Internet Explorer officially put out to pasture by Microsoft

15 Feb 2023

Image: © Sergio Delle Vedove/

IE11 is being disabled through a Microsoft Edge update, with future updates planned to remove all images of the legacy browser.

Internet Explorer has been officially killed off by Microsoft through an update that disables access to the legacy browser.

The out-of-support browser – IE11 – was disabled through an update to Edge yesterday (14 February), which is Microsoft’s more modern browser. The update will take up to a week to be fully rolled out, according to the company.

Microsoft said the update is designed to automatically redirect “consumer and commercial devices” to Microsoft Edge and that users will be unable to reverse the change.

The company stopped providing support for the Internet Explorer browser last June, but still offers a backwards compatibility mode on Edge, to support legacy-based website and apps that use Internet Explorer.

“The change to use Microsoft Edge update to disable IE is intended to provide a better user experience and help organisations transition their last remaining IE11 users to Microsoft Edge,” Microsoft said.

Organisations that already transitioned to Microsoft Edge with IE mode will not be impacted by the update. Microsoft also warned users that use IE mode that they should not uninstall IE11, as the browser is still required to enable backwards compatibility.

The update is one of the last nails in the coffin for Internet Explorer, after being in service for nearly 30 years. The legacy browser has been outdated for years as faster competitors came about such as Google Chrome and Firefox.

Microsoft first announced plans to retire the browser in 2015 when it launched Edge as a successor service. The company says Edge provides a faster, more secure and more modern experience than Internet Explorer.

Microsoft said that visual references to Internet Explorer, such as the IE11 icons on the Start Menu and taskbar, will be removed through a Windows monthly security update release (‘B’ release) scheduled for 13 June 2023.

After that update, the only bastion of Internet Explorer will be in the backwards compatibility mode provided by Edge.

Microsoft previously said it plans to support this compatibility until at least 2029 and will provide a one year notice before IE mode is removed entirely.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic