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Happy Valentine’s Day: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer divorce is complete

Happy Valentine’s Day: Microsoft’s Internet Explorer divorce is complete


Microsoft will issue an update today to disable Internet Explorer on Windows 10 forever.

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You might be receiving flowers, chocolates, or heart-shaped gifts today, but Microsoft is delivering an arrow straight through the heart of Internet Explorer. The software giant is retiring Internet Explorer today, permanently disabling the browser through a Microsoft Edge update on most versions of Windows 10.

Microsoft officially retired Internet Explorer in June last year, sunsetting it in favor of Microsoft Edge, with support officially withdrawn for IE 11. But today’s update to Microsoft Edge will make sure you can no longer launch Internet Explorer 11 on most client versions of Windows 10. There are some exceptions, including Microsoft’s Long-Term Servicing Channel for Windows 10 and versions like the Windows 10 China Government Edition, but for everyone else IE 11 is disappearing today.

The underlying technology that powers Internet Explorer, the MSHTML and Trident engine will continue to remain in support, though. Microsoft has moved to its Chromium-powered Edge browser as the default in Windows 11, but the MSHTML engine is still part of Windows 11. It exists to power IE mode in Microsoft Edge, and Microsoft says it will support IE mode in Edge through at least 2029.

Microsoft has been trying to retire Internet Explorer for nearly 8 years now. The software maker moved away from the Internet Explorer branding with the release of Windows 10 in 2015, and created an IE mode for Edge in 2019. Microsoft has also been trying to stop people using Internet Explorer in recent years, labeling it a “compatibility solution” for businesses, rather than a browser that should be used daily.