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The end of Internet Explorer 11 starts on June 15, 2022!  Prepare your organization to make the switch while still supporting legacy applications with functionality that rely on Internet Explorer.  Microsoft Edge includes a feature called “IE Mode”, which enables the backward compatibility for legacy browser features that do not exist in modern browsers. Read on to enable IE Mode with Edge Browser, redirect specific sites to open in IE Mode, and more.

Preparing for IE Mode with Edge Browser

To enable IE Mode, prepare by downloading the Edge Policy files here: Download Microsoft Edge for business – Microsoft

This will download a CAB file that will contain a ZIP file to extract and then follow: Configure Microsoft Edge for Windows | Microsoft Docs to add the administrative templates to your domain server (Domain Admins should be familiar with this process).

Then, for the Internet Explorer Integration, follow guidance to Configure IE mode Policies | Microsoft Docs

Once the templates are added, Group Policy Management Editor should appear with the Microsoft Edge administrative templates:

Enable IE mode - files in Policy Management Editor

Configuration will look like below:

Enable IE mode - configuration settings image

Redirect sites from Microsoft Edge to IE mode

There are two options for identifying which sites should open in IE Mode:

The recommendation is to “Configure sites on the Enterprise Site list”.

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 for Microsoft Edge. Enabling this policy overrides the settings in the “Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list” policy, if “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.

NOTE: It is not mandatory to configure the Microsoft Edge policy. Many organizations use this as an override, allowing them to target the current Site List at all users with the IE policy, and more easily target an updated version to pilot uses with the Microsoft Edge policy.

For more information about Enterprise Mode Site Lists, see Use the Enterprise Site List Manager.

Configure using the Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List policy

You can also configure IE Mode with a separate policy for Microsoft Edge. This additional policy allows you to override the IE site list. For example, some organizations will target the production site list to all users. You can then deploy the pilot site list to a small group of users using this policy.

  1. Create or reuse a Site List XML
    • All sites that have the element <open-in>IE11</open-in> will now open in IE mode.
  2. Open Group Policy Editor.
  3. Click User Configuration/Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge.
  4. Double-click Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List.
  5. Select Enabled.
  6. Under Options, type the location of the website list. You can use one of the following locations:
  7. (Recommended) HTTPS location: https://iemode/sites.xml
  8. Local network file: \\network\shares\sites.xml
  9. Local file: file:///c:/Users/<user>/Documents/sites.xml
  10. Click OK or Apply to save these settings.
Additional References:

Need more guidance?

Are you unsure where to get started, or even how prevalent Internet Explorer 11 is within your organization?  Let us know and schedule a free consultation with one of our M365 engineers, who can help you discover the extent of IE 11 in your organization, and talk through a plan to take decisive action and avoid any disruption for your end users.