Microsoft to Retire IE 11 in 2022. Mostly.

Posted on May 19, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Microsoft Edge, Web browsers, Windows 10 with 27 Comments

Microsoft announced today that it will retire the desktop version of Internet Explorer 11 on June 15, 2022, but only on “certain versions” of Windows 10.

“The future of Internet Explorer on Windows 10 is in Microsoft Edge,” Microsoft’s Sean Lyndersay announced. “Not only is Microsoft Edge a faster, more secure[,] and more modern browsing experience than Internet Explorer, but it is also able to address a key concern, compatibility for older, legacy websites and applications. Microsoft Edge has Internet Explorer mode (‘IE mode’) built-in, so you can access those legacy Internet Explorer-based websites and applications straight from Microsoft Edge.”

I’m a bit concerned by that “certain versions” bit. And it turns out that the IE 11 retirement party does not include Windows 10 Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC) or Windows Server Internet Explorer 11 desktop applications, or the MSHTML (Trident) engine. But a related FAQ notes that this also doesn’t affect IE 11 on Windows 8.1, Windows 7 with Extended Security Updates (ESU), or Windows 10 IoT LTSC (all versions).

Whatever. IE needs to be put out to pasture. Some progress is still progress.

“With Microsoft Edge, we provide a path to the web’s future while still respecting the web’s past,” Lyndersay continues. “Change was necessary, but we didn’t want to leave reliable, still-functioning websites and applications behind.”

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Comments (27)

27 responses to “Microsoft to Retire IE 11 in 2022. Mostly.”

  1. crunchyfrog

    Retirement or pasture isn't good enough. It needs an old fashioned mob hit job done on it so it can't come back.

    • SvenJ

      They need the guys who got rid of Jimmy Hoffa.

    • wosully

      Have to agree with the mob hit on IE 11. Excellent.

    • richfrantz

      Harsh. If RSS can come back who's to say when the IE nostalgia train might leave the station.

    • compuser

      I actually like IE11, but some web sites don't allow it (this one included if you want to post or read comments), I've switched to Firefox since Firefox has pretty much the same UI customization options that IE11 has. What I don't understand is, why are there so many people who don't use Internet Explorer, who are so against it being available for use by other people? What difference can it possibly make?


      That said, I thought Microsoft ended support/updates for it long ago.

      • jdawgnoonan

        Because it never followed the established web standards and in fact included technology that attempted to make the web proprietary. IE has basically been dead for Internet power user since about 2007 or so despite its market share (which every web developer cursed).


        It should have died years ago.

        • doubledeej

          Chrome does the same thing… not following official web standards while adding its own proprietary additions. Where is the outrage over that?

          • jdawgnoonan

            Oh, I know that Google does that, but they weren't back when IE was even still relevant as a browser (which was somewhere between 2006 and 2009). Back then Google had not even forked Apple's Webkit yet. Also, Microsoft was building functionality that only functioned in Windows that were not web standards and could not be. Google's proprietary functions are available without using Chrome.

  2. hrlngrv

    | IE has basically been dead for Internet power user since about 2007 or so


    Firefox 1.0 came out in November 2004, so I'd put that at early 2005. Anyone who wanted tabbed browsing dumped IE back in IE6 days.

  3. timothy_frisby

    I find it mildly hilarious that you included a missing oxford comma and then drew attention to the fact that you added it by putting brackets around it.

  4. crp0908

    Microsoft still has seemingly contradictory documentation online. Can someone please explain this?


    www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365/windows/end-of-ie-support


    Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and the most current version will continue to follow the specific support lifecycle policy for the operating system on which it is installed. Internet Explorer 11 will be supported for the life of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. To find the support lifecycle dates for all operating systems, search the Support Lifecycle Database


    docs.microsoft.com/en-us/lifecycle/products/windows-10-enterprise-and-education


  5. ebraiter

    For IE7 and IE8.1, they will die when extended support does [about 1.5 years and 5 years respectively].

    Edge wasn't "forced" on those users - I believe.

  6. dan1986ist

    Would this mean IE 11 being completely removed from Windows via an update or would some parts be needed elsewhere?

  7. rm

    Any business that has not been aware of this coming for years now is not getting any sympathy from me. They should have been updating or replacing systems for years now.

  8. jimchamplin

    At Bed Bath and Beyond, it’s only been in 2021 that they’ve migrated to a modern browser, and… of all things, Chrome. Anyway, IT’s decisions are seldom sensible. So we have several “essential” LOB applications that just “can’t” run on Chrome, like our time clock.


    Never mind the fact that it ran perfectly on Chrome for almost three months before they somehow “realized” that it didn’t work properly. Seriously, there were no issues.


    Now we have a completely separate Citrix app that runs IE11 and it’s two things. 1) Slower than molasses in winter. 2) IE11 so fuck it, it’s ugly and crashes constantly.


    WHAT A WIN FOR US ALL.


    They also still run Windows Server 2008 R2 for end-user-facing systems. That’s almost 12 years old.

  9. dxtremebob

    IE Mode is the only reason I use Microsoft Edge.

  10. veermaharaj

    I still use IE11 to run the webpages for QSee Security NVRs to local monitoring. These webpages don't work in firefox/chrome.


    Maybe with IE no longer being there, these companies will finally support newer browsers.

    • veermaharaj

      It would be nice if msoft would make ie11 available as a stand alone installer.

      • Paul Thurrott

        What. The point of killing IE is that they don't want to support this out-of-date code, especially with the non-stop security fixes it will always need. You don't make it available otherwise. That makes that problem worse, not better.
  11. darkgrayknight

    With IE Mode built into Edge, then it really isn't going away much at all. Until all the line of business apps built for IE are either retired or rewritten, IE Mode will still be required, which will require Trident to remain on Windows.

  12. brusnier

    I still have hardware that requires IE to manage...

  13. robinwilson16

    This is good news but I'm not sure why it has taken so long. At least it should have been an optional component that companies could have deployed if it was needed rather than being included in every install.

    If you use the link in the latest version of Outlook to view the HTML version of the email, that still uses IE and if you switch it to Edge it doesn't understand that extension and just shows the code.

    One day!

  14. rmlounsbury

    Here comes the legacy business app apocalypse.

  15. JH_Radio

    Every once in a while as a blind person I run into a site here or there that IE works better on than edge or Firefox. Its rare but it does happen. TimeLife.com is a perfect example of this for screen readers. Only the first album cover is visible to the screen reader using edge, but unlabeled image links are seeable with IE11. clicking on the unlabeled image link above each album will bring me to the details of it. Radio X Tuners - Home is another one. All of the links look like menus to the screne reader on Edge and when you hit space or enter on them the page doesn't change. in IE, all of these items are read as links instead and I can navigate to whatever section of the site I want by hi hitting space or enter on them. That being said, This is very very rare that I see something like this happen. I use IE as my last resort if I can't get a site to behave.

  16. LT1 Z51

    I have a feeling MSHTML (Trident) will be floating around in Windows longer than IE was around as a desktop application (as in for another 20 years).

  17. Fuller1754

    You mean it wasn't already retired?

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