Today, approximately 27 years after its inception on August 24, 1995, Microsoft will officially discontinue support for Internet Explorer on multiple Windows versions.

The Internet Explorer desktop application will be disabled after it has reached the end of its life cycle. When users launch Internet Explorer 11, they will be immediately redirected to the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge.

Opening Internet Explorer will gradually shift users to our new modern browser, Microsoft Edge with IE mode, over the following few months. Users will still see the Internet Explorer icon on their computers (such as on the taskbar or in the Start menu), but when they click it, Microsoft Edge will open instead, with easy access to IE mode. As part of a future Windows Update, Internet Explorer will be permanently disabled, and the Internet Explorer icons on customers’ devices will be deleted.

Users’ data from Internet Explorer, such as bookmarks, passwords, and settings, will be imported as part of the redirection process, making the transfer to Microsoft Edge hassle-free. If a user wants to remove or manage their data later, they have to option to do so from the Settings menu in Microsoft Edge.

As a business, you can set Internet Explorer mode to use a site list, which allows you to catalogue sites that require Internet Explorer and have them automatically load in IE mode. This site list can be saved locally or in the cloud using the Microsoft 365 admin centre, and any site on the list will load in IE mode for your users. If you’re a company that handles devices and has legacy requirements, this is the best option.

Microsoft Edge is the future

It’s unlikely that anyone is surprised by Internet Explorer’s demise, given Microsoft has been urging customers to quit the browser for years. It stated plans to stop operating Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 in August 2020, with an official announcement of the Internet Explorer 11 desktop application’s retirement on May 19, 2021.

How to enable Edge?

You will need to go to edge:/settings/defaultbrowser, toggle on ‘Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer,’ then restart the web browser to enable IE mode in Edge.

Learn more about Internet Explorer mode and how to switch to the new Microsoft Edge in this Getting Started tutorial.