Microsoft Officially Breaks Up with Internet Explorer on Valentine’s Day as It Rolls Out an Update to Disable the Aged Browser

The FPS Review may receive a commission if you purchase something after clicking a link in this article.

Image: Microsoft

It has been known for some time that Internet Explorer’s end was on the horizon and Microsoft has officially retired the nearly 30-year-old browser that was released in 1995. Microsoft officially announced that it would be retiring IE in June 2022 and has rolled out an update, along with multiple announcements, on February 14 to disable it and redirect Windows users to Edge.

Official announcement

“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. Devices that have not already been redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge will be redirected with today’s Microsoft Edge update. As is usual, this update will be rolled out over the span of a few days up to a week via Microsoft Edge’s progressive rollout.

As a reminder, IE11 has been out of support since June 15, 2022. 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. If you do experience any issues accessing an IE-based site after IE11 permanent disablement, you can add the missed site to your IE mode list to quickly fix the issue. If the issue persists, open a support ticket.

Removal of IE11 visual references, such as the IE11 icons on the Start Menu and taskbar, will begin after the May non-security preview release, currently scheduled for May 23, 2023, and will be included in all subsequent Windows updates. For complete details, see the Internet Explorer 11 desktop app retirement FAQ.”

Windows users who have had the update installed will see the following two screens when trying to launch IE the first time following the update. After continuing to the Edge browser subsequent attempts at launching IE will go straight to the Edge home page.

Microsoft posted another message later in the day reminding folks about IE’s retirement.

“Today, February 14, 2023, the retired, out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 desktop application will be permanently turned off using a Microsoft Edge update on certain versions of Windows 10. See the Internet Explorer 11 desktop app retirement FAQ for more information.

Highlights for the Windows 11 update: 

  • This security update includes improvements that were a part of update KB5022360 (released January 26, 2023).
  • This update makes quality improvements to the servicing stack, which is the component that installs Windows updates.

Short on time? Watch our short Windows 11 update release notes video for this month’s tips.”

End of an era

Internet Explorer marks the end of an era where it debuted and dominated for a long time. There was legal controversy over it as Microsoft was charged “with constituting a market monopoly by making it difficult for users to install competing software and simultaneously making it difficult to uninstall”. During this time other browsers such as Firefox and Chrome emerged to compete with it and eventually Microsoft partnered with Google to update its IE replacement browser, Edge, to use Chromium and most recently has incorporated ChatGPT AI into Edge and Bing. Meanwhile, memes about both IE and Edge being great solutions for installing other browsers have continued to flourish. A software engineer in South Korea even lamented about the pains, and gains, of using the aged IE and went so far as to commission a gravestone for it. Now with Microsoft having officially retired IE the marker seems even more appropriate, although the death date is per the June announcement from Microsoft.

Image: Reuters

Join the discussion in our forums...

Peter Brosdahl
As a child of the 70’s I was part of the many who became enthralled by the video arcade invasion of the 1980’s. Saving money from various odd jobs I purchased my first computer from a friend of my dad, a used Atari 400, around 1982. Eventually it would end up being a lifelong passion of upgrading and modifying equipment that, of course, led into a career in IT support.

Recent News