From Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge: The Retirement of IE11 on Windows 10
By Kitakabee, Community Contributor - February 3, 2023
Internet Explorer (IE) was once the dominant web browser, but its popularity has declined over the years due to a range of factors, including security vulnerabilities and limited support for modern web standards. As a result, many users have switched to alternative browsers, such as Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Apple Safari.
In response to this, Microsoft introduced Microsoft Edge, a new browser that replaces IE and offers a more modern and secure web browsing experience. Internet Explorer (IE) was sunsetted by Microsoft on June 15, 2022. This marked the end of support for the browser, and Microsoft encouraged users to switch to its replacement, Microsoft Edge, for the best web browsing experience.
They did this because IE was outdated and did not meet modern standards for web browsing. It was replaced by newer and more efficient browsers, such as Microsoft Edge, which offered better performance and support for modern web technologies. Additionally, as web development advanced, many websites stopped supporting IE, making it increasingly difficult for users to access the full range of content and services available online.
In continuation with that, Microsoft has announced that it will permanently disable IE11 on Windows 10 by February 14, 2023. This means that users will no longer be able to use IE to browse the web and will be forced to use Edge instead.
Microsoft is retiring IE to improve the security of Windows 10, as IE11 is more vulnerable to security threats, such as phishing attacks and malware. By forcing users to switch to Edge, Microsoft is ensuring that they are using a more secure browser that is better equipped to protect against these types of threats.
Microsoft Edge, on the other hand, has been designed to provide a more modern and secure web browsing experience. Edge is built on the Chromium open-source project, which provides a more stable and performant platform, and has a range of features and tools that cater to both personal and business users.
What happens to companies that have been using IE?
Companies that have dependencies on Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) should take steps to address this before Microsoft disables the browser on Windows 10 desktops via an update to Edge on February 14, 2023.
- Assess their dependencies: Companies should assess their applications and systems to determine the extent of their dependencies on IE11 and the impact of disabling the browser.
- Upgrade to modern browsers: Companies should upgrade to modern browsers, such as Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox, to ensure that their applications and systems remain compatible with modern web standards and technologies.
- Invest in compatibility testing: Companies should invest in compatibility testing to ensure that their applications and systems continue to function as intended on modern browsers.
- Educate users: Companies should educate their users about the change and provide them with the necessary tools and resources to make the transition to modern browsers.
- Consider alternative solutions: Companies should consider alternative solutions like real device cloud to test the compatibility of legacy applications that are dependent on IE11. BrowserStack offers a real device cloud that allows you test on legacy browsers as well as new browsers. You can leverage BrowserStack to test your application on both IE as well as Microsoft Edge.
What is IE Mode, and why is it used?
IE mode in Microsoft Edge is a feature that allows users to run Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) within the Microsoft Edge browser. This mode is designed for compatibility with legacy web applications and sites that require the use of IE11.
To use IE mode in Microsoft Edge, follow the below steps:
- Open Microsoft Edge.
- Click on the three dots in the top-right corner.
- Select “Settings” and then “Default Browser.”
- Scroll down to “Let Internet Explorer open sites in Microsoft Edge” and select the necessary option.
- Also, select the necessary options to Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer Mode.
- When you navigate to a site or web application that is on the “Internet Explorer mode pages” list, Microsoft Edge will automatically switch to IE mode and display the site using IE11.
Alternatively, you can also enable IE mode while using BrowserStack to test apps. To do so,
- Login to BrowserStack Live
- Select Windows 10 and then select Microsoft Edge
- You will now get access to an Edge browser. Follow the steps mentioned in the previous section.
You can also test your apps on BrowserStack without enabling IE mode.
It is important to note that when using IE mode in Microsoft Edge, users will be subject to the same limitations and security vulnerabilities as if they were using IE11 directly. Therefore, it is recommended that users only use IE mode for legacy web applications and sites that require the use of IE11, and that they switch back to Microsoft Edge for browsing other content.
What should users consider when using IE mode in Edge?
When enabling IE mode in Microsoft Edge, it is important to test the following items to ensure compatibility and proper functioning of the legacy web applications and sites:
- User Login: Test the login process for the legacy web application or site to ensure it works as expected.
- Functionality: Test the main features and functions of the legacy web application or site to ensure they are working properly.
- User Interface: Check the visual appearance of the site or application to ensure it is the same as it was in Internet Explorer 11 (IE11).
- Printing: Test the printing functionality of the site or application to ensure it works as expected.
- ActiveX controls: If the site or application uses ActiveX controls, ensure they are working properly in IE mode.
- SSL/TLS certificates: Ensure that SSL/TLS certificates are properly installed and recognized by IE mode.
- Plug-ins: Test any plug-ins used by the site or application to ensure they work in IE mode.
- Compatibility with Microsoft Edge: Ensure that there are no conflicts between Microsoft Edge and the legacy web application or site when using IE mode.
- Security: Ensure that the site or application is secure when using IE mode.
- Performance: Evaluate the performance of the site or application when using IE mode to ensure it meets expectations.
These are the most important items to test when enabling IE mode in Microsoft Edge. By thoroughly testing each of these items, you can ensure that the legacy web application or site is functional and compatible with IE mode.
How to test on IE and Edge in Windows 10 using BrowserStack
You can use BrowserStack to test your websites and apps on IE and the latest/legacy versions of Edge. To do so, you first need to sign up for an account with BrowserStack.
- Login to BrowserStack Live
- Enter the URL
- Select Windows 10 as the operating system
- Select IE or Microsoft Edge and the version you want to test on
- A real browser opens up, and you can start testing
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Should I remove IE11 from Windows 10?
Microsoft is sunsetting support for Windows 10 on Feb 14, 2023, because it has reached the end of its lifecycle. This means that Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, bug fixes, and technical support for the operating system. You can continue using IE11 but, you will not receive updates. It is recommended that you use IE mode or real device cloud like BrowserStack to test your apps.
2. What is the latest version of IE11 for Windows 10?
The latest version of Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) for Windows 10 is 11.0.9600.18426. This version was released in 2019 and is the final version of IE11. It is important to note that Microsoft has ended support for IE11 on Windows 10 and will no longer provide security updates or technical support for the browser after Feb 14, 2023.
3. What happens when IE 11 retires?
When Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) retires, Microsoft will no longer provide security updates, bug fixes, or technical support for the browser on Windows 10. This means that any vulnerabilities or security weaknesses in the browser will no longer be fixed, and it will become increasingly vulnerable to security threats such as malware, viruses, and hacking attempts.
Additionally, websites and web applications may also stop supporting IE11, which means that some websites may not function properly or may display incorrectly when using the browser. This can impact the user experience and limit access to certain websites or services.
It is recommended to switch to a more modern and secure web browser such as Microsoft Edge, which is the recommended browser for Windows 10, before IE11 retires. This will help ensure that you have a secure and up-to-date browsing experience and can access all the websites and services you need.
4. Which update will disable IE11?
Microsoft will release an update on February 14, 2023, which will disable IE11.
5. Does Microsoft Edge automatically replace Internet Explorer?
Yes, Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer as the default web browser for Windows 10 in 2015. Internet Explorer is still available for compatibility reasons, but Microsoft has discontinued development and support for it.