How to switch and close tabs in Internet Explorer 10 and 11

Switching and closing tabs in Windows 8 and 8.1 is completely different than anything Windows users ever had to do.  In previous versions of Internet Explorer, people would just click the tab they wanted to focus on or keyboard purists would adroitly press Ctrl + Tab to shuffle forward through tabs or Ctrl + Tab + Shift to reverse the tab order.

But how do you even view tabs in Windows 8?  The Internet Explorer 10 and 11 Modern UI (Metro) Apps fill the entire screen.  And although surfing full screen generally leads to a simpler and more enjoying web experience, it can be pretty frustrating when you’re trying to do simple things like switch between tabs.

To starting shuffling through tabs like a pro in the new Internet Explorer App, double-click the blue Internet Explorer tile from the Start Screen.

Internet Explorer Modern UI

Internet Explorer opens and zooms to your default homepage.

The new immersive view doesn’t make it clear how to open tabs, close existing tabs or switch between them.

Internet Explorer Modern UI Homepage

To open tabs, right-click on an empty part of the web page and you’ll see a tab bar slide into view.  Keyboard enthusiasts can press the Windows Key + z to open tabs this way.   Windows 8 slides on the screen from the top in Windows 8 but creeps up from the bottom in Windows 8.1.

Internet Explorer Modern UI Tabs

Now, you can flip between tiles by clicking the page thumbnails.

To close a tab just click the little X in the corner of the thumbnail or if you want to open a new tab click the plus icon with the circle border.  In Windows 8 the icon sits in the upper right corner of the screen; in Windows 8.1 it’s near the bottom right screen edge.

Also, one other thing I should mention: if you have a lot of tabs taking over your browser but you just want to focus on a single tab (not the others), then instead of closing each individual tab, just right-click the tab thumbnail you want and choose Close other tabs.

Internet Explorer 11 close other tabs

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Posted in How To, Internet Explorer 10, Web Browsers, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with:
  • Teresa Mendez

    I have two tablets and in one of them there are three small right dots that remain on the right side in a very thin black bar at the bottom of the window, and with this I am able to click on the three dots and all of my tabs open in an address bar. The other tablet does not have the three dots and instead to open all of the tabs in the address bar I have to right click on an open area in the webpage and it will then open them. Is there anyway to get the three dots to appear…I like having that option more.

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