Privacy settings

By adjusting Internet Explorer's privacy settings, you can affect how websites monitor your online activity. For example, you can decide which cookies are stored, how and when sites can use your location info, and block unwanted pop-ups.

Show all

Cookies

Cookies are small files that websites put on your PC to store information about you and your preferences. Cookies can make your browsing experience better by letting sites remember your preferences or letting you avoid signing in each time you visit certain sites. However, some cookies might put your privacy at risk by tracking sites that you visit. For more info, see Delete and manage cookies in Internet Explorer.

Do Not Track

When Do Not Track is turned on, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track request to the sites 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. For more info, see Do Not Track.

InPrivate Browsing

Browsers store some info—like your search history—to help improve your experience on the web. When you use InPrivate Browsing, info like passwords, search history, and page history is deleted once you close the tab.

To open an InPrivate Browsing session

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

  2. Swipe up from the bottom (or right-click) to bring up the app commands.

  3. Tap or click the Tab tools button Tab tools, and tap or click New InPrivate tab.

To open an InPrivate Browsing session in the desktop

  • Right–click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar, and select Start InPrivate Browsing.

To turn off add–ons in InPrivate Browsing sessions

  1. Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Tap or click the Tools button Tools, and then tap or click Internet options.
  3. On the Privacy tab, select the Disable toolbars and extensions when InPrivate Browsing starts check box, and tap or click OK.

Location

Location Services lets sites ask for your physical location in order to improve your experience. For example, a mapping site can request your physical location in order to center the map for you. Internet Explorer will let you know when a site wants to use your location. When this happens, tap or click Allow once to let a site use your location just one time. If you want the site to use your location each time you visit, tap or click Always allow.

To turn off location sharing

If you don't want sites to ask for your physical location, you can turn off location sharing. Here's how:

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

  2. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Settings.
    (If you're using a mouse, point to the lower-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer up, and then click Settings.)

  3. Tap or click Privacy, and under Location, turn Let sites ask for my physical location to Off.

Pop-up Blocker

Pop-up Blocker limits or blocks pop-ups on sites that you visit. You can choose the level of blocking you prefer, turn on or off notifications when pop-ups are blocked, or create a list of sites that you don't want to block pop-ups on. Pop-up Blocker settings only apply to Internet Explorer for the desktop.

Show all

To turn Pop-up Blocker on or off

  1. Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Tap or click the Tools button Tools, and then tap or click Internet options.
  3. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, select or clear the Turn on Pop-up Blocker check box, and then tap or click OK.

Block all pop-ups

Even if you turn pop-up blocker on, Internet Explorer won't block pop-ups from sites that are in the Local intranet or Trusted sites security zones. If you want to block all pop-ups—including pop-ups on Local intranet or Trusted sites—you'll have to change the blocking level.

  1. Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Tap or click the Tools button Tools, and then tap or click Internet options.
  3. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, tap or click Settings.

  4. In the Pop-up Blocker settings dialog box, under Blocking level, set the blocking level to High: Block all pop-ups (Ctrl+Alt to override).

  5. Tap or click Close, and then tap or click OK.

Turn off notifications when pop-ups are blocked

You can turn off notifications if you don't want Internet Explorer to let you know every time it blocks a pop-up.

  1. Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Tap or click the Tools button Tools, and then tap or click Internet options.
  3. On the Privacy tab, under Pop-up Blocker, tap or click Settings.

  4. In the Pop-up Blocker settings dialog box, clear the Show Notification bar when a pop-up is blocked check box.

  5. Tap or click Close, and then tap or click OK.

Tracking Protection

Tracking Protection helps prevent information about your browsing from being sent to third–party content providers on sites you visit. Think of a Tracking Protection Lists as a “do not call” list. Internet Explorer blocks any third–party content from sites on the list, and limits the info that those third–party sites can collect about you. For more info, see Use Tracking Protection in Internet Explorer.

Security zones

By changing the security settings, you can customize how Internet Explorer helps protect your PC from potentially harmful or malicious web content. Internet Explorer automatically assigns all websites to a security zone: Internet, Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites. Each zone has a different default security level that determines what kind of content might be blocked for that site. Depending on the security level of a site, some content might be blocked until you choose to allow it, ActiveX controls might not run automatically, or you might see warning prompts on certain sites. You can customize the settings for each zone to decide how much protection you do or don't want.

Show all

Change your security zone settings

Here's how to customize your security zone settings:

  1. Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Tap or click the Tools button Tools, and then tap or click Internet options.
  3. Tap or click the Security tab and customize your security zone settings in these ways:

    • To change settings for any security zone, tap or click the zone icon, and then, move the slider to the security level that you want.

    • To create your own security settings for a zone, tap or click the zone icon, and then tap or click Custom level and choose the settings that you want.

    • To restore all security levels to their original settings, tap or click the Reset all zones to default level button.

Changes you make to security settings in the will affect both Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer for the desktop.

Add or remove a site from a security zone

  1. Open the desktop, and then tap or click the Internet Explorer icon on the taskbar.

  2. Tap or click the Tools button Tools, and then tap or click Internet options.
  3. Tap or click the Security tab, choose one of the security zone icons (Local intranet, Trusted sites, or Restricted sites), and then tap or click Sites. You can add sites to the zone you chose, or delete sites that you no longer want in this zone.

  4. If you chose Local intranet in the previous step, tap or click Advanced, and then do one of the following:

    • Add a site—enter a URL into the Add this website to the zone box, and then tap or click Add.

    • Remove a site—under Websites, select the URL you want to remove, and then tap or click Remove.

Turn on Enhanced Protected Mode

Enhanced Protected Mode makes it harder for malware to run in Internet Explorer. It's turned on by default for Internet Explorer, but you can turn it on or off in Internet Explorer for the desktop. For more info, see Manage add-ons for Internet Explorer.