How to Use a Browser

If you’re new to browsing the internet, you’ll need to know how to use a web browser. If you’re not new to browsing, chances are you don’t yet know everything your browser can do for you. Browsers these days have a lot of useful features.


Navigate Your Browser’s User Interface

The web browser you’re using will have back and forward buttons in the user interface: mouse over theĀ  buttons to see text that briefly explains what they do. Use the back button (by clicking on it) to get to the last web page you were on in a given tab, and use the forward button to go forward again. The home button will bring you to your home page. You can set your home page in your browser’s menus, and some websites will allow you to do so through the site. Use the stop button to cancel loading pages and the reload button to restart loading. Type the url of the website you want to go to and press Enter into the address bar to visit a website. Depending on the browser, there may also be a search bar that allows you to type what you want to search for directly into a search engine. See the status bar to determine how much of a web page has loaded.


Use Your Browser’s Features

Many browsers allow you to zoom in and out on pages. Another common feature is incremental find, which lets you search for a given word or phrase in a confined fashion within a given web page. Popular browsers support many different protocols and file formats to let you browse wide swaths of the internet with little trouble. Some browsers also include features like email and chat services that might otherwise be separate applications. Browsers will let you open as many urls as you want in different tabs and windows, but opening a huge amount will slow your browser down. Many browsers include pop-up blockers to prevent the appearance of pop-up ads, and other ad blockers for other types of ads also exist. Another common feature is bookmarking, which allows you to save url data to view web pages later. Many browsers allow plug-ins, which are downloadable extensions to the browser’s functionality that you can add if you want to. All browsers require updating from time to time, and most will do this automatically. Plug-ins may require separate updating.


Explore Your Browser for More Features

Look around in your browser’s menu for additional features that may interest you, and feel free to do some experimenting. Additional features that some browsers offer include browser security management, password management, download management, automatic filling out of forms, spell checking, syndicated content support, support for multiple languages and various privacy options. Some less common features include mobile support, text-based user interfacing as opposed to graphical user interfacing, text-to-speech and voice control. Your computer probably came with a web browser already installed, but in many cases you can change browsers for free if you wish.