How to Make Metro Internet Explorer the Default Browser in Windows 8 Release Preview


Recently, we saw the release of Metro Chrome which is similar to Metro Internet Explorer (IE) but, if you need to use Metro Chrome then, you will have to make the Metro Chrome the default browser in-order to test it. Making Chrome the default browser means you can’t enjoy the Metro IE. If you want to take advantage of Metro IE then you will have to set it the default again.

In short, only one browser can be used in Metro-Style and others would be useable in desktop mode. The Metro interface of Windows 8 lets you select only one browser as default one to take advantage of Metro interface.

After selecting Metro Chrome as default browser, IE can only be used in desktop mode. The tile for IE in Metro-UI would also change its icon to desktop one with small IE logo. Whenever, you would click/tap the Metro IE tile on Metro-UI you would be taken to desktop and IE would open on desktop. This behavior would keep occurring until you set Metro IE the default browser.

This tutorial would guide you through the steps of setting IE as default browser to take advantage of Metro IE, a special version of IE designed specifically for Windows 8 and touch devices.


There are two different methods to set IE as default browser. Method 1 is recommended as it is easy and takes just three steps. But, if method 1 don’t work, then you may apply the second method.

Method 1:

  • First of all, go to Metro-UI and click/tap the IE tile.
  • You would be taken to desktop where IE would open.
  • Your default homepage would open or new tab page would open. In few seconds, another tab would automatically open entitled as ‘Internet Explorer is not your default browser’. Click/tap the button named as ‘Set default browser’.

  • Another small pop-up menu would open. Here select ‘Internet Explorer’ again.

  • You would automatically be taken to Metro-IE.
  • IE is now your default browser and you can enjoy Metro version of IE as well.

Method 2:

First step is recommended for everyone but, in-case the first method doesn’t work then, this method can be applied to set IE as default browser.

  • Open up Control Panel.
  • In ‘Control Panel’ select ‘Default Programs’ if you are using icon view or go to Programs > Default Programs if you are using the category view.
  • In both cases, you would be taken to ‘Default Programs’ page.
  • Open ‘Set your default programs’.

  •  In the next window, you would be provided a list of programs on the left column. Select ‘Internet Explorer’. In the right column, select ‘Set this program as default’

  • Once clicked, you would be notified that ‘this program has all its defaults’ (Refer the image below).

  • Now, go to Metro-UI and your IE icon would be changed to bigger Metro one and Chrome would get its traditional icon (refer the Image below).

  • Opening the IE would launch Metro version.

You may visit our RP Tips & Tweaks section for more tips, tricks and tweaks about Windows 8 Release Preview.


Ahmad Wahid

Being a University student of computer, has developed keen interest in technology and like to test out the new gadgets. His interests include Social Networking as well.

  • k

    Thank you! I wasn’t sure what I had done to change everything! Now it’s back to the way I like it. :o)