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Using Internet Explorer

With features like tabs and favourites that can sync across devices, InPrivate Browsing and built-in web page sharing, Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone makes it easy to surf the web on the go. (You'll need a mobile data connection or WiFi connection to browse the web. See Connecting: how and when and Connecting to a WiFi network for more information.)

Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone


This topic is about Windows Phone 8.1. If your phone is running Windows Phone 8, some options and icons may look a little different, and some features may not be available. Check to see which software version you have and find out if an update is available.

To browse the web

  1. On Start Start icon, tap Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Start icon, then tap the address bar. (You can also press the Search Search button button on your phone to search the web using Cortana or Bing.)

  2. Type the web address (URL) of the site you want to visit. As you type, Internet Explorer will suggest possible matches. If you see the site you're looking for, tap it.

  3. If you can't see the site, tap Go Go icon to search for it.


    • Tap Reading mode Reading mode icon in the address bar when you're reading a text-heavy page to make long articles easier on the eyes. (Reading mode isn’t available for all web pages.)
    • Not seeing search suggestions? Tap More More icon > Settings > Advanced settings, then select Get suggestions from Bing as I type.
    • You can customise the address bar button to quickly get to tabs or favourites. Tap More More icon > Settings, then make your selection under Use address bar button for.
    • Share a link with one friend or many – tap More More icon > Share page, then choose how you want to share it.
    • Pin a site to Start to keep it handy. Tap More More icon > Pin to start.

To navigate on a webpage

Once you've found the page you want, there are a few ways to navigate it. Try any of the following:

  • To scroll through the page, pan up or down on the screen.
  • To zoom in, spread your thumb and forefinger apart on the screen. Pinch them together to zoom out.
  • To automatically centre and zoom in, double-tap the spot you want to zoom to. Double-tap again to zoom back out.
  • To open a link, just tap it.
  • To search for specific text on a page, tap MoreMore icon > Find on page.
  • If you see a phone number or street address, you can often tap it to dial the number or map the address.

To return to a webpage you've visited

There are a couple of ways to quickly get back to a webpage you've looked at before. Try one of the following:

  • If you're in Internet Explorer and you've been looking at several web pages, press your phone's Back Back button button or swipe over to revisit them.
  • If you've just opened Internet Explorer, you can go to your browsing history to quickly return to sites that you've visited in the past. Tap More More icon > Recent, then tap the site that you want to see again.

To open multiple browser windows using tabs

You can open multiple browser windows, called tabs, all at once. That way you can easily jump between your favourite websites.

  1. On Start Start icon, tap Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Start icon, tap More More icon, then tap Tabs. (Or, if you've set the address bar button for tabs, just tap that.)

    Internet Explorer tabs on Windows Phone
  2. Tap New New icon to open a blank tab.

  3. To switch between tabs, tap the image of the tab you want to see full screen.

  4. To close a tab, tap Close Close icon.


You can also swipe over to Other to see a list of tabs you've left open on your other Windows devices. To open a web page, just tap the one you want to see full screen.

To add a site to your favourites list

  1. In Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Start icon, open the website you'd like to save.

  2. Tap MoreMore icon > Add to favourites.

    Internet Explorer automatically fills in the name and web address (URL) of the site.

  3. If you need to make any changes, tap inside a text box. When you've finished, tap Done Done icon.

To open, edit or delete a favourite

  1. In Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Start icon, tap More More icon > Favourites. (Or, if you've set the address bar button to favourites, just tap that.)

  2. Pan up or down until you see the name of the favourite you want, then do one of the following:

    • To open a site, tap it.
    • To edit a site, tap and hold it, then tap Edit to type a new name or address.
    • To remove a site from your list, tap and hold it, then tap Delete.

To sync tabs and favourites from another Windows device

Windows Phone 8.1 enables you to automatically sync your Internet Explorer tabs and favourites from other Windows devices like PCs, laptops and tablets.

On your Windows 8.1 or 8.1 RT device:

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, tap Settings, then tap Change PC settings. (If you're using a mouse, point to the bottom-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click OneDrive, then tap or click Sync settings.

  3. Under Other settings, turn on Web Browser.

On your Windows Phone 8.1:

  1. In the App list, tap Settings Settings icon > Sync my settings.

  2. Turn Internet Explorer On On icon.

To view or delete your browsing history

  1. In Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Start icon, tap More More icon > Recent to see the sites you've visited.

  2. To delete your history, do one of the following:

    • To delete your entire browsing history, tap Delete Delete icon.
    • To delete one recent site, tap and hold the site, then tap Delete Delete icon.
    • To select more than one recent site to delete, tap Select Select icon, select the checkboxes next to the sites you want to remove, then tap Delete Delete icon.


    • To select sites individually for deletion, your phone must be running Windows Phone software version 8.0.10211.204 or later. See How do I update my phone software? for more information about how to update your phone.
    • To delete temporary files, cookies and saved passwords along with your browsing history, tap More More icon > Settings > Delete history.

To enable InPrivate Browsing

InPrivate Browsing helps prevent Internet Explorer from storing data about your browsing session. This includes cookies, temporary Internet files, history and other data. To enable InPrivate Browsing in a tab, tap MoreMore icon > Tabs > MoreMore icon > New inprivate tab. InPrivate will appear in the address bar. Tap the address bar, and then type the web address (URL) of the site you want to visit.

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