Microsoft Stabs a Stake Through Internet Explorer's Heart on Valentine's Day

Internet Explorer
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We’ve been reading about the demise of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser for years. Once Microsoft launched its new Edge browser in mid-2015, we knew the writing was on the wall for its underperforming and oft-maligned predecessor. Now, Microsoft is finally ready to sever ties with Internet Explorer 11, at least on some versions of Windows 10. And sadly, the breakup is happening on Valentine’s Day; what a pity.

“All remaining devices that have not already been redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge are scheduled to be redirected with the Microsoft Edge update scheduled for February 14, 2023,” wrote Microsoft in December 2022. “The change to use Microsoft Edge update to disable IE is intended to provide a better user experience and help organizations transition their last remaining IE11 users to Microsoft Edge. As a reminder, IE11 has been out of support since June 15, 2022.”

Microsoft officially retired and ended support for Internet Explorer 11 in June 2022. Today, Microsoft is taking the extra step of permanently disabling Internet Explorer 11 via an update to its Edge browser. Curiously, Microsoft says that this long-expected death is only for “certain versions of Windows 10.” Versions of Windows 10 that are saying goodbye to Internet Explorer 11 include:

  • Windows 10 client SKUs
  • Windows 10 IoT
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Multi-Session

The following operating systems using Internet Explorer 11 aren’t affected by the Valentine’s Day massacre:

  • Windows 8.1
  • Windows 7 Extended Security Updates 
  • Windows Server SAC
  • Windows 10 IoT Long-Term Servicing Channel (LTSC)
  • Windows Server LTSC
  • Windows 10 client LTSC
  • Windows 10 China Government Edition

Given the protracted, Monty Python-esque death of Windows 11, it’s likely that most Windows 10 users have already made the switch to Edge or some other competing browser like Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox. And even for those clinging to the old browser for legacy applications, Edge still offers an Internet Explorer compatibility mode.

Internet Explorer

(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

For customers and businesses that have made no effort to switch to Edge or Internet Explorer Mode in Edge, Microsoft gives this warning: “If your organization still has dependencies on IE11, you must take steps now to complete your transition before February 14, 2023, or risk business disruption at scale when users lose access to IE11-dependent applications.” Welcome to the brave, new IE-free internet.

Brandon Hill

Brandon Hill is a senior editor at Tom's Hardware. He has written about PC and Mac tech since the late 1990s with bylines at AnandTech, DailyTech, and Hot Hardware. When he is not consuming copious amounts of tech news, he can be found enjoying the NC mountains or the beach with his wife and two sons.

  • Metal Messiah.
    "And sadly, the breakup is happening on Valentine’s Day; what a pity."
  • BillyBuerger
    Given the protracted, Monty Python-esque death of Windows 11

    Unintentional slip there right?
  • _MS_
    That cold post title reads more like a post from The Register.
  • thisisaname
    This stake was driven in months ago!
  • Munke
    tru tho
  • digitalgriffin
    takes off his hat as ActiveX and Flash are killed off
    What will all those poor hackers exploit now? Won't someone think of the h4XORs?
  • Makaveli
    hmm I just rebooted from some windows updates and IE is still there.

    On Win 10 Pro
  • Sippincider
    Given the protracted, Monty Python-esque death of Windows 11

    BillyBuerger said:
    Unintentional slip there right?

    It's getting better (well not really)...

    Though there should be much rejoicing, and good riddance, over Explorer's final demise. How much "embrace and extend" are we still living with to this day??
  • MoxNix
    This was obviously coming. MS wants people using Edge rather than Explorer because the spyware in Edge is newer, harder to block and tracks a lot more.
  • Glock24
    Nobody will miss IE, but then nobody should use Edge either. Better get a Browser that has a lot less tracking and spyware, like Vivaldi.