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Use Internet Explorer

With features like tabs and favorites that can sync across devices, InPrivate Browsing, and built-in webpage sharing, Internet Explorer 11 for Windows Phone makes it easy to surf the web on the go. (You'll need a cellular data connection or Wi-Fi connection to browse the web. See Connecting: how and when and Connect to a Wi-Fi 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, and 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 don'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, and then select Get suggestions from Bing as I type.
    • You can customize the address bar button to quickly get to tabs or favorites. Tap More More icon > Settings, and then, under Use address bar button for, make your selection.
    • Share a link with one friend or many—tap More More icon > Share page, and 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 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 center 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 More More 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 webpages, 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 you've visited in the past. Tap More More icon > Recent, and then tap the site 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 jump easily between your favorite websites.

  1. On Start Start icon, tap Internet Explorer Internet Explorer Start icon, tap More More icon, and 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 left open on your other Windows devices. To open a webpage, just tap the one you want to see full screen.

To add a site to your favorites list

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

  2. Tap More More icon > Add to favorites.

    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're finished, tap Done Done icon.

To open, edit, or delete a favorite

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

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

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

To sync tabs and favorites from another Windows device

Windows Phone 8.1 enables you to automatically sync your Internet Explorer tabs and favorites 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, and then tap Change PC settings. (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, click Settings, and then click Change PC settings.)

  2. Tap or click OneDrive, and 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, and then tap Delete Delete icon.
    • To select more than one recent site to delete, tap Select Select icon, select the check boxes next to the sites you want to remove, and 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 More More icon > Tabs > More More 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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