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- This Week's Free Computer Tip -

138 - Choosing A Home Page in Internet Explorer

This tip really applies to any browser you may be using, and not just to Internet Explorer. Browsers all allow you to specify which web page you want displayed when they first open. That page is known as your "home page". Truth be known, it should be called their home page, because they benefit the most from it!

When you first install the ISP software, the ISP always takes the opportunity to choose your home page for you, even overriding any prior setting you may have had. Kind of rude, actually, but they all do it. The reason, of course, is that if they can get you in the habit of reading their page, then they can push their paid advertising and promotional materials at you. Yup, they get paid for that advertising space. Yup again, they are hoping that you don't realize you can change your home page to whatever you want. To keep you from deciding to change your home page, they add incentive items such as the current news headlines, prices of your favorite stocks, today's local weather report, the showtimes for the nearest movie theater, and whatever else they think you might have an interest in. Maybe you will find everything right there, and won't feel the urge to leave?

The problem is, all that stuff takes a long time to download and you have to sit there while it does. If you use your computer regularly, you make that wait multiple times a day. High speed connections are bad enough but if you are a modem user, it's a significant wait.

The Tip -
So, what can we do about this? Here's my suggestion. Pick a home page that has almost nothing on it, meaning it takes next to no time to download. Let me go a step further too. Make www.Google.com your home page. It is a very small page and it turns out, more times than not, to be the page I want first anyway. Instead of making the ISP home page my home page, I place its link on the "Links" toolbar. Having it there means I can click on it anytime I want and see all the fancy customized stuff they set up for me. I'll tell you how to do that too.

Here are the steps to do this -

  1. Sign on to the Internet and open your browser program.
    (we'll use Internet Explorer for our example)
  2. Be sure that your "Links" toolbar is configured to be displayed.
    (On the main menu, click on View, Toolbars, and be sure Links is checked)
  3. After the home page finishes loading, click on Favorites, Add to Favorites..., and select Links.
  4. Rename the link if you wish, and click OK to save and exit.

Your big bulky current home page should now be shown on the Links toolbar, a click away whenever you want it.

That's it. Now, no more long wait when you open your browser, and the Google page will frequently be the page you wanted to use first anyway!

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