A divorce on Valentine’s Day for Microsoft. Starting today, Microsoft is disabling Internet Explorer from Windows 10. That means it will not be accessible anymore. 

Internet Explorer 11, after all, was never the primary browser of Windows 10. Instead, that would be the older, pre-Chromium version of Microsoft Edge. However, looking back, Internet Explorer continued to ship with Windows 10 for compatibility reasons. Also, Internet Explorer 11 remained installed and accessible in most Windows 10 versions even after security updates for the browser came to a close in June last year. 

However, everything ends today, as the official Microsoft support documentation stated that a Microsoft Edge browser update will altogether disable Internet Explorer in most Windows 10 versions, redirecting users and businesses to Edge.

The document said, “The retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has been permanently disabled through a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10.”

Goodbye Internet Explorer on Windows 10

Microsoft Edge will “automatically” transfer over bookmarks and other browsing data from Internet Explorer, and display a dialogue box informing users what has happened so everybody still using Internet Explorer after the update has rolled out will be fully aware of what’s going on. 

Furthermore, clicking any Internet Explorer icon or trying to launch it from the Start or Run menus will instead launch Microsoft Edge automatically. 

Microsoft never shipped any version of Internet Explorer in Windows 11, so nothing will change if you are already running Microsoft’s latest operating system. 

Nonetheless, there will be remnants. Among these are the “visual references” to the app. The Microsoft support document also stated that they will remain in Windows 10 until they are removed by a security update by June this year. 

Also, Internet Explorer will remain accessible on Windows Server, non-consumer versions of Windows 10, and Windows 7 and 8, which are no longer being supported with new Microsoft Edge versions or security updates as of last month. 

As for the underlying MSHTML rendering engine, it will go on to be included as part of Microsoft Edge’s Internet Explorer compatibility mode, which will be supported “at least through 2029.” Microsoft said it will give users a year’s notice before retiring Internet Explorer mode. So that is around a decade long.

What does this mean to me?

What does this update mean for organizations? Well, according to the official Microsoft support document, the retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop app has been disabled permanently via a Microsoft Edge update on specific versions of Windows 10. It will redirect to Microsoft Edge if somebody tries to access it. 

Microsoft said it understands organizations may be concerned about change management. The company recommends that they check out the Internet Explorer Retirement Adoption Kit for ready-made templates to help you notify your users and leaders in your organization about these changes, and help them move to Microsoft Edge. 

On the other hand, for end users, Microsoft said, “With a growing number of websites no longer supporting Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge offers a faster, more secure, and more modern browsing experience that can still open legacy, Internet Explorer-dependent sites when needed.”

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