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Internet Explorer 10's Control Buttons

Internet Explorer (or almost any web browser) is one of the simplest applications on the planet to use, requiring only three or four buttons to operate most of the necessary functions. Just in case you were never properly introduced to all the control buttons in Internet Explorer 10, they include those listed here.

  • Back: With a click or tap of the Back button, Internet Explorer returns to the last page you visited, and each subsequent use of the Back button takes you one more page back. You can also press Alt+<-- on your keyboard to move backward. If you’re using a touchscreen PC, you can flick to the right across the screen.

  • Forward: If you click Back, you need a way to return, right? Click the Forward button to go to the next page (or pages) where you originally were, in forward order. From the keyboard, you can press Alt+→ to move forward. If you’re using a touchscreen PC, you can flick to the left across the screen.

    If you notice that the Back button is disabled (grayed out), you haven’t visited at least two sites yet. If the Forward button is disabled, you haven’t used the Back button yet.

    Mouse users can click to move forward and back in the web app as well — hover your cursor over the middle left or middle right edge of the screen to display ghostly Back and Forward buttons!

  • Refresh: Clicking the Refresh button (the curly arrow to the right of the Address field) reloads the contents of the current web page, which allows the web server to update the page with any new information. (This button is helpful for connections to news sites, like CNN.com.) You can press F5 to refresh as well.

  • Stop: This option is wonderfully self-explanatory. If a page is loading, the Refresh button turns into a Stop button (which looks like an X), and you can click it to cancel a page from loading. Pressing Esc does the same job from the keyboard.

  • Add to Favorites bar: Click this button to add the current site to the Favorites bar (which appears right next to the button). (Note that the Favorites bar must be enabled for this button to appear.)

  • Favorites Center: Click the Favorites Center button to display the Favorites Center (available only in the Desktop version), or press Alt+C.

  • Suggested Sites: If you’ve turned on your Favorites bar in the Desktop version, you can click this button to display suggested sites you might enjoy based upon the sites you visit most often. (Favorites appear in the web app when you begin typing in the Address bar.) To turn on Suggested Sites, display the Favorites Center and click the Turn On Suggested Sites button at the bottom of the Favorites Center.

  • Web Slice Gallery: If you’ve turned on your Favorites bar in the Desktop version, this list displays the Web Slices you’ve selected from web pages with updated content.

  • RSS Feeds: If you’ve turned on your Command bar in the Desktop version, clicking this button displays any RSS feeds available from the current site. Click the small arrow next to the RSS Feeds button to display (and choose from) the major feed headings.

  • Read Mail: If you’ve installed Windows Live Mail 2012 on your PC, you can click this button to jump directly to the Mail window.

  • Tabs: These nifty controls make it easy to peruse multiple websites — you can click or tap a tab to immediately switch to that site in the Content window.

  • Pin Site: Offered only on the web app version, a click on this button pins a tile for the current web page on your Windows 8 Start screen.

  • Home: Click this button (available only in the Desktop version) to immediately jump to your home page. From the keyboard, press Alt+Home.

  • Tools/Page Tools: Within the Desktop version, the items on this toolbar menu button (which bears a gear icon) allow you to switch to a full-screen display, delete your history file (which indicates where you’ve been in past browsing sessions), save a web page to disk, print, and find text on the page.

    Within the web app, the Page Tools button allows you to find text on the page and download Windows 8 apps for the current site (if the site offers one).

  • Help: If the Help button (which bears a white question mark in a blue circle) doesn’t appear on your Command bar, don’t panic — just click the double right arrows that appear next to the Tools button, to display “the rest of the Command bar!” (Yep, this is what happens when you have too many buttons in too little space.)

    Anyway, you find on the Help menu all the high-quality online help you’ve come to expect from Microsoft.

To display a short one- or two-word description of an Address bar or control button, just leave your mouse pointer motionless over the button for a second or two.

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