Check out these 8 new kickass features in IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1

You can now get your hands on Windows Phone 8.1 thanks to the Preview for Developers program. You’re going to notice a lot of changes after you upgrade from Windows Phone 8 to Windows Phone 8.1. We’re going to go over some of the new features in Internet Explorer 11 and why we love them.

Here are the headline grabbing features that are new to IE11.

  1. Pin websites as Live tiles
  2. Inline video         
  3. InPrivate mode  
  4. Unlimited tabs   
  5. Save passwords
  6. Synced tabs and favorites
  7. Reading mode
  8. Swiping left and right to go back or forward

Those are some awesome features, but now we’ll jump in and clarify/expand what’s new and special about them. Here we go.

1. Pin websites as Live tiles

Like on Windows 8.1, you can now pin websites as Live tiles on Windows Phone 8.1. It’s of course up to the web master of a particular site to really support this awesome feature. Pro tip: Our site supports this and is a good way to test out this feature. Just go to wpcentral.com in IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1 and pull up the menu. Select ‘pin to Start ‘and you’ll now have a Live tile that you can resize. It’ll also dynamically update to reflect new content from that site. Pretty cool right?

2. Inline video

Inline Video IE11

Another feature that will shine on sites like YouTube is the ability to support inline video on webpages. Now you can click a video embedded in a page and have it play without automatically going full screen. You can even keep videos playing under the Lock screen when it’s like this. Want to read more about the improved HTLM5 and inline video support in IE11 on Windows Phone 8.1? Check out our detailed post on it.

3. InPrivate mode

Here’s a fun new feature for when you want to visit the nefarious side of the web. InPrivate mode is a browsing session in Internet Explorer that doesn’t leave a trace of your activity. It’s very handy if others frequently access your phone and there are some certain websites that you don’t want them to know you visited. Whether it’s an adult-themed website or secret gift shopping, InPrivate mode is for you. Cookies, temporary Internet files, history and other data won’t be found after using InPrivate browsing.

4. Unlimited tabs

Raise your hands if the 6 tab limit on Windows Phone 8 drove you mad? We can’t even count the number of times we ran out of tabs in Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8. Internet Explorer 11 and Windows Phone 8.1 introduce an unlimited number of tabs. Just scroll down and you can now handle as many tabs as needed.

5. Synced tabs, favorites and history

Your Microsoft account will sync a handful of useful features between Internet Explorer 11 on Windows Phone 8.1 and IE on Windows 8.1. Tabs, favorites and browsing history will follow you from device to device. It’s a beautiful, cloud-powered world we live in.

6. Save passwords

Passwords for your favorite websites can now be saved on the device. You’ll find this option in the settings for Internet Explorer 11. A very useful feature for those sites you frequently visit and would rather not re-enter the password each time.

7. Reading mode

IE11 Reader Mode

Here’s another feature that Internet Explorer on Windows Phone 8.1 borrows from the tablet and desktop versions. The new Reading mode will optimize web pages for reading, assuming the web page supports it. You’ll find a look book icon in your address bar on supported pages. Tap that book icon and you’ll be given reading mode where text and images are displayed in a clean layout without ads, logos or other distractions.

8. Swiping left and right to go back or forward

IE11 Swipe Windows Phone 8.1

Another feature that's really cool that IE11 borrows from Windows 8.1 is the ability to swipe to navigate. You don't have to press the back hardware button if you want to navigate to the previous page. Instead, you can just swipe to the right or left for going forward and backward. Just place your finger down and glide to the left and right with confidence.

Have Windows Phone 8.1? Share your favorite new feature in Internet Explorer 11 down below in the comments!

218 Comments
  • Swiping and reading mode are awesome
  • Love it
  • You can save files downloaded!!!! 
  • Saved to? Can we access the files for later usage?
  • To my knowledge: yes, and new apps will be able to use the file-picker APIs to get files from IE or other apps. 
  • What is so lame is that of all the built-in apps, only IE supports file-picker currently. At least they should implement it in the mail app!
  • How to you recall or pick a saved file ie11
  • Download the "File" app from the windows store to retrieve all downloaded files, rename files, move, copy and delete documents, pictures, etc. Another tip: Choose the share feature, instead of save, to store saved files in One Drive.
  • How do you retrieve the saved files
  • Can anyone confirm if you can now tap on javascript menues to open them?  In the past, this was not possible, not even in Windows RT, until IE11 was released for Windows Is it also available in WP8?
  • did work before in IE10 too IF the website did the right programming (aria-haspopup="true"), no "magic" like on Safari which BTW you cannot even close again. Guess long press like on Desktop IE will work here too, other thing does still work as well
  • "guess"? I don't need help guessing dude. I can guess myself. Get off your high horse, I don't give a dime about whose fault it is. I want to use my phone to browse most websites, and IE 10 for WP doesn't support most sites with menus and I am not going to ask those thousands of sites to change so that you can feel better. IE11 for W8 tablets does support those menus now but IE 10 didn't, so fortunately MS ignored the dumb apologizers and listened to users like me. But I don't want to guess if it did for WP8.1
  • Smh, what crawled up this guy"s ass???
  • I am looking for the information I asked. If you have fantasies about things crawling up asses, then I don't think you got to the right forum
  • And I am pretty sure you of all ppl would be able to point me out to the right forum.
    I honestly could careless what information you were looking for but talking to someone with that attitude isn't going to get you jack $#!+.
    It's easy to cop that attitude here and get away with it but in real life I would break your jaw talking to me like that. Not a threat, not looking for a fight... Just giving you advice - Take it or leave it.
  • Amen to that...excited!
  • Agree.  Also, pinned websites will be cool... if anyone creates them.  Oh, and saved passwords. I probably won't use InPrivate browsing so much though, since I prefer my porn on a big screen (lol)... but it's a good feature to have anyway... just in case Cortana decides to get cheeky and start outing our seedy sides. lol  
  • Wait... so the pinned tile for WPC is a live tile... but the WPC app is not?!?
  • Paid version has a live tile
  • I have the PAID version!
  • then youre doing it wrong
  • SLAP
  • it has live tile.  i've turn on the live tile option in the paid app.  and yes it works.  so i won't use the website pinned site.
  • I agree with this!
  • Yeah its something I've gotten used to with my DV8P. I found myself doing that on my phone with nothing happening. Glad they added it.
  • Reader is cool but needs a little work
  • @Sam Sabri what of saving files from pages? I save a file from a webpage and can't find it. Where do I look for it?
  • On the downloads , connect your phone with the computer and you will find it there
  • Ooh mehn....wasn't there when I tried first, I tried again after you said it and voila!! Weird...thanks bro.
  • oh yeah? Try to advance or go back on a video while playing a video on youtube.... I haven't finished updating to WP8.1 but that feature is NOT very convenient on my Lumia 2520, you just CAN'T do it!! it's very anoying.
  • Reading mode doesn't work for me and advanced IE settings ALWAYS crashes since WP8.1
  • Same here!
  • Hands up too.
  • Same!!! Anyone know how to fix?
  • yes i have got the same issue no reading mode and no advanced setting am using htc 8x what about you guys ?  
  • That forward and backwards thing sounds good. The reading feature is also welcome, does it reflow, like my old HTC Desire used to?
  • Yes, it actually takes the content and images and places them into its own Kindle-esque view. The layout of the site is completely removed. Very cool, especially when the site isn't mobile-friendly.
  • Very cool? Yes and no. I cannot use Reading Mode in my favourite forums, because by removing all formatting, IE11 for WP81 renders text quoted from previous posts exactly the same as text of new posts, so following a conversation becoms a nightmare. And since there is no text reflow, reading the full page without reading mode requires a lot of zooming and sideways scrolling. Actually, IMHO, Opera Mobile for Symbian was doing better in this department, despite being now obsolete for many other things.
  • Text reflow is pretty antiquated nowadays because all it does is break the layout of the page.
  • This may be true. Nevertheless many websites do not have a proper mobile version and text reflow is a handy way to render their content on a non-phablet screen. Reading mode also breaks the layout. It's a nice feature, but it needs to be tuned in order to work properly with forum threads.
  • Don't forget the ability to upload files using the new file picker.
  • that's actually great to know!
  • This I a HUGE improvement. It means I can fully update my Wordpress website without having to rely on Autommatic's shoddy excuse for an app.
  • The new WordPress admin panel is really nice on mobile too.
  • Waoooo awesome
  • Don't know if anybody uses it but http://postimage.org/ works with IE now. UC Browser still doesn't, need update I guess
  • Thanks for that
  • Is there a way to reach the top of the page without having to, you know, scroll?
    Or haveI been missing something all along?
  • Add a favorite (I title mine something like ".jump to top" -- the punctuation keeps it atop the favorites list) and make the address "javascript:scroll(0,0)" -- no quotes. That will jump you to the top.
  • +925 should be built in, but thanks for the tip!
  • Thanks for this!
  • OK, that's not earth-shaking enough to win the Internet - but you definitely win this little corner of the Internet today for that, in my opinion.  Thanks!
  • Can IE share to apps yet? One of my biggest frustrations is not being able to share to pocket and the like.
  • Just set an add favorite then put + pocket n you will able to add to pocket. Its kinda simple
  • I have a question, since Nokia still didn't give us Lumia 620 users gdr3 black update, can I directly upgrade to wp8.1?
  • Yes
  • Skipping GDR3 yes, going straight to 8.1 shouldn't be an issue as the dev program will make sure to push all needed updates (likely including GDR3) before going to the 8.1 update. The Nokia Black firmware however, is a separate thing all together (simply a firmware update unattached to OS updates). So you shouldn't run into an issue not currently having Black and should be able to receive Black whenever Nokia/your carrier rolls that out.
  • Well just try to update your 620. I was trying to update to 8.1 on mine and when I thought it was installed it ended b up being Lumia black. I updated again and it was WP8.1.
  • You could pins sites to the start screen in windows phone 8, although I'm not sure if developers could enable live feeds.
  • Nope. That's an IE11 feature :)
  • All it had before was a thumbnail of the site.
  • I can't see the booklet icon in my browser...am I doing somethin wrong Sam?
  • Go to wpcentral.com, pin to start and there's your ad-free, live-tiled WPCentral app. Boom!
  • Website has tons of Google ads
  • Guess I should've added the "/s" ;-)
  • Slap!
     
  • Yet more proof that apps are merely badly designed websites
  • Depends on the app.  I wouldn't call, say, a turn-table iPad plug in (or anything else involving third party hardware), or a Final Draft app, a badly designed website app.  
  • While this is great, Microsoft always seems to take a step backwards in each update, for example, why oh why did they get rid of the tab number on the button. Argh.
  • Because you can end up with unlimited tabs?
  • Well that didnt stop them with live tiles, they run off the side when the number gets too big, and who really uses more than 6 tabs on their phone regularly anyway? Perhaps 5%
  • Yeah, just like in 7.0 which had "forward" and "search in page". Both really useful features they binned for Mango / IE9
  • You can swipe to the right and left for back and forwards now. Wish there was a find in page button tho
  • "Find on page" was restored in 8.0, and continues to exist in 8.1.  (It's on the "..." menu in IE rather than an independent button, but I'm okay with that.  It's not something I use every day, but when I need it, I NEED it, and its lack in Mango drove me to rolling my own w/ javascript...)
  • You can upload to YouTube in desktop mode. :D
  • Wow...another huge improvement! Blurring the lines between phone and desktop!
    On a separate note, did USB OTG fail to make an appearance? I was really looking forward to that improvement...
  • Dev preview never has device-specific drivers, so if that's in the OS then I would expect it with the Cyan update.
  • Thanks for the heads up. Something to look forward to (fingers crossed). I'd love to be able to upload photos and what have you from my camera straight to my Wordpress blog (via the browser uploader). I wouldn't even need to take my laptop.
  • Nice!!!
  • The live tile pinning is so awesome!
  • Am I the only one who can't see the In Private feature?
  • open a new Tab
  • Oh, Thanks!
  • Slap!
  • I cant see the booklet icon...am.i doing somethin wrong Daniel?
  • No. Some sites don't support that. Like a YouTube page. Try going to wpcentral.com and open an article, you'll see it.
  • Thanks, Sam! Got it!
  • Will inprivate mode work for secret adult themed gift shopping as well?
  • Yes
  • You better hope so, otherwise Cortana might ask you, "Would you like me to search for feather ticklers & silver spurs for you today?" lol
  • I've got problems to update my huawei w1, it says that couldnt open the file
  • Is it mandated someplace to have a picture of Dan in each article? Lol
  • Yes. My mandate. He's our hero.
  • All the features are awesome!
  • Everything about IE 11 is what I have desired. Extremely satisfied with my update! Give me my store back and we are golden!
  • is only with me that the sites opens in mobile version instead desktop version?!
     
  • Nope not just you IMBD.com have this problem
  • Same with The Verge. I can't seem to get it to go to the desktop site even though I selected it in settings.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the mobile site. There you will see "Full Site". Tap it, then pin it.
  • Wow these IE changes are killer.  I knew it was a very uninspired version in Windows Phone 8.0 but now in 8.1, I love the swipe reading, reading mode and find on page.  Love it love it.
  • Yes it brings it to desktop Metro browser status.
  • History also synchronizes
  • Off course mislead everyone with showing the glamour of the new features ... While we conveniently push back the things we had in in wp8 ,,, why has the fb chat and the messenger integration from the people hub been removed out. It was a unique feature about the OS and now its give because some over fvked up... These features made the OS stand out from the crowd of other OS out there.. We all need to show Microsoft that all this is needed and for all those who support the OS right from the start it's a big thing.....
  • You are one of those rebels who cannot stand a change right? Facebook messenger had its own app. Live messenger is replaced by Skype. Both these apps in future updates will get better compared to none updated hubs that were never fixed for two years!!!
  • Bla bla bla bla You do realize that since they removed Facebook and Skype messaging from the built-in messaging app your phone will no longer read messages out loud or let you reply using voice only? This is something I use (well, used to use) all the time when driving.
  • My Xbox app has been tweaked. Not seen this mentioned anywhere else. Nothing too dramatic, but a nice tweak.
  • Bloody love a good tweak!
  • Excited to install the preview for developers. The problem is my phone's lcd is broken. Wp 8.1 looks promising now so the next time im gonna buy a phone i'll still choose a windows phone. Not satisfied with iphone though after using for a while.
  • Reading mode was the best feature for me, got used to it in ios
  • InPrivate mode. I know what to do there. Go to CNET.com, so no one can find out I went to that "site". :)
  • Just how good is the support of HTML5 on WP8's IE11? Especially compared to the mobile versions of Chrome and Safari?
    And can you finally put pinned website shortcuts in a custom folder?
  • It almost on par with the desktop counter; better than IE11 on W7 and slightly behind IE11 on W8.1
  • Oh lord. Major nelson website does not display properly, you would think they would get this bit right. Can't see the Twitter feed or anything on the right of the page. The videos also take up the whole screen.
  • Thanks! Awesome features! Keep the information and videos coming , because I still don't know about all of the new features!
  • As someone who prefers to use mobile websites over apps, I am thrilled about the update to IE. It's probably the feature I like the most about WP8.1 compared to WP8.
  • Also you can change default search engine to google if you prefer. I believe this was a feature outside the USA, but first time I've seen it on Verizon since 8.1.
  • Been there since WP8, bud. ;)
  • Today has been an awesome day!
  • Will it hide the address bar when scrolling down? I'd like as much screen view as possible.
  • Nope. Address bar static as before.
  • I was hoping they'd implement this. Both iOS Safari and Android's Chrome have this feature.
  • Breaking the 6 tab limit is awesome, just need to have an option to open new tab in background.
     
  • Live all the improvements to Internet Explorer and every other aspect of 8.1. Wewt wewt!!!
  • The synced passwords and tabs, and the autofill function make IE on WP soooo much better. Still would like dedicated forward/back buttons.
     
  • In other news...Podcast support is superb, and I can now play the FM radio via the speaker! Oh Microsoft, you have delivered! The only issues I have are the lack of updates/customisations for the lock screen. I saw some pretty interesting demos which I thought were WP8.1 (lock screen text running diagonally, along with the ability to skip through a song from the lock screen).
    Aside from the lack of lock screen customisations, this is everything I wanted - and more. My 1020 has a whole new lease of life.
  • Loving the improvements to IE11 as well as the 8.1 update.  Guess my next device will also be a WP!  
  • IE 11 looks great so far but do web pages still float around all over the place when scrolling? E-mails do it too and it's annoying. Wish the page you are viewing would just lock into place.
  • I didn't see the swipe feature, that's awesome
  • How do I force desktop version of a website? I miss desktop view, and rather hate mobile view. Selecting desktop view on settings doesn't seem to help.
  • Website preference in settings has the option, but I don't think you can force.
  • Still can't play Webms though.
  • Has anyone else on the Developer Preview had issues with inline embedded video in desktop view sites? I had my Lumia 925 screen stuttering and turning off constantly when I tried it on a YouTube video.
  • Awesome.
  • Does anybody have problems with sync function? I can add/delete favorites from the phone, but when I do this on PC, the information isn't synced! And the option to open a tab that is on my PC didn't worked also! I can't even delete a folder containing favorite sites. Any help? Thanks
  • I like the inline videos with scrubbing, but then when you maximize you lose the ability to scrub!  Nooooo!
  • Can't test that... Got dns error each time I'm trying to reach a website since 8.1...
  • Now IE becomes the best mobile browser around. Seems a lot faster too.
  • Wow, didn't expect that
  • now all i need is a new piece of hardware to go with my new software.  Still rock'n my 920 cyan
  • Very professional headline. Stay classy, WPCentral.
  • I was really surprised wen I played the YouTube video above and it keeps playing on the browser!!! IE on WP8.1 is really cool XD
  • can you help with this? I just can't continue browsing on my phone any tabs that I open on PC! Also if I add/delete any favorite on PC, this change don't update on phone too..Thanks
  • i can finally move forward!!!!
  • Why can't. See the booklet mode...am I doing something wrong?
  • As much as I love my phone, this browser thing is kinda ridiculous. I'm a programmer, right? I want to develop all sorts of apps (mostly browser-based) and use lots of frameworks/js' that don't work in IE and I can't do nothing about that. For example most gyro based apps don't work in IE which is kinda ridiculous for 2014 and this 'fresh mobile IE 11'. I'd LOVE for the IE team to put more work into this product or at least give us the ability to use browsers based on other engines. I love my Windows Phone, wouldn't change it for anything, but there's still room for improvement. Still, welcomed features nontheless.
  • The forward and back using swipe gestures is aw