One way to make easy returning to a Web address (URL to nerds) is to pin a website to the Start screen, using either the modern Metro version of Internet Explorer (IE) or the desktop version. You can also pin a site to the taskbar (in Windows 8 or 7), although that is more round-about and will only open the desktop version of IE.
Pin a website to the Start screen
1. Browse the site in Internet Explorer from the Start screen (the modern Metro version).
2. Display the app bar in IE. (Swipe up from the bottom or down from the top; right click anywhere; press Win+Z))
3. Select the pushpin.
4. Select Pin to Start.
5. Change the text, if desired. Shorter is better.
6. Select Pin to Start.
7. Your new tile for this website is at the far right edge of the Start screen. (See Chapter 3 of Windows 8 for Seniors for information on rearranging tiles.)
To unpin from the Start screen: Right-click the tile or use a finger to drag the tile down slightly. In the app bar, select Unpin from Start.
Pin a website to the taskbar
1. Browse the site in the desktop version of Internet Explorer. (From the Start screen version of IE, select the wrench in the app bar, then select View on the Desktop.)
2. Display the Tools menu (press the Alt key) or select the Page command in the command bar (two different steps — your choice).
3. Select Add Site to Start Screen.
4. Return to the Start screen. Your new tile for this website is at the far edge of the Start screen.
5. Right click that new tile or use a finger to drag it down slightly.
6. In the app bar, select Pin to Taskbar. (Next time, that item will appear as Unpin from Taskbar.)
7. Return to the desktop. Your new taskbar button is to the right of others.
You might wonder why you couldn’t do this directly from IE. I don’t have a good answer for that except that people expect too much consistency from computers. (There is a way using drag and drop, but, seriously, how many ways do you want to know?)
To unpin: Display the app bar for the selected tile on the Start screen or display the context menu of the taskbar icon. Select Unpin (this Program) from the Taskbar.
Notice the Start screen tiles differ between websites pinned from the Start screen app (below left) vs websites pinned from the desktop app (below right). Each will open in the originating app.
Extra tip: On the desktop, you can pin a site to the IE icon instead of as a separate icon – this takes less space. Browse the site in desktop IE. Right-click the IE icon in the taskbar (or press and hold with a finger until a box appears, then release). In the context menu. select the far-right of the line the website name is on. Mouse users will see a pushpin as they hover; touch users must have faith.
To use a site pinned to IE (instead of a separate icon or tile), display the context menu for IE in the taskbar and select the site under Pinned (or Recent).
Stop me before I tip again: You can create a website shortcut directly on the desktop. Browse any site in the desktop version of IE. Display the context menu. Select Create Shortcut. Select Yes. Now there is an icon on your desktop.