How to Use Internet Explorer Options - Part 1

Part 1 of 2 articles on the options found in Internet Explorer
Published: Apr 3, 2006
Author: Michael E, Callahan
Related OS: Windows

How To...Use Options in Internet Explorer - Part 1

by Dr. File Finder �

This question submitted by Kathy Melton, Arnold Ramslee, Gina Parker, Ronald Ashton, Walter Krammer, Patty Marco and numerous others

The browser that comes with Microsoft Windows is Internet Explorer. I've received numerous questions about all of the different "options" that are available under the Internet Options menu. While I know many use other browsers, I'll start with Internet Explorer and gradually work though other browsers in future articles.

In order to find the options in Internet Explorer just look on the menu bar and click on Tools ... Internet Options. You'll see that there are seven (7) tabs there for you to deal with. We'll take these one at a time.

General Tab

The General tab has a number of options on it. You can change your "home" page to use the page you're currently on, a default home page, or a blank page. You can also deal with your "Temporary Internet Files. You can delete all the files, delete all cookies,change the location where the files are stored, and alter the amount of disk space the files can occupy. On this tab you can also clear all the information in your "History" as well as change the number of days that Internet Explorer keeps on hand. Lastly, you can elect to alter colors, languages, and fonts. Additionally, you can select from a number of Accessibility options if you wish.

Security Tab

Going to the right the next tab is the "Security" tab. Here you can define security levels for the Internet, your local intranet, restricted areas, and trusted sites. Your security level should always be set to at least medium or you can also create a custom security profile. If you click on the Custom Level button you have the option to select how Internet Explorer will respond to various things like ActiveX controls, downloads, Java applets, and so on. Unless you understand what you're doing or a program directs you on how to alter these settings, you should probably stick with the defaults.

Privacy Tab

The Privacy tab has a slider bar that lets you quickly alter the settings. If you click on the slider with your mouse you'll see that as you move to a different level the functions of that level are displayed for you. Once again, the default level is Medium, and in most cases you should leave it there. The primary function of this tab is to give you some control over "cookies" and I'm not talking chocolate chips. On the Internet "cookies" are little files that Web sites can "drop" on your computer. Please keep in mind this concept:

Not all "cookies" are bad. Customization comes from cookies!

Yes, there are some bad things that are transmitted via cookies, but that doesn't mean that all cookies are bad. For example, I have a customized home page that shows me the weather for my town, the news I want to see, the scores for the sports teams I follow, the quote of the day, and so on. No magic is involved, just a cookie that remembers what I've selected. If I elect to wipe out all cookies then I'll have no way to have customization of Web pages and content. Remember that. This is why the Privacy tab has a "Sites" button that lets you select sites that you want to keep cookies from. Click on the Sites button and you can add sites that you want to allow cookies from as well as sites that you want to block cookies from. The "Import" button lets you import privacy settings from another computer. You can use the "Advanced" tab to change how cookies are automatically handled. The last thing on this tab is the Pop-up Blocer settings. You can select to have pop-ups blocked or not. You can also use the Settings button to indicate sites where you specifically want pop-ups allowed. So, for example, if your banking site uses pop-ups to remind you of things you'll want to go into the pop-up settings and allow your bank site to display pop-ups.

At this point wre about half-way through the Internet Options found in Internet Explorer and I think we've covered enough for this week. Stay tuned and come back for part 2 next week, same time, same station. If you have questions go into the Forums where you can discuss things with me and other users like yourself.

I'd like to thank Kathy Melton, Arnold Ramslee, Gina Parker, Ronald Ashton, Walter Krammer, Patty Marco and numerous others for asking this question.

If you have a question on how to do something on the computer you can submit it via email by clicking HERE You will not receive a reply, but all topics will be considered.

Go to Part 2.

About Michael E, Callahan

Michael E. Callahan, known around the world by the trademarked name Dr. File Finder, is regarded as the world's leading expert on shareware. Dr. File Finder works with software programs and developers full-time, and in the average year he evaluates 10,000 programs. Since 1982 he has evaluated over 250,000 software and hardware products. Mr. Callahan began evaluating software online in 1982 and no one has been at it longer. He currently works doing online PR and marketing for software companies, and is the Senior Content Producer for Butterscotch.Com.

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