Microsoft will soon remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10

Microsoft removed Internet Explorer from Windows 11, making it only accessible through “IE mode” on the new Edge browser. Now the company is also preparing to remove it from some versions of Windows 10.

Microsoft again confirmed last month that the Internet Explorer 11 desktop app will be retired on June 15, 2022, two days after this article was published. The update will be rolled out to Windows 10 version 20H2 and later, but Server and Enterprise editions of Windows 10 are unaffected. Nothing will change for anyone still using Windows 8.1, 7 or earlier versions either.

So what exactly is changing? Well, Microsoft says the Internet Explorer app “will be gradually redirected to Microsoft Edge over the next few months.” Internet Explorer will still be present in the Start menu, taskbar, and other places, but clicking it will open Edge. Files that opened with IE (like web shortcuts and HTML documents) will also be redirected to Edge.

Eventually, IE will be permanently disabled with a future system update. Once this happens, all traces of IE will be completely removed. Microsoft recommends using Internet Explorer mode in Edge (which uses the IE engine) if you still need to access sites that don’t work in modern browsers.

It is important to note that the Windows built-in Internet Explorer (MSHTML) engine is not going away, just the desktop browser. The MSHTML engine powers the webviews embedded in many Windows apps, which is why it’s even included in Windows 11, and it’s used for IE mode in Edge. Microsoft plans to continue supporting IE mode in Edge until 2029 at the earliest.

The upcoming transition may have more historical impact than anything else. Internet Explorer was a staple of the computing world for decades, and now it’s finally disappearing (as an independent application) on the platforms that Microsoft still supports. It’s the end of an era, and I think most people won’t miss it.

Source: Microsoft


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Steven L. Nielsen