Microsoft explains how it is retiring Internet Explorer
On June 15, 2022, Microsoft is retiring its Internet Explorer browser. The move affects most Windows 10 devices, but there are devices on which Internet Explorer remains available. Even on Windows 10, Internet Explorer will be retired in two phases, over the course of the coming months.
As far as the scope of the retirement is concerned, Microsoft is retiring Internet Explorer 11 only on certain Windows 10 editions. In particular, IE 11 won't be supported on most supported Windows 10 client editions and on Windows 10 IoT.
Several operating system editions and versions are not affected by the decision:
- Windows 7 and 8.1.
- Windows Server and Windows Server LTSC.
- Windows 10 client LTSC
- Windows 10 China Government Edition.
- Windows 10 IoT LTSC.
The Windows 7 (ESU) and Windows 8.1 operating systems will run out of support in 2023. Internet Explorer and other Microsoft applications will run out of support at the same time on these devices.
Internet Explorer will be redirected to Microsoft Edge on supported and unsupported versions of the Windows 10 operating system, provided that the version is not on the list of exceptions. Microsoft did integrate redirects from Internet Explorer to Edge previously, but only for sites that do not work in Internet Explorer properly.
Microsoft Edge supports Internet Explorer Mode, which users and organizations may use to load content that is designed specifically for Internet Explorer technologies. Internet Explorer Mode supports opening select sites permanently in the browsing mode.
Administrators should not uninstall Internet Explorer, as components will be removed in the process that are required for Internet Explorer Mode to work properly in Edge. Administrators who don't require IE Mode on their systems can uninstall Internet Explorer.
Microsoft plans to introduce the redirection from Internet Explorer to Microsoft Edge in the coming "few months". The company notes that devices will redirect gradually so that organizations may "identify and resolve any potential issues". Internet Explorer is not disabled in this phase, but it can't be launched anymore on devices on which the redirect has been implemented on.
Internet Explorer will be disabled permanently in the second phase, after the first phase completes. The browser will be disabled permanently via Windows Update as part of optional preview updates and cumulative updates for Windows 10.
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