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Internet Explorer 11 desktop app retirement FAQ
Published May 19 2021 08:55 AM 2.9M Views
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Update:
The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10.
Based on customer feedback, organizations will maintain control over when to remove IE11 UI elements from their devices.
Over the coming months a small subset of exceptional scenarios where IE11 is still accessible will be redirected to Edge, ensuring users access a supported and more secure Microsoft browser.

Editor's note: Questions in this FAQ will be added and/or updated over time to provide more detail. Updated/new questions are indicated below. Last updated: May 18, 2023.


The future of Internet Explorer ("IE") on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge. What does this mean for commercial organizations, IT admins, developers, and end users? Microsoft Edge brings you a faster, more secure, and more modern web experience than Internet Explorer. Also, Microsoft Edge with Internet Explorer mode ("IE mode"), is the only browser with built-in compatibility for legacy IE-based sites and apps.

As announced today, Microsoft Edge with IE mode is officially replacing the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application on Windows 10. As a result, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will go out of support and be retired on June 15, 2022 for certain versions of Windows 10.

Jump to: General information | How to prepare | Experience after retirement | Support and resources | Technical details


General information

When was the IE11 desktop application permanently disabled? (Updated:May 18, 2023)
The out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) desktop application was permanently disabled on certain versions of Windows 10 on February 14, 2023 through a Microsoft Edge update. Note, this update will be rolled out over the span of a few days up to a week, as is standard for Microsoft Edge updates.

All remaining consumer and commercial devices that were not already redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge were redirected with the Microsoft Edge update. Users will be unable to reverse the change. Additionally, redirection from IE11 to Microsoft Edge will be included as part of all future Microsoft Edge updates.

Based on customer feedback, organizations will maintain control over determining the timing to remove IE11 UI elements from their devices, if they have not already done so. Note: IT teams can remove IE11 visual references on Windows 10 devices by using the Disable IE policy.

Additionally, over the coming months a small subset of exceptional scenarios where IE11 is still accessible will be redirected to Edge, ensuring users access a supported and more secure Microsoft browser. Details will be available in the Windows and Microsoft Edge release notes.

What can I do if my organization has been disrupted by the permanent disablement of the IE desktop application?

(Updated: February 14, 2023)

If you are experiencing issues related to IE disablement or with using Microsoft Edge with IE mode, please reach out to Microsoft as soon as possible through one of the following paths:

On which versions of Windows 10 is the IE11 desktop application out-of-support (and were impacted by IE11 disablement)? (Updated: February 14, 2023)

(In scope) The IE11 desktop application is retired and out-of-support, and has been permanently disabled on these versions of Windows 10:

  • Internet Explorer 11 desktop application delivered via the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC):
    • Windows 10 client SKUs
    • Windows 10 IoT
    • Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session

(Out of scope) The IE11 desktop application remain in-support on these versions of Windows 10:

  • Internet Explorer 11 desktop application on:
    • Windows 8.1 (note: Microsoft Edge version 109 will be the last supported version on Window 8.1 - learn more)
    • Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU) (note: Microsoft Edge version 109 will be the last supported version on Windows 7 - learn more)
    • Windows Server SAC (all versions)
    • Windows 10 IoT Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) (all versions)
    • Windows Server LTSC (all versions)
    • Windows 10 client LTSC (all versions)
    • Windows 10 China Government Edition

The following also remain in-support:

  • Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge
  • Internet Explorer platform (MSHTML/Trident), including WebOC and COM automation

What about Windows 10 LTSC and Windows Server? (Updated: November 19, 2021)
In-market Windows 10 LTSC and Windows Server are out of scope (unaffected) for this change. Windows Server 2022 and Windows 10 Enterprise LTSC 2021 are also out of scope.

Should I just uninstall Internet Explorer completely? (Updated: December 16, 2022)
No. Internet Explorer (IE) mode relies on Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) to function. Uninstalling or removing IE11 will cause IE mode to no longer work.

Is the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application available on Windows 11? (Updated: April 14, 2022)
No, the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application is not available on Windows 11. Microsoft Edge is the default browser for Windows 11. The MSHTML engine exists as part of the Windows 11 operating system to power IE mode in Microsoft Edge. If your organization has legacy browser dependencies, you'll need to set up IE mode in Microsoft Edge before upgrading to Windows 11 to avoid business disruption. Learn more on our Internet Explorer mode webpage and read the Getting Started guide.

What does this announcement mean for my organization? (Updated: February 14, 2023)
The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10 and will redirect to Microsoft Edge if a user tries to access it.

You may be concerned about change management, so please check out the Internet Explorer Retirement Adoption Kit for ready-made content to help you notify users and leaders in your organization about the changes and help move them to Microsoft Edge.

What if Microsoft Edge is already installed?
Great! You already have a faster, more secure, and more modern browser than Internet Explorer and have completed some of the steps to help with your migration. If you're an organization, the next steps will be to determine if your organization has legacy browser dependencies. To enable legacy browser support in Microsoft Edge, you'll need to set up Internet Explorer mode. Learn more on our Internet Explorer mode webpage and read the Getting Started guide.

How long will IE mode be supported? (Updated: November 8, 2022)
Support for IE mode follows the lifecycle of current and future Windows client, Windows server, and Windows IoT releases (including Windows 11) at least through 2029. Additionally, Microsoft will give one year of notice before retiring the IE mode experience when the time comes. Windows support dates are documented on the Product Lifecycle page. Some editions of Windows may require an ESU license, if available, to receive operating system security updates beyond end of support dates.

If support for a version of Windows ends before 2029, support for IE mode on that version of Windows ends as well. To continue using IE mode, please migrate to a supported version of Windows.

What does this announcement mean for developers? (Updated: November 19, 2021)
Websites developed for IE should work in Microsoft Edge through IE mode. If you encounter an issue, contact App Assure for remediation assistance (ACHELP@microsoft.com).

For developers working on modern websites or applications, we understand that it has been increasingly difficult to support Internet Explorer side-by-side with modern browsers. While this announcement will start the transition of moving users from Internet Explorer to the more modern Microsoft Edge browser, it will take time and we recommend that you develop a plan to end support for Internet Explorer. Read this Moving users to Microsoft Edge from Internet Explorer article to learn how we can help.

What does this announcement mean for end users? (Updated: February 14, 2023)
With a growing number of websites no longer supporting Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge offers a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience that can still open legacy, Internet Explorer-dependent sites when needed.

The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10 and will redirect to Microsoft Edge if a user tries to access it.

Where can I find more information on the upcoming changes that will address exceptional scenarios where IE is still available? (New: May 18, 2023)
Details will be available in the Windows and Microsoft Edge release notes.


How to prepare

I don't want to wait for my devices to be redirected by Microsoft Edge; instead, I'd like to control redirection for all my devices. What can I do today? (Updated: December 16, 2022)
The most important action you can take to prepare for February 14, 2023, is to ensure that Microsoft Edge with IE mode is set up within your organization and that you've eliminated any dependencies on the IE11 desktop application. If you would like to permanently disable the IE11 desktop application today instead of waiting for the Microsoft Edge update scheduled for February 14, 2023, you can use the Disable IE Policy.

How can I be sure I have all my sites on my IE mode site list and that everything is set up properly? (New: July 28, 2022)
Once you've set up IE mode for your organization, the best way for you to understand if there are any potential gaps in your IE mode site list is to test IE mode with your users as they work normally. This is the process followed by our customers who have already successfully transitioned from IE to Microsoft Edge with IE mode.

We recommend instructing a subset of users to test Microsoft Edge with IE mode as they work and providing them with a tool to give you feedback if they encounter any issues. Once you've worked through any issues, deploy the Disable IE Policy to permanently disable IE for those users. After, you can gradually test IE mode and push the Disable IE Policy to more devices using the same methodology until all your users are transitioned off IE.

How do I set up Internet Explorer mode in my organization?
You can get detailed guidance on how to set up Internet Explorer mode through our Getting Started guide or by visiting our IE mode documentation.

Are there any guided experiences available to help me deploy Microsoft Edge and configure IE mode? (New: June 29, 2021)
Yes, we have two guided experiences available in the Microsoft 365 admin center to help you deploy Microsoft Edge and configure IE mode.

How can I automate IE mode testing in Microsoft Edge? (New: February 22, 2022)
With IE11 retirement fast approaching, Microsoft has collaborated with Selenium to extend end-to-end IE Driver testing to include IE mode in Microsoft Edge. You can now take the same tests you've invested in and used for site testing across versions of IE and apply them for testing in IE mode. Running automated testing, combined with testing through a pilot group of users, can catch issues early and can help make sure you're ready for IE retirement.

For more information about how IE Driver can be used for IE mode testing, see Use Internet Explorer Driver to automate IE mode in Microsoft Edge.

Could I skip monthly cumulative security Windows Updates to keep using IE11? (Updated: February 14, 2023)
We do not recommend avoiding or skipping Microsoft Edge updates to keep IE11. Security updates and servicing updates are only available on the latest Stable and Beta channel releases. If you use older releases of Microsoft Edge, it's likely that you'll miss the latest quality and security updates. For more information, see Microsoft Edge Lifecycle.


Experience after retirement

When will the IE11 desktop application be permanently disabled? (Updated: May 18, 2023)
The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10.

Users will see a dialogue box when they are transitioned to Microsoft Edge (see below). When they try to click any IE11 icons or other entry points, they will be redirected to Microsoft Edge. Their browsing data is automatically brought over to Microsoft Edge from IE11 so they can seamlessly continue browsing.

the-future-is-microsoft-edge.png

Based on customer feedback, organizations will maintain control over determining the timing to remove IE11 UI elements from their devices, if they have not already done so. Note: IT teams can remove IE11 visual references on Windows 10 devices by using the Disable IE policy.

Additionally, over the coming months a small subset of exceptional scenarios where IE11 is still accessible will be redirected to Edge, ensuring users access a supported and more secure Microsoft browser. Details will be available in the Windows and Microsoft Edge release notes.

What is the user experience for redirection and disablement of IE11? (New: February 17, 2023)
To learn about the experience of a user being redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge, watch this video:

When will the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application retire on versions of Windows that were out of scope for the IE retirement on June 15th, 2022 (such as LTSC and Server)? (New: July 28, 2022)
Support for IE11 on out-of-scope versions of Windows will follow the lifecycle for the versions of Windows that they are on—once those versions of Windows go out of support, so will support for IE on those versions of Windows.

If my browser default isn't Internet Explorer 11, will the retirement affect my browser default?
No, this retirement will only change your browser default if your default had been set to Internet Explorer 11. If IE11 is set as your browser default, you will now have Microsoft Edge.

Will the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application be removed from devices? (Updated: June 13, 2022)
No, the IE11 desktop application will only be disabled. The IE11 desktop application will not be removed from devices, as the IE11 engine is required for IE mode to function.

Will iexplore.exe be removed from devices?
No, but if a user tries to access it, they will be unable to open IE11 and will be redirected to Microsoft Edge.

Will the Policy Setting "Disable Internet Explorer 11 as a standalone browser" continue to work after the Microsoft Edge update containing the permanent disablement of IE11 on February 14, 2023? (Updated: May 18, 2023)
The Disable IE policy will not be impacted by the February 14, 2023 Microsoft Edge update. It will continue to work and will remove IE visual references.


Support and resources

Where can I read all the blogs in IE to Edge series? (New: May 25, 2022)
You can read all the blogs written for the IE to Edge blog series at https://aka.ms/IEtoEdge.

Are there any changes to the Microsoft Edge lifecycle?
There are no changes to the Microsoft Edge lifecycle. Microsoft Edge continues to be supported. For more details, please visit the Microsoft Edge Lifecycle page.

What if some of my sites don't work in Microsoft Edge using Internet Explorer mode? How do I get help for website compatibility issues?
If you're an organization and experience compatibility issues such as an error loading a site, please connect with the App Assure team for remediation assistance. You can submit a request for assistance through their website or reach out via email (ACHELP@microsoft.com).

If you're a consumer at home and encounter an error loading a page, try loading it in IE mode by following the instructions in this Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge support article. If the issue persists, please notify us by sending feedback through the in-product feedback tool found in the three-dot settings menu under 'Help and feedback' or by using the shortcut Alt + Shift + I. When submitting feedback, please check the box to 'Send diagnostic data'.

Where can I see a roadmap of upcoming Microsoft Edge features, including those related to IE mode? (New: June 29, 2021)
You can find the Microsoft Edge roadmap as part of the Microsoft 365 roadmap.

Where can I get help with common issues when setting up Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer mode? Is there a Troubleshooting Guide? (New: February 22, 2022)
If you encounter an issue when setting up IE mode, you can reference this Troubleshooting Guide. It provides troubleshooting tips for common issues (like using incorrect Doc modes and not setting neutral sites) in addition to more general IE mode FAQs.

Supporting IE mode through at least 2029 is not long enough. Can I get an extension?
IE mode will continue to be supported through at least 2029 and Microsoft will give one year notice before deprecating the IE mode experience in-market when the time comes.

The new Cloud Site List Management experience will enable IT to store site lists in an authenticated endpoint in the cloud instead of requiring on-premises infrastructure to host it. You can create, import, and export site lists, as well as audit changes to site list entries through the Microsoft 365 admin center. Multiple site lists can be published to the cloud and group policy can be used to assign different groups of devices to use different lists.


Technical details

What is the MSHTML (Trident) engine? How does that relate to IE mode? And what about WebOC? Or the MSHTA app?
The MSHTML (Trident) engine is the underlying platform for Internet Explorer 11. This is the same engine used by IE mode and it will continue to be supported (in other words, unaffected by this announcement). Both WebOC and the MSHTA app will continue to be supported as they rely on the MSHTML engine which is unaffected by this announcement. If you have a custom or third-party app that relies on the MSHTML platform, you can expect it to continue to work. For future app development, we recommend using WebView2.

I ran into issues with my application which utilizes IE through automation. Will this be fixed? (Updated: May 25, 2022)
As part of the IE 11 application retirement, certain COM automation scenarios were inadvertently broken. These IE COM objects have been restored to their original functionality as of the Windows 11 November 2021 non-security preview release and the Windows 10 February 2022 monthly security update release (for versions 1809 and later). The COM scenarios will also continue to work after the IE11 desktop application is disabled after June 15, 2022. If you continue to experience issues after taking the update, please contact App Assure for remediation assistance.

What IE functionality is available in IE mode? Will Active X controls like Java and Silverlight be supported? (Updated: June 3, 2021)
IE mode supports all document and enterprise modes, Active X controls (such as Java or Silverlight), and more. For a list of what is supported and what is not supported, see the What is Internet Explorer (IE) mode Docs page.

As previously announced, Silverlight support ends on October 12, 2021. Please see the Silverlight End of Support article for more details.

Will the IE Group Policies work in IE mode?
We are committed to have IE Group Policies work in IE mode. If for any reason you encounter an issue, please connect with us at AppAssure for assistance. You can submit a request for assistance through their website or reach out via email (ACHELP@microsoft.com).

Can I host my site list in the cloud? What is the Cloud Site List Management experience for IE mode? (New: November 19, 2021)
Yes, the Cloud Site List Management experience is now available as a Public Preview within the Microsoft 365 admin center.

.mht and .mhtml files open in Internet Explorer 11 and not in Microsoft Edge. How will I be able to open those? (New: June 29, 2021)
.mht and .mhtml file support in Microsoft Edge and IE mode is planned for Microsoft Edge version 92. Please see the Microsoft 365 roadmap entry for more details. Please note that for these files to open in IE mode, IE11 must be set as the default handler for this file type.

Since IE binaries are required for IE mode and will remain on the OS, will they continue to receive security updates? (New: February 22, 2022)
Yes, since IE mode leverages IE binaries, those IE binaries will continue to receive security updates through at least 2029 even after the IE11 desktop application retires and goes out of support on June 15, 2022, on certain versions of Windows 10. Security vulnerabilities that meet MSRC guidelines will continue to be patched just as it does today.

Can cookies share session information between Microsoft Edge (Chromium-based) and IE mode (MSHTML-based) sessions? (Updated: June 13, 2022)
Yes! Previously, session-cookies in IE mode passed session information from sites using the modern engine to sites using the legacy engine, but the same couldn't be said for the reverse. To address this issue, Microsoft Edge with IE mode now allows you to manually set session-cookies to share in both directions—from modern to legacy and vice versa—to create a better experience for your users and to support using a mix of modern and legacy sites as part of your gradual modernization efforts (Windows March 2022 3B update or later and Microsoft Edge version 99 or later, required).

Please note, that persistent-cookies, which have been created with an Expires-attribute, cannot be shared between Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer.

 

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