Microsoft updates IE Mode in Edge as Internet Explorer is set for retirement

Kip Kniskern

Internet Explorer IE 11

Microsoft has taken a number of steps to modernize its browser experience, from introducing an updated version of Internet Explorer in Edge using their proprietary EdgeHTML browser engine, and then moving to the more compatible Chromium based Edge in 2020. However, moving to a more modern browser has some side effects, and for lots of enterprise users who rely on legacy apps, Internet Explorer is still a requirement.

That’s what IE Mode in Edge is for, a way to move forward with a new browser while still, for the most part, maintaining legacy support for those apps, which still work and would be costly to replace. Today, Microsoft announced that it’s making some changes to Edge in IE mode, as IE is set to go out of support as of June 15th, 2022.

The updates fix a couple of gnawing problems for running IE apps in IE Mode in Edge. The first is restoring IE COM objects with Internet Explorer disabled. Previously these calls to COM objects would work in IE, or work in IE Mode in Edge as long as IE was available, but would break if IE stand-alone was disabled. Apparently some users weren’t too happy, and the issue got top priority and is now fixed.

Next, shared cookies between IE Mode and Microsoft Edge sessions are now bidirectional, meaning that when users set cookies in IE Mode, and then switch to the main Edge browser, those cookies now can share session information. It previously worked when going from Edge to IE Mode, but now cookies work bi-directionally.

For many of us, IE is a relic of the past, having long moved away to either Edge or a third party browser (which are now more easily set as default in Windows 11), but for some mainly enterprise users who rely on apps written long ago but still in use, a move away from IE isn’t possible without making IE Mode in Edge as useful as possible.