Over the next several months, Microsoft will begin automatically moving Internet Explorer users to its Edge browser. Internet Explorer is being phased out today, and individuals and companies that are still using it will shortly receive a prompt to switch to Microsoft Edge.
The message and redirect are the first steps toward completely deleting Internet Explorer from existing PCs, and Microsoft aims to release an upgrade in the future that will disable the old browser. “Internet Explorer will eventually be fully disabled as part of a future Windows Update, at which point the Internet Explorer icons on their devices will be erased,” Sean explains. Lyndersay, general manager of Microsoft Edge Enterprise.
Passwords, favorites, and settings from Internet Explorer will be transferred to Edge, and a “reload in IE mode” option will appear in the toolbar to make it easier to access the unique mode that Microsoft has incorporated into Edge. Many legacy sites still employ earlier ActiveX controls, which are supported by IE mode.
The Internet Explorer retirement will affect all presently supported versions of Windows 10, including Home, Pro, Enterprise, Education, and IoT. Internet Explorer is already missing from Windows 11. “Internet Explorer will not be deleted from all of these versions today,” adds Lyndersay, “but will be gradually redirected to Microsoft Edge on all of these devices over the following few months.”
However, there will be one significant exception. “We will continue to support Internet Explorer on specific versions of Windows that are now out of support and are utilized in critical situations until they are no longer supported,” Lyndersay said.”All currently supported Windows 10 LTSC releases (including IoT), as well as Windows 10 China Government Edition, Windows 8.1, and Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates (ESUs)”
Internet Explorer will not be included in future versions of these Windows editions, although the underlying MSHTML (Trident) platform and COM controls in Windows will continue to be supported on all Windows systems. Microsoft also plans to support Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge “at least until 2029.”
Although Internet Explorer will technically continue to exist for a bit longer, Microsoft’s message is clear: “the future of Internet Explorer lies in Microsoft Edge.”