Use Enterprise Mode to improve compatibility

Applies to: Windows 10

Note

You've reached the documentation for Microsoft Edge version 45 and earlier. To see the documentation for Microsoft Edge version 77 or later, go to the Microsoft Edge documentation landing page.

If you have specific websites and apps that have compatibility problems with Microsoft Edge, you can use the Enterprise Mode site list so that the websites open in Internet Explorer 11 automatically. Additionally, if you know that your intranet sites aren't going to work correctly with Microsoft Edge, you can set all intranet sites to automatically open using IE11 with the Send all intranet sites to IE group policy.

Using Enterprise Mode means that you can continue to use Microsoft Edge as your default browser, while also ensuring that your apps continue working on IE11.

Interoperability goals and enterprise guidance

Our primary goal is that your websites work in Microsoft Edge. To that end, we've made Microsoft Edge the default browser.

You must continue using IE11 if web apps use any of the following:

  • ActiveX controls

  • x-ua-compatible headers

  • <meta> tags with an http-equivalent value of X-UA-Compatible header

  • Enterprise mode or compatibility view to addressing compatibility issues

  • legacy document modes

If you have uninstalled IE11, you can download it from the Microsoft Store or the Internet Explorer 11 download page. Alternatively, you can use Enterprise Mode with Microsoft Edge to transition only the sites that need these technologies to load in IE11.

Tip

If you want to use Group Policy to set Internet Explorer as your default browser, you can find the info here, Set the default browser using Group Policy.

Technology Why it existed Why we don't need it anymore
ActiveX ActiveX is a binary extension model introduced in 1996 which allowed developers to embed native Windows technologies (COM/OLE) in web pages. These controls can be downloaded and installed from a site and were subsequently loaded in-process and rendered in Internet Explorer.
Browser Helper Objects (BHO) BHOs are a binary extension model introduced in 1997 which enabled developers to write COM objects that were loaded in-process with the browser and could perform actions on available windows and modules. A common use was to build toolbars that installed into Internet Explorer.
Document modes Starting with IE8, Internet Explorer introduced a new “document mode” with every release. These document modes could be requested via the x-ua-compatible header to put the browser into a mode which emulates legacy versions. Similar to other modern browsers, Microsoft Edge has a single “living” document mode. To minimize the compatibility burden, we test features behind switches in about:flags until stable and ready to be turned on by default.

Enterprise guidance

Microsoft Edge is the default browser experience for Windows 10 and Windows 10 Mobile. However, if you're running web apps that rely on ActiveX controls, continue using Internet Explorer 11 for the web apps to work correctly. If you don't have IE11 installed anymore, you can download it from the Microsoft Store or the Internet Explorer 11 download page. Also, if you use an earlier version of Internet Explorer, upgrade to IE11.

Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 support IE11 so that you can continue using legacy apps even as you migrate to Windows 10 and Microsoft Edge.

If you're having trouble deciding whether Microsoft Edge is right for your organization, then take a look at the infographic about the potential impact of using Microsoft Edge in an organization.

Microsoft Edge infographic
Click to enlarge
Click to download image

Microsoft Edge IE11
Microsoft Edge takes you beyond just browsing to actively engaging with the web through features like Web Note, Reading View, and Cortana.
  • Web Note. Microsoft Edge lets you annotate, highlight, and call things out directly on web pages.
  • Reading view. Microsoft Edge lets you enjoy and print online articles in a distraction-free layout optimized for your screen size. While in reading view, you can also save web pages or PDF files to your reading list, for later viewing.
  • Cortana. Enabled by default in Microsoft Edge, Cortana lets you highlight words for more info and gives you one-click access to things like restaurant reservations and reviews, without leaving the webpage.
  • Compatibility and security. Microsoft Edge lets you continue to use IE11 for sites that are on your corporate intranet or that are included on your Enterprise Mode Site List. You must use IE11 to run older, less secure technology, such as ActiveX controls.
IE11 offers enterprises additional security, manageability, performance, backward compatibility, and modern standards support.
  • Backward compatibility. IE11 supports 9 document modes that include high-fidelity emulations for older versions of IE.
  • Modern web standards. IE11 supports modern web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and WebGL, which help to ensure today's modern websites and apps work just as well as your old, legacy websites and apps. IE11 does not support some modern CSS properties, JavaScript modules and certain APIs.
  • More secure. IE11 was designed with security in mind and is more secure than older versions. Using security features like SmartScreen and Enhanced Protected Mode can help IE11 reduce your risk.
  • Faster. IE11 is significantly faster than previous versions of Internet Explorer, taking advantage of network optimization and hardware-accelerated text, graphics, and JavaScript rendering.
  • Easier migration to Windows 10. IE11 is the only version of IE that runs on Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Upgrading to IE11 on Windows 7 can also help your organization support the next generation of software, services, and devices.
  • Administration. IE11 can use the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) 11 or MSIs for deployment and includes more than 1,600 Group Policies and preferences for granular control.

Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List

Supported versions: Microsoft Edge on Windows 10
Default setting: Disabled or not configured

Microsoft Edge does not support ActiveX controls, Browser Helper Objects, VBScript, or other legacy technology. If you have sites or apps that use this technology, you can configure Microsoft Edge to check the Enterprise Mode Site List XML file that lists the sites and domains with compatibility issues and switch to IE11 automatically. You can use the same site list for both Microsoft Edge and IE11, or you can use separate lists. By default, Microsoft Edge ignores the Enterprise Mode and the Enterprise Mode Site List XML file. In this case, users might experience problems while using legacy apps. These sites and domains must be viewed using Internet Explorer 11 and Enterprise Mode.

Supported values

Group Policy MDM Registry Description
Disabled or not configured
(default)
0 0 Turned off. Microsoft Edge does not check the Enterprise Mode Site List, and in this case, users might experience problems while using legacy apps.
Enabled 1 1 Turned on. Microsoft Edge checks the Enterprise Mode Site List if configured. If an XML file exists in the cache container, IE11 waits 65 seconds and then checks the local cache for a new version from the server. If the server has a different version, Microsoft Edge uses the server file and stores it in the cache container. If you already use a site list, Enterprise Mode continues to work during the 65 seconds, but uses the existing file. To add the location to your site list, enter it in the {URI} box.

For details on how to configure the Enterprise Mode Site List, see Interoperability and enterprise guidance.


ADMX info and settings

ADMX info

  • GP English name: Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List
  • GP name: EnterpriseModeSiteList
  • GP element: EnterSiteListPrompt
  • GP path: Windows Components/Microsoft Edge
  • GP ADMX file name: MicrosoftEdge.admx

MDM settings

  • MDM name: Browser/EnterpriseModeSiteList
  • Supported devices: Desktop and Mobile
  • URI full path: ./Vendor/MSFT/Policy/Config/Browser/EnterpriseModeSiteList
  • Data type: String

Registry settings

  • Path: HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\MicrosoftEdge\Main\EnterpriseMode
  • Value name: SiteList
  • Value type: REG_SZ

Show message opening sites in IE

Microsoft Edge does not show a notification before opening sites in Internet Explorer 11. However, with this policy, you can configure Microsoft Edge to display a notification before a site opens in IE11 or let users continue in Microsoft Edge. If you want users to continue in Microsoft Edge, enable this policy to show the Keep going in Microsoft Edge link in the notification. For this policy to work correctly, you must also enable the Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List or Send all intranet sites to Internet Explorer 11, or both.

  • Use Enterprise Mode to improve compatibility. If you have specific websites and apps that you know have compatibility problems with Microsoft Edge, you can use the Enterprise Mode site list so that the websites automatically open using Internet Explorer 11. Additionally, if you know that your intranet sites aren't going to work correctly with Microsoft Edge, you can set all intranet sites to open using IE11 automatically. Using Enterprise Mode means that you can continue to use Microsoft Edge as your default browser, while also ensuring that your apps continue working on IE11.

  • Use the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager. You can use IE11 and the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager to add individual website domains and domain paths and to specify whether the site renders using Enterprise Mode or the default mode.

  • Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11. Learn how to set up and use Enterprise Mode and the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager in your company.

  • Enterprise Mode and the Enterprise Mode Site List. Internet Explorer and Microsoft Edge can work together to support your legacy web apps, while still defaulting to the higher bar for security and modern experiences enabled by Microsoft Edge. Working with multiple browsers can be difficult, particularly if you have a substantial number of internal sites. To help manage this dual-browser experience, we are introducing a new web tool targeted explicitly towards larger organizations: the Enterprise Mode Site List Portal.

  • Enterprise Mode and the Enterprise Mode Site List XML file. The Enterprise Mode Site List is an XML document that specifies a list of sites, their compat mode, and their intended browser. When you use the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager schema v.2, you can automatically start a webpage using a specific browser. In the case of IE11, the webpage can also launch in a specific compat mode, so it always renders correctly. Your users can quickly view this site list by typing about:compat in either Microsoft Edge or IE11.