Monday, September 15, 2008

Back to Basics: Setting Your Home Page

There are some computing tasks that are so basic that sometimes we forget users might not know how to do them.  I'll be putting up some posts to cover some of these.

First off, there's setting your Internet home page. Internet Service Providers and some software want you to go to their home page and assume that you probably aren't going to change it yourself. And you'll often find Dell Computers, for instance, whose home page is the Dell website.

That's fine if you want it that way.  But if you don't want it that way, there are easy ways to change things.  Here are the instructions for various browsers.

  • Internet Explorer. Click on "Tools," then "Internet Options." You can type in a page, click on "Use Current" to pick the current page, or click "Use Blank" to display a blank page.  If you put more than one website in the box, one on each line, you can open multiple websites in different tabs.
  • Firefox. Click on "Tools," then "Options," and click on the "Main" tab. You can type in a page, click on "Use Current," or select from other options.
  • Safari. Click on "Edit," then "Preferences." 
  • Opera. Click on "Tools," then "Preferences." The options are similar to other browsers.  However, I would recommend you select "Start with Blank Page" from the dropdown list. That will bring up the speed dial, which lets you choose from up to nine web pages.
  • Google Chrome. Doesn't actually have a home page.  It displays the most recently used pages, with the pages you visit the most shown first.