Internet Explorer users will be redirected to Microsoft Edge if incompatible sites are opened

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 23, 2020
Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge

Internet Explorer is still widely used, especially in corporate environments. The browser won't receive feature updates anymore but Microsoft will release security updates for it for years to come.

One of the issues that Internet Explorer uses may encounter is that more and more websites may not display correctly or at all in the browser. New browser technologies get added to modern browsers all the time but not to Internet Explorer.

Microsoft is aware of that and decided that the best course of action is to redirect incompatible sites that are opened in Internet Explorer to the company's own Microsoft Edge web browser. To be precise, it works only if the new Chromium-based Microsoft Edge browser, version 87 or newer, is installed on the system, at least according to Microsoft. The redirection worked also on a system with Edge 86 Stable -- the current stable version installed -- and Edge Canary. Whether the availability of the Canary version played a role here is unclear at this time.

internet explorer to edge redirect

Microsoft maintains a list of sites that it considers incompatible, and it will redirect those sites to the new Microsoft Edge browser automatically.

Edge is opened or put into focus, and an overlay is displayed when the redirection happens for the first time. It informs you that the website that you opened in Internet Explorer is not compatible with the browser, and that the new Edge is compatible.

An option to import browsing data and preferences from Internet Explorer is provided and enabled by default. Uncheck the option if you don't want that to happen. The only other option that is provided is to "continue browsing". A temporary banner at the top is displayed as well, but it is barely readable until you activate the continue browsing button.

It states that some websites are incompatible with Internet Explorer, and that Microsoft recommends to use the new Microsoft Edge for all web browsing.

Meanwhile, in Internet Explorer.

this website does not work in internet explorer

An error page is displayed in Internet Explorer stating that the site in question is incompatible and cannot be opened in the browser.

The website you were trying to reach doesn't work with Internet Explorer

You've been redirected to Microsoft Edge where you can continue your browsing uninterrupted.

Microsoft created three policies to manage redirects from Internet Explorer to the Microsoft Edge web browser. The new policies will be available as ADMX file updates by October 26, 2020 according to this Docs page.

  • RedirectSitesFromInternetExplorerRedirectMode -- Disable this policy to disable the automatic redirection functionality from IE to Edge.
  • RedirectSitesFromInternetExplorerPreventBHOInstall -- The automatic redirects require a Browser Helper Object nammed IEtoEdge BHO. This policy can be enabled to uninstall (or not install) the BHO in IE. Users continue to receive incompatibility messages but they won't be redirected automatically.
  • HideInternetExplorerRedirectUXForIncompatibleSitesEnabled -- When enabled, users won't see the redirection banner or the first-time overlay. User data is not imported. In other words, redirects happen without notification in Edge.

Now You: when was the last time you used Internet Explorer? (via Born)

Internet Explorer users will be redirected to Microsoft Edge if incompatible sites are opened
Article Name
Internet Explorer users will be redirected to Microsoft Edge if incompatible sites are opened
Starting with Microsoft Edge 87, Internet Explorer users who open incompatible sites in the browser are redirected automatically to Microsoft's new Chromium-based browser.
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  1. Rick A. said on October 31, 2020 at 2:42 am

    i just downloaded cCleaner Portable and used it to remove the Edge add-ons in internet Explorer, you know, the ones microcock won’t let us remove…

  2. hgcv said on October 24, 2020 at 6:56 am

    java.. 0 good reasons to still use that in a browser

  3. Anonymous said on October 23, 2020 at 6:27 pm

    I wonder why they don’t simply deactivate IE systemwide and instead use the integrated IE mode by default?

  4. Tony said on October 23, 2020 at 3:51 pm

    To disable the IE to Edge BHO, do this:

    You need to locate a registry key called HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext\CLSID, then find {1FD49718-1D00-4B19-AF5F-070AF6D5D54C} (the clsid of IE_TO_EDGE_BHO.DLL) and set its value to zero.

    1. TheRealSquirt said on May 22, 2023 at 7:35 pm

      Thanks for the registry information as the MS Edge setting was grayed out. Changing the registry worked!

    2. Kwasiarz said on October 23, 2020 at 9:47 pm

      Or just disable it in Edge’s settings, at least I was able to do so.

  5. Samanto Hermes said on October 23, 2020 at 2:20 pm
  6. chesscanoe said on October 23, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    I cannot remember using IE for years, but a couple of days ago I had to use IE to download and install Java Platform SE 8 U271 version 8.0.2710.9. This Java version when downloaded and installed by Chrome latest beta or Edge latest beta threw an error when my only Java application was run. Only by downloading the Java runtime with IE was I able to run my Java application successfully.

  7. John G. said on October 23, 2020 at 11:50 am

    Internet Explorer 11 is the only browser that works easily good with nearly old goverment websites that require Java SE applications. Some “old” browsers like Kmeleon Goanna (weekly maintained by Roy Tam) or even Basilisk still run Java too good for those sites. No modern browsers are able to work properly in those old goverment websites, at least in Europe, such a pity indeed. :[

    1. owl said on October 23, 2020 at 2:44 pm

      It’s exactly the same in Japan.
      Public services (and institutions) only support Internet Explorer and require Flash.
      Moreover, in the name of “COVID-19” measures, trying to enforce all citizens to register as users to use the service.

      As the economic situation deteriorates due to “COVID-19”, companies also need “budget freeze and restructuring” and are subject to budget freezes costly “system update”.

      Even when there are no Internet Explorer or Flash users, we are really in trouble because the service provider enforces them.

      1. owl said on October 24, 2020 at 12:49 am

        The biggest problem with Japanese public institutions is the huge cost of updating “old and outdated systems and terminals” and “needing new skills”.
        The budget for this is managed by the government, but the national finance is on the verge of bankruptcy and has been rejected.
        The same is true for companies.
        As a result, those terminal equipments are still “Windows Vista” or “Windows 7”, so it’s even impossible to switch to “Edge”.

      2. John G. said on October 24, 2020 at 3:02 pm

        The problem is not the browser itself, is the plugin required by the site. Chrome will reject Flash in December 2020, Java is no longer active in all modern main browsers. Old browsers are non fully compatible with some sites. It’s madness. Goverment sites should be able to work with no kind of required plugin at all, that’s the big point. One password for the people, just one single password given by the goverment to all citizens (the password should be protected by the user at his own risk, of course). I can buy products in more than a dozen sites, connect with online banking, connect with my student profile and connect also with my email accounts, social media sites and whatever else with just an user and one password. Why damm the goverment sites can’t do the same? I am only a student, there are dozens of politicians that should resolve these problems, I guess. So sad, really. :[

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