Internet Explorer will not run as an App from the Start screen on Windows 8


When using Windows 8 you can no longer use Internet Explorer as an App from the Start (Metro) menu. Even with Internet Explorer added as an App on the Start screen it will launch Internet Explorer from the Desktop and not as an independent app.

If you right click on Internet Explorer and click on “Open File Location” You will see it is mapped to the shortcut tools.


This happens when you make an alternative Internet browser your default browser (Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc) causing the icon on the Start screen to be a shortcut and not an App.


When launching Internet Explorer from the Start screen it will open Internet Explorer on the desktop and you will be prompted with a message:
“Set Internet Explorer as your default browser to get a fast and fluid browsing experience that’s great for touch and built for Windows 8.

  • Click on “Set default Browser”

It will then ask you the following:

How do you want to open this type of link (http)?

  • Keep using *Browser which has been set as default browser*
  • Internet Explorer
  • Look for an app in the store

Select Internet Explorer. It will then launch as an App.


  1. Thank you for this info!! Icon in the start menu immediately changed to the App version. Although I wasn’t prompted to change defaults, I had to do it myself in the Internet options> Programs.

  2. Wow thanks. I was searching the Microsoft forums all day, but I found the answer here. Thanks a lot.

  3. You are a life saver. I loved the way IE worked as an app and when it changed I got so mad. I have been looking for a way to change it back for hours. THANK YOU!!!!

  4. When I open internet explorer in desktop, I am not prompted with the message. I’m nog even sure if the default browser is the problem.

  5. Wow! Thank you so much! That helped a lot. I didn’t know why it suddenly stopped working as an app, so thank you.

  6. I have the opposite problem, app is working, but for some reason IE will open up, but I can’t do anything.

    EDIT: for got to add my email

  7. I just noticed I had the same problem this morning and have found 1 solution that fixed my pc tablet I had a third party download from d/ling last night I just simply uninstalled the third party program and tried using internet explorer thru the app program and happy to say that worked for my case

  8. Doesnt work. Click on it and still doesnt launch. Launches fine from a short cut I made with a website but from Windows 8 tiles or from the default short cut it will not launch. Launches fine if i make a new user profile though

    1. Hello ajac,

      You have resolved your own issue, your user profile is corrupt.
      You will need to backup your files then delete the corrupt profile or run a factory recovery.


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