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Windows 8.1 Tip: Always Display Modern IE 11 Address Bar and Tabs

By default the modern version of Internet Explorer 11 hides the address bar and list of open tabs. You can get them back with a right-click or swipe from the bottom of the screen up, but you might want them to always be visible on the screen. Changing the behavior is easy.

Default IE 11

IE 11 Always Show Address Bar and Tabs

Launch IE 11 and go to Settings > Options and under the Appearance section turn on “Always show address bar and tabs”.

reading view

That’s all there is to it. now when you’re using the modern version of IE 11, the address bar and tabs will always be displayed. In Windows 8 the amount of tabs you could have open was limited, but now you can virtually have as many open as you want. Then you can scroll through your open tabs with a mouse or swiping a touch screen.

tabs and address bar

If you leave the default settings they way they are, when you move your mouse toward the bottom or swipe up, you’ll see thumbnails for all open tabs. You can scroll through them the same way as the image above, but each thumbnail has a shot of what’s going on for each page. You’re also able to see synced tabs more easily.

Some people might find this easier to use. Plus, if you don’t always have the address bar and tabs display, there’s more screen real estate for viewing sites.

normal thumbnails

Personally, when I’m using the modern version of IE 11, I prefer to always display the tabs and address bar. That probably comes from desktop habits, although I don’t want them displaying when I’m playing the classic Hover remake in IE on my Surface. The adoption of the modern interface, which is inevitably coming, takes some getting used to, and I’m taking baby steps…but I digress.

Have you updated to Windows 8.1 yet? What’s your take on the new Internet Explorer 11?

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