Internet Explorer, the infamous browser that’s come with every release of Windows since 1995, is officially being discontinued. Microsoft has confirmed that it will no longer support it as of today, and it will be permanently disabled in a future Windows update and be completely removed from the system. The company already removed the application from Windows 11, so the only ones being affected by today’s announcement are those running Windows 10.
A new prompt will appear when users open Internet Explorer urging them to move over to Microsoft Edge. Following through on the prompt, Microsoft says users will have all of their personal data migrated over to the new browser such as history, bookmarks, passwords, and cookies. The company is trying to make the transition as easy as possible in order to quickly get as many people off the app as possible.
The inevitable death of Internet Explorer has been a long time coming. The browser has dropped significantly in usage over the years as competitors like Google and Firefox grew dominant with more modern web technologies. Microsoft saw this as a threat to its user base and launched Edge in 2015 as a replacement for IE, but it never saw a dramatic uptick in users until 2020 when it switched to the Chromium engine, bringing it directly in line with the quality of Chrome itself.
At this point, the only people that use Internet Explorer are those that still rely on systems that use its old technologies. Those technologies currently live in IE mode, a feature available through Edge to help ease the stress of transitioning away from the ancient browser. Microsoft will be pushing it heavily over the next few months leading up to IE’s departure, but it’ll still likely be hard for some users such as large businesses and government agencies.