Microsoft is releasing an update that will effectively kill Internet Explorer 11

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  • Valentine’s Day is on February 14, and Microsoft has decided to end its relationship with Internet Explorer 11. Microsoft is releasing a software update that will permanently disable Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10, as we reported at the end of last year. Instead of releasing a Windows update, Microsoft is releasing an irreversible update to Microsoft Edge.

While many will see this as the end of an era, Internet Explorer 11 has been out of support since the middle of last year. The original plan was to release a Windows update to disable the old web browser, but this was changed in December to an Edge update.

“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,” Microsoft says.

The company stated in its previous notice about tomorrow’s change:

Visual references to Internet Explorer 11, such as IE11 icons in the Start Menu and taskbar, will be removed by the June 2023 Windows monthly security update release (‘B’ release), which is scheduled for June 13, 2023. They will also be removed by the May 23, 2023 non-security preview release of certain Windows 10 versions.

Organizations that have already switched from IE11 to Microsoft Edge with IE mode will be unaffected when the IE11 desktop application is permanently disabled on February 14, 2023. Note: To remove the IE visual references, such as those on the taskbar or Start Menu, you must use the Disable IE policy before February 14, 2023. If your organization is still reliant on IE11, you must act now to complete your transition before February 14, 2023, or risk widespread business disruption when users lose access to IE11-dependent applications.

The fact that Internet Explorer icons will not be removed for a few months makes sense in terms of easing the transition, but it is also likely to confuse some users because clicking an Internet Explorer icon launches Microsoft Edge, which is a behaviour that cannot be changed.

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