browser, so you will have to manually open Internet Explorer 11 each time you want to use it.

How to Open Internet Explorer 11 With Cortana

If you have Cortana enabled, there's an easier way to launch Internet Explorer in Windows 10.

  1. Say, "Hey, Cortana."

  2. Say, "Open Internet Explorer."

As long as Cortana is set up correctly, and can understand the command, Internet Explorer opens as soon as you ask.

Pin Internet Explorer to the Taskbar for Easy Access

While opening Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10 isn't difficult, pinning it to the taskbar is a good idea if you plan to use it regularly. This allows you to launch the program any time you want by clicking an icon on the taskbar.

  1. Move the mouse to the taskbar and click the Type here to search box.

    You can press the Windows key instead.

  2. Type Internet Explorer.

  3. Right-click Internet Explorer when it appears.

  4. Select Pin to taskbar.

    Click Pin to Start if you want an Internet Explorer icon in the Start menu.

Since you don't need to uninstall Edge to use Internet Explorer, you can go back to Edge if you change your mind. There's no way to uninstall either Edge or Internet Explorer 11. It is possible, however, to change the default browser from Edge to something else.

If you want to change the default browser, you can go with Internet Explorer. However, installing an alternate browser, like Firefox or Chrome, is an option. Unlike Internet Explorer 11 and Edge, these other browsers aren't included with Windows 10 by default.

The Chromium-powered Edge browser is worth trying out if you have had poor experiences with the original Edge. This flexible browser runs better than the original since it's packing Chromium under the hood, just like Chrome and Brave. Microsoft recommends against using Internet Explorer 11 for general daily web browsing due to security issues.

  • How do I clear the cache in Internet Explorer 11?

    To clear the cache in Internet Explorer 11, select Settings (gear icon) > Safety > Delete browsing history. Uncheck all options except Temporary Internet files and website files, and click Delete. This won't remove cookies, passwords, and other stored data.

  • How do I update to Internet Explorer 11?

    To update Internet Explorer to IE11, go to Microsoft's Internet Explorer download page, choose your language, and select the 32-bit link or 64-bit link to start the download. The newest version of Internet Explorer will likely automatically install at some point after its release via Windows Update.

  • How do I make Google the default search engine in Internet Explorer 11?

    Click the arrow to the right of the search bar at the upper-right side of IE 11 and select Add. Click Add again to confirm. Go back to the top of the search bar, select the down arrow, and choose the Google Search option.

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