On June 15, 2022, Internet Explorer 11 was formally discontinued. Microsoft advised users to use Microsoft Edge’s IE Mode if they still needed access to legacy websites. Microsoft has now provided an estimated date for the (nearly) total removal of the default Internet Explorer app.
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Earlier this year, Microsoft made a multi-stage plan public for the discontinuation of Internet Explorer on Windows 10. Windows 8.1 no longer has widespread support, so it only receives essential security updates, and Windows 11 never came pre-installed with the browser. Internet Explorer functions were diverted to Edge as part of the initial plan for Windows 10; for instance, IE is still available in the Start Menu, but clicking it launches Edge instead.
The February 14, 2023 security update for Windows 11 will mark the beginning of the following phase of the strategy, and a preview build will be made available on January 17, 2023. The taskbar and Start Menu icons for Internet Explorer will be gone after that upgrade, and any files or shortcuts that currently open in IE will now open in Edge.
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The Internet Explorer engine will remain in all versions of Windows even though the browser’s application will only function as a redirect because so many programs rely on it to load embedded online content. Microsoft previously stated that the IE engine in Windows wouldn’t be removed until at least 2029 and that it wouldn’t support IE Mode in Edge until then.
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