Microsoft “Permanently Disables” Internet Explorer


Final final twitch of the Internet Explorer corpse? Microsoft has “permanently disabled” Internet Explorer from Windows 10

The death of Microsoft’s Internet Explorer by a thousand cuts, may have finally reached its intended goal this week.

Internet Explorer was once synonymous with the Internet, but as of Tuesday 14 February 2023, the web browser is gone for good after Microsoft “permanently disabled” Internet Explorer from most Windows 10 PCs.

It should be remembered that Microsoft never shipped any version of Internet Explorer with Windows 11, so nothing will change for users already running the latest Microsoft operating system.

Long goodbye

Redmond had last delivered a new version of IE way back in 2013, when it released Internet Explorer 11.

But its retirement was always on the cards with the arrival of the new Edge browser in 2015.

In January 2016 Microsoft officially stopped supporting Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10.

IE, Internet Explorer 9 © 63550558 Shutterstock 2012

Then in May 2021 Microsoft announced that it would cease support and security updates for Internet Explorer 11 on 15 June 2022.

When 15 June 2022 arrived last year, the veteran Microsoft browser was finally retired and Windows users were instead redirected to Microsoft’s Edge browser.

Want to know more about the history of Internet Explorer? Read our Tales In Tech History IE article.

Now in a support document updated on Tuesday 14 February 2023, Microsoft stated that “the out-of-support Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) desktop application was permanently disabled on certain versions of Windows 10 on February 14, 2023 through a Microsoft Edge update.”

Microsoft did say that this update will be rolled out over the span of a few days up to a week, as is standard for Microsoft Edge updates.

“All remaining consumer and commercial devices that were not already redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge were redirected with the Microsoft Edge update,” Microsoft added. “Users will be unable to reverse the change. Additionally, redirection from IE11 to Microsoft Edge will be included as part of all future Microsoft Edge updates.

Despite this, IE may still hang around twitching for a few more months more.

“IE11 visual references, such as the IE11 icons on the Start Menu and taskbar, will be removed by the June 2023 Windows security update (“B” release) scheduled for June 13, 2023,” said Redmond. “The optional, non-security preview “C” release on certain Windows 10 versions scheduled for May 23, 2023, will also remove IE11 visual references.”

Internet Explorer will also remain accessible on Windows Server; non-consumer versions of Windows 10; Windows 10 IoT, and Windows 7 and 8 (which are no longer supported).

Browser wars

Microsoft had launched its free Internet Explorer browser way back in 1995.

It was at the time Redmond’s answer to the mighty Netscape Navigator, which was the leading web browser of its time.

In 1996 Netscape Navigator made up 90 percent of the browser market, but IE soon became the default choice for many, thanks to its free inclusion in the Windows 95 operating system.

For the record, rivals such as Mozilla’s Firefox browser was only launched in 2004, whereas the Google Chrome browser only arrived in 2008.