Windows 8

Make the Internet Explorer app run in two windows

A secret hidden in the Internet Explorer app that will allow you to have two tabs open on the screen at one time and position them side-by-side.

windows-8-flag-logo-blue.png
In last week's article, Take a look at two great features in Windows 8.1, I showed you two features in Windows 8.1 that have really helped me to feel more comfortable using modern apps on my desktop machine. The new Start Screen, which shows your desktop wallpaper in the background thus making the two interfaces feel more like one, and the new Snap feature, which allows you to have more than two modern apps open on the screen at one time.

While using the new Snap feature with my modern apps, I've become accustomed to having two or more apps on the screen at the same time and began to wonder about having two Internet Explorer apps open side-by-side on the screen at one time. Unfortunately, I discovered that you can't open two instances of the Internet Explorer app. But after a little more investigation, I uncovered a secret hidden in the Internet Explorer app that will allow you to essentially have two Internet Explorer tabs open on the screen at one time and position them side-by-side. In this article I'll show you how it's done.

Modern apps – what's in a name?

Before I get started, I have to clarify one point concerning the name that Microsoft has given the apps that appear on the Start Screen and my use of the term Modern app. I received email from a couple of readers wondering why I called the apps modern.

I'm sure that everyone knows that these apps started out being known as Metro apps that ran in the new Windows 8 Metro UI. Many people still know them as Metro apps and the term still appears quite frequently. However, a couple of months before the Windows 8 release, Microsoft abandoned the name. While it was rumored that there was a copyright dispute over the name, there was never any verification.

In the interim period, with no official guidance from Microsoft, the term Modern app began to appear since the word modern was closely associated with the Metro name. Because there was this close association, the term Modern app stuck with many folks, including me.

However, soon after the Windows 8 launch, Will Tschumy, a principal user experience advisor at Microsoft, announced that the new name was to be Windows 8 Store applications. This was soon shortened to Windows Store app. I see this term once in a while, but I still use Modern app.


The desktop diehard's guide to making Windows 8 work like Windows 7 (Pro)


Snapping Internet Explorer

When you launch the Internet Explorer app from the Start Screen, it fills the full screen by default, as shown in Figure A.

Figure A

Fig A 12-6.png

By default the Internet Explorer app fill the full screen.

Once it is up and running, you can use the Snap feature to put the Internet Explorer app window on half of the screen, as shown in Figure B. However, you cannot open a second instance of the Internet Explorer app. So it appears that there is no way to have two side-by-side Internet Explorer app windows on the screen at the same time.

Figure B

Fig B 12-6.png

While you can Snap the Internet Explorer app window on half of the screen, you can't open a second instance of the Internet Explorer app.

Using a tab

Using an Internet Explorer tab, you can essentially open two side-by-side Internet Explorer app windows. To begin, right click at the bottom of the window to bring up the Tabs bar. Then select the New Tab button, as shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Fig C 12-6.png

Bring up the Tabs bar and select the New Tab button.

 

When you see the New Tab screen, enter the address of the site that you want to open, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

Fig D 12-6.png

Enter the address of the site that you want to open.

Once the website opens, right click at the bottom of the window to bring up the Tabs bar again. Now, right click on one of the tab thumbnails and select the Open tab in new window command, as shown in Figure E.

Figure E

Fig E 12-6.png

When you right click on the tab thumbnail, select the Open in new window command.

As soon as you do, you'll see two Internet Explorer app windows open side-by-side, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

Fig F 12-6.png

Opening the tab in a new window, essentially puts two Internet Explorer app windows on the screen.

What's your take?

Which term do you use to describe an app: Metro App, Modern App, or Windows Store App? What do you think about this technique to open two Internet Explorer windows side-by-side? Is it something that you will use in the future? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.



Also read:

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

24 comments
Ken Dally
Ken Dally

Stick with Windows 7 or if you have to have Windows 8  Easiest way I have found is to use Firefox or Chrome.

Microsoft should have dumped the Windows name for the O/S as is not longer is.

techrepublic
techrepublic

An easier way, that has been working fine for me since about 1996:

Use Win 3.11/98/2k/2k3/XP/7


Another example of how Microsoft is going backwards.

marvin
marvin

I have an easier  way. 

1. First the reduce size of IE window to less than the entire screen

2. Right click on the active tab in IE and select 'duplicate tab'

3. Drag duplicated tag out side of the IE window.

4. You now have two instances of IE side by side with the same URL which comes in handy for comparison shopping and many other uses.

Cicuta2011
Cicuta2011

Nothing new to me really as I have been doing that with Windows 7 for as long as I can remember. I always have 3 tabs open and sometimes even more. I could also use new windows instead of tabs but I like the tabs better. Matter of fact I did it with Windows XP also. I can also have two IE if I want; one 32 bits, and the other 64 bits and flip from one to the other depending on the application I want.

michel
michel

This article seemed to be a lot to do about nothing.  From the desktop open IE and then while holding the "Windows" key press the "left arrow" key.  This will snap this instance of IE to the left half of the screen.  Now to open another instance of IE "Right mouse" click on the IE icon ot the task bar and select "internet explorer" from the bottom of the popup.  When that opens hold down the "Windows" key and press the "right arrow" key.  This will snap the second instance of IE on the right hand half of the screen.  Now you have two instances of IE, side by side, and each can have as many tabs open as desired. 


SCrow
SCrow

I re-read the article, since this is about a 'desktop machine', again I ask the question; why can't they just do 'Windows' with these apps? Makes no sense what so ever to make a desktop screen look like a tablet screen. Seems silly, backward, and hearkens back to pre-windows days. I know retro stuff can be the in thing with some people, but going back to the days of DOS and calling it 'modern' is stupid.

SCrow
SCrow

This so reminds me of the DOS days. When Microsoft can actually do "Windows" on tablets, then they'll have a winner. How hard could it be?

Ontario Canada
Ontario Canada

I wonder if anyone at Microsoft recognizes that any mention of how to work with the Metro-Modern-Store UI gets more comments about how hated it is than anything else. Let me add my voice again to that chorus. I cannot think of any metro-modern-store app that doesn't make me cringe when it accidentally opens because I've forgotten to change the default app. Among all the annoyances, one of the worst is, even on a touch screen device, that one has to drag the top of the app down to the bottom of the screen in order to close it. I was doing this on a new Dell all-in-one touch screen that it think is a 22 inch screen and it's ridiculous. Couldn't we please bring back the old, now-intuitive, X?

PeterM42
PeterM42

Why not just "upgrade" to Windows 7? - then all these things that don't work properly in Windows C8APe will work properly.

tdh2112
tdh2112

Let me start by saying that I have very little experience with Win8.  I tried it before the 8.1 update and absolutely hated it, for reasons like the one addressed in this article.

I have been splitting browser windows side by side as long as I have been using Windows 7.  Just click and drag a tab away from the tab bar.  Voila!  A second instance that can be left/right snapped.  Now, with Win8, it has become more clunky.  I'll just wait until Microsoft corrects their course, trusting that they will maintain the "every other release is good" pattern that has been in existence since Win98.

pbug56
pbug56

It's a lot easier to just avoid using 'Windows APE' and then have whatever tabs and windows you want open at a given moment.


It's amazing the effort it takes to come up with all these kluges to make Win Ape work almost as well as DOS!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm trying to figure out why you wouldn't switch to the 'Classic' desktop and open as many IE windows as you wanted.


I refer to them as 'Metro' apps.  I'm too lazy to bother changing from what MS started with.  Besides, it takes one less keystroke than 'Modern', and certainly fewer than 'Windows 8 Store'.  That cumbersome mouthful is like referring to something I've purchased by the name of the store I bought it from.  "I'm having some Wal-Mart crackers and watching my Best Buy TV."  Besides, internally deployed corporate applications won't come from the W8 Store.

winlak
winlak

Some applications e.g. gmail will not allow you to open different (gmail) accounts in the different windows. My work around is to open explorer in one window and chrome (and/or firefox) in another.

chrisbedford
chrisbedford

I'm absolutely flabbergasted that with 8, we went all the way back to c-1992 Windows 1.0 where you could only run application at a time - and now, MARVELLOUS! FANTASTIC! - we are able to run TWO! (A hell of a lot of snapping and flipping and setting, by the look of things, but hey - what else are we to expect from a 1992 operating system?)

Gee, what next, maybe a graphic interface that actually looks attractive? I look forward to seeing that in maybe another 20 years or so.

Before anyone accuses me of being an Apple or Android "fanboi", I am neither. I've been a fairly loyal supporter of Microsoft and their various good, bad, and indifferent offerings over the years since DOS 2.1, but I just can't figure out WHAT they were THINKING with the "modern" interface. IT SUCKS.

carlsf
carlsf

Why I dont use IE Im a google man

home4ktt
home4ktt

I found this useful, thank you.

While trying it, I found that you don't need to snap the first tab. Just open the second tab and then select it to open in a new window and they both snap to their respective sides anyway. (on Windows 8.1 anyway)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Are you looking for a way to display two Internet Explorer tabs side-by-side using the modern interface (Windows 8 Store App)?

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin moderator

Charlie,

I use the Desktop version of everything in Windows 8 personally, but if I was using a touch screen it would be easier to navigate using the Metro/Modern interface. In that situation, you might want to do things this way.

dsomerv
dsomerv

@winlak hmmm ... as I sit here I have three different gmail accounts open , each on its own tab, and if I want them in separate windows, merely have to drag the tab - Windows 7 ; maybe Windows 8 is different..

Also works the same in Chrome.

Ken Wolf
Ken Wolf

@chrisbedford ROFLOL!!!  That is exactly what I was thinking when I read the article!  Imagine.....being able to have two apps open at the same time, revolutionary!  LOL

digilante
digilante

No, I don't use Internet Exploder - for good reason.

winlak
winlak

@dsomerv@winlak Maybe it is a setting I have wrong. Am using 7 but when I go to gmail in a second tab or window I do not get a sign is screen, it just loads a copy of the account that is already open.

Can you guide me as to what to fix?

Thanks