Differences Between Google Chrome & IE8

by Heather Wilkins

Microsoft's Internet Explorer 8 was released in 2009, but in the intervening years, Internet Explorer and competing Web browser Google Chrome have continued to advance. As of March 2013, IE was up to version 10 and Google Chrome was in version 25. Both consistently receive incremental updates to apply security patches and fix bugs. If you are still using IE8 and thinking of switching to a new version of Google Chrome, you'll find many differences.

Ease of Use

Chrome uses the Omnibox for Web searches and URLs, which eliminates the need to pull up a separate browser page to search for something (as long as you like using Google for searches). The Omnibox displays suggestions for searches and URLs as you type. A PDF viewer is included, eliminating the need for PDF plugins or extensions. IE8 uses the Smart Address Bar to pull URL suggestions from your browsing history and bookmarks and show you previews of the results. Tabs are automatically organized by position and color when a link on one page opens in another tab. If a tab crashes, IE8 automatically reloads it, complete with any information you may have entered on the page.


Chrome offers Incognito browsing. Instead of manually changing privacy settings when you don't want your browsing, downloading or cookie history remembered, you simply open a new window in Incognito mode. Chrome also enables you to manage privacy settings for individual websites. IE8 uses InPrivate Browsing to prevent history, cookies and downloads from being recorded on a computer. InPrivate Filtering gives you control over what third parties can collect and aggregate data on your online behavior.


Chrome allows you to pin tabs in the browser so they are always in the same spot. Apps, extensions and themes are all available from the Chrome Web Store (link in Resources). You can also add new users to Chrome so each person has his personalized version of Chrome. Signing in to Chrome enables you to sync your online activity with all your devices. IE8 has group policy management built in to make it easier for businesses to use. With almost 1,500 policies to choose from, businesses are sure to find a good group policy fit. Internet Explorer 8 does not have plugins and extensions available.


Chrome's main security feature is sandboxing; in other words, Chrome doesn't allow what happens in one browser tab to affect what happens in another tab or on your computer. If you do accidentally pick up some malware, sandboxing helps prevent it from doing any harm to your computer or your personal information. Chrome also automatically updates itself. Your anti-spyware software probably helps you steer clear of suspicious sites, but so does Chrome. The Safe Browsing feature warns you before you visit a site suspected of phishing or installing malware. IE8 also includes its own in-browser warning system for phishing and malware sites, called the SmartScreen Filter. If you want new security fixes for Internet Explorer, you must manually obtain the updates.

About the Author

Heather Wilkins has five years of professional copyediting experience. She worked for Pearson Education, copyediting books about computer skills, the Internet, and general subjects. She also edits for online entry-level college courses. Wilkins holds a Professional Writing degree from Purdue University.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images