Change Internet Explorer General settings

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

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How do I set my home page?

Your home page is displayed when you first start Internet Explorer. You can create a single home page or create a home page tab set by adding multiple web addresses. For more information, see Change your Internet Explorer home page.

How do I delete my web surfing history and temporary Internet files?

You can delete temporary Internet files, cookies, your web browsing history, stored form entries, and stored passwords. Under Browsing history, click Delete to choose what you want to delete. For more information, see the following Help topics:

If you're using Internet Explorer 8, you can also prevent Internet Explorer from recording your browsing history by using InPrivate Browsing. For more information on InPrivate Browsing, see What is InPrivate Browsing?

What are search settings and how do I change them?

Search settings let you add or remove search providers that are used in the search box. You can also choose a default search provider.

For more information, see the following Help topics:

What can I do with tab settings?

Tabbed browser settings let you change how Internet Explorer works with tabs. For more information, see Tabbed browsing: frequently asked questions.

What are Appearance settings?

The following table describes Internet Explorer's Appearance settings.

What it does


Lets you set the default text and background colors. For information about changing colors, see Change the colors and fonts used for webpages.


Lets you change the fonts used when displaying webpages. For information about changing fonts, see Change webpage text size in Internet Explorer.


Lets you choose which language to use to display webpages and in the Address bar. For more information on changing languages, see Change your Internet Explorer language settings.


Allows you to tell Internet Explorer to ignore colors, font styles, and font sizes that are specified on webpages and to use the colors you specify. You can also specify a style sheet to use to format webpages. For more information, see Change the colors and fonts used for webpages and Use your own style sheet to format webpages.