Features and Tools in Internet Explorer 10

This topic describes the new features and tool options for Internet Explorer 10.

New features

This section describes some of the new features in Internet Explorer 10, which are most important to IT professionals, including browser launch settings, web standards, and enhanced protected mode.

Browser launch settings

In Internet Explorer 10, users and administrators can decide which browser experience occurs with clicked links. By default, Internet Explorer 10 keeps you in the same browsing experience to follow links. For example, clicking a link in Internet Explorer opens a webpage in Internet Explorer, and clicking a link in Internet Explorer for the desktop opens a webpage in Internet Explorer for the desktop. Users can change the default behavior by using the Settings charm in Internet Explorer, or the Programs tab of the Internet Options dialog box in Internet Explorer for the desktop, while administrators can change the default behavior by using the Internet Explorer Administration Kit 10 (IEAK 10) or Group Policy.

  • Opening links. You can choose one of the following options for which browsing experience to use when a link is clicked.

    Option Result

    Let Internet Explorer decide

    Links maintain the browser experience from where they're launched. For example, if you click a link from a Windows Store app, Internet Explorer displays the resulting page. If you click a link from a desktop app, the link opens in Internet Explorer for the desktop.

    Always in Internet Explorer

    Links always open in Internet Explorer.

    Always in Internet Explorer for the desktop

    Links always open in Internet Explorer for the desktop.

    Administrators can also use the Group Policy setting, Set how links are opened in Internet Explorer, to control how links are opened.

  • Opening Internet Explorer tiles. You can choose how Internet Explorer tiles are opened. This applies to the Internet Explorer tile on the Start screen, as well as to individual sites that are pinned to tiles on the Start screen.

    Option Result


    Launch in the Internet Explorer.


    Launch in Internet Explorer for the desktop.

    Administrators can also use the Group Policy setting, Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop, to control how Internet Explorer tiles are opened.


For more information about the IEAK 10, see Internet Explorer Administration Kit 10. For more information about Group Policy, see the Internet Explorer 10 Deployment Guide, and for more user-related information, see Launch Options for Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8 post on IEBlog.

Web standards

Internet Explorer 10 provides updated support for the following web standards:

  • HTML5 (Asynchronous script execution, AppCache API, channel messaging, drag-and-drop APIs, history, parsing, Sandbox, Spellcheck, video, Web Workers, and WebSockets).

  • Cascading Style Sheets, Level 3 (Advanced Layout, Visual Effects, Panning and Zooming, and Removal of Style Sheet limits).

  • Document Object Model (advanced hit-testing APIs, media query listeners, XMLHttpRequest enhancements, and pointer and gesture events).

  • Indexed Database API.

  • Scalable Vector Graphics (SVG, filters).

For more information about available support, see Internet Explorer Guide for Developers.

Enhanced Protected Mode

Enhanced Protected Mode is a new feature in Internet Explorer 10. It works by extending the existing Protected Mode functionality to help prevent attackers from installing software, accessing personal information, accessing information from corporate Intranets, and from modifying system settings. To do this, Enhanced Protected Mode must reduce some of the capabilities available to Internet Explorer, including:

  • Restricting access to personal assets. Restricts Internet Explorer from locations that contain your personal information until you grant permissions to it. This helps prevent unauthorized access to your personal information.

  • Restricting access to corporate assets. Restricts access to valuable information on your corporate network resources by controlling access through the following tab processes:

    • Not allowing Internet tab processes to have access to a user's domain credentials.

    • Not allowing Internet tab processes to operate as local web servers.

    • Not allowing Internet tab processes to make connections to intranet servers.

Administrators can also use the Group Policy setting, Turn on Enhanced Protected Mode, to control how Enhance Protected Mode is used in their organization. For more information about Enhanced Protected Mode, see the Enhanced Protected Mode post on IEBlog, and both the Understanding Enhanced Protected Mode and the Enhanced Protected Mode and Local Files blog posts on IEInternals.


The SmartScreen technology includes both the SmartScreen Filter and the SmartScreen download reputation feature.

  • SmartScreen Filter. Helps to protect users with a set of sophisticated tools that offer anti-phishing protection, application reputation, and anti-malware protection.

  • SmartScreen download reputation. Uses reputation data to remove unnecessary warnings for well-known files, showing more severe warnings only when the download has a higher risk of being malicious.

Supported and removed tools

The following sections provide details about the supported and removed tools for use with Internet Explorer 10.

Supported Tools

IT professionals have unique requirements to deploy, manage, and support browsers in the enterprise. The following tools are available for this purpose:

Removed Tools

The following tools have been removed for Internet Explorer 10.

  • Internet Explorer Maintenance (IEM). Enabled administrators to define an Internet Explorer configuration as part of the Group Policy Object (GPO). Windows 8 with Internet Explorer 10 deprecates IEM in favor of a more robust tool called Group Policy Preferences. Administrators can also use the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) to configure specific settings.

  • Profile Manager. Helped administrators update settings and maintain the custom Internet Explorer package created using IEAK. Now, IEAK and Group Policy Preferences are the recommended solutions for customizing Internet Explorer packages and managing Internet Explorer preferences. Profile Manager-related tasks that still exist in new locations are as follows:

    • Update browser configuration settings. When you run IEAK 10, it creates an .ins file with the values for settings that you customized. If you run the wizard again, you can import the .ins file and the wizard will populate the wizard pages with your previous customized values. On the File Locations page, click Advanced Options, and then navigate to path of the .ins file that you want to use. Continue to run the wizard and change settings, as needed.

    • Move an automatic configuration file. You can specify an .ins file to be used for updating user settings. On the Automatic Configuration page of the wizard, type the URL for an .ins file.

For more information about Internet Explorer 10, see the Internet Explorer 10 FAQ for IT Pros, and visit the Springboard Series for Internet Explorer 10 on the Internet Explorer TechCenter.