A reader is a little confused about which browser they are using. “Am I using IE?  Hello, can you please explain why I  cannot see the Internet Explorer page on my computer screen like before I have it updated and  downloaded, but there is no indication that it is I.E,  just a little tab above the Google browser. I questioned the HP tech and could not really understand what he meant that it is not a browser. It always seems to be hidden somehow so I am never sure if I am on Google or I.E ?”

This is not an uncommon question. Often times even teens (who are supposed to be tech-savvy)  aren’t aware of exactly which browser they are using on their phones.

Here’s what I think the HP tech was trying to explain to you: Google has both a search engine and a browser.  A search engine is a service that helps you find things online. A browser is a program that you use to access the Internet. Google Chrome is a browser. In fact, it’s the most popular browser out there. You download it and install it on your PC. It’s accessed by clicking an icon that looks like this.

The Google search engine site can be pulled up using any browser. You can also set it to be your homepage in any browser. Here’s what it looks like in Internet Explorer.

So how do you tell if you’re using it in Internet Explorer? The first thing to ask yourself is did you open Internet Explorer? Here’s what the icon to open IE looks like.

All browsers these days go for a pretty clean look, so you won’t see the name of the browser anywhere when it’s open. But there are some differences in the look of the programs. Internet Explorer looks like this when you look in the upper-right.

Click that little gear wheel to get the settings menu. If you’re using IE, one of your options will be “About Internet Explorer.”

If you’re using IE, it will be visible on your taskbar. Just hover over the icon to see that it’s open.

The important thing to remember is that your PC doesn’t really go off on its own. If a program opens, either you opened it or you have it selected as the program you want for that task.