Internet Explorer mode and the DevTools

This article describes how Internet Explorer mode (IE mode) integrates with the Microsoft Edge (Chromium) DevTools.

Understanding IE mode

IE mode allows enterprises to specify a list of web sites that only work in Internet Explorer 11. When you navigate to these web sites in Microsoft Edge (Chromium), an instance of Internet Explorer 11 runs and renders the site in a tab. The functionality allows enterprises to manage compatibility with technologies that are currently not compatible with any modern web browsers. Support for the following technologies is included in IE mode.

  • IE document modes
  • ActiveX controls
  • other legacy components

In IE mode, the rendering process is based on Internet Explorer 11. The Microsoft Edge (Chromium) process manager handles the lifetime of the rendering process. It is constrained to the lifetime of the tab for a specific site (or app). When a tab renders in IE mode, a badge appears in the address bar for the specific tab.

IE mode badge in the address bar

IE mode is currently available on Windows 10 Version 1903 (May 2019 Update), but is coming soon to all supported Windows platforms.

Launching the DevTools on a tab in IE mode

If you are trying to view the document mode of a web site in IE mode, choose the badge in the address bar.

View document mode using IE mode badge

If a tab is using IE mode, the DevTools do not work and the following conditions occur.

  • If you select F12 or select Ctrl+Shift+I, a blank instance of the Microsoft Edge (Chromium) DevTools is launched displays the following message.

    Developer Tools are not available in Internet Explorer mode.  To debug the page, open it in Internet Explorer 11.
  • If you open a contextual menu (right-click) and choose View Source, Notepad is launched.

  • If you open a contextual menu (right-click), the Inspect Element is not visible.

The reason that a number of the tools within the DevTools (like the Network and Performance tools) do not work is the rendering engine switches from Chromium to Internet Explorer 11 in IE mode. To provide feedback, navigate to Getting in touch with the Microsoft Edge DevTools team.

DevTools launched in IE mode

To test your Internet Explorer 11-based website (or app) in Internet Explorer 11 and IE mode, perform the following steps.

  1. Open Internet Explorer 11.
    • On Windows 10, locate the shortcut for Internet Explorer 11.
      1. Start Menu > Windows Accessories > Internet Explorer 11.
    • On Windows 7, locate Internet Explorer 11.
      1. Start Menu > Internet Explorer 11.
  2. In Internet Explorer 11, open the same webpage.
  3. Launch the Internet Explorer DevTools.
    • Select F12.
    • Hover anywhere, open a contextual menu (right-click), and choose Inspect element. For more information about how to use those tools, navigate to Using the F12 developer tools.

Remote debugging and IE mode

Launch Microsoft Edge (Chromium) with remote debugging turned on from the command-line interface. Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and other development tools typically run a command to launch Microsoft Edge. The following command launches Microsoft Edge with the remote debugging port set to 9222.

start msedge --remote-debugging-port=9222

After you launch Microsoft Edge (Chromium) using a command-line argument, IE mode is unavailable. You may still navigate to websites (or apps) that would otherwise display in IE mode. The website (or app) content renders using Chromium, not Internet Explorer 11. Expect the parts of the pages that rely on IE11, such as ActiveX controls, to not render correctly. The IE mode badge does not appear in the address bar.

IE mode remains unavailable until you completely close and restart Microsoft Edge (Chromium).

Getting in touch with the Microsoft Edge DevTools team

Use the following options to discuss the new features and changes in the post, or anything else related to DevTools.

  • Send your feedback using the Send Feedback icon or select Alt+Shift+I (Windows) or Option+Shift+I (macOS) in DevTools.
  • Tweet at @EdgeDevTools.
  • Submit a suggestion to The Web We Want.
  • File bugs on this article using the Feedback section.

The Send Feedback icon in the Microsoft Edge DevTools