Internet Explorer 8 is not a bad browser. No really. It is definitely better than Internet Explorer 7 or the dreaded Internet Explorer 6. Microsoft has added several interesting features to the web browser that can compete with the features offered by popular third party browsers like Opera, Google Chrome or Firefox. It is probably still the most used web browser in business and enterprise environments.
Microsoft has introduced a few new features in Internet Explorer 8 including the inPrivate privacy feature but also architectural changes that made Internet Explorer 8 a multi-process browser. Microsoft has created a handful of command line arguments for Internet Explorer 8 that can be useful under certain circumstances.
Probably the most interesting is the ability to start Internet Explorer 8 directly in InPrivate mode by using the -private argument. This can be combined with the url argument that will open a specified url directly in Internet Explorer 8. The argument to open a specific url is simply that url, for example https://www.ghacks.net/. You can add the two parameters to any Internet Explorer 8 shortcut so that you start the web browser immediately in inPrivate mode and the specified url.
A right-click and the selection of Properties should open the Internet Explorer Properties window which contains a Target form in the Shortcut tab.
Simply append -private https://www.ghacks.net/ at the end of the line. The full line should look like the following afterwards:
"C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -private https://www.ghacks.net/
There are two additional command line arguments available for Internet Explorer 8 that might come in handy. The -k argument starts Internet Explorer 8 in Kiosk mode which has been designed primarily for presentations. It will start the web browser without toolbars and status bar.
The final parameter is -extoff which will start Internet Explorer 8 without extensions which is useful for troubleshooting purposes.
Which leads to the closing question: Does anyone know how to always launch Internet Explorer in InPrivate mode. The shortcut works fine if Internet Explorer 8 is started from the icon but it does not help if the user clicks on a link in another program like Microsoft Outlook.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.