Microsoft today announced that the Microsoft Edge future update would permanently disable the Internet Explorer 11 desktop browser on specific Windows 10 systems.
This follows a warning issued by the company on June 15, when Internet Explorer’s end of support was reached. The company had previously warned customers that the legacy browser would be disabled through a Windows Update.
In a post, Microsoft stated that the out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application (IE11) would be permanently disabled on some Windows 10 devices by a Microsoft Edge update on Friday. This is not a Windows Update, as previously communicated.
Enterprise administrators are advised to switch from IE11 and Microsoft Edge to IE mode to prevent “business disruption at large” when users lose access to IE11-dependent apps.
They will be removed in environments where administrators cannot act before IE11 is permanently disabled. Next year’s May security preview release and June Windows monthly security updates are also available.
Since October 2020, IE11 automatically launches Microsoft Edge whenever it visits incompatible websites. Microsoft manages the list of incompatible websites. It contains 7,562 domains belonging to high-profile platforms and services such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google Drive.
Users’ data, including settings, passwords, and favorites, will be imported into Microsoft Edge during the redirection process to make the transition easier.
Although IE11 has been officially retired from several Windows 10 versions via the semi-annual channel servicing channel (SAC) and is not shipping with Windows 11 yet, it will still be available for Windows 7 ESU, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10 LTSC clients, IoT and Server.
For the lifetime of the Windows version that it runs, the web browser will continue to receive technical support and security updates from these Windows versions.
For years, Microsoft has encouraged customers to use Microsoft Edge with IE Mode. This allows backward compatibility and will continue to be supported until at least 2029. You can read more about IE mode in this getting started guide.
To enable IE mode in Microsoft Edge, you must go to edge://settings/default browser, toggle on the ‘Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer option, and restart the browser.
Microsoft announced in August 2020 that it would no longer support IE11 in Windows 10 or Microsoft 365. An official retirement announcement was made in May 2021.
Microsoft ended IE support for Teams in November 2020 and stopped support across Microsoft 365 apps in August 2021.
Other Microsoft apps and services have also stopped supporting Internet Explorer over the past few years. A complete list can be found here.