Use Microsoft Edge with IE mode

This article explains how to use Microsoft Edge with IE mode.

Note

This article applies to Microsoft Edge Stable, Beta and Dev Channels, version 77 or later.

Prerequisites

The following prerequisites apply to using Microsoft Edge with IE mode. For the best experience, install the latest updates for Windows and Microsoft Edge.

  1. The minimum operating system update versions.

    • Windows 10, version 1909 or later
    • Windows 10, version 1903 and Windows Server, version 1903: KB4501375 or later
    • Windows 10, version 1809, Windows Server, version 1809, and Windows Server 2019: KB4501371 or later
    • Windows 10, version 1803: KB4512509 or later
    • Windows 10, version 1709: KB4512494 or later
    • Windows 10, version 1607 and Windows Server 2016: KB4516061 or later
    • Windows 10 (initial version, released July 2015): KB4520011 or later
    • Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2: KB4507463 or later; or KB4511872 or later
    • Windows 8 Embedded and Windows Server 2012: - Install KB4492872 to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 - KB4507447 or later; or KB4511872 or later
    • Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008R2: KB4507437 or later; or KB4511872 or later
  2. The Microsoft Edge administrative template. For more information, see Configure Microsoft Edge.

  3. Internet Explorer 11 enabled in Windows Features.

What is IE mode?

IE mode on Microsoft Edge is a simplified experience that combines a modern rendering engine and compatibility with legacy sites that require Internet Explorer in a single browser. IE mode provides an integrated browsing experience in Microsoft Edge, using the integrated Chromium engine for modern sites and leveraging Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) for legacy sites that require the Trident MSHTML engine.

IE mode is policy enabled and applies to:

  • Sites listed in these group policies:
    • Internet Explorer, "Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list"
    • Microsoft Edge 78 or later, "Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List"
  • Intranet sites that have the Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer group policy enabled (Microsoft Edge 77 or later.)

IE mode supports the following Internet Explorer functionality

  • All document modes and enterprise modes.
  • ActiveX controls
  • Browser Helper Objects
  • Internet Explorer settings and Group Policies that affect the security zone settings and Protected Mode
  • IEChooser
  • (Limited functionality) Microsoft Edge extensions

IE mode doesn't support the following Internet Explorer functionality

  • Internet Explorer toolbars
  • Internet Explorer settings and Group Policies that affect the navigation menu (for example - search engines, and home pages.)
  • IE11 or Microsoft Edge F12 developer tools

Enable IE mode

Use the following steps to enable IE mode.

Enable IE mode using Group Policy

  1. Download and use the latest Microsoft Edge Policy Template.

  2. Open Local Group Policy Editor.

  3. Click Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge.

  4. Double-click Configure Internet Explorer integration.

    Open Configure Internet Explorer integration policy

  5. Select Enabled.

    Select enabled

  6. Under Options, select Internet Explorer mode from the dropdown list.

    Choose Internet Explorer mode

  7. Click OK or Apply to save this policy setting.

    Note

    Enterprise Mode schema v.1 isn't supported for IE mode integration. If you are currently using schema v.1 with Internet Explorer 11, you must upgrade to schema v.2. For more information, see Enterprise Mode schema v.2 guidance.

Configure which sites should open in IE mode

There are 2 options for identifying which sites should open in IE mode:

Configure sites on the Enterprise Site list

You can use the following group policies to configure specific sites to open in IE mode:

  • Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list (Internet Explorer)
  • Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List (Microsoft Edge, version 78 or later)
    This policy lets you create a separate Enterprise Mode Site list. Enabling this policy overrides the settings in the "Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list" policy, provided that "Configure Internet Explorer integration" is enabled. Disabling or not configuring this policy doesn't affect the default behavior of the "Configure Internet Explorer integration" policy.

For more information about Enterprise Mode Site lists, see:

To configure the "Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list" policy:

  1. Create or re-use a Site List XML

    1. All sites that have the element <open-in>IE11</open-in> will now open in IE mode.
  2. Open Group Policy Editor.

  3. Click Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer.

  4. Double-click Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list.

    Open Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list policy

  5. Select Enabled.

    Select enabled

  6. Under Options, type the location of website list. You can use one of the following locations:

    • (Recommended) HTTPS location: https://localhost:8080/sites.xml
    • Local network file: \\network\shares\sites.xml
    • Local file: file:///c:/Users/<user>/Documents/sites.xml

    Set the path to the site list XML

  7. Click OK or Apply to save these settings.

    Click OK or Apply to save settings

To configure the "Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List" policy:

Note

This policy lets you create a separate Enterprise Mode Site list. Enabling this policy overrides the settings in the "Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list" policy, provided that "Configure Internet Explorer integration" is enabled. Disabling or not configuring this policy doesn't affect the default behavior of the "Configure Internet Explorer integration" policy.

  1. Create or re-use a Site List XML

    1. All sites that have the element <open-in>IE11</open-in> will now open in IE mode.
  2. Open Group Policy Editor.

  3. Click Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge.

  4. Double-click Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List.

    Open Configure the Enterprise Mode site list policy

  5. Select Enabled.

    Select enabled

  6. Under Options, type the location of website list. You can use one of the following locations:

    • (Recommended) HTTPS location: https://localhost:8080/sites.xml
    • Local network file: \\network\shares\sites.xml
    • Local file: file:///c:/Users/<user>/Documents/sites.xml

    Set the path to the site list XML

  7. Click OK or Apply to save these settings.

    Click OK or Apply to save settings

Configure all intranet sites

Note

  • This group policy may be most appropriate for an organization that doesn't currently deploy a custom site list but requires IE11 for the majority of its intranet sites.
  • This policy will be most effective when most of an organization’s legacy sites are in the Local Intranet Zone.
  • If you also deploy a custom site list, the configuration in the site list takes precedence over this policy.
  1. Open Local Group Policy Editor.

  2. Click Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge.

  3. Double-click Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer.

    Open Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer policy

  4. Select Enabled, and then click OK or Apply to save the policy settings.

    Select enabled and Apply settings

Updated schema elements

The following table describes the <open-in app> element added to the v.2 of the Enterprise Mode schema:

Element Description
<open-in app="true"> A child element that controls what browser is used for sites. This element is required for sites that need to open in IE11.

Example:

<site url="contoso.com">

  <open-in app="true">IE11</open-in>

</site>

The following table shows the possible values of the <open-in> element:

Value Description
<open-in>IE11</open-in> Opens the site in IE mode, when the user is in Microsoft Edge and "Configure Internet Explorer integration" is set to Enabled with the option "Internet Explorer mode".
Opens the site in Internet Explorer 11, when the user is in Microsoft Edge and "Configure Internet Explorer integration" is set to Enabled with the option "Internet Explorer 11".
<open-in app="true">IE11</open-in> Opens the site in IE11, regardless of which browser is opened by the user.
<open-in>MSEdge</open-in> Opens the site in Microsoft Edge, regardless of which browser is opened by the user.
<open-in>None or not specified</open-in> Opens the site in the default browser or in the browser where navigation was initiated.

Note

The attribute app="true" is only recognized when associated to 'open-in' IE11. Adding it to the other 'open-in' elements won't change browser behavior.

Additional configurations

If you have identified a site that needs to run in IE11, from business or technical reasons you can update the site list to set the specific website with the following structure.

<site url="contoso.com">

  <open-in app="true">IE11</open-in>

</site>

To prevent users from using IE11, follow these steps:

  1. Open Local Group Policy Editor.
  2. Click Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer.
  3. Double-click Send all sites not included in the Enterprise Mode Site List to Microsoft Edge.
  4. Select Enabled.

Troubleshoot IE mode

Use the information in this section to diagnose and fix IE mode problems.

Internet Explorer mode diagnostic information

You can get Internet Explorer mode diagnostic information on the Microsoft Edge Compatibility tab. To open this tab and see the Internet Explorer mode diagnostics page, go to edge://compat/iediagnostic. In addition to providing configuration information for the following categories, this page also gives actionable diagnostic messages.

  • Registry key check. Checks to see if Internet Explorer is set up in the registry. If it isn't, the user will see a prompt to fix the issue. They can click Fix it to resolve the problem.
  • Internet Explorer mode. The number 7 relates to the API version that's used, based on the configuration and OS. This is another setting that can generate an actionable diagnostic, and the user is prompted to install a Windows Update.
  • Internet Explorer mode setting. This setting is turned on, using default integration and Internet Explorer mode integration policy.
  • Command line. Shows the command line string and switches used to start Microsoft Edge. In this example, the path statement shows that Microsoft Edge is installed at the user level, and a Tab feature (Experiment) is enabled.
  • Group policy settings. Turned on and using the Enterprise Mode IE website list (set as IE policy). At this stage the list is still pointing to a file share instead of https://localhost/sites.xml, the recommended configuration.
    Other settings, such as the Site list debug registry key, and the Enterprise mode site list (set as Microsoft Edge policy) aren't set.

Error message: “To open this page in Internet Explorer mode, reinstall Microsoft Edge with administrator privileges.”

You are receiving the message because you are missing the required updates. Please see the prerequisites section for the required versions of Windows and Microsoft Edge.

Microsoft Edge version 77 or later needs to be installed at the system level, and Internet Explorer 11 needs to be enabled in Windows Features.

Possible reasons for this error:

  • Microsoft Edge Canary is installed at the user level and doesn’t prompt for elevation.
  • Microsoft Edge Dev, Beta will prompt for elevation but if you cancel the elevation, the installation will be continue at the user level.
  • Internet Explorer 11 has been disabled in Windows Features.

Possible solutions:

  • Run the installer for any channel at the system level: installer.exe --system-level.
  • Enable Internet Explorer 11 in Windows Features.

To check that Microsoft Edge is installed at the systems level, type "edge://version" in the Microsoft Edge address bar. The Executable path will show a path starting with C:\Program Files..., which indicates a system install. If the Executable path begins with C:\Users.., uninstall and then reinstall Microsoft Edge with administrator privileges.

Error message: “To open this page in IE mode, try restarting Microsoft Edge.”

You're receiving this message because there was an unexpected error encountered in the Internet Explorer process. This should be resolved by restarting Microsoft Edge.

Error message: “Turn off remote debugging to open this site in IE mode otherwise it might not work as expected.”

You're receiving the message because you started remote debugging and you navigated to a web page that your organization has configured to run in IE mode.

If the intention is to run remote debug on this page you can continue to do so, but the webpage will be rendered in the Microsoft Edge engine.

I am trying to go to a site in IE mode, and it appears to be stuck navigating in a loop or tells me that I’m not authenticated. What's happening?

This is probably happening because the site you are trying to reach is redirecting to an authentication server that's not configured to open in IE mode. You can try opening the site in standalone IE11 with Developer Tools open to see the identity of the authentication server.

The solution is to configure the authentication server in your Enterprise site list as “neutral”. You can do this using the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager or directly in the sitelist XML.

  • Through the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager:

    Configure the authentication server to open in None through the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager

  • Directly within the sitelist XML:

<site url="login.contoso.com">
  <compat-mode>Default</compat-mode>
  <open-in>None</open-in>
</site>

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if a site is loading in IE mode?

When a site loads in IE mode, the IE logo indicator displays on the left side of navigation bar. You can click the IE logo indicator to display additional information.

IE logo indicator

Will IE mode replace Internet Explorer 11?

We're committed to keeping Internet Explorer a supported, reliable, and safe browser. Internet Explorer is still a component of Windows and follows the support lifecycle of the OS on which it's installed. For details, see Lifecycle FAQ - Internet Explorer. While Microsoft continues to support and update Internet Explorer, the latest features and platform updates will only be available in Microsoft Edge.

See also