Getting started with Internet Explorer 9

Windows Internet Explorer 9 has a streamlined look and many new features that speed up your web browsing experience.

Watch this video to learn about what's changed in Internet Explorer 9 (2:24)

Use the new browser controls

The first thing you'll notice when you open Internet Explorer 9 is the simplified design. You can find most command bar functions, like Print or Zoom, when you click the Tools button The Tools button, and your favorites and feeds appear in Favorites Center when you click the Favorites button The Favorites button.
Favorites Center
Favorites Center
Tabs automatically appear to the right of the Address bar, but you can move them so they appear below the Address bar, as they did in previous versions of Internet Explorer. You can always show the Favorites, Command, Status, and Menu bars by right-clicking the Tools button The Tools button, and then selecting them on a menu.

For more information about basic controls, see:

Pin sites to the taskbar

You can access websites that you visit regularly by pinning them to the taskbar on your Windows 7 desktop.

Pinned site
Pinned site

Pinning a site is simple: just drag its tab to the taskbar—the website's icon will stay there until you remove it. When you click the icon later, the website will open in Internet Explorer.

Whenever you open a pinned site, the website icon appears at the top of the browser, so you have easy access to original webpage that you pinned. The Back and Forward buttons change color to match the color of the icon.

For more information about adding and removing pinned sites, see Pin a website to your taskbar.

Search in the Address bar

You can now search directly from the Address bar. If you enter a website's address, you'll go directly to the website. If you enter a search term or incomplete address, you'll launch a search using the currently selected search engine. Click the address bar to select your search engine from the listed icons or to add new ones.

A search in the Address bar
Search in the Address bar

When you search from the Address bar, you'll have the option of opening a search results page or the top search result (if your chosen search provider supports the feature). You can also turn on optional search suggestions in the Address bar.

For more information about searching in the Address bar, see Search in the Internet Explorer 9 Address bar.

Use Download Manager

Download Manager keeps a list of the files you download and notifies you when a file might be malware (malicious software). It also lets you pause and restart a download, and shows you where to find downloaded files on your computer.

Download Manager
Download Manager

For more information about Download Manager, see Using Download Manager in Internet Explorer.

Work with tabs

You can open a tab by clicking the New Tab button to the right of the most recently opened tab. Use tabbed browsing to open many webpages in a single window. To look at two tabbed pages at the same time, click a tab, and then drag it out of the Internet Explorer window to open the tab's webpage in a new window.

The New Tab page
New Tab page

For more information about tabs and the New Tab page, see Using the New Tab page.

Help protect your information while you browse

To help protect the security and privacy of your information while you browse, Internet Explorer 9 has introduced Tracking Protection and ActiveX Filtering:

  • Use Tracking Protection to limit the browser's communication with certain websites—determined by a Tracking Protection List—to help keep your information private. Anyone can create a Tracking Protection List, and they'll be available online.

  • ActiveX is a technology web developers use to create interactive content on their sites, but it can also pose a security risk. You can use Internet Explorer 9 to block ActiveX controls for all sites, and then turn them back on for only the sites that you trust.

For more information about security and privacy features, see:

Information that doesn't slow you down

The new Notification bar that appears at the bottom of Internet Explorer gives you important status information when you need it, but it won't force you to click a series of messages to continue browsing.

The Notification bar
Notification bar

For more information about the Notification bar, see the Internet Explorer Notification bar: frequently asked questions.