How to Use Internet Explorer in Microsoft Edge on Windows 11

Internet Explorer

Unable to open some really old websites on Edge in Windows 11? Try using the Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge.

Windows 11 is probably the first version of Windows that does not explicitly include Internet Explorer. Though there will be hardly any users missing the ancient web browser, the websites configured to run best on Internet Explorer didn’t just cease out of existence overnight.

Hence, for such websites, Microsoft did keep a way to load Internet Explorer dependent websites in a compatibility mode in Microsoft Edge. However, the option may not be enabled by default in Windows 11, and users requiring the compatibility for Internet Explorer will have to dig down the Edge browser settings to enable the option.

But you dear reader, have nothing to worry about since in this article you are going to learn exactly how to turn on the compatibility for Internet Explorer in Windows 11. So let’s get started.

What is Internet Explorer Compatibility Mode in Edge?

Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge provides you a way to use the legacy infrastructure of IE inside the chromium-based Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft aims to make people’s life easier by enabling a single browser that is backward compatible with older sites and apps that use Trident MSHTML technology and is also capable to run modern apps and websites. Let’s take a look at all the IE 11 features supported by Microsoft Edge.

Internet Explorer Functionalities Supported by Microsoft Edge

  • All Enterprise Modes and Document Modes
  • Controls for ActiveX (Silverlight/Java)
  • Browser Helper Objects
  • IE Settings and Group Policies that affect the Security Zone Settings and Protected Mode
  • Microsoft Edge Extensions (Extensions that interact with the IE page content directly are not supported.)
  • The F12 developer tools for Internet Explorer when launched with IEChooser.

Internet Explorer Functionalities NOT Supported by Microsoft Edge

  • Internet Explorer Toolbars
  • IE11 or Microsoft Edge F12 Developer Tools
  • Internet Explorer Settings and Group Policies that affect the Navigation Menu 

Why Internet Explorer Compatibility Mode is Important?

The Internet Explorer desktop application will no longer receive support from Microsoft after 15 June 2022. Thus, for organizations that are using Internet Explorer-based applications and websites, the Internet Explorer compatibility mode will prove to be very beneficial.

Moreover, in Enterprise editions of Windows 11, organizations can define ‘Enterprise Mode Site List’ using the ‘Local Group Policy Editor’ which can be used by system administrators to update or remove a website from the IE compatibility for all the machines present on the intranet in one go.


How to Turn On Internet Explorer Compatibility Mode in Microsoft Edge

First, launch the Microsoft Edge browser from the taskbar or from the Start Menu on your Windows computer.

Next, click on the ellipsis icon (three horizontal dots) situated on the top right corner of the Microsoft Edge browser.

Then choose the ‘Settings’ option from the overflow menu list items.

After that, click on the hamburger icon (three horizontal lines) from the top left corner of the ‘Settings’ page.

Now, click on the ‘Default Browser’ option from the available list of options.

Now, under the Internet Explorer compatibility section, switch ‘On’ the toggle button next to the ‘Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer Mode’ option. And then, click on the ‘Restart’ button to apply the changes by restarting the browser.


View Webpages in Internet Explorer Mode

Once you have turned on the Internet Explorer compatibility mode from Microsoft Edge, you will be able to view the preferred web pages in Internet Explorer mode. However, you will need few clicks to achieve that.

To view websites in Internet Explorer mode, first, open the targeted website in Microsoft Edge browser. Then click on the ellipsis icon (three horizontal dots) situated on the top right corner of the Edge window.

Now, navigate and click on the ‘More tools’ option from the overflow menu and select the ‘Reload in Internet Explorer mode’ option.

After clicking the option, the already opened website will be reloaded in the Internet Explorer mode. Also, Microsoft Edge will display a ribbon below the address bar informing that you are currently viewing the webpage in the Internet Explorer mode.

The Internet Explorer logo in the address bar is also an indicator of the compatibility mode enabled.

To exit the Internet Explorer compatibility mode, click on the ‘Leave’ button present on the ribbon situated under the address bar of the Microsoft Edge browser.