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Changing IE Browser Settings

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 1/15/2010

There are many reasons for adjusting Internet Explorer browser settings. You can customize the appearance of IE, change privacy and security settings and more. Learn about the different ways that you can adjust the settings in IE7 and IE8.

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    Overview

    There are many ways to customize Internet Explorer. This article will explain methods of adjusting Internet Explorer browser settings for IE7 and IE8. If you are not sure what version of Internet Explorer you are using, read How Do I Know What Version of IE I Have - Which is Best Version of Internet Explorer? before getting started.

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    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings - General

    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings: General Tab 

    If you want to change some general IE browser settings, begin by opening Internet Explorer. Go to the Tools menu and select Internet Options. The Internet Options dialog box will open. Make sure you are on the General tab.

    You can change the home page, which is the page that IE displays when you open it or click the Home button on the toolbar. With the Internet Options dialog box open on the General tab, go to the Home Page box. Type the complete web address of the site you want to use as your home page. If you are currently viewing that site, simply click the Use Current button. If you change your mind and want to go back to the default home page, click the Use Default button. On the other hand, you might prefer a blank page to load. If so, click the Use Blank button.

    Another option for adjusting Internet Explorer browser settings is to change your browsing history settings. With the Internet Options dialog box open on the General tab, click the Settings button under Browsing History. Here, you can determine how often IE should check for new versions of stored pages, the length of time you want your browsing history saved and more.

    Click the Settings button in the Search section if you want to change IE's default search engine, and click the Settings button in the Tabbed section to change the way your tabs look and behave.

    In the Appearance section, you will notice there are several buttons that will allow you to change the appearance of your Internet Explorer browser. Click on Colors if you want to change features such as the text or background color. Other settings here include Languages, Fonts and Accessibility.

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    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings - Security

    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings: Security Tab 

    One of the most common reasons for adjusting Internet Explorer browser settings is to ensure security. To change your IE security settings, open the Internet Options dialog and go to the Security tab.

    Select one of the four zones - Internet, Local intranet, Trusted Sites, or Restricted Sites - to view or change their security levels. Use the slider to determine the security level and view details about that level. You can click the Custom Level button to make more specific changes, or click the Default Level button to restore security levels to defaults for that zone.

    Read Configure Security Settings in IE 7 for more information.

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    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings - Privacy

    Go to the Privacy tab of the Internet Options dialog if you are adjusting Internet Explorer browser settings for cookies and other privacy-related issues. You can turn the pop-up blocker on or off and select settings for InPrivacy web browsing here as well.

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    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings - Content

    On the Content tab of the Internet Options dialog you can control the types of content viewed by the user name you are logged in with. For example, you can open Parental Controls or enable the Content Advisor here. To learn more about using these features, read How to Use Parental Controls in Internet Explorer.

    You can also adjust Internet Explorer browser settings for AutoComplete, which stores your previous entries and makes suggestions to you as you type, and Feeds and Web Slices, which can be read in other applications such as Outlook.

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    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings - Programs

    Adjusting Internet Explorer Browser Settings - Programs 

    If you want to make sure IE is your default browser, go to the Programs tab of the Internet Options dialog. Click the Make Default button to make this change. You can set other program defaults by clicking the Set Programs button. Click Manage Add-ons if you want to enable, disable or troubleshoot any IE browser add-ons.