When Internet Explorer launched against Netscape navigator at the dawn of the Internet Age, it was the stepchild of the web, a new browser that wasn’t nearly as good as its counterpart Netscape Navigator. In short order, Microsoft set about improving the browser in big ways and bundling it with its operating system for laptops and desktop PCs. At the end of the decade Internet Explorer was the undisputed king of web browsing. Microsoft announced that it was putting that same browser on life support last year. That’s why you’re trying to find Internet Explorer in Windows 10 now.
Internet Explorer isn’t dead, but Microsoft isn’t updating it with new features in ways that matter. Though the browser was popular, it seems many only turned to it because it was installed in their system. Once other browsers came along, fewer people used it. Worse, years of bad performance and not being standards compliant ruined Internet Explorer’s reputation with people who browse websites often and the developers that create sites. Big changes in Windows 10 meant that Microsoft couldn’t easily bring the browser into the modern era.
Don’t fret though. You won’t need to switch to Firefox, Chrome or even Microsoft Edge. You can still find Internet Explorer in Windows 10.
How to Find Internet Explorer in the Start Menu & Start Screen
You don’t have to look hard to find the Internet Explorer in Windows 10. Though it’s a little hidden because Edge is set as the default browser, it’s in a place you’d expect.
Press the Windows key on your keyboard or the Windows button in the Taskbar in the bottom-left corner of your screen.
Welcome to Start. Don’t click on anything just yet. Instead, look at the slim pane of apps sandwiched between the Live Tiles on the right and shortcuts on left. Scroll down the list until you see a folder labeled Windows Accessories.
Tap or click on the Windows Accessories folder. Inside you’ll find a link to Internet Explorer.
Right-click on the Internet Explorer icon and Pin it to your Start experience so that you don’t have to keep diving into your list of installed apps to get access to it.
How to Find Internet Explorer in Windows 10: Set it as the Default Browser
Now that you’ve managed to find Internet Explorer in Windows 10, it’s time to set it as the default browser. After all, you shouldn’t have to open links in Microsoft Edge by default, then move them over to your favorite browser.
Go back to the Start experience and tap or click on the Settings shortcut. It’s just above the power button.
Next tap or click on the System category within the Settings app. It’s the option in the top row on the left side.
There should be a menu on the left side of the System settings area. Third from the top of that menu is Default Apps. Tap or click on it.
Now look for the web browser entry in the list of defaults that you can set. Tap or click on it and select Internet Explorer from the menu.
You Might Want to Stick with Microsoft Edge
From this point on, links from your email, apps or other websites will always open in Internet Explorer. If you look closely at the drop-down menu for web browsers, you’ll notice that Microsoft has included text to highlights how much it recommends using Microsoft Edge instead of Internet Explorer. Though it’s obviously a ploy to keep you using its latest and greatest software, there’s some truth to Microsoft Edge being better for your experience.
For starters, the browser is touch, mouse and keyboard friendly. As such, it’s perfect for the Surface and other devices that feature both touch and mouse input. Edge is the only browser that can download extensions from the Windows Store. It scales better on monitors with high resolutions. It has a built-in screenshot utility and supports suggestions from the Cortana personal assistant. Fine-tuning behind the scenes means that Edge consumes less power than most web browsers. Definitely switch to Internet Explorer, if that’s want you want to do. Don’t forget you’re leaving some nice-to-have features behind. You can switch between the two browsers at any time.
For now, you should be fine. Microsoft has settled on basically hiding Internet Explorer from users, but not removing it. Presumably, that stance won’t change for a very long time as some very important websites demand Internet Explorer. There is precedent in the other direction though. As Microsoft has introduced worthy replacements, it’s removed classic experiences from Windows 10. The old Calculator app is gone. So is Windows Media Center.