Changing the Home Page of Windows 8.1 Desktop Version of Internet Explorer

Every time you start the Windows 8.1 desktop version of IE, it whirrs, and after a relatively brief moment (how brief depends primarily on the speed of your Internet connection), a web page appears. The information that page contains depends on whether your computer is set up to begin with a specific page known as a home page.

Microsoft sets up msn.com as the IE home page by default — a page best known for its, uh, quirky choice of “news” items and phenomenally high density of ads. Many PC manufacturers set the Internet Explorer home page to display something related to their systems.

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If the ditzy, ad-laden MSN home page leaves you wondering whether P.T. Barnum still designs web pages (there’s one born every minute), or if your PC manufacturer’s idea of a good home page doesn’t quite jibe with your tastes, you can easily change the home page. Here’s how:

  1. Start the desktop version of IE.

    At least in the current version of IE, you can’t change the home page by using the tiled version of IE; the settings just aren’t available.

  2. Navigate to the page or pages you want to use for a home page.

    You can bring up as many pages as you like on separate tabs. All the tabs will become your home “page.”

  3. Tap or click the Tools icon (the one in the upper right that looks like a gear), choose Internet Options, and then click the General tab.

    You see the Home Page settings shown.

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  4. At the top, make sure you have the list of all the tabs you would like to open as your home page, and then tap or click the button marked Use Current.

    If you choose Use New Tab, IE starts with no new page at all. That can be considerably faster than starting with a real home page.

  5. Click OK.

    Every time the desktop version of IE runs, it will bring up the tabs you selected.

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