Microsoft is issuing an update to permanently kill Internet Explorer 11 tomorrow

Internet Explorer logo surrounded by Microsoft Edge logos

Tomorrow, February 14, is Valentine's Day and this is the day Microsoft has chosen to finally break up with Internet Explorer 11.

As we reported towards the end of last year, Microsoft is releasing a software update that will permanently disable Internet Explorer 11 in Windows 10. Rather than being an update for Windows itself, Microsoft is instead pushing out an irreversible update to Microsoft Edge.

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While this will be seen by many as the end of an era, Internet Explorer 11 has not been supported since the middle of last year. The initial plan had been to release a Windows update to disable the old web browser, but this was changed to an Edge update back in December

Microsoft says that, "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".

In its previous notice about tomorrow's change, the company said:

Organizations that have already transitioned from IE11 to Microsoft Edge with IE mode will not be impacted when the IE11 desktop application is scheduled to be permanently disabled on February 14, 2023. Note: If you would like to remove the IE visual references such as on the taskbar or Start Menu, you will need to use the Disable IE policy before February 14, 2023. 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. 

IE11 visual references, such as the IE11 icons on the Start Menu and taskbar, will be removed by the June 2023 Windows monthly security update release ('B' release) scheduled for June 13, 2023. They will also be removed by the non-security preview release on certain Windows 10 versions scheduled for May 23, 2023.

The fact that Internet Explorer icons will not be removed for another few months makes a degree of sense to help with the transition, but it is also likely to cause confusion for some users -- clicking an Internet Explorer icon will launch Microsoft Edge, and this is a behavior that cannot be changed.

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