Microsoft officially retired Internet Explorer 11 last year, ending support for the final version of the company’s original web browser. But now the company has gone a step further and “permanently disabled” the browser on many Windows 10 systems that still had it installed.

An update to Microsoft’s documentation for the IE11 retirement plan indicates that this update is rolling out via an update to Microsoft Edge, the company’s current web browser.

Anyone who tries to launch Internet Explorer after they’ve received the update will instead be redirected to Edge, and Microsoft says “users will be unable to reverse the change.”

The move makes sense from Microsoft’s perspective. The company was no longer providing feature or security updates for Internet Explorer, which means that continuing to use the browser could put users at risk of unpatched vulnerabilities.

But it’s also likely to pose problems for individuals and businesses that have been relying on legacy apps and services designed for Internet Explorer.

For example, I’d been using a copy of QuickBooks Desktop Pro 2016 for accounting purposes and hadn’t felt the need to upgrade to a newer version, especially after Intuit  scrapped standalone license for QuickBooks and now requires users to pay for a subscription. But the version of QuickBooks I had been using required IE11 for some functionality and refuses to install on a system that doesn’t have Microsoft’s no-longer-supported web browser installed.

So when I bought a new computer last year I switched my accounting system from QuickBooks to the free and open source GnuCash. I’d been meaning to do that anyway, but had been putting it off due to a bit of a learning curve. So, thanks Microsoft?

Anyway, the new change probably won’t affect too many people. Internet Explorer’s market share has been shrinking for years, and Microsoft never even included the browser in Windows 11. So most people who have bought a new Windows computer in the last year and change probably don’t have the browser installed at all.

via Ars Technica and The Verge

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4 replies on “Internet Explorer is dead(er) after Microsoft disables IE11 on most versions of Windows 10”

  1. Stopping Microsoft doing this with a patch is a must, as I am one of those “users” who work in a company with a software that relies on IE and Java for clocking workers, so it is critical. Well, our computers have Updates totally disabled, and yes, our computers are secure, at least as secure as they could be using Windows.

    So Microsoft, another pity move from your side. Congrats.

    1. I too hope there’s a way to keep Internet Explorer around without needing to switch to Windows 10 LTSC (only official way currently). I don’t have a major need for IE like some others do but for me, IE is just such a lightweight browser compared to modern browsers now and in particular, if I need to save an image from a webpage, so many sites use that annoying WebP format now but saving the image in Internet Explorer forces it to give me the actual PNG or JPG file.

      Unfortunately this removal of IE isn’t a Windows Update, apparently it’s an Edge update. I also have Windows Update disabled some of my PCs that still use the original version of Microsoft Edge before the switch to Chromium Edge, but I’m not sure even that will save IE on that PC. Ironically legacy Edge might outlive IE.

  2. The death of IE 11 has been so drawn out and ineffective that I’m anticipating an announcement from the AARP that they’ve bought IE11 and they’re re-releasing it.

    1. I wish they’d have ended IE a better way that wasn’t so difficult on software preservation. IE deserves to be in the history books of software but it’s really difficult to install it standalone for preservation purposes especially after this update…

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