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Internet Explorer is dead, long live Microsoft Edge!  Microsoft has ended IE11 support for some of Microsoft 365 services. As of July 1, 2021, IE11 no longer supports the Microsoft Teams web app, Azure DevOps, and the Azure Portal web app.  As of recent, August 17, 2021, IE11 no longer supports any of the Microsoft 365 apps and services, Dynamics 365, or the Microsoft Power Platform. 

The end of support does not mean all these services will immediately stop working. However, it does mean that the IE11 experience with Microsoft 365 will degrade as the platform adds new features. Eventually, IE11 will not be able to connect to these services altogether.  Beyond sunsetting M365 support, Microsoft is retiring the IE11 desktop application on June 15, 2022. 

After the retirement of IE11, users will not be able to open the IE11 desktop application. Instead, opening IE11 will redirect users to Microsoft Edge. Microsoft 365 admins must prepare to transition IE11 users away from the browser. Here are a few weapons that can help your organization move beyond IE11 while preserving some of its legacy features.

Finding IE11 and Edge Legacy Users

Admins can use multiple routes to understand how many users they need to move off IE11. The first place to look is Microsoft browser usage report in the Microsoft 365 Tenant Admin center. This report shows us which Microsoft internet browsers users utilize when accessing Microsoft 365 services. 

To view this report, go to the Microsoft 365 Tenant Admin. Under the REPORTS heading, select USAGE. The Microsoft browser usage report will be below the Active User chart.

Microsoft 365 Admin Browser Usage

Clicking the “View browser usage” button will take us into a detailed report. This report shows us the browsers that your organization’s users access M365 with. Additionally, the report includes a list of users with the Microsoft browsers they have used.

I would recommend contacting any users we see that have been using Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge Legacy. Make sure to tell them that these browsers are being retired, and provide a link to the Microsoft Edge Help & Learning page. Ask those users to install Microsoft Edge so they can continue to use Microsoft 365 services.

If you are a customer with Microsoft Unified Support, you can reach out to them for help transitioning to Microsoft Edge. If you have at least 150 paid seats of Windows 10 Enterprise, FastTrack services are available to you to help play, deploy, and/or adopt Microsoft Edge as an organization.  Otherwise, check out Microsoft’s helpful documentation to help plan for and deploy Microsoft Edge on behalf of our users.

SharePoint Features Unavailable in Microsoft Edge

There are a couple of old SharePoint features from the server days which rely on IE11 and don’t work in newer browsers.

One of these features is the “Open with Explorer (classic SharePoint mode) or “View in File Explorer” (modern SharePoint mode). This feature allowed a user to open or view a SharePoint document library’s contents in Windows File Explorer. It was always an inconsistent feature, even in IE11, due to its dependence on ActiveX controls. However, the feature helped users who weren’t comfortable with SharePoint’s web-based file interface. 

If your organization has users who still rely on this feature, make sure to transition them to OneDrive Files On-Demand.  OneDrive Files On-Demand allows users to quickly access and work with SharePoint Online or OneDrive files in File Explorer. Users can do this without having to download the files and use storage space on their devices. If you have not rolled out OneDrive to your organization, or still have some users lagging in adoption, now is a good time to act. Acting now will ensure that end users don’t encounter any disruptions in their cloud file browsing experience.

Supporting Legacy Sites and Apps with Microsoft Edge IE Mode

Outside of the Microsoft cloud, organizations may have other Internet Explorer-based websites and applications. These are often internet sites that use legacy document modes or ActiveX controls for third-party apps. Admins should work to make sure users can still access these sites using Microsoft Edge IE Mode. 

One tool Microsoft supplies to support these legacy sites is the Enterprise Site Discovery tool. Admins using Group Policy or Configuration Manager to manage Windows devices can leverage this tool. This tool provides admins a way to detect which users’ visited sites need to use IE mode in Microsoft Edge.

Enterprise Site Discovery supplies a PowerShell script which creates a new Group Policy Object and activates the discovery process. This script writes visited sites to an XML file at a specified filename and path. Admins can target this discovery to specific devices.

The Enterprise Site List tool can build upon the Enterprise Site Discovery tool by combining these XML discovery files. Admins can review this combined output to decide which sites to set to open in IE mode.  With the list of legacy sites finished, admins can then turn on IE mode for Microsoft Edge. This automatically enables IE mode when a user visits one of these legacy sites.

The Enterprise Site Discovery tool and Enterprise Site list are really boons for an admin to help ensure end users are not impacted by the sunset of IE11. Make sure to reach out to our team if you need helping using these tools to transition your team beyond IE11. Our team of Microsoft 365 experts can help you take full advantage of the admin center, and everything else the platform has to offer.