M365 Changelog: IE11 desktop app will be permanently disabled as part of the February 2023 Windows security update (“B”) release

MC450856 – As previously announced, the Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) desktop app has been retired as of June 15, 2022. IE11 retirement is occurring through two phases:

  1. A redirection phase, currently in progress with devices progressively redirected from IE11 to Microsoft Edge
  2. An upcoming Windows Update phase that includes IE11 being permanently disabled. The Windows security update (“B”) release that will permanently disable IE11 is scheduled to be available for roll out on February 14, 2023.

When this will happen:

The Windows Update containing the permanent disablement of IE11 is scheduled to be available in the following releases:

  • January non-security preview release, also known as 1C, scheduled for January 17, 2023
  • February security release, also known as 2B, scheduled for February 14, 2023

The permanent disablement of IE11 will be included in all subsequent Windows Updates after the January non-security preview release and February security release.

How this will affect your organization:

  • All IE11 activity, including shortcuts using IE11 and invoking iexplore.exe will be redirected to Microsoft Edge
  • Opening shortcuts or file associations that use IE11 will be redirected to open the same file/URL in Microsoft Edge
  • The IE11 icons on the Start Menu and the taskbar will be removed
  • This Windows Update will only affect in-scope SKUs (see our FAQ for in-scope SKUs)

At this time, IE11 has been retired, but if your organization has not yet completed your transition away from IE11, continued reliance on IE11 when the Windows Update becomes available may cause business disruption.

What you need to do to prepare:

For organizations that are ready to remove IE11, it is strongly recommended to use the Disable IE policy to remove IE11 on your organization’s devices to control the timing of permanent IE11 disablement on your own schedule before the Windows Update. Please see this blog for information on how and when to configure the Disable IE policy to replicate the effects of the Windows Update.

If you need help moving off IE11, please reach out to the App Assure team for help with app compatibility and open a support ticket for help with technical issues. Microsoft Edge brings you a faster, more secure, and more modern web experience than Internet Explorer and is the only browser with built-in compatibility for legacy IE-based sites and apps with IE mode.

Learn More:

Microsoft always values feedback and questions from our customers. Please feel free to submit either feedback or questions via Message center (where available).