How to Change Home Page and Startup Behavior in Windows

This article is only intended for users running on Windows operating systems.

Home is where it all begins. It's where we get ourselves together to start the day. When it comes to Web browsers home also serves as a starting point, in this case for your browsing session. Whether it be designating your favorite website to be the opening page or configuring a particular event to take place at the outset, most Windows browsers provide the ability to specify what home means to you.

The tutorials below detail how to modify home page values and startup behavior in several popular browsers.

1
Google Chrome

windows browser home page
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Google Chrome allows you to set a custom home page as well as toggle its related toolbar button off and on through the browser's appearance settings. You can also specify what action Chrome takes each time it starts up.

  1. Click on the main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right-hand corner of the browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Settings.
  2. Chrome's Settings interface should now be visible in a new tab. Towards the top and highlighted in this example screenshot is the On startup section, containing the following options.
    Open the New Tab page: Chrome's New Tab page contains shortcuts and thumbnail images for your most frequently visited pages as well as a Google search bar.
    Continue where you left off: Restores your previous browsing session, loading all tabs and windows that were open the last time you used Chrome.
    Open a specific page or set of pages: Renders whatever page or pages are currently set as Chrome's home page (see below).
  3. Located under these settings is the Appearance section. Click on the box accompanying the Show Home button option if it does not already contain a check mark.
  4. Right below this option should be the Web address of the current home page. Click on the Change link, located next to the URL.
  5. The Home page dialog should now be displayed, containing the following two options.
    Use the New Tab page: Uses Chrome's New Tab page as your home page.
    Open this page: Sets the browser's home page to whatever URL is entered in the field provided.

2
Internet Explorer 11

IE11 home page
Scott Orgera

The final version in the long-running Internet Explorer line, IE11's home page and startup settings can be configured via its general options.

  1. Click on the Gear icon, also known as the Action menu and located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window.
  2. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Internet options.
  3. IE11's Internet Options interface should now be visible, overlaying your browser window. Click on the General tab, if it is not already selected.
  4. Locate the Home Page section, found at the top of the window. The first part of this section is an editable field containing addresses of the current home page(s). To change these, simply type the URLs that you wish to set as your home page or pages. Multiple home pages, also known as home page tabs, should each be entered on a separate line.
  5. Directly below are three buttons, each which modify the URLs in this edit field. They are as follows.
    Use current: Sets the value to the URL of the page you are currently viewing.
    Use default: Sets the home page value to Microsoft's default landing page.
    Use new tab: Sets the home page value to about:Tabs, which displays thumbnails of your most frequently visited pages as well as links that can reopen your last session or discover other interesting sites.
  6. Below the Home page section is Startup, containing the following two options accompanied by radio buttons.
    Start with tabs from the last session: Instructs IE11 to relaunch all open tabs from your previous browsing session on startup.
    Start with home page: The default setting, instructs IE11 to open your home page or home page tabs upon launch.

3
Microsoft Edge

Edge home page
Scott Orgera

The default browser in Windows 10, Microsoft Edge makes it easy to control what page or pages are rendered each time you launch it. To modify Edge's startup behavior, take the following steps.

  1. Click on the More actions menu, represented by three horizontally-placed dots and located in the upper right-hand corner of your browser window.
  2. When the drop-down menu appears, select the option labeled Settings.
  3. Edge's Settings interface should now be visible, overlaying the main browser window. Locate the Open with section, highlighted in the screenshot to the left, which contains the following options each accompanied by a radio button.
    Start page: Edge's customizable Start page contains a Bing search bar, a graphical MSN news feed, the latest weather in your area, and stock quotes.
    New tab page: The New tab page is similar to the Start page, with one major exception which are icons to the Web's top sites (also customizable).
    Previous pages: Loads the Web pages that were open at the end of your most recent browsing session.
    A specific page or pages: Allows you to select from Bing or MSN as well as enter your own URLs.
  4. You can also control what page Edge displays whenever a new tab is open via the Open new tabs with drop-down menu. The available options are as follows.
    Top sites and suggested content: Loads the content described above in the New tab page section.
    Top sites: Loads a new tab containing the aforementioned top sites as well as the Bing search bar.
    A blank page: Opens a new tab containing the Bing search bar and nothing else. There are links featured at the bottom of the page, however, to toggle the top sites and news feed display.
  5. Once you are satisfied with your changes, click anywhere outside of the Settings interface to return to your browsing session.

4
Mozilla Firefox

firefox home page
Scott Orgera

Firefox's startup behavior, which allows for a number of different options, is controlled through the browser's preferences.

  1. Click on the browser's main menu button, represented by three horizontal lines and located in the upper right-hand corner of the window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Options. You can also enter the following command shortcut in Firefox's address bar instead of selecting this menu option: about:preferences.
  2. Firefox's preferences should now be displayed in a new tab. Click on General in the left menu pane, if it is not already selected.
  3. Locate the Startup section, found towards the top of the page and containing several options related to the browser's home page and startup behavior. The first, labeled When Firefox starts, features a drop-down menu with the following three choices.
    Show my home page: Instructs Firefox to display the page specified in the Home Page section each time the browser is opened.
    Show a blank page: Causes an empty page to be displayed upon startup.
    Show my windows and tabs from last time: Functions as a restore feature, launching all tabs and windows from your previous browsing session.
  4. Directly below is the Home Page setting, which contains an editable field where you can enter the URL (or multiple URLs) of any page that you wish. By default, its value is set to Firefox's Start Page. Placed at the bottom of the Startup section are three buttons that also change this value. They are as follows.
    Use Current Pages: Sets the home page value to the URLs of all Web pages that are currently open within the browser.
    Use Bookmark: Allows you to choose from one or more of your saved Bookmarks to become the browser's home page or pages.
    Restore to Default: Reverts the home page setting to its default value, Firefox's Start Page.

5
Opera

opera home page
Scott Orgera

Opera offers you the choice to display its Speed Dial interface or restore your previous browsing session, among other options, each time the application starts up.

  1. Click on Opera's Menu button, located in the upper left-hand corner of the browser window. When the drop-down menu appears, click on Settings. You can also utilize the following keyboard shortcut instead of selecting this menu option: ALT+P.
  2. Opera's Settings interface should now be displayed in a new tab. Click on Basic in the left menu pane, if it is not already selected.
  3. Locate the On startup section, found at the top of the page and containing the following three options accompanied by radio buttons.
    Open the start page: Display's Opera's start page upon launch, containing your Speed Dial pages as well as buttons which link to Bookmarks, news, browsing history, and more.
    Continue where I left off: The default selection, this setting instructs Opera to load all Web pages which were open at the end of your last browsing session.
    Open a specific page or set of pages: Renders user-defined page(s) each time Opera is opened, configurable by clicking on the accompanying Set pages link and entering one or more Web addresses.