Lifecycle FAQ - Internet Explorer and Edge

Originally published: July 18, 2016
Updated: June 12, 2020

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What is the Lifecycle policy for Microsoft Edge?

Microsoft Edge follows the Modern Policy. Feature updates are released on an approximate six-week cycle.

For additional lifecycle information, see servicing guidelines by channel along with a list of supported operating systems. For help accessing the legacy version of Microsoft Edge after a new version is installed, go here.

Microsoft recomends using the new Microsoft Edge as your default browser.

What is the Lifecycle policy for Internet Explorer?

Microsoft recomends using Microsoft Edge as your default browser and supports Internet Explorer 11 for backward compatibility. Go here for a list of Microsoft Edge supported operating systems.

Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed.

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system receives technical support and security updates. Products whose lifecycle ended on or before January 12, 2016, were not impacted and therefore are not represented in the table below:

Windows Desktop Operating Systems Internet Explorer Version
Windows 7 SP1 * Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Update Internet Explorer 11
Windows 10 Internet Explorer 11

Windows Server Operating Systems Internet Explorer Version
Windows Server 2008 SP2 * Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 IA64 (Itanium) * Internet Explorer 9
Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 * Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2008 R2 IA64 (Itanium) * Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012** Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2012 R2 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Server 2016 and subsequent releases Internet Explorer 11

Windows Embedded Operating Systems Internet Explorer Version
Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (WES09) * Internet Explorer 8
Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 * Internet Explorer 8
Windows Embedded Standard 7 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Embedded POSReady 7 Internet Explorer 11
Windows Thin PC*** Internet Explorer 11
Windows Embedded 8 Standard** Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8.1 Industry Update Internet Explorer 11

*These products are no longer in support. See the Lifecycle site for end of support dates and migration information. The Extended Security Update (ESU) Program may be available. Go here to learn more.

**As of February 12, 2020, Internet Explorer (IE) 10 is no longer supported on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Embedded 8 Standard. Go here to upgrade to IE 11.

***On January 10, 2017, IE 11 replaced IE 8 on Windows Thin PC. To continue receiving IE 8 updates after January 12, 2016, please contact your Microsoft Account Team.

For customers running on an older version of Internet Explorer, we recommend customers migrate to the latest version of Edge.

Is Internet Explorer 11 the last version of Internet Explorer?

Yes, Internet Explorer 11 is the last major version of Internet Explorer. Internet Explorer 11 will continue receiving security updates and technical support for the lifecycle of the version of Windows on which it is installed. IE 11 is available via Microsoft Update Catalog, Windows Update and Windows Server Update Service (WSUS).

What if my enterprise line-of-business (LOB) application has a dependency on a version of Internet Explorer that reached end of support?

In order to ease the migration from Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge offers Internet Explorer mode, providing backward compatibility and enabling customers to run many legacy web applications. Microsoft is committed to supporting Internet Explorer mode in Microsoft Edge through the duration of the operating system's lifecycle.

What is the Microsoft guidance if customers run an application that depends on specific Internet Explorer runtime DLLs?

Microsoft will release security updates only for the latest version of Internet Explorer for each Windows operating system. Customers must install the latest version of Internet Explorer to update the Internet Explorer runtime DLLs, receive updates, and remain in a supported configuration.

If a customer has turned off the Internet Explorer feature but has third-party software that uses Internet Explorer runtime DLLs, how can the Internet Explorer runtime DLLs be updated?

If customers need an update to the Internet Explorer runtime DLLs, they must install the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE 11) to update the runtime DLLs. After doing so they will continue to receive security updates.