Windows 8: Fixing problem where Internet Explorer always opens on desktop, not in Modern UI

This is a problem I have seen a couple of times. It works like this: When you’re on your Windows 8 Start Screen and click or tap the Internet Explorer tile or a shortcut to a website, the desktop version of Internet Explorer launches rather than the Modern UI version.

This is simple to fix:

First, open Internet Explorer on the desktop, then select the settings cog from the top right

Desktop IE 1

Then select “Internet options”:

Desktop IE 2

Move to the “Programs” tab, then make sure that “Let Internet Explorer decide” is selected from the dropdown box in the “Opening Internet Explorer” section, and that the “Open Internet Explorer tiles on the desktop” checkbox is unchecked.

Desktop IE 3

Press Ok. That’s it, from now on when you tap or click and Internet Explorer tile on the Start Screen it will launch the Modern UI version of Internet Explorer

Comments (21)

  1. marcelo zabala says:

    Hi, when I try to open a video within metro ui, the video  starts and play for one minute and then starts again.

    this does not happen within IE10 old fashioned IE10


    whats going wrong?

    its a brand new i7 Lenovo.



  2. Joseph Olu says:

    Please I have my own problem with my new laptop which I bought from PC World less than two moths old.  It is an Acer model with windows 8. Despite the fact that I am connected to the wireless connection it is always difficult to stay connected.  The connection is always on and off intermittently.  The problem is not with the internet provider because I have tried it with different internet providers and is still the same. Please I need help.

  3. Ian Moulster says:

    Hi Joseph, this isn't the best forum to ask, but I would suggest (this is a personal suggestion, not a Microsoft-official suggestion):

    1) Try

    2) Make sure you have downloaded and installed all Windows updates. Continue to search for updates until no more are found (settings, change PC settings, update & recovery)

    3) If this doesn't help it may be a hardware fault, take it back to where you purchased it to see if you have a warranty claim

  4. Thanks says:

    This started happening right after Conduit search hijacked IE.  I fixed the first problem but didn't know MS added the new option.  I have noticed this happen before.  MS adds all kinds of new options to screens I thought I knew well for years.  I just don't think to go back and recheck dialog screens for new stuff.  Thanks for knowing it was there and how the symptom would look.

  5. Ariana says:

    Thank you SOOOOOO much! This problem was starting to get on my last nervous! It took me less then two minutes to fix the problem and I love quick and easy.

  6. Sage Salem says:

    Thank you so much! You're a saint.

    It worked.

  7. Kristin says:

    We cant click on anything in the box. All are grayed out and the "open IE tiles on the desktop" box is checked. ???

  8. Dominic says:

    The above has not worked for me. Any other ideas?

  9. Ian Moulster says:

    You need to have Internet Explorer as your default browser to be able to use this option. If you don't, the option will be greyed-out

  10. William says:

    I have this problem at the moment, but when you go into the option shown here, it is locked and cannot be changed.  How do I fix that?

  11. William says:

    Further on this, I am unable to set IE as the default brower, it is missing.  Yet if I try to reinstall it, it says I already have it.  I'm using it right now in fact, but it's simply gone as a program to set to default 🙁

  12. thaversantosh says:

    Thanks for sharing this post .step to step solution  really worked .

    thanks .

  13. Boccelli says:

    what if the problem is persisting in the IE for windows itself?

    It opens but immediately disappear! and remain just an icon on the start bar with no content!

  14. did not work says:

    Thanks for the suggestions but it did not work. When I open a link from my outlook express email it opens in modern UI but when I click on the start pin it opens in desktop. Any other suggestions?

  15. internet explorer says:

    NOW THE INTERNET EXPLORER START TILE IS MISSING. I tried searching for it but it doesn't come up on searches for the computer but it is still loaded on the computer because it is in desktop mode.

  16. ayla says:

    I'm in tech support and this solution saved my customer. thank you!!!!

  17. max says:

    my windows internet wont let me press let internet explorer decide it is just faded

  18. Ian Moulster says:

    Max – you need to make sure that Internet Explorer is set to be your default browser, otherwise this option will be greyed out

  19. Brenda says:

    When I open up Internet Explorer on the desktop and select settings, and go to internet options(programs)

    Mine does not say let internet explorer decide

    Instead it says always in internet explorer on the desktop and there's a check mark in the box that says open internet explorer tiles on the desktop

    All of that is a faded grey and it won't allow me to change that

    What can I do to change it?

  20. Mark Pahulje says:

    Conduit Search is a very involved process to clean out, but the good news it can be done. Simply uninstalling the program will not work. The process includes using JRT tool made to remove hijack browser malware.

    I have had success following these instructions –

  21. debbie says:

    I cant find a short cut icon for the internet