Microsoft says the Internet Explorer 11 desktop web browser will be disabled on some Windows 10 systems starting today via a Microsoft Edge update.
This follows previous warnings that IE11 would be permanently disabled this month and a June 15 announcement revealing that the legacy web browser would get disabled via a Windows update.
“As previously announced, the out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) desktop application will be permanently disabled on certain versions of Windows 10 starting today, February 14, 2023,” Microsoft said.
“Devices that have not already been redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge will be redirected with today’s Microsoft Edge update.”
The Edge update is now rolling out to the Microsoft Edge Stable channel over the next week via a progressive rollout process.
“Organizations that have already transitioned from IE11 to Microsoft Edge with IE mode will not be impacted by the disablement. Organizations that have not transitioned to Microsoft Edge with IE mode may face immediate business disruption,” the company added.
Microsoft will also remove all IE11 visual references (including icons on the taskbar and the Start Menu), starting with the May non-security preview release scheduled for May 23.
Starting in October 2020, IE11 has been automatically launching Microsoft Edge when visiting incompatible sites.
The list of incompatible sites includes 7,562 domains belonging to high-profile online platforms and services, including Facebook, Microsoft Teams, Instagram, Google Drive, Twitter, and many others.
IE11 urged to switch to Microsoft Edge
Microsoft has been urging customers to switch to Microsoft Edge with IE mode for years since it enables backward compatibility and will receive support until at least 2029.
To enable IE mode in Microsoft Edge, you have to go to edge://settings/defaultbrowser, toggle on the ‘Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer‘ option and restart the browser — you can learn more about IE mode and how to make the switch in this getting started guide.
Microsoft first announced plans to ditch IE11 support in Windows 10 and Microsoft 365 in August 2020 and published an official retirement announcement in May 2021.
Although officially retired from multiple Windows 10 versions on the semi-annual channel (SAC) servicing channel and no longer shipping with Windows 11, IE11 will remain available on Windows 7 Extended Security Updates (ESU), Windows 8.1, and all versions of Windows 10 client LTSC, Windows Server SAC, Windows Server LTSC, and Windows 10 IoT LTSC.
IE11 will continue receiving technical support and security updates on systems running these Windows versions for the entire lifecycle of the Windows version it runs on.