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How to open old web pages in Internet Explorer for Windows 10?

By Tobenna Nnabeze | October 24, 2019 |

greater than 9 minutes

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Internet Explorer 11 still exists in Windows 10, and Microsoft continues to support it with security updates.

You may wonder the point of using the browser since there are much better alternatives, including Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and of course Microsoft Edge.

Even Microsoft recommends you use more of Edge than Internet Explorer. The latter is old and outdated. It doesn’t include certain features that are found in modern web browsers and could be more vulnerable to hacking.

However, there are old web pages that won’t function properly when you try to access them using newer web browsers. In this regard, Internet Explorer provides a ‘compatibility solution’ – as Microsoft’s Chris Jackson puts it.

How to Enable Internet Explorer on Windows 10

Although you can launch Internet Explorer in Windows 10 using Edge (we’ll discuss this later in the article), the app is also available in your Start menu. You can locate it by typing the name in the search bar.

Internet Explorer should be installed by default. So, if you don’t find it in your Start menu, it means you turned it off at some point. To enable it again, here’s what you have to do:

  1. Press the Windows logo + R combination on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type ‘Control Panel’ in the text field and press Enter or click OK.
  3. In the Control Panel window, go to the search bar and type ‘Programs.’ Click the option when it appears in the results.
  4. Under Programs and Features, click on ‘Turn Windows features on or off.’
  5. In the window that opens, locate Internet Explorer 11 in the list and mark the corresponding checkbox.
  6. Click OK to save the change. You can now go back to the Start menu and search for the app.

If you will be using the browser more often, you could consider pinning it to your taskbar, creating a desktop shortcut, or making a tile for it in your Start menu.

How to Access a Web Page on Internet Explorer Using Edge

In Windows 10, it’s possible to quickly open a web page on Internet Explorer using your Edge browser. Here’s how:

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge.
  2. Go to the Menu (the horizontal three-dot icon in the top-right corner of the screen).
  3. Click ‘More tools’.
  4. Click ‘Open with Internet Explorer.’

Once done, Edge will open the current web page on IE.

How to Open an Old Version of a Website in Internet Explorer

It can become a bit tedious to launch Internet Explorer manually in Microsoft Edge every time you want to access an old web standard.

But in Windows 10, there’s an Enterprise Mode feature that allows IT admins to add a list of websites that require IE. When a user tries visiting a site on the list, Edge will open them automatically in Internet Explorer 11.

The option is in Windows Local Group Policy:

  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Type ‘Group Policy’ in the search bar. Click on Edit Group Policy from the search results.

Alternatively, you can open the Run dialog (press the Windows logo key + R combination) and then type ‘gpedit.msc’ in the text field. Press Enter or click Ok.

  1. In the pane on the left-hand side, expand Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components.
  2. Now, locate Microsoft Edge and click on it.
  3. On the right-hand side of the window, under Setting, click on ‘Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List.’

How to Fix the “Internet Explorer Cannot Display the Webpage” Error

It may well happen that you get an error message that says “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” when you try to open a website.

This may appear not for a particular website but on every other website.

The culprit could be a bad internet connection or an issue with IE or your PC.

 You’ll have to try a handful of troubleshoots:

  1. Restart your router/modem
  2. Clear your browsing history
  3. Disable browser add-ons
  4. Reset Internet Explorer
  5. Check your proxy settings
  6. Check your IP address settings (Disable IPv6)
  7. Reset the Windows Socket TCP/IP stack via Command Prompt
  8. Use Google DNS
  9. Turn off Enhanced Protected Mode (For Windows 8)
  10. Temporarily disable your firewall and antivirus program
  11. Check for Windows updates

You probably won’t have to attempt all these fixes before the issue will be resolved.

Fix 1: Restart Your Router/Modem

The first thing you have to do is make sure you have a working internet connection.

Your router could have a glitch that prevents it from creating a connection with your ISP. To be sure, check your other devices (smartphone, computer, etc.) and see if you can connect to the internet.

Consider restarting the router:

  1. Turn it off and disconnect it from the power adapter.
  2. Wait for about 30 seconds and plug the adapter back in. Then turn on the router.

Now check if Internet Explorer can display the webpage.

Fix 2: Clear Your Browsing History

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R. This will invoke the Run dialog.
  2. Type ‘cpl’ in the text field and click Ok or press Enter.
  3. In the Internet Properties window that opens, go to the ‘General’ tab and click the Delete button under ‘Browsing history.’
  4. Now, mark the checkbox for all the entries and then click Delete:
  • Temporary Internet files and website files
  • Cookies and website data
  • History
  • Download History
  • Form data
  • Passwords
  • Tracking Protection, ActiveX Filtering, and Do Not Track.
  1. Launch Internet Explorer and see if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 3: Disable Browser Add-Ons

Here’s how to do so:

  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Type ‘CMD’ in the search bar and right-click on Command Prompt from the search results.
  3. Select Run as administrator.
  4. Click ‘Yes’ when presented with the User Account Control (UAC) prompt.

Alternatively, skip Steps 1 through 3 and simply press the Windows logo key + X. Click on Command Prompt (Admin) from the list.

  1. Type or copy and paste the following command into the window and press Enter:

“%ProgramFiles%\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe” –extoff

         You’ll be led to IE. You may or may not get a prompt at the bottom of the window to Manage Add-ons. Click the button if you do. If not, you can access the option by following Steps 6 and 7.

  1. Press the alt key on your keyboard to invoke the IE menu.
  2. Click Tools > Manage Add-ons.
  3. On the left-hand side of the window, select ‘All add-ons’ under the ‘Show’ drop-down menu.
  4. Press Ctrl + A to select all the add-ons and then click the ‘Disable all’ button.
  5. Re-launch your browser and see if you can access a website.

If the issue was resolved after disabling your add-ons, enable them one at a time until you discover the culprit. Consider removing it.

Fix 4: Reset Internet Explorer

Doing this will not affect your bookmarks. It will, however, reset your IE customizations:

  1. Press the Windows logo + R combination on your keyboard.
  2. If you cannot resolve the
    problem yourself, you can
    ask our certified PC technicians for immediate assistance in the chat right on this page.
  3. Type or copy and paste “cpl” in the text box and click Ok or press Enter.
  4. Go to the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  5. Click the Reset button.
  6. In the box that opens, mark the checkbox for ‘Delete personal settings’ and then click the Reset button. The default settings of Internet Explorer will be restored.
  7. Reboot your PC, re-launch IE and see if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 5: Check Your Proxy Settings

Invalid proxy settings could be the cause of the ‘Cannot display webpage’ error. You can rectify it thus:

  1. Close IE.
  2. Press the Windows logo + R combination on your keyboard to open the Run dialog.
  3. Type ‘cpl’ in the text field and click OK.
  4. Go to the ‘Connections’ tab and click the ‘LAN settings’ button.
  5. In the window that opens, mark the checkbox for “Automatically detect settings” and see that the other options in the window are unmarked.
  6. Click Ok.
  7. Close the windows and then re-launch the browser. See if the issue has been fixed.

Fix 6: Modify Your IP Address Settings

Follow these easy steps:

  1. Open the Run dialog (press the Windows logo key + R combination on your keyboard).
  2. Type or copy and paste ‘cpl’ into the text box and press Enter or click Ok.
  3. If you are using a wired connection, right-click on Local Area Connection. Or right-click Wireless Network Connection if you are using Wi-Fi.
  4. Click Properties from the context menu.
  5. Now, under “This connection uses the following items:”, unmark the checkbox for Internet Protocol Version 6 (TCP/ IPv6).
  6. Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  7. In the window that opens, enable ‘Obtain an IP address automatically’ and ‘Obtain DNS server address automatically.’
  8. Click OK > Ok.
  9. Close the windows and restart your PC for the changes to take effect. Then check if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 7: Reset Windows Socket TCP/IP Stack via Command Prompt

Windows socket handles the incoming and outgoing network requests by programs. If it has run into an issue, you can follow the easy steps below to reset it:

  1. Go to the Start menu.
  2. Type CMD in the search bar and right-click Command Prompt from the search results. Select Run as administrator.
  3. Type (or copy and paste) the following commands in the window and press enter after each one to execute it:
  • ipconfig /flushdns
  • nbtstat –R
  • nbtstat –RR
  • netsh int reset all
  • netsh int ip reset
  • netsh winsock reset

Note: Don’t include the bullet points.

  1. Restart your computer to effect the changes and then try Internet Explorer. See if the “Cannot display webpage” issue has been successfully taken care of.

Fix 8: Use Google DNS

Here’s what you have to do:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + X combination on your keyboard to invoke the WinX menu.
  2. Locate Control Panel in the list and click on it.
  3. Type ‘Network and Sharing Center’ in the search bar and click on it when it appears in the results.
  4. Click ‘Change adapter settings’. It’s displayed on the right-hand side of the page.
  5. Right-click on your connection and select Properties.
  6. Double-click on Internet Protocol Version 4 (TCP/IPv4).
  7. Select ‘Use the following DNS server addresses’ and enter ‘8.8.8.8’ under Preferred DNS server and 8.8.4.4 under Alternate DNS server.
  8. Close the windows and restart you PC. Then check to see if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 9: Turn off Enhanced Protected Mode (For Windows 8)

Enhanced Protected Mode was added in Internet Explorer 10 on Windows 8. It serves to increase your security on the browser. But it could also be the cause of the issue you are facing.

Follow these easy steps to disable it:

  1. Invoke the Run dialog (press the Windows logo + R combination on your keyboard).
  2. Type (or copy and paste) ‘cpl’ in the text field and press Enter or click Ok.
  3. Go to Settings under the ‘Advanced’ tab. Unmark the checkbox for ‘Enable Enhanced Protected Mode.’
  4. Click Ok. Close the windows and then restart Internet Explorer. See if the issue has been resolved.

Fix 10: Temporarily Disable Your Firewall and Antivirus Program

Your firewall and antivirus program might be preventing Internet Explorer from accessing the internet. Try disabling them temporarily and see if webpages can now be displayed on your browser.

Follow these easy steps to disable your Firewall:

  1. Press the Windows logo key + R combination to invoke the Run dialog.
  2. Type ‘Control Panel’ in the text box and press Enter or click Ok.
  3. In the window that opens, click on System and Security (If you cannot locate the option, you can make use of the search bar).
  4. Click Windows Firewall.
  5. On the left-hand side of the page, click on the option that says ‘Turn Windows Firewall on or off.’
  6. Click Turn off Windows firewall.
  7. Now restart your PC and see if the issue has been resolved. If it persists, you can go back and turn on the firewall again. However, if Internet Explorer works properly, then consult the manufacturer of your device and seek their advice.

To disable your antivirus software:

  1. Right-click on the icon in your system tray.
  2. Select Disable and then follow the on-screen instructions.

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If Internet Explorer functions properly afterwards, consult the antivirus manufacturer and seek their advice. Or you could consider uninstalling the program and installing a different brand. We recommend Auslogics Anti-Malware. The tool provides top-notch protection against malicious items that may be hidden in your computer.

Fix 11: Check for Windows Updates

You may be able to fix the problem by installing Windows updates, if there are any available:

  1. Open the Settings app (press the Windows logo key + I combination on your keyboard).
  2. Click on Updates and Security.
  3. Click the Check for updates button. If there are available updates, Windows will download and install them automatically. Afterwards, restart your PC and check if the “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage” error has been resolved.

There you have it.

We hope this guide has provided you with all the information you need to know about using Internet Explorer to access old websites.

But remember, use the browser only when you definitely have to. It is no longer being supported with new web standards. You will be exposed to certain disadvantage if you decide to leave it as your default browser.

However, IE will continue to be part of Windows 10, at least for the foreseeable future. Microsoft has committed to keeping it safe and reliable. You may also be needing it for websites that require browser helper objects, ActiveX, and Adobe Flash.

If you have any remarks, questions, or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to share your thoughts in the comments section below.

We’ll love to hear from you.

Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to start up? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.

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