How to install and try Microsoft's new Project Spartan web browser

Microsoft’s latest Windows 10 update includes the new Project Spartan web browser. Here’s how to download and install this exciting alternative to Internet Explorer.

Microsoft has been slowly adding new features to Windows 10 ever since it was released for testing by the public and the latest adds something that we’ve all been waiting for — the replacement for Internet Explorer.

‘Project Spartan’ promises a much speedier web browsing experience than Internet Explorer and includes a host of things not found in other browsers. So if you’re itching to see what web browsing will be like in the next version of Windows, here’s how.

[Read more: How BT Cloud can back up your photos easily and safely for free]

Step 1: Check your version of Windows 10

Whether you’re running Windows 10 as your main operation system or with a virtual PC app like VirtualBox, the first thing to do is run Windows Update. Project Spartan is part of the latest (at the time of writing) ‘build’ 10049 — look in the bottom-right corner of the Windows 10 Desktop to see which built you’re currently using.

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Step 2: Run Windows Update

There’s a chance Windows 10 may have already updated itself to build 10049, but if not, you’ll need to run Windows Update to get it. Type windows update in the Taskbar Search box and select Windows Update from the list of results.

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Step 3: Change Windows Update’s advanced settings

When Windows Update launches, it may start downloading the latest updates automatically, so leave it to it and click Advanced options.

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Step 4: Download the latest Windows 10 build

The latest Windows 10 build hasn’t been widely released yet, so to get it, select Fast from the drop-down list for Choose how preview builds are installed. Press the Back button at the top-left of the Advanced options window to return to the main Windows Update window.

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[Read more: What’s new in the latest Windows 10 update?]


Step 5: Install the latest version of Windows 10

Click the Check for updates button and the latest Windows 10 build – fbl_impressive 10049 Professional — should start downloading. This may take some time and you’ll have to restart Windows 10 to complete the update process.

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Step 6: Launch Project Spartan

When build 10049 has been installed, check the build number at the bottom-right of the Desktop and then launch Project Spartan by clicking its button on the Taskbar.

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Step 7: Create a Web Note

Project Spartan is far from complete, but many new features are up and running. Web Note lets you draw and type on any web page — activate it by clicking the Pen button on the toolbar and then use the annotation buttons at the top-left of the window. You can then save the page, annotated or not, in the new Reading List for later reference, or share it with others by clicking the Share button.

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Step 8: Activate Reading Mode

Project Spartan’s Reading View mode makes web pages much easier to read by removing unwanted clutter. It doesn’t work on all web pages just yet, but when it’s available, you can click the ‘book’ button to the right of the address bar to activate it — click it again to deactivate it.

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Step 9: Use the Cortana digital assistant

Microsoft’s Cortana digital assistant now works in the UK without any language workaround, so when you click the Search box for the first time, you’ll be asked if you want to activate it. Unfortunately, it hasn’t yet been activated for use within Project Spartan yet, so we’ll have to wait for a later update for that. You can still use it voice-control with Windows 10.

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Project Spartan works just like Internet Explorer in its other respects, so click around and see what else you can find. 

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