On Tuesday, Microsoft made an announcement that it has disabled Internet Explorer for desktops. Launched in 1995 for Windows devices, the web browser had 11 versions, with the last one released in 2013. As it had become outdated over the years, Microsoft decided to replace it with Microsoft Edge as the default browser for Windows 10 in 2015.
Last year in June, Microsoft announced that Internet Explorer will be retiring. However, it was only during the last update released on Tuesday that the web browser was disabled for Windows 10 users. The aim of this update is to enhance user experience and encourage organizations to shift their remaining IE11 users to Microsoft Edge.
As a result of the update, any attempt to open Internet Explorer will automatically redirect users to the Microsoft Edge web browser.
According to Microsoft, Microsoft Edge will transfer bookmarks and other browsing data from IE automatically. When users open Edge for the first time, a message will appear to inform them that their browsing data from IE has been transferred to Edge. This feature is aimed at ensuring that all the remaining Internet Explorer users, who may be using it out of habit or lack of awareness, are fully informed of the changes.
If you’re already using Windows 11, the removal of Internet Explorer won’t affect you as Microsoft never included it in the operating system. However, small reminders of the app will still exist in Windows 10 until they are taken out by a security update expected in June 2023. For non-consumer versions of Windows 10 and Windows 7 and 8, Internet Explorer will still be available, although these operating systems are no longer being supported with new security updates or Edge versions.
If you are running Windows 11, the retirement of Internet Explorer does not affect you since Microsoft did not include the browser in the latest OS. However, some remnants of IE will remain in Windows 10, such as “visual references” to the app, until a security update removes them around June 2023. Additionally, IE will still be available on Windows Server, non-consumer versions of Windows 10 like Long-Term Servicing Channel versions, and unsupported versions of Windows 7 and 8, although they won’t receive new security updates or versions of Microsoft Edge.
According to Microsoft, the MSHTML rendering engine that powers Internet Explorer will still be part of Microsoft Edge’s IE compatibility mode, which will be supported until “at least 2029”. Before retiring IE mode, Microsoft plans to provide users with a year’s notice. So, it may take almost a decade before the obsolete Internet Explorer is completely phased out.