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Tips for Visiting Websites on Your Surface

You don’t always have to open Internet Explorer on your Surface to begin browsing. If you spot a web link inside a piece of e-mail, for example, tap the link. The Start screen’s Internet Explorer app appears automatically to display that website.

Tap a link on a web page, and the browser obligingly opens that link, as well, letting you see its contents. And if you’ve pinned a favorite site to the Start screen with a tap of the App bar’s Pin to Start icon, a quick tap of that site’s Start screen tile brings it to the forefront.

The app lets you visit sites in other ways, as well:

  • Return to your last visited site. Slide a finger up from screen’s bottom until a menu appears; tap the left-pointing arrow. (Conversely, a tap on the Forward arrow returns to the site you left.)

  • Type in a site’s address. Slide your finger up the page to fetch the menus and begin typing the site’s name in the address bar.

  • Visit a favorite site. When you tap in the address bar, described in the previous tip, look directly above the address bar. There, Windows lists three categories of sites: Pinned (sites you’ve pinned to the Start screen), Frequently Visited, and Favorites (sites you’ve marked as favorites). To scroll through them all, slide your finger from right to left. Tap a site’s name to revisit it.

  • Revisit a previously visited site. As you begin typing a site’s name in the address bar, the browser checks your list of favorite sites, listing sites that match what you’re typing. If you spot your desired site’s name before you finish typing, tap the site’s name for a quick revisit.

Windows remembers quite a bit about what you do on Internet Explorer. It remembers every term you’ve searched for, as well as every site you’ve visited. Although that sometimes comes in handy when trying to relocate information, some view it as an invasion of privacy.

Windows offers two ways to control what your browser remembers about the time you spend online:

  • Delete your search history. To delete your search history from the Start screen’s version of Internet Explorer, fetch the Charms bar and tap Settings. When the Settings pane appears, tap Internet Options. Finally, when the Internet Explorer Settings pane appears, tap the Delete button beneath the words Delete Browsing History.

  • Stop Windows from saving searches. To tell Windows not to remember items you’ve searched for, fetch the Charms bar and tap Settings. When the Settings pane appears, tap Change PC Settings from the pane’s bottom. When the PC Settings window appears, tap Search from the left pane. Finally, turn off the toggle switch called Let Windows Save My Searches as Future Search Suggestions.

Changes made here also affect the desktop’s version of Internet Explorer. That version offers additional privacy controls.

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