Google to drop support for Internet Explorer 9: what it means

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 6, 2013
Internet Explorer

Google published a reminder today on the Google Apps blog that it has ended support for Microsoft Internet Explorer 9. What this means is that the company will not test existing or new features on Google Apps or Gmail for compatibility with the web browser.

It does not mean that Internet Explorer 9 users cannot access Google Apps or Gmail any longer, but it is likely that it will have consequences in the long run.

Some features may not work any longer in Internet Explorer 9 as a result of this, and there is nothing that users of the web browser can do about this.

Google's browser support policy ensures that the two latest major versions of Firefox, Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Safari are supported. When a new version gets released, it means that the third-oldest version won't be supported anymore by the company.

Internet Explorer 11 was released to Windows 8 users on October 17, 2013 as part of the Windows 8.1 upgrade. The browser will also be released for Windows 7, but has not been as of now. Windows 7 users can download and install the Internet Explorer 11 Release Preview right now, indicating that a final version will be released soon.

The new version won't be made available to Windows Vista or Windows XP users. To make matters worse, Internet Explorer 10 is also not available for those two operating systems, which means that Internet Explorer 9 or Internet Explorer 8 is used on those.

The consequence here is that both XP and Vista users can only run unsupported versions of Internet Explorer when they use Gmail or Google Apps.

While some may have the option to use a different web browser, the latest version of Chrome or Firefox comes to mind, it may not be always the case.

If Internet Explorer is the only web browser that may be used on company computers, you may experience issues on Gmail or Google Apps as a consequence.

Google announced that it will display notifications to Internet Explorer 9 users who connect to Gmail or Google Apps informing them that support for the browser has dropped.

It is likely that the company will use the opportunity to advertise Chrome (and maybe other browsers) to those users, but since the notifications are not live yet, it is not clear if that will be the case.

The company notes that some features may not work in unsupported browsers, and gives a few examples of features that may not function or applications that may not load:

  • Calendars may display in read-only mode
  • Gmail users are redirected to the basic HTML interface
  • Drawings and presentations on Google Drive may not display properly.

It is not clear if Internet Explorer 9 users will experience these issues, considering that the features did work fine in the browser until now.


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  1. Timothy Zhu said on March 27, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Good. Time for the fossils to move on.

  2. Ricardo P said on November 10, 2013 at 12:32 am

    Actually, why don’t Microsoft make IE 10 and 11 available for Windows Vista?

    Chrome’s latest version is available for Vista.

    1. Not Bill Gates said on December 6, 2013 at 5:32 pm

      Ricardo PNovember 10, 2013 at 12:32 am#

      Actually, why don’t Microsoft make IE 10 and 11 available for Windows Vista?

      Chrome’s latest version is available for Vista.


      / Maybe to sell newer Opperating Systems?

  3. LeslieM said on November 7, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    Folks the blame lies completely with Microsoft due to their rollout strategy for IE. The HTML5 proposed standard has been announced for over 12 months now and support of HTML5 on IE prior to version 10 is poor.

    This is really why Google decided only to support the latest two versions of each browser as it allows them to deliver better services to the end user without having to include all the crappy code workarounds (not always possible) for non-compliant browsers. IE8, the last XP version, is simply non-usable in many ways once HTML5 comes into play. So Google’s decision makes perfect sense to me.

    BUT if you want to continue to use an outdated version of Windows, such as XP, then that is your choice. BUT it is also your choice to continue to use Internet Explorer because better alternatives DO exist as per this article.

    Now if you were talking about Google forcibly redirecting from http://www, to then I am more sympathetic as tests shows that on slow connections, lets say dialup, searching can be 50% slower due to https.

  4. Admin said on November 6, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    More and worse. Google annoying

  5. Robert Palmar said on November 6, 2013 at 5:39 pm

    Enterprises would be well-advised to not support Google and avoid using Google services.

    1. ilev said on November 6, 2013 at 6:24 pm

      Enterprises would be well-advised to not support IE.

      1. Nebulus said on November 6, 2013 at 11:33 pm

        Enterprises would be well-advised to not support IE nor Google :)

      2. Robert Palmar said on November 6, 2013 at 7:09 pm

        Maybe. Maybe not. For some enterprises IE suits their needs better.
        Whatever browser they use enterprises should drop support for Google.

  6. David said on November 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    I’m not saying that we have all the solutions now but people are starting to react.
    People are starting to use startpage as their search engine. It is a copy of Google without the NSA spying. They spy for financial gain not for anti-terrorism.

    Bye bye 4th Reich.

  7. doog said on November 6, 2013 at 3:24 pm

    I think Google always mess its sites for IE. Rather than incompatibility, it is more like “We make it incompatible.” Sometimes, opening my gmail from doesn’t work in IE. I need to change the url to, and everything is working fine.

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