Did you know that Internet Explorer has several modes you can enable, such as kiosk mode and full screen mode? The names of these modes are a bit confusing because you can minimize IE in a smaller window in full screen mode, but not in kiosk mode. I will explain it in more detail below.
Kiosk mode is used on public computers where administrators do not want the public to be able to change any of the settings, and so on. It is also very useful if you just want to maximize your viewing area when browsing the internet. The following is an example of what IE looks like in normal, full screen, and kiosk modes:
Normal IE mode
As you can see in the image above, the kiosk mode takes up the entire screen and doesn’t even show the title bar at the top with the minimum, maximum, and close buttons. In kiosk mode, there is really no way to minimize the IE window unless you close it completely.
It is also very difficult to navigate in full screen and kiosk modes because there is no address bar or anything else. In kiosk mode, you can’t even close the window normally, but you need to use a keyboard shortcut or open the taskbar with the Windows keyboard key. Let’s talk about how you can enable each of these modes.
Activates IE full screen mode
Note that you can only enable full screen mode for IE in the Pro, Ultimate, and Enterprise versions of Windows 7 and 8. This is because you need access to the Group Policy Editor and it is not available. in standard or initial editions of Windows. Also note that full screen mode requires IE 7 or higher.
- First, open Group Policy by clicking Start and typing gpedit.msc. Click on the first result at the top.
- Once the editor is open, go to the following location:
- Computer settings – Administrative templates – Windows components – Internet Explorer
- On the right, scroll down until you see Apply full screen mode and double-click the item. By default, it is set to Not configured.
- Click the button Activated radio button, and then click Okay. You will also notice the Help The section provides a detailed description of how the settings will affect IE. Scroll down to the next section for information on navigating IE using keyboard shortcuts only.
Activate IE kiosk mode
As mentioned above, kiosk mode will even remove the title bar at the top of the screen, so the only thing on the entire screen is the currently loaded web page.
To open IE in kiosk mode, you must pass an additional parameter to the executable file. You can edit the original shortcut for IE, or you can create a separate shortcut to open IE in kiosk mode. I prefer the latter method so you can easily choose normal mode or kiosk without having to continue editing the shortcut.
- You can create the kiosk mode shortcut by right-clicking anywhere on the desktop and choosing New – Shortcut.
- In the location box, copy and paste the following line exactly as shown, including quotation marks. Note that -k part is out of quotes and so you want it to be.
- “C: Program Files Internet Explorer IEXPLORE.EXE” –k
- Click Next and type “Internet Explorer kiosk“Or whatever you want to distinguish the link from the normal Internet Explorer icon on the desktop. Click Finish to create the shortcut.
By default, when you click the link, IE will load with the default home page. The fun part is now trying to figure out how to move around without using the back or forward buttons, the address bar, or anything else.
Fortunately, you can get a complete list of Internet Explorer keyboard shortcuts to help you navigate. The basic commands you need to know are:
Alt + Start – Go to your home page
Retreat – Go back one page (previous page)
Alt + Right Arrow – Advance one page (next page)
CTRL + O – Open a new website or page (enter a website URL)
CTRL + W – Close the browser window
While it takes some time to get used to, surfing the internet in full screen or in kiosk mode in IE is really quite enjoyable. There are no distractions and you effectively use all the real estate on the screen.
Kiosk mode in Windows 8
If you are running Windows 8.1, there is another way to enable kiosk mode so that it is the only application that the user can run. The user cannot go to the home screen and cannot close the application. They can’t access the charm bar or anything else. Using the two methods mentioned above, a user could still access other programs, settings, browser, and so on. simply by pressing the Windows key on the keyboard.
This special mode is called Windows 8 Assigned access and can be used with any modern Windows application. This means that it cannot be used with any desktop application. Luckily, there is a modern version of IE along with a desktop version of IE in Windows 8.1.
- To use this super restricted kiosk mode, you must first create a new local account on your computer. To do this, open the charm bar and click Configuration.
- Now click on Change your computer settings link at the bottom of the charm bar.
- In the menu on the left, click Accounts and then click Other accounts.
- Click on Add an account to start adding a new local account. By default, Windows will try to create a Microsoft account, which we don’t want to do.
- Click on Sign in without a Microsoft account at the bottom and then click Local account on the next page that appears.
- Finally, give your new account a name and password. Click on Next and then Finish.
Now that you’ve added your new local account, return to the Home screen and sign out of your current account. Click the account name, and then click Log out.
Sign in to the new local account you created and let it set up your profile. Otherwise, the following steps will not work. Additionally, if you want to assign a Windows application that is not integrated in your account, open the Windows Store application and download it so that it is installed for that user. In our case, we will only use the modern integrated IE application.
Once you are signed in and the home screen appears, continue and log out. Please log back in with the original administrative account you started with. Again, open it Change your computer settings and click Other accounts. This time click Set up an account for assigned access.
Now all you have to do is choose the local account you created and choose the application you want to assign to that account.
When you click Choose an application, you will see that the list contains only modern applications and no desktop applications. I chose Internet Explorer as shown below.
This is! Now just sign in to your account and sign in to your local account. You will see that the application loads instantly and there is absolutely nothing else you can access the system. This actually locks the PC to a particular application. To log out of the restricted account, you must press the Windows key five times.
So here are all the Internet Explorer modes you can use in Windows 7 and Windows 8. If you have any questions, please post a comment. Enjoy!