How to Whitelist Websites in Microsoft Internet Explorer

By Benjamin Aries

The Internet Explorer browser does not treat all sites the same. This program uses a variety of "zones" or categories, and applies different security levels to each zone. For example, Internet Explorer can block potentially dangerous content such as ActiveX or Java scripts on general websites, yet allow this type of content on sites that you know and trust. You can add URLs to the "Trusted Sites" list of Internet Explorer to "whitelist" those sites, indicating that they are safe and trusted.

Step 1

Click the "Internet Explorer" icon on the Windows taskbar. If the taskbar is not visible, click the "Desktop" tile on the Start menu or press the "Windows- D" key combination to switch to the Windows desktop view.

Step 2

Press the "Tools" icon resembling a gear and choose "Internet Options."

Step 3

Select the "Security" tab, and then click the "Trusted Sites" icon marked by a large green check symbol. Click "Sites" to view the current list of trusted or "whitelist" URLs.

Step 4

Click the area labeled "Add this website to the zone." Enter the full URL of the site you want to white list, such as " " without quotation marks. Remember to include the "http://" and "www." prefixes if they are part of the address.

Step 5

Press "Add" to white list the URL. The site appears on the list of trusted sites. If you change your mind or want to remove an existing trusted site, click the corresponding address on the list and press "Remove."

Step 6

Click "Close" and then "OK." The site is now trusted by Internet Explorer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once you add sites to the "Trusted" list on Internet Explorer, you can customize the security level for this list. View the "Security" tab of Internet Options, and click "Trusted Sites." In the Security Level for This Zone area, move the slider up or down to adjust how Internet Explorer treats your trusted sites.
  • White list only sites that you trust to be free of malware or other security threats. Examples of trusted sites might include your own sites, the website of your employer or recognized industry leaders such as Google and Yahoo.
  • These steps apply to Internet Explorer 11. They may vary significantly for other versions of the browser.