Microsoft Introduces New Group Policy to Control IE Retirement

Windows 10

Microsoft has introduced a new Group Policy that should make it easier to control the Internet Explorer (IE) retirement process in enterprise environments. The “Disable IE Policy” configuration lets IT admins choose when to permanently disable IE for all end users instead of waiting for the gradual rollout.

Back in June, Microsoft announced the long-awaited end of support for its IE11 legacy browser. The company decided to gradually move users away from IE instead of dropping support altogether.

Interestingly, Microsoft plans to phase out IE usage in two stages. In the first stage, all users will be automatically redirected to Microsoft Edge. Moreover, the second stage involves permanently disabling IE on all PCs via Windows Update.

Microsoft has released the new Disable IE Policy for organizations that want to transition all IE11 users simultaneously. Once enabled, it will redirect all IE activities to the Edge browser and remove the icons from the taskbar and the Start Menu.

“The Disable IE Policy is our strongly recommended option to control the timing and rollout of the IE retirement process for their users. Using this policy gives you the ability to set your own schedule with your users and to communicate the transition accordingly. You can dictate precisely when IE is retired in your environment,” the company explained.

How to disable Internet Explorer 11 with group policy

  • First up, IT admins will need to check if the pre-requisite operating system updates are installed on Windows PCs.
  • Now, open the Group Policy Editor and navigate to Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/Windows Components/Internet Explorer.
  • Double-click the Disable Internet Explorer 11 as a standalone browser policy setting and select the Enabled option.
  • Select any of the following values available under Options:
  • Never: Don’t notify users that IE11 is disabled.
  • Always: Notify each time users are redirected from IE11.
  • Once per user: Notify only the first-time users are redirected from IE11.
  • Finally, click the OK or Apply button to save the changes.

Microsoft recommends that customers should configure the Disable IE Policy in their organization by November 1 to avoid disruptions due to the holiday season. However, IT admins should roll out the group policy in a staggered manner before making it available for all end users.

If you’re interested, you can learn more about the IE retirement process in this FAQ document. Have you completed the transition from IE to Microsoft Edge or another supported browser? Let us know in the comments section below.