How to Run Internet Explorer on Windows 11

How To Run Internet Explorer On Windows 11 Featured Image

Microsoft officially discontinued Internet Explorer in 2015. A few years later, the company disabled IE in Windows 11, making it the first version of Windows without the browser in 20 years. IE had a reputation for being slow, was prone to security vulnerabilities, and was not as modern as other browsers, so the decision seemed natural. Regardless, you can still use the browser on Windows 11 with the help of a few workarounds. This guide discusses some of those methods.

Tip: if you’re still trying to decide whether to start using the latest Windows version, read through this list of reasons to upgrade to Windows 11.

Reasons to Run Internet Explorer on Windows 11

While Internet Explorer has received its fair share of criticism in the past, there are actually several reasons it may be worth a consideration for Windows 11 users.

  • Better integration with Microsoft products: Internet Explorer integrates better with Microsoft products, such as Office and OneDrive, as it enables direct access and editing of OneDrive files in the browser without downloading on your PC.
  • Browsing legacy websites: some government sites that were developed using outdated software or apps may only be accessible on Internet Explorer. You may need IE to browse these old websites.
  • Enterprise-level support: for companies using Windows 11, Internet Explorer offers enterprise support features, such as Group Policy management for administrators. This allows users to control browser settings across all devices.
  • Familiarity: even though Internet Explorer may not be the most secure or private web browser, for some users, it is still a familiar and well-established web browser that they have been using for years. If this describes you, you may find it more comfortable to navigate and browse your favorite sites on IE.

Security Concerns About Running IE on Windows 11

If you do decide to bring IE back on your Windows 11 computer, keep in mind that it may not be entirely safe to do so. Take note of these security concerns before making a final decision:

  • Vulnerable to hacker attacks: Internet Explorer is an outdated web browser with many security flaws and weaknesses. Moreover, it is almost impossible to maintain robust security measures due to its dated architecture.
  • Lack of support: Microsoft ended Internet Explorer support on June 15, 2022, and no longer offers security updates or technical support. This also makes IE more vulnerable to attacks and leads to a lack of modern must-have features, like private browsing mode.
  • User experience: Internet Explorer’s performance has been unsatisfactory for many years due to its interface, slow speed for some heavy-processing websites, and limited features compared to modern browsers.

How to Run Internet Explorer on Windows 11

If you want to bring back Internet Explorer in Windows 11, you have a few options at your disposal, as detailed below.

Tip: check out the best gaming browsers for Windows.

1. Enable IE Mode in Edge

  1. Launch Microsoft Edge.
  1. Click the three dots in the top-right corner.
Horizontal dots menu in Microsoft Edge.
  1. From the pop-up menu, scroll down, and click “Settings.”
Clicking on Settings in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Click “Default browser” in the settings options.
"Default browser" options in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. On the right side, you’ll see the “Let Internet Explorer open sites in Microsoft Edge” option under “Internet Explorer compatibility.” Click on “Incompatible sites only” in the drop-down menu.
Internet Explorer compatibility options in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Click “Allow” in the drop-down menu next to “Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer mode (IE mode).”
Enabling "Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer (IE mode)" option Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Relaunch Microsoft Edge by clicking “Restart” to apply the changes you made.
"Restart" button under "Default browser" in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Manually load websites in Internet Explorer by right-clicking your tab and clicking the “Reload tab in Internet Explorer mode.”
"Reload tab in Internet Explorer mode" option in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Another way to open websites in IE with Edge is by adding them to “Internet Explorer Mode Pages.”
  1. Go to Microsoft Edge’s Settings and click “Default browser.”
Clicking "Default browser" option under Settings in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Click the “Add” button next to “Internet Explorer mode pages” on the right side.
"Add" option for "Internet Explorer mode pages" in Microsoft Edge browser.
  1. Enter the website URL in the pop-up dialog box that appears and press “Add.”
Adding website in "Add a page" Internet Explorer compatibility window.

2. Create a VBS Shortcut

  1. Click the Start menu and search “Notepad.”
Typing "notepad" in Windows Search.
  1. Launch the Notepad app and enter the following command:
Typing command in Notepad.
  1. Select “File -> Save as.”
Saving Notepad file.
  1. Save the file in the VBS extension by typing “.vbs” after the file name and make sure everything is between quotes, then click “Save.”
Saving file with .VBS extension.
  1. Locate the file on your computer. Right-click it and hover your mouse over “Send to” and click on “Desktop (create shortcut).”
Sending .VBS file to desktop.
  1. Right-click the desktop icon, and click on “Properties.”
Selecting "Properties" option from file context menu.
  1. Click the “Change icon” button in the “Shortcut” tab.
Clicking "Change icon" button in Properties window.
  1. Select the “Internet Explorer” icon and click “OK.” Click “OK” again to save the changes.
Selecting Internet Explorer icon.
  1. Double-click the “Internet Explorer” icon on your desktop to launch IE.
Internet Explorer opening up.

Good to know: you can use various methods to quickly open Control Panel in Windows. What’s your preferred approach?

3. Use Optional Features in Control Panel (Client Systems Only)

  1. Open the Start Menu and go to “Settings.”
Opening up the Settings app from the Start button.
  1. Select “Apps” in the left sidebar and click “Optional features” in the menu on the right.
"Optional features" available under "Apps" in Settings.
  1. Look for “Internet Explorer mode” under “Installed features.”
Clicking on "Internet Explorer mode" option in Settings.
  1. If you can’t find Internet Explorer mode, it means it might be disabled on your computer. To enable it, click the “View features” button next to “Add an optional feature” at the top of the screen.
"View features" button in Optional Features.
  1. Find Internet Explorer Mode in the list of optional features. Click the little box next to its name and click on “Next.”
Enabling "Internet Explorer 11" in Windows 11.
  1. Restart your computer to complete the installation process.

4. Use Windows Features in Control Panel (Client Systems Only)

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. Open the drop-down menu labeled “File” and click on “Run new task.”
Opening "Run new task" option in Task Manager.
  1. Type cmd in the “Create new task” dialog box. Check the “Create this task with administrative privileges” option and click “OK.”
Typing "cmd" in "Create new task" window.
  1. Type the following command in cmd:
dism /online /Add-Capability/CapabilityName:Browser.InternetExplorer~~~~
Typing command in cmd.
  1. Restart your device, and the browser should be waiting for you.

Tip: is your home Internet connection constantly slow? Learn how to fix it.

5. Try Internet Options

  1. Click the Start icon, search for “Internet Options,” and click the best match.
Typing "Internet Options" in Search.
  1. Click on the “Programs” tab in the window that appears and press on the “Manage add-ons” button.
Switching to "Programs" tab in Internet Properties.
  1. Click “Learn more about toolbars and extensions” in the bottom left of the new window.
"Learn more about toolbars and extensions" option in "Manage add-ons."
  1. Once that’s done, Internet Explorer will launch.

Tip: your child wants to surf the Web? These are the best kid-friendly browsers that are safe to use.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does Internet Explorer work at full capacity in Windows 11?

Internet Explorer can work on Windows 11 but not at full capacity. Even if you install it through different methods, it’s not fully optimized for the operating system. On top of that, Microsoft ended its support in 2022, so it may not be the most secure option to use.

Is Internet Explorer still available for download?

Yes, Internet Explorer is still available for download for various Windows versions. IE 11 is the final version web browser, and you can still grab it from the official Microsoft website.

Is IE Mode better than Internet Explorer?

IE mode in Microsoft Edge is better than Internet Explorer because it improves legacy websites’ compatibility. It also offers a better user experience with improved performance, security, and updated features.

Image credit: Freeiconspng. All screenshots by Ojash Yadav.

Ojash Yadav
Ojash Yadav

Ojash has been writing about tech back since Symbian-based Nokia was the closest thing to a smartphone. He spends most of his time writing, researching, or ranting about Bitcoin. Ojash also contributes to other popular sites like MakeUseOf, SlashGear, and MacBookJournal.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox