Make Internet Explorer in Windows 8, always open links on desktop

There are two version of Internet Explorer 10 or IE11 in Windows 8. One with the Metro UI which is more locked-down, and the other, the traditional desktop version as we know it. The default version on Windows 8 is the IE 10 Metro version.

If you are on the on the Windows 8 start screen, and you click on the IE tile, Internet Explorer 10 will open with the Metro UI. On this Metro version, you will find many features and functionalities, which you may be used to, missing! For instance some of the add-ons or plugins just will not work. Java and Flash may not work too.

Make Internet Explorer open links on desktop in Windows 8

IE 10 offers some new settings in its Internet Options. To open Internet Options, you can click on the Settings icon and then select View on Desktop.

This will open Internet Explorer on your Desktop. Now things will look familiar to you! Now, via the Settings button, open Internet Options and click on the Programs tab. Here you will see some new options.

If you always want to open Internet Explorer tiles to open on the desktop, check the Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop option.

Now under the Choose how you open links section, if you see the drop-down menu, you will see three options.

The default setting is Let Internet Explorer decide, how it opens links. So in this case sometimes IE may open with the Metro UI and sometimes on the desktop, depending on the app or program that is accessing it.

If you want to set IE as the default browser and want all your links to open always in Internet Explorer with the Metro UI, select the Always in Internet Explorer option.

If you want that, irrespective of the program settings, you would like to open IE on your desktop, with which you are familiar with, select the third option viz. Always in Internet Explorer on the desktop. This will make Internet Explorer 10 in Windows 8, always open links on the desktop

Click Apply/OK.

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Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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