Internet Explorer 11 privacy statement

Last updated: March 2014

At Microsoft, we're working hard to help protect your privacy while delivering products that bring you the performance, power, and convenience you desire in your personal computing. This privacy statement for Internet Explorer 11 (“Internet Explorer”) focuses on features that communicate with the Internet, explains how those features collect your data, and describes the way that data is used. This is a preliminary disclosure that focuses on features that communicate with the Internet and isn't intended to be an exhaustive list. It doesn’t apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services. Internet Explorer has certain features that may impact or help you to protect your privacy. The sections below describe some of these features and how to change their settings. Any changes you make to a setting in Internet Explorer will apply to Internet Explorer and to Internet Explorer in the desktop.

Internet basics

Internet Explorer is designed to make it easy to browse and interact with websites on your intranet or on the Internet. Whenever you use the Internet, or software with Internet enabled features, information about your PC ("standard PC information") is sent to the websites you visit and online services you use. Standard PC information includes your PC's IP address, browser type and language, access times, and referring website addresses. This information might be logged on those sites' web servers. Which information is logged and how that information is used depends on the privacy practices of the websites you visit and web services you use.

Web browsing features that store data

ActiveX Filtering

ActiveX Controls are pieces of software that supplement how your browser works. For example, some ActiveX Controls can play audio, video, or show images on a webpage. These controls may have an impact on the performance, security, and reliability of Internet Explorer. ActiveX Filtering lets you browse the web with these controls turned off. When you view a webpage that has had ActiveX Controls filtered out, some content on the page might be turned off.

If you choose to turn on ActiveX Filtering, you can turn ActiveX Controls back on for a single website by clicking the ActiveX Filtering icon in the address bar. When you turn off ActiveX Filtering on a website, Internet Explorer stores the address of the website on which you have chosen to turn off ActiveX Filtering. You can delete this data at any time with Delete Browsing History.

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To turn on ActiveX Filtering

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop.

  2. Click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click ActiveX Filtering‍.

To turn off ActiveX Filtering on a specific website

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop.

  2. Click the Filter button in the address bar, and then click Turn off ActiveX Filtering‍.

To turn off ActiveX Filtering on all websites

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop.

  2. click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click ActiveX Filtering.

Adobe Flash Player

Internet Explorer includes Adobe Flash Player. Certain Flash Player features may gather information about your PC or ask permission to use your PC's hardware features. Additional information about these features can be found here.

Application compatibility logging

This feature in Internet Explorer is designed for use by developers and IT professionals to determine the compatibility of their websites with Internet Explorer. When you activate this feature, Internet Explorer logs data points about your interaction with webpages in an event log, which can be viewed with the Windows Event Viewer. These events describe failures that might have happened on the site and can include information about specific controls and webpages that failed. By default, this information can be viewed by all users on the PC unless an administrator restricts this access. For more information about logs and the use of the Windows Event Viewer, search Windows Help for "Event Viewer".

AutoComplete

The AutoComplete feature in Internet Explorer lets you more quickly fill out web forms and go to websites you have visited in the past. AutoComplete collects and stores in the registry on your PC the data you type in web form text boxes and the address bar. AutoComplete information isn't shared with other user accounts on your PC.

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To turn AutoComplete off

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Content tab, under AutoComplete, click Settings.

  3. In the AutoComplete Settings dialog box, clear the appropriate check boxes for the options you don't want to use, and then click OK.

To clear AutoComplete history

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the General tab, under Browsing history, click Delete.

  3. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the Form data and Passwords check boxes, click Delete, and then click OK.

    Note: To clear web address entries, you must select the History check box, which also deletes your browsing history.

Automatic Crash Recovery

As you browse the web, Automatic Crash Recovery in Internet Explorer stores information about your browsing session on your hard disk in the event of a crash, hang, or other unexpected shutdown. If your browsing session is shut down unexpectedly, Internet Explorer offers you the opportunity to resume your last browsing session.

Automatic Crash Recovery stores the following information:

  • The web address (URL) of the webpage in each tab.

  • Each tab's back/forward history (every site you visited in a tab in the order you visited them).

  • The arrangement and ordering of the tabs.

  • Data typed into web forms.

To turn off Automatic Crash Recovery

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Advanced tab, under Browsing, clear the Enable automatic crash recovery check box, and then click OK.

    Note: Turning off Automatic Crash Recovery doesn't prevent Internet Explorer from saving information about your tabs; it only turns off the recovery of your tabs or browsing session. None of this information is sent to Microsoft unless you choose to send it, such as in an error report.

Compatibility List Updates

For better website and PC hardware compatibility, you can turn on Compatibility List Updates. Compatibility Lists include, for example:

  • Lists of websites that were designed for older or other browsers, which allow Internet Explorer to automatically adjust how it renders or communicates with those websites in order to improve compatibility and provide for a better user experience on those sites.

  • Lists of hardware devices, particularly graphics hardware, that have known compatibility problems, so that Internet Explorer can avoid using these devices when rendering web content.

  • Lists of websites that use Adobe Flash Player in ways that are known to be incompatible with Internet Explorer, so that Flash Player can be turned off for those websites. For more information on Flash Player, see the section on Adobe Flash Player earlier in this document.

  • Lists of popular web addresses that Internet Explorer provides as suggestions when the user is typing in the address bar.

  • Lists of websites that support the flip ahead with page prediction feature to help improve your experience.

If you choose this option, Internet Explorer will periodically download an updated list of Compatibility settings from Microsoft, and standard PC information will be sent. You can turn off Compatibility List Updates at any time.

To turn off Compatibility List Updates

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, press the Alt key, click Tools on the menu bar, and then click Compatibility View settings.

  2. Clear the Download updated compatibility lists from Microsoft check box, and then click Close.

Compatibility View

Compatibility View helps make websites designed for older browsers look better when viewed in Internet Explorer. If you choose to view a website in Compatibility View, as a convenience to you, Internet Explorer will remember this choice and use Compatibility View the next time you visit the site. You can clear the list of websites you've chosen to display in Compatibility View by using Delete Browsing History in Internet Explorer or the Compatibility View Settings dialog box.

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To clear the list of Compatibility View websites

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the History check box, and then click Delete.

To view or modify the Compatibility View settings on your PC

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop.

  2. Press the Alt key, click Tools on the menu bar, and then click Compatibility View settings.

Controlling cookies

What is a cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard disk by a website. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a website or web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. Cookies can't be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your PC.

A cookie is often used to personalize your visit to a website or to save you time. For example, to facilitate a purchase the cookie could contain shopping cart information such as your current selection, as well as contact information such as your name or email address. To help websites track individual visitors, cookies often contain a unique identifier. It is up to the website that created the cookie to disclose to you what information is stored in the cookie and how that information is used.

Blocking cookies

You can accept or decline cookies. If you decide to block one or more cookies, the websites that use them might not function correctly. For example, if you don't allow cookies at all, you might not be able to view some websites or take advantage of customization features (such as local news and weather, or stock quotes).

To block all cookies

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, move the slider up to Block all cookies. With this setting, websites won't be able to store cookies on your PC.

Note: Blocking all cookies might prevent you from accessing many websites. The next two Internet Explorer privacy levels, High and Medium High, might be more suitable. In addition, it is possible to block a cookie for a specific site by clicking Sites on the Privacy tab. For more information, see Internet Explorer Help.

Removing old cookies

Cookies previously saved to your hard disk can still be read unless you remove them.

To remove all of your existing cookies

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the General tab, under Browsing history, click Delete.

  3. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the Cookies and website data check box.

  4. If you want to keep cookies associated with your saved favorites from being removed, select the Preserve Favorites website data check box.

  5. Click Delete, and then click OK.

Enhanced Protected Mode

Enhanced Protected Mode provides additional security for Internet Explorer by making it more difficult for malicious software to run in Internet Explorer. Enhanced Protected Mode is turned on by default for Internet Explorer.

Older add-ons that haven’t been updated to work with Internet Explorer’s Enhanced Protected Mode may not function in Internet Explorer while Enhanced Protected Mode is on. When you visit a website which uses an add-on that isn’t compatible with Enhanced Protected Mode, you'll be offered a choice to turn off Enhanced Protected Mode for that site so that the add-on will be allowed to run, or to ignore future prompts about that add-on. Internet Explorer stores the addresses of the websites on which you have chosen to either turn off Enhanced Protected Mode or ignore future prompts. You can delete this data at any time with Delete Browsing History.

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To turn Enhanced Protected Mode on or off in the desktop

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, click Internet options.

  2. On the Advanced tab, under Settings, do one of the following:

    • To turn Enhanced Protected Mode on, check the Enable Enhanced Protected Mode check box.

    • To turn Enhanced Protected Mode off, clear the Enable Enhanced Protected Mode check box.

To use the Delete Browsing History feature

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the History check box, and then click Delete.

Full Screen View

Internet Explorer allows websites to display portions of their web content in full-screen mode. Internet Explorer will inform you if a website wants to display content in full-screen mode. You may allow this full screen experience for the current visit to the site or all visits to the site. You may also decline for the current visit. Internet Explorer stores the addresses of the websites on which you have chosen to allow the full screen experience for all visits. You can delete these addresses at any time with Delete Browsing History.

You can exit the full screen view on any site by clicking on the Esc key, selecting the Windows key on your device or selecting the Windows charm from the Charms bar.

To use the Delete Browsing History feature

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the History check box, and then click Delete.

History

The History folder in Internet Explorer contains a list of links to the websites and Windows shell locations (drives and folders) you have visited recently.

To stop saving history

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. Under Browsing history, click Settings.

  3. On the History tab, set the number of days to keep pages in history to 0, and then click OK.

Note: To turn off History temporarily, you can use InPrivate Browsing. Click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click InPrivate Browsing.

Load sites in the background

Browsing patterns on some sites are typical for most people. For example, people tend to click the first result on a search results page. On a news website, they are likely to click the first news story. If an article has multiple pages, users are likely to click a link to go to the next page of the article.

Website developers are best positioned to understand what links on their site you're most likely to click next and can mark those links as such. Internet Explorer will then load that next page in the background, so that if you do click that link, the next page loads almost instantly. When Internet Explorer loads the next page in the background, it will download page resources including cookie files. Even if you don’t end up clicking on the link to the page that Internet Explorer loads in the background, all the resources downloaded by Internet Explorer in the background for that page will remain on your PC. You can delete these resources by choosing to delete your browsing history.

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To use the Delete Browsing History feature

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the History check box, and then click Delete.

To turn off Load sites in the background

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, then click Internet options.

  2. On the Advanced Tab, under Settings, check the Load sites and content in the background to optimize performance check box.

Manage Add-ons

Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer lets you view, turn on, and turn off the list of add-ons that can be loaded by Internet Explorer. Add-ons you can manage include browser helper objects, ActiveX controls, toolbar extensions, explorer bars, browser extensions, search providers, Accelerators, and Tracking Protection settings.

Some add-ons could collect information from your PC or otherwise impact your privacy. If an add-on you're using is provided by a company other than Microsoft, the use of any information collected will be subject to that company's privacy practices. If you choose to turn off an add-on, the add-on might require you to restart Internet Explorer for the change to take effect.

To view or modify the add-ons on your PC

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Manage add-ons.

  2. Under Show, click All add-ons, and then do either of the following:

    • To turn off an add-on, click it, and then click Disable.

    • To turn on an add-on, click it, and then click Enable.

  3. Click Close.

Note: Disabling an add-on doesn't remove it from your PC. It only prevents Internet Explorer from running the add-on's code—it doesn't prevent other software from using the add-on. Some add-ons also can be deleted from your PC by using Manage Add-ons.

If an add-on is turned off or deleted, website pages that rely on that add-on may not work as expected. For more information about add-ons, click the Learn more about toolbars and extensions help link in Manage Add-ons.

Password storage

When you type in your user name and password for websites in Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer will ask if you would like it to remember your login credentials. If you choose to have Internet Explorer remember your credentials for the website, they'll be stored in encrypted form on your PC in the Windows credential locker and will be automatically filled in credential input fields on secure sites.

To turn password storage off

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, and swipe from the right edge of the screen, or press Win+C to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Internet Options, and under Passwords, turn Offer to save passwords when I sign in to sites to Off.

    Note: Some sites choose to turn off AutoComplete for privacy reasons. Internet Explorer will honor sites that choose to turn off AutoComplete on input forms that don't collect credentials. For forms that do collect credentials, Internet Explorer will always prompt you before storing them.

Pop-up Blocker

Pop-up Blocker in Internet Explorer helps block most unwanted pop-up windows from appearing without blocking the pop-up windows you deliberately open. Pop-up Blocker is turned on by default.

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To turn off Pop-up Blocker

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, clear the Turn on Pop-up Blocker check box, and then click OK.

To access the Pop-up Blocker settings

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, click Settings.

Note: Not all pop-up windows can be blocked with Pop-up Blocker. For more information, see Internet Explorer Help.

Protected media playback

The Encrypted Media Extensions (EME) feature enables playback of Microsoft PlayReady protected media content in Internet Explorer. This feature requires storage of DRM data on your PC, including an anonymous unique identifier and any protected media playback licenses you may have acquired. This anonymous identifier and other data can be retrieved by websites you visit that host protected audio or video content licensed through a PlayReady server. This retrieval is necessary to support playback of this content, and the information exchanged is anonymous.

You can delete the data including your unique ID and any acquired media licenses at any time. Doing so may mean that you will lose access to protected media content that you were previously able to view in the browser. If you choose to delete your protected media data and later acquire a new media license, then at that time a new unique identifier will be created for you and stored on your computer. You can also choose to turn off protected media playback in Internet Explorer, which will prevent new media licenses from being downloaded and stored. Any previously acquired licenses and your unique identifier will remain stored until you choose to delete this data. By default, protected media playback is turned on.

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To turn off protected media playback

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, and swipe from the right edge of the screen, (or press Win+C) to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Privacy, and turn Protected media playback to Off.

To delete data associated with protected media playback

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, and swipe from the right edge of the screen, (or press Win+C) to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Privacy.

  3. Under Protected media playback, tap or click Delete.

Report website problems

If you encounter issues while browsing any website, you can choose to tell Microsoft about your issue using the report website problems feature in Internet Explorer. When you choose to report an issue to Microsoft, Internet Explorer will attempt to collect the website address of the page you are currently browsing, along with other standard information about your browsing session and feedback that you enter. You will have the opportunity to modify the website address before the information is sent back to Microsoft. Microsoft uses the information you send to help fix your issue and to enable a better browsing experience in Internet Explorer.

To report website problems

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer to open Internet Explorer.

  2. Tap or click Page tools (the wrench icon) in the app commands, and select Report website problems.

Features that help you control your data

Delete Browsing History

With one click, Delete Browsing History in Internet Explorer lets you clear website passwords that you asked Internet Explorer to save, entries in the Internet Explorer history folder, web form data, temporary Internet files, cookies, the last tab group, tab files that were synced from your connected PCs, and files and settings stored by some Internet Explorer add-ons that have been saved on your PC. You can also clear some of these items individually, as explained in the "Removing old cookies" and "AutoComplete" sections of this privacy statement. Internet Explorer will remember the items you've chosen to delete in the Delete Browsing History dialog box and will delete the same items the next time you delete your browsing history in any instance of Internet Explorer.

To use the Delete Browsing History feature

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the items to delete (Temporary Internet files, cookies, history, Download History, form data, passwords, ActiveX Filtering, Tracking Protection and Do Not Track data).

  3. To keep data associated with your saved favorites, select the Preserve Favorites website data check box.

  4. Click Delete, and then click OK.

Do Not Track

When you visit a website in any browser, you automatically share information with that website, such as cookies, your IP address, and other standard PC information. If the website contains content provided by a third-party website (for example a map, advertisement, or web measurement tools such as a web beacon or scripts), some information about you may be automatically sent to the content provider. This type of arrangement has several benefits: For example, you can access third-party content conveniently, and the presence of advertising on a website you're visiting may let the website provide access to premium content at no charge. There can, however, be an impact to your privacy as a result, because it is possible for the content providers to track you across multiple websites.

When the Do Not Track feature in Internet Explorer is turned on, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track request to the websites you visit and to the third parties whose content is hosted on those sites to let the sites know that you would prefer not to be tracked. Websites may continue to engage in activities you might view as tracking even though you have expressed this preference, depending on your websites' privacy practices. Websites may ask your permission for an exception from Do Not Track. You can clear the websites you have exempted at any time.

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To turn the Do Not Track feature on or off

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, and swipe from the right of the screen, or press Win+C to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Privacy, and turn the Send Do Not Track requests to sites you visit in Internet Explorer to On or Off.

To clear the list of Do Not Track exceptions previously set for websites

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, and Do Not Track check box, and then click Delete.

InPrivate Browsing

InPrivate Browsing can help keep your browsing history private on shared PCs such as at home, or in an Internet café or public kiosk. History data that is accumulated while browsing the web in an Internet ExplorerInPrivate window, such as temporary Internet files, web address history, or cookies, will be removed when you close the window. History in other Internet Explorer windows (not using InPrivate), won't be affected.

The InPrivate Browsing experience prevents local storage on your PC of the following:

  • New cookies aren't stored.

  • New history entries won't be recorded.

  • New temporary Internet files will be deleted after the InPrivate Browsing window is closed.

  • Form data isn't stored.

  • Entered passwords aren't stored.

  • Addresses typed into the Address bar aren't stored.

  • Queries entered into the search box aren't stored.

Note

  • When you use the F12 Developer Tools in Internet Explorer, some history info related to script files you are debugging will be saved on your PC. For more information, see this page.

In addition, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track request to the websites you visit during InPrivate Browsing sessions. InPrivate Browsing isn't designed to obscure your identity to your Internet provider or web servers on the Internet. It doesn't prevent data, such as your IP address, from being sent to websites you visit.

To turn on InPrivate Browsing

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, open the Tabs bar, and then press the New tab button. If you openInternet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click InPrivate Browsing.

  2. To turn off InPrivate Browsing, close the InPrivate Browsing window.

P3P privacy policies

Internet Explorer gives you the ability to view a website's P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences standard) privacy policy and compare it to the privacy preferences you've set. Even if a website doesn't have a P3P privacy policy, it might have a written privacy statement that you can view.

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To view a website's P3P privacy policy

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Webpage privacy policy.

  2. Double-click the website whose privacy policy you want to view.

After reviewing a website's P3P privacy policy, you can specify how you want Internet Explorer to handle cookies from that website. If you want Internet Explorer to determine whether or not to allow this website to save cookies on your PC by comparing the privacy policy with your privacy settings, select the Compare cookies' Privacy Policy to my settings check box. If you want Internet Explorer to always allow cookies from this website to be saved on your PC, select the Always allow this site to use cookies check box. If you want Internet Explorer to never allow cookies from this website to be saved on your PC, select the Never allow this site to use cookies check box.

If you turn on this feature and you’ve kept Internet Explorer’s default cookie settings, cookies from third party sites that don't have valid P3P policies will be blocked to help protect your privacy.

To turn on Strict P3P Validation

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, then click Internet options.

  2. On the Advanced tab, under Settings, check the Enable Strict P3P Validation check box.

Note: Although Internet Explorer can display a website's P3P privacy policy, Internet Explorer can't verify that the website complies with its own privacy policy.

Tracking Protection

Tracking Protection helps prevent the websites you go to from automatically sending details about your visit to other content providers whose content is hosted on the websites you visit.

Tracking Protection Lists

Tracking Protection Lists are like “Do Not Call” lists for content that may impact your privacy. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will block third-party content, including cookies, from any site that is listed. By limiting calls to these websites, Internet Explorer will limit the information these third-party sites can collect about you. At the same time, Tracking Protection Lists can also include “OK to call” entries that permit calls to specific sites.

You can add a Tracking Protection List by finding a website that offers one, and then clicking a link or a button in the page to add it. Microsoft maintains a website with the Tracking Protection Lists that individuals and companies have asked us to publish. You can find a link to it in the Tracking Protection feature. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will download the list and check it for updates periodically.

To remove or turn off a Tracking Protection List

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, click Manage add-ons, and then click Tracking Protection.

  2. Click a list, and then do one of the following:

    • To delete the list, click Remove.

    • To temporarily turn off the list, click Disable.

Personalized Tracking Protection List

Additionally, you can use the Personalized Tracking Protection List, which is included with Internet Explorer. This list is automatically generated based on data from the sites that you visit, including the third-party content providers on those sites. You can delete this data at any time in the Delete Browsing History dialog box.

To turn on the Personalized Tracking Protection List

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Tracking Protection.

  2. Click Your Personalized List, and then click Enable.

    When Tracking Protection is turned on, some content on the websites you visit might be filtered, and therefore won't be displayed. When content has been filtered, the Tracking Protection icon appears in the address bar. If a website doesn't work correctly with Tracking Protection turned on, you can turn it off just for that website by clicking the Tracking Protection icon in the address bar.

    To delete Tracking Protection data

    1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

    2. In the Delete Browsing History dialog box, select the Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, and Do Not Track check box, and then click Delete.

Features that help you connect to online services

Accelerators

Accelerators let you use web service providers more quickly and easily. For example, you can highlight a word on a website, right-click, and select the "Translate with Bing" Accelerator to obtain a translation of a word without having to go to a separate website.

Internet Explorer has several Accelerators—including search, mapping, email, and translation Accelerators—that use Windows web services. You can add and remove Accelerators by using Manage Add-ons. When you click or point to an Accelerator, the title and full web address or URL of the current webpage, as well as standard PC information, and any content you have selected, might be sent to the service provider. If you use an Accelerator provided by Microsoft, the information sent is subject to the privacy statement for the associated online service. For example, if you use the "Translate with Bing" Accelerator, then the Bing privacy statement will govern use of the information. If you use an Accelerator provided by a third-party, use of the information sent will be subject to the third-party's privacy practices.

Rich visuals and live tile updates for websites

If you pin a website to Start, it will be displayed as a tile similar to the way your apps are displayed. Like your Windows Store apps, your website tiles might display live updates if the website has been designed to do so. For example, an online news site might send updates to the tile showing the top stories of the day.

Internet Explorer will also create tiles in the browser for websites that you add to your favorites or that are among your top 10 most visited sites. While all site tiles can have custom background images providing you with rich visuals, only tiles pinned to Start can have live updates.

A website can provide background images or live updates for its tile that will then be displayed by Internet Explorer or in the tile pinned to Start. If a site hasn’t specified this information,Internet Explorer can get this info from a Microsoft service. In order to provide this service, Internet Explorer will send the webpage address of the sites you pin, favorite and your top 10 most visited sites to Microsoft. No data is sent when you use InPrivate Browsing. If the Microsoft service has a tile background image and/or live update for the site, this information will be downloaded and displayed by Internet Explorer or in the tile pinned to Start.

Rich visuals and live updates are turned on by default in Internet Explorer.

To turn off the Microsoft service that provides background images and live tile updates

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, and swipe from the right edge of the screen, (or press Win+C) to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings, tap or click Privacy, and turn Show enhanced suggestions as you type to Off.

    Note: Turning off this service will also turn off enhanced suggestions in the address bar.

To only turn off tile updates for a website pinned to Start, press and hold (or right-click) the tile in Start, and then tap or click Live tile off. You can also unpin the tile from Start to turn off tile updates. To clear the data stored on your PC for notifications and tile updates, swipe in from the right side of the Start screen (or if you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner and move the mouse pointer up), tap or click Settings, and then tap or click Tiles. Under Clear personal info from my tiles, tap or click Clear.

Note: If you open Internet Explorer in the desktop, you can pin websites to the taskbar, but the website won't display any updates.

Search from the address bar

AutoSearch

If you enter text in the address bar in Internet Explorer and it doesn't resolve as a valid web address, or the text begins with a question mark, "search," "find," or "go," then Internet Explorer will redirect you to your default search provider to help you locate the site you're looking for. To provide this feature, Internet Explorer sends the invalid web address or the search query you typed to your default search provider, which returns web address options to your PC. Standard PC information might also be sent to your default search provider. If Bing is your default search provider, the information sent is subject to the Bing privacy statement. If you use a third-party search provider, then information sent to the provider will be subject to the third party's privacy practices.

To turn AutoSearch off

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Advanced tab, under Browsing, select the Do not search from the Address bar check box.

Enhanced suggestions

Enhanced suggestions in the address bar in Internet Explorer can help you quickly go to the sites you want to visit by offering relevant website suggestions, suggested search terms and app, weather and finance suggestions as you type into the address bar. Clicking on one of the suggested search terms in Internet Explorer will take you to the results page for that search term using your default search provider.

In order to provide this service, each letter or character you type in the address bar will be sent to Microsoft along with standard PC information. A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer for enhanced suggestions is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that doesn't contain any personal information and isn't used to identify you. If you delete your browsing history or if you turn enhanced suggestions off and back on again, a new unique identifier will be created. We don't correlate old unique identifiers with new ones. By default, enhanced suggestions are turned on in Internet Explorer; however when you use InPrivate Browsing, enhanced suggestions will be off and no data will be sent to Microsoft.

To turn off enhanced suggestions

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click the Internet Explorer tile, and swipe from the right of the screen, or press Win+C to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Privacy, and turn the Show enhanced suggestions as you type option to Off.

    You can also turn off enhanced suggestions from the address bar by selecting Turn off suggestions from Microsoft.

Note: Turning off enhanced suggestions will also turn off the request to Microsoft for rich visuals and live tile updates for websites.

Search suggestions

Search suggestions in the address bar in Internet Explorer in the desktop can help you refine your search by offering suggested search terms as you type. If your selected search provider offers this capability, each letter or character you type in the address bar will be sent to your search provider when you type it. Standard PC information is also sent to the search provider as you type. If Bing is your default search provider, the information sent is subject to the Bing privacy statement. If you use a third-party search provider, use of the information sent will be subject to the third party's privacy practices. By default, search suggestions are turned on.

To turn off search suggestions

  1. Click the arrow to the right of the address bar.

  2. Click Turn off search suggestions.

Web Slices

Web Slices let you automatically subscribe to and receive updates from webpages that change frequently, and view the updates without having to load the entire website. For example, you can subscribe to a Seattle, Washington weather Web Slice that updates when the current temperature changes. When you subscribe to a Web Slice or feed, you turn on automatic updating for all of your Web Slices and feeds. Your IP address will be sent periodically to the website that provides each Web Slice or feed to check for updates, even when Internet Explorer isn't running.

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To remove a Web Slice

  1. On the favorites bar, right-click the Web Slice that you want to remove.

  2. Click Delete, and then click Yes.

To turn off automatic updates for Web Slices and feeds

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Content tab, under Feeds and Web Slices, click Settings.

  3. Clear the Automatically check feeds and Web Slices for updates check box, and then click OK.

Features that use Microsoft online services

Automatic upgrades

If you receive updates automatically through Windows Update, you'll receive updates to Internet Explorer, including upgrades to new versions. These updates are installed without interrupting you. If you would prefer to choose whether and when you receive an upgrade to a new version of Internet Explorer via Windows Update, you may do so.

To turn off automatic version upgrades

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click About Internet Explorer.

  2. Clear the Install new versions automatically check box, and then click OK.

If you turn off automatic version upgrades, you'll still be offered a new version of Internet Explorer if you have Windows Update turned on, but it won't be installed automatically. For more information about Windows Update and your privacy, see the Update Services privacy statement.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

The Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) collects basic information about your PC and how you use Internet Explorer to help us improve the quality, reliability, and performance of our software and services. CEIP reports generally include information about your hardware configuration, a unique identifier generated by CEIP, performance and reliability data (such as how quickly the software responds when you click a button), and program use (such as which features you use most often).

Microsoft uses CEIP reports to improve our software and services. We use the unique identifier to distinguish how widespread the feedback we receive is and how to prioritize it. For example, the identifier allows Microsoft to distinguish between one customer experiencing a problem one hundred times and other customers experiencing the same problem once. Microsoft doesn't use the information collected by CEIP to identify, contact, or target advertising to you.

Internet Explorer uses your Windows CEIP setting. For more information about how to change the setting, see the Windows 8.1 privacy statement.

Dominant images on webpages

When you pin, share or add a webpage to your favorites in Internet Explorer, the dominant image classification feature will get one or more representative images of the website. These images will be available to you as optional backgrounds for the pinned website tile on the Windows Start screen and the Favorite tile within Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer will offer you up to three options to choose the image that you think best represents the site. The Windows Share charm will also make these images available to the app you choose to share the webpage with.

In order to get the dominant images for the page, Internet Explorer will send the webpage address, along with some standard PC information to Microsoft. A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that doesn't contain any personal information and isn't used to identify you. If you delete your browsing history a new unique identifier will be created. We don't correlate old unique identifiers with new ones. In order to improve the quality of the feature we will also record the image you selected. No data is sent to Microsoft when you use InPrivate Browsing.

Flip ahead with page prediction

Flip ahead with page prediction lets you quickly browse through content on the web. Flip ahead with page prediction tries to determine what pages you're likely to go to next and will proactively load those pages in the background, allowing you to have a faster browsing experience when you navigate to the next predicted site. This feature will let you go to the next page of web content quickly simply by swiping across the page or by clicking forward. For example, if you're on a news website, page prediction may take you to the next page of the article you're reading, or an article that other users tend to visit next

When you turn on the flip ahead with page prediction feature, your web browsing history is periodically sent to Microsoft and used in the aggregate. You can choose to stop sending your web browsing history to Microsoft at any time by turning the feature off.

When this feature is turned on, information about webpages you visit is sent to Microsoft, together with standard PC information. This includes the addresses of the webpages you visit as well as information about images and videos included on the page. To help protect your privacy, the information is encrypted when sent to Microsoft. Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms, might be included. For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered "Seattle" as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Seattle&qsc0=0&FORM=QBMH1&mkt=en-US will be sent. Address strings might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information, like the other information sent, isn't used to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to try to remove personal information.

Statistics about the webpages you visit will also be sent to Microsoft, such as the time that webpages were visited, which webpage referred you, and how you got there (for example, by clicking a link or one of your Favorites). A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer and your machine's IP address is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that doesn't contain any personal information and isn't used to identify you. If you delete your browsing history or if you turn flip ahead with page prediction off and back on again, a new unique identifier will be created. We don't correlate old unique identifiers with new ones. Other information that will help Microsoft improve the experience of features in Internet Explorer will also be sent including the time it took to load a page in Internet Explorer and standard machine information like your network connection type, device model info and whether you have touch-enabled hardware.

In order to keep up with the constantly changing web, as long as flip ahead with page prediction is turned on, Internet Explorer will periodically download updates to the list of websites that support this experience.

Microsoft uses the information sent by flip ahead with page prediction to improve the experience of these features and to generate better predictions for where you might want to go to next. This information may also be used to improve the quality of other Microsoft product and services.

To turn off flip ahead with page prediction

  1. From the Start screen, tap or click Internet Explorer, and swipe from the right of the screen, or press Win+C to bring in the Charms bar.

  2. Tap or click the Settings charm, tap or click Privacy, and turn Turn on flip ahead with page prediction to Off.

Location Services

Location Services in Internet Explorer let websites request your physical location in order to improve their services. For example, a mapping website can request your physical location in order to center the map for you.

When you visit a website that uses Location Services, you can choose whether or not to allow the website access to your location information. If you choose to allow a website access, Internet Explorer will contact a Microsoft location service to attempt to determine your PC’s physical location. This service uses your IP address and data from nearby wireless network access points, if available.

Based on the information received, the Microsoft location service will determine your PC’s approximate location and provide it to the requesting website. The location information provided includes the latitude and longitude of your PC. It doesn't provide the requesting website information about available cell towers or wireless access points or any unique identifiers from your PC.

If you choose to not allow a website access to your physical location, no location data will be sent to the website, and no data will be sent to the Microsoft location service. If you choose to allow a webpage access to your physical location once, then the website will only have access to your location while you're viewing that webpage. If you choose to always allow a website access to your physical location, each time you visit any page on that site, it will be able to request information about your physical location. The website’s use of your location information will be subject that site’s privacy practices.

To turn on Location Services

When you receive a request for location from a website, do one of the following:

  • To provide your location only once, click Allow once.

  • To provide your location every time you visit the website, click More options for this site, and then click Always allow.

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To turn off Location Services

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, select the Never allow websites to request your physical location check box, and then click OK.

To clear the list of sites allowed to always use Location Services

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, and then click Internet options.

  2. On the Privacy tab, under Location, click the Clear Sites button.

SmartScreen Filter

SmartScreen Filter is designed to help warn you about unsafe websites that are impersonating trusted websites (phishing) or contain threats to your PC. If you opt in to SmartScreen Filter, it first checks the address of the webpage you're visiting against a list of high-traffic webpage addresses stored on your PC that are believed by Microsoft to be legitimate. Addresses that aren't on the local list and the addresses of files you're downloading will be sent to Microsoft and checked against a frequently updated list of webpages and downloads that have been reported to Microsoft as unsafe or suspicious. You might also choose to use SmartScreen Filter manually to verify individual sites with Microsoft. Additionally, if you download or run a program from the Internet, SmartScreen will check the program against a list of commonly downloaded and known unsafe programs to help protect you from running unsafe programs.

When you use SmartScreen Filter to check websites automatically or manually, the address of the website you're visiting will be sent to Microsoft, together with standard PC information, the SmartScreen Filter version number and other information that helps us detect phishing and malware. To help protect your privacy, the information sent to Microsoft is encrypted. Information that may be associated with the address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms might be included. For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered "Seattle" as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Seattle&qsc0=0&FORM=QBMH1&mkt=en-US will be sent. Address strings might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information, like the other information sent, isn't used to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to try to remove personal information where possible. When you use Internet Explorer to download a program, SmartScreen Filter will send the information above, along with information about the downloaded program, such as a file identifier (a “hash”), results from installed antivirus tools, and the program’s digital certificate information, if available.

Periodically, information about your usage of SmartScreen Filter will also be sent to Microsoft, such as the time and total number of websites browsed since an address was sent to Microsoft for analysis. Some information about files that you download from the web, such as name and file path, might also be sent to Microsoft. Some website addresses that are sent to Microsoft might be stored along with additional information, including web browser version, operating system version, SmartScreen Filter version, the browser language, the referring webpage, and information about whether Compatibility View was turned on for the website. A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that doesn't contain any personal information. This information, along with the information described above, is only used to analyze performance and improve the quality of our products and services.

SmartScreen Filter can be turned on and off from the Internet Explorer Safety menu. For example, to turn on automatic checking of all websites:

  • Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Turn on SmartScreen Filter.

If you believe you have encountered an unsafe website, you can report it to Microsoft by clicking the Tools button, pointing to Safety, and then clicking Report unsafe website. When you report an unsafe website, some information will be sent to Microsoft, including the address of the site you're reporting, and the usage information described above.

Suggested Sites

Suggested Sites is an online experience that recommends websites, images, or videos you might be interested in. When you turn on Suggested Sites, your web browsing history is periodically sent to Microsoft, where it is saved and then compared to a frequently updated list of websites that are similar to sites you often visit. Suggested Sites also turns on automatic background updating for Web Slices and feeds, so that you can receive up-to-date suggestions on both the Suggested Sites page and the Suggested Sites Web Slice.

You can choose to pause or stop the Suggested Sites feature from sending your web browsing history to Microsoft at any time. You can also delete individual entries from your history at any time. Deleted entries won't be used to provide you with suggestions for other websites, although they'll be retained by Microsoft for a period of time to help improve our products and services, including this feature. When you use InPrivate Browsing, no information about the webpages you visit will be sent to Microsoft.

When Suggested Sites is turned on, information about the webpages you visit is sent to Microsoft, together with standard PC information. This includes the addresses of the webpages you visit as well as information about images and videos included on the page. To help protect your privacy, the information is encrypted when sent to Microsoft. Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data you entered in forms, might be included. For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered "Seattle" as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Seattle&qsc0=0&FORM=QBMH1&mkt=en-US will be sent. Address strings might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information, like the other information sent, isn't used to identify, contact, or target advertising to you. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to try to remove personal information.

Statistics about the webpages you visit will also be sent to Microsoft, such as the time that webpages were visited, which webpage referred you, and how you got there (for example, by clicking a link or one of your Favorites). A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that doesn't contain any personal information and isn't used to identify you. If you delete your browsing history or if you turn Suggested Sites off and back on again, a new unique identifier will be created. We don't correlate old unique identifiers with new ones. This information, along with the website addresses and past history, will be used to personalize your experience, as well as to improve the quality of our products and services.

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To turn on Suggested Sites

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop.

  2. Click the Tools button, point to File, click Suggested Sites, and then click Yes.

To turn off Suggested Sites

  1. Open Internet Explorer in the desktop.

  2. Click the Tools button, point to File, click Suggested Sites, and then click No.

Note: Turning off Suggested Sites doesn't clear your history and doesn't turn off automatic updates for feeds and Web Slices.

To delete your browsing history (with or without turning off Suggested Sites)

  • Open Internet Explorer in the desktop, click the Tools button, point to Safety, and then click Delete browsing history.

Sync your Internet Explorer settings and tabs

When you sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account, Windows syncs your web browser history, favorites, some of your Internet Explorer settings, and any open tabs on your device with Microsoft servers to make it easier for you to have a continuous and personalized browsing experience across multiple PCs. After you’ve signed into a PC with a Microsoft account, when you sign into another PC with the same Microsoft account for the first time, Windows will download and apply your synced Internet Explorer data, settings and tabs from your other PC. Your synced Internet Explorer settings will automatically update on Microsoft servers and your other PCs as you use them. For more information, including how to stop syncing, see the Windows 8.1 privacy statement.

How we collect, use, and store your information

Collection and use of your information

The information we collect from you'll be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to turn on the features you're using and provide the services or carry out the transactions you've requested or authorized. It may also be used to analyze and improve Microsoft products and services.

In order to offer you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with Microsoft, information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services. We may also supplement the information we collect with information obtained from other companies. For example, we might use services from other companies that allow us to derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.

Except as described in this statement, information you provide won't be transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as answering customer questions about products or services, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the personal information they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose. Microsoft may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the services; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to help protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers, or the public.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft by Internet Explorer may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the safe harbor framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Union, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland.

Security and storage of your information

Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information you provide on PC systems with limited access, which are located in controlled facilities.

Changes to the privacy statement

We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of the privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how Microsoft is helping to protect your information.

For more information

If you have questions about this privacy statement, please contact us by clicking here.

Internet Explorer Privacy, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052, USA