I have a new HP Elitepad running Windows 8.1 and it’s great, but I can’t figure out how to switch my default Web browser back to Internet Explorer 11 from Chrome?
One of the big things to get used to with Windows 8 is that the search feature is now super useful (curiously, that same change in user behavior is also true for the next version of Mac OS X Yosemite, with its beefed up Spotlight feature). One big reason for this is because help information is now included in the search results so your query for “default program” can now match a tutorial on how to set your default program, not just look for files with a matching name.
Which is to say that Win8 and Win8.1 users should be trying a few queries to the search “charm” before they do a Google search or YouTube search for the answer. There really is a huge collection of useful tutorial info!
In this case, I’m guessing that you downloaded Google Chrome and the first time you launched the program it then asked if you wanted to switch it to be your default Web browser. I think a lot of users make changes and are then surprised when a click in an email message launches that new browser, not the regular one you’re used to. And credit where it’s due, Internet Explorer 11 does have some neat tricks up its proverbial sleeve for touchscreen-based Windows 8 users.
So let’s jump into the solution! Start by bringing up the Charms bar on the screen:
Tap on the magnifying lens search button and enter “defa”. Just that much of the word. And look at the results:
See? Slick! Tap on the match “Default Programs” and you’ll get to an old-school Windows preference screen:
A tap on “Set your default programs” and you’ll have to wait a minute or two for the program to collect all the relevant data. When it does, you’ll see this:
Now it requires some precision tapping: You want to swipe down to find “Internet Explorer”, then tap on it.
On the right it’ll show you how many of the Web-related file types it’s handling, along with some additional options:
The key button is on the lower side, “Set this program as default”. Tap on it, tap on “OK” on the lower right, and you’re good to go. Done. Fixed.