As of June 2022, Internet Explorer is set to be discontinued. Check out our free tutorial about web browsers and other internet basics.
Internet Explorer 8 is a web browser from Microsoft. Compared to previous versions, IE 8 includes several options and features that will enhance your browsing experience, including tab groups, accelerators, web slices, and InPrivate Browsing. Throughout this tutorial, you will become familiar with Internet Explorer, and you'll learn how to customize its features to meet your browsing needs.
In this lesson, we will show you the tools and functions of the Internet Explorer 8 interface. In addition, we will teach you how to customize your toolbars and homepage.
If you're new to web browsing, this interactive will introduce you to the key functions and features of the Internet Explorer 8 interface. If you are already familiar with previous versions of Internet Explorer or other web browsers, you can review the interactive for some Internet Explorer 8 features like tab groups, visual suggestions, and the Compatibility View button.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the IE 8 interface.
The Navigation buttons allow you to move back and forth between webpages. The drop-down menu lets you choose which page you want to navigate to.
The Address bar is where you'll type the desired web address. As you type an address, Internet Explorer will look for matched sites in your Favorites and browsing history. These matches (also called suggestions) will appear below the Address bar. You can click a suggestion to navigate to the website.
The buttons in the Address bar include Compatibility View, Refresh, and Stop.
The Search bar offers suggestions as you type. You can customize the search engine used here as well.
You can bookmark websites you frequent or those you just want to save by adding them to your Favorites. The Favorites menu allows you to manage your favorites, feeds, and history.
The Favorites bar displays your bookmarks for easy access. You can click the star button with the green arrow to add websites to the Favorites bar.
When you open a website in a new tab, tab groups will color code them for better organization. In addition, the New Tab page opens with link options for your convenience.
For convenience, you can add icons to the Command bar for common functions like printing, emailing, and accessing menu options.
Toolbars allow for one-click access to the menus, functions, and features of the web browser. Once you understand the Internet Explorer toolbars, your browsing experience will become more convenient and even tailored to your specific needs. For example, you can place your favorite websites in the Favorites bar for faster, one-click access.
The Favorites bar, Command bar, and Status bar are all standard toolbars in Internet Explorer. Click the buttons in the interactive below to learn more about the various toolbars in IE 8.
The standard Menu bar allows you to take actions like opening a new tab or printing. You can access, customize, and manage the functions and features of the browser, including the Help menu. This toolbar is hidden by default. To display it, right-click the toolbar area and select Menu Bar.
You can bookmark webpages and add them to your Favorites bar for easy access. Simply click the star with the green arrow icon while on the webpage you want to bookmark. Click Favorites to access and manage your Favorites, Feeds, and History.
Internet Explorer recognizes some software programs and adds a toolbar for the program.
The Command bar includes shortcuts and commands for browser functions and features. You can add or remove commands to customize your toolbar for your specific needs.
The Status bar includes the status of a webpage as it loads, security settings, the ability to block content, and the ability to zoom in and zoom out.
Click the arrows to access additional icons, commands, and settings for the browser.
Now that you have a better understanding of toolbars, you can customize them to suit your needs. You can hide toolbars, rearrange them in the browser, or change the look of the icons. You can even add, remove, and reorder toolbar buttons.
Right-click in the toolbar area to access the Toolbar menu. Click the box to the left of each toolbar to hide or show it in the browser.
If you want to rearrange the placement and view of toolbars, uncheck the Lock the Toolbar option. You can then click the dotted line to adjust the view of the toolbar. You can also click and drag toolbars to adjust their placement in the browser.
There are several options for customizing the view of the buttons, icons, and text in the toolbar. Select Customize from the Toolbar menu, then adjust the settings as desired.
You may want to change Internet Explorer's default homepage to another page you like. Click Tools in the Menu bar, then select Internet Options.
Under homepage, delete the default link and type the URL for the desired homepage, then click OK.
If there are certain pages you use every time you open your browser, like your email or calendar, you might consider making them all homepages. Each homepage will open in its own tab whenever you start Internet Explorer. Just enter the URL of each desired homepage on a new line in the homepage text box, then click OK.