How to open Internet Explorer 11 in Desktop Mode on Windows 8.1

Internet Explorer 11In Windows 8.1 there are two different ways of using Internet Explorer. One way is to open Internet Explorer from within the Desktop mode, which gives you visible tabs, the address bar, and easy access to the Internet Explorer options.

Internet Explorer 11 Desktop Mode - OxfordSBSGuy website

The other is to use Internet Explorer from the New User Interface (previously known as Metro), and is called a Chrome-less mode because it uses all of the screen and is border-less.

Internet Explorer 11 - Chrome-less mode oxfordsbsguy website

By default Internet Explorer decides which mode to open, but if you would always like it to open in desktop mode how do you configure it?

From the desktop run Internet Explorer by running it from the program location, or press Windows Key + R, and type iexplore.

Click on the Tools button in the top right hand corner (it looks like a cog) or press Alt + X, and select Internet Options and then the Programs tab.

Or from within the New User Interface go to Control Panel (just start typing it), and select Internet Options.

Go to the Program tab, and from the drop down box, select how you would like Internet Explorer to open.

Internet Explorer 11 - Options - Programs

Edit: If you find this useful, please comment or share the post. Thanks.

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12 thoughts on “How to open Internet Explorer 11 in Desktop Mode on Windows 8.1

  1. Eve

    Have Nokia 1520 phone windows 8.1 Have IE 11 installed. But when I click the tile the browser doesn’t launch. Would like to make IE my default browser.
    Have tried to coax Cortana to launch but only get websites results including you which all seem to be aimed specifically to PC’s. Going round in circles. Hope you have a fix in layman’s terms. I’m 85 so please keep it simple. Thanks.

  2. Andrew

    Very helpful for accessing IE11 desktop mode once again after i deleted a shortcut and had only the app version visible. Thank you!

  3. Steve

    Very helpful. So many basic functions, e.g. printing what’s right in front of you on the screen, seem inexplicably inaccessible from the full screen mode.

  4. Nicole

    Very helpful post. When I change my IE I lost all functionality to work from home. Thank you for helping me restore this!

  5. Joel Marintez

    Very helpful i really don’t like IExplorer but i needed for work and this post really help me, thnaks.

  6. Emma

    Thank you. As someone who previously wrote training manuals, this is not only helpful but the instructions are clear, easy to follow and beautifully aided by the screenshots. You saved me much time stumbling through the settings to figure this out myself.

  7. rob

    worked like a charm … & speaking of charms – any way to wish them into the cornfield, as it were?

  8. James

    How they thought that forcing fullscreen mode is a ‘feature’ is beyond me.

    Thank you for this. You’ve saved me from buying another version of windows, and saved my monitor from having a fist-shaped hole in it!


  9. Happy Man

    Thank you very much Mr Oxford man!
    This was perfect info. short and sweet and to the point. no ads, teasers or memberships.
    Go Oxford. We love you from Washington DC. Representing baby!
    Alright, back to work, but thanks dude or rather mate whatever the Englishmen say over there.

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