Internet Explorer 11 was never Windows 10’s primary browser—that would be the old, pre-Chromium version of Microsoft Edge. But IE did continue to ship with Windows 10 for compatibility reasons, and IE11 remained installed and accessible in most versions of Windows 10 even after security updates for the browser ended in June of 2022. That ends today, as Microsoft’s support documentation says that a Microsoft Edge browser update will fully disable Internet Explorer in most versions of Windows 10, redirecting users to Edge.
Edge will “automatically” transfer over bookmarks and other browsing data from IE and display a dialogue box letting users know what has happened so that the last few people using Internet Explorer out of habit, ignorance, or spite will be fully aware of what’s going on. Clicking any IE icon or attempting to launch it from the Start or Run menus will automatically open Edge instead.
Microsoft never shipped any version of Internet Explorer in Windows 11, so nothing will change if you’re already running Microsoft’s latest OS.
Internet Explorer still has some small deaths to die. The “visual references” to the app will remain in Windows 10 until they’re removed by a security update circa June of 2023, according to Microsoft’s support document. And Internet Explorer will remain accessible on Windows Server, non-consumer versions of Windows 10 like Windows 10 IoT and the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) versions of Windows 10 Enterprise, and Windows 7 and 8 (which are no longer being supported with new security updates or Edge versions as of last month).
And the underlying MSHTML rendering engine will continue to be included as part of Microsoft Edge’s IE compatibility mode, which will be supported until “at least 2029.” Microsoft says it will give users a year’s notice before retiring IE mode, so it could be nearly a decade before the zombified corpse of Internet Explorer finally stops twitching.
Listing image by Microsoft