Rockford Lhotka

 Wednesday, March 7, 2012
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If you’ve used Windows 8 you’ve probably notice that there are two “flavors” of IE 10: Metro style and Desktop.

The Metro style IE10 is optimized for use on touch devices. It also prevents the use of browser plug-ins like Silverlight or Flash. This makes it frustrating when browsing many sites that use Flash to play video, or Silverlight to provide business functionality.

The Desktop IE10 is pretty much like the IE you already know, except that IE10 is much more standards-complaint and provides good HTML 5 support.

If you are using Windows 8 on a desktop or laptop, the touch-optimized Metro style IE10 can be frustrating on many levels. Perhaps most notably because you aren’t using touch, so it is awkward to use. And also because of the lack of useful plug-ins.

It turns out you can overcome these issues by forcing IE10 to always open in the Desktop. To make this happen:

  1. Open Desktop IE10
  2. Open the Internet Options dialog
  3. Go to the programs tab, and change the “Choose how you open links” options as shown here:
  4. Set it so the browser always opens on the desktop, and so all tiles on the Windows 8 start screen open in IE on the desktop

That’s it – now you won’t see the Metro style IE10 anymore, and you might enjoy your browsing experience just a bit more.

fwiw, I did this on my laptop and prefer this choice. But I still use the Metro style IE10 on my tablet, because the touch-optimized experience really is better on a machine with a touch UI.