Although no longer the top web browser, Internet Explorer is built into nearly every edition of Windows, so most people have or use it. Here is how you clean Internet Explorer.
Start by opening Internet Explorer. Once your homepage has loaded, click on the gear-shaped icon near the top-right corner, this is the Tools menu (Hint: if you have the Menu bar displayed, you can just click on Tools). Next, click on Internet Options and a small window will open. On the General tab you will see your homepage. If your homepage isn’t what you want it to be, you can change it here by highlighting the address, deleting it and then entering the address you want. We typically recommend www.google.com as there are no ads and the page loads quickly. Farther down the window you will see a section titled Browsing history and two buttons, Delete and Settings. Click on the Delete button (don’t worry, nothing will be deleted yet). A new window will open allowing you to select different items for deletion. Since the selections are clearly labeled, simply check the ones you want to clear then press Delete. Usually we recommend selecting the following options: Temporary internet files and website files, Cookies and website data, History, and Download history. Once you’re finished, close both windows.
Now we will want to check the Add-ons section of Internet Explorer, this is where you can change your search provider other settings. Once again, click on the gear icon or Tools, then Manage add-ons. The Manage add-ons window will open, on the left is a menu with different sections; we’ll start in Toolbars and Extensions. If you have any toolbars we recommend disabling them here. Toolbars are generally a nuisance and often hijack other browser settings. Select an entry, then click on Disable. Note that while the toolbar will disappear from the browser window it is still installed on your computer. To completely remove it you will need to go to Start, Control Panel, Add/Remove Programs, then select the toolbar and click Uninstall.
Next up, click on Search Providers in the menu. On the right, all of your installed search providers will appear. One of them will be set as “default.” While there is nothing wrong with having multiple search providers, we want to make sure that the ones we’re using are safe. The most commonly used search engines are Google, Bing and Yahoo. Which one you choose is entirely up to you but Google and Bing tend to deliver better results, Bing is typically enabled by default, but we personally prefer Google. Before we delete any entries we want to set one as the default provider. The default provider is the search engine that will be used when you run a search (unless you choose another). To do this, select the provider you want and then click on the Set as default button in the lower right corner. Now we can delete the extra entries by selecting them and then clicking on the Delete button in the lower-right corner. To find or add additional search engines click the Find additional search engines link in the lower-left corner of the screen. This will open a new webpage where you can select new search engines and other add-ons from Microsoft. When you install a new search engine you will have the option to set it as default. Of course you can always change this later. When you are finished, close the window.
Those are the basics of cleaning Internet Explorer. In our next post we’ll talk about how to clean Google Chrome.
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