It’s Time to Say Goodbye to the Internet Explorer Desktop App

Microsoft will be officially retiring the Internet Explorer 11 desktop app in the not-too-distant future. Here is what you need to know if your business is still using this web browser on Windows 10 machines.

The end of an era is coming. For more than 25 years, Microsoft has bundled the Internet Explorer (IE) desktop app with its Windows operating systems. However, that will soon change. Microsoft has announced that Microsoft Edge with IE mode will officially replace the IE 11 desktop app on Windows 10. Consequently, the IE 11 desktop app will be retired on June 15, 2022, on certain versions of Windows 10.

This news isn’t too surprising. Microsoft has been phasing out support for the IE 11 desktop app since 2020. For example, the Microsoft Teams web app stopped supporting IE 11 on November 30, 2020. And the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11 starting on August 17, 2021.


The IE 11 Desktop Apps Being Retired

Not every IE 11 desktop app will be retired on June 15, 2022. Microsoft has singled out certain ones based on the Windows operating system with which they were bundled.

At this time, the retirement affects only the IE 11 desktop apps running on:

  • Windows 10 clients (version 20H2 and later) delivered through the Semi-Annual Channel (SAC). This includes the Pro and Home editions of Windows 10.
  • Windows 10 IoT (version 20H2 and later) delivered through SAC

The retirement does not affect the IE 11 desktop apps running on:

  • Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates (ESU)
  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 10 client (all versions) delivered through the Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)
  • Windows 10 IoT (all versions) delivered through LTSC
  • Windows 10 Server (all versions) delivered through SAC or LTSC

The Internet Explorer 11 desktop app retirement FAQ web page contains more information on which apps are being retired.


What Will Happen When an IE 11 Desktop App Is Retired

When an affected IE 11 desktop app is retired on June 15, 2022, it will be permanently disabled. Thus, the user will not be able to see or access it anymore. Nevertheless, the app should not be removed from the user’s computer. That’s because the Trident MSHTML engine behind the IE 11 app is used for Microsoft Edge’s IE mode.

Microsoft Edge (version 77 and later) is a dual-engine web browser. It uses the Trident MSHTML engine to access legacy sites and apps, and the integrated Chromium engine to access modern sites and apps. “We created Internet Explorer (IE) mode in Microsoft Edge for organizations that still need Internet Explorer 11 for backward compatibility with existing websites but also need a modern browser,” stated Microsoft.

There are several ways that companies can transition from the IE 11 desktop app to Microsoft Edge with IE mode. For example, it can be done manually on each computer or be automated with Group Policies. The best approach for a company will depend on factors such the number of IE 11 desktop apps that need to be replaced, the Windows operating system being used, and whether Microsoft Edge (version 77 or later) is already installed on the computers.


June 15, 2022, Is Not That Far Away

An important deadline is on the horizon for the IE 11 desktop app. If the employees in your business are using this app on their Windows 10 computers, it is a good idea to determine whether those apps are slated for retirement sooner rather than later. That way, you will have adequate time to develop, test, and deploy a transition plan. We can help you with each step so that your business operations will continue to run smoothly before, during, and after the move to Microsoft Edge with IE mode.


internet explorer flickr photo by Sean MacEntee shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license