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Internet Explorer 11 - FAQ for IT Pros

Answering frequently asked questions about Internet Explorer 11 features, operating system support, integration with the Windows operating system, Group Policy, and general configuration.

Frequently Asked Questions

What operating system does Internet Explorer 11 run on?

  • Windows 8.1

  • Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Windows 7 SP1

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1

How do I install Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 or Windows Server 2012 R2?

Internet Explorer 11 is preinstalled with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2. No additional action is required.

How do I install Internet Explorer 11 on Windows® 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1?

You can install Internet Explorer 11 on computers running either Windows® 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) or Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. To download Internet Explorer 11, see the Internet Explorer 11 home page.

How does Internet Explorer 11 integrate with Windows 8.1?

Internet Explorer 11 is the default handler for the HTTP and HTTPS protocols and the default browser for Windows 8.1. There are two experiences in Windows 8.1: Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer for the desktop. Internet Explorer is the default browser for touch-first, immersive experiences. Internet Explorer for the desktop provides a more traditional window and tab management experience. The underlying platform of Internet Explorer 11 is fully interoperable across both Internet Explorer and the familiar Internet Explorer for the desktop, letting developers write the same markup for both experiences.

What are the new or improved security features?

Internet Explorer 11 offers improvements to Enhanced Protected Mode, password manager, and other security features. Internet Explorer 11 also turns on Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.2 by default.

How is Microsoft supporting modern web standards, such as WebGL?

Microsoft is committed to providing an interoperable web by supporting modern web standards. Doing this lets developers use the same markup across web browsers, helping to reduce development and support costs.

Supported web standards include:

  • Web Graphics Library (WebGL)

  • Canvas 2D L2 extensions, including image smoothing using the nearest neighbor, dashed lines, and fill rules

  • Fullscreen API

  • Encrypted media extensions

  • Media source extensions

  • CSS flexible box layout module

  • And mutation observers like DOM4 and 5.3

For more information about specific changes and additions, see the Internet Explorer 11 guide for developers.

What test tools exist to test for potential application compatibility issues?

The Compat Inspector tool supports Internet Explorer 9 through Internet Explorer 11. For more information, see Compat Inspector User Guide. In addition, you can use the new F12 Developer Tools that are included with Internet Explorer 11, or the modern.ie website for older versions of Internet Explorer.

Why am I having problems launching my legacy apps with Internet Explorer 11?

It’s most likely because Internet Explorer no longer starts apps that use managed browser hosting controls, like in the .NET Framework 1.1 and 2.0. You can get Internet Explorer 11 to use managed browser hosting controls again, by:

  • For x86 systems or for 32-bit processes on x64 systems: Go to the HKLM/SOFTWARE/MICROSOFT/.NETFramework registry key and change the EnableIEHosting value to 1.

  • For x64 systems or for 64-bit processes on x64 systems: Go to the HKLM/SOFTWARE/Wow6432Node/.NETFramework registry key and change the EnableIEHosting value to 1.

For more information, see the Web Applications section of the Application Compatibility in the .NET Framework 4.5 page.

Is there a compatibility list for Internet Explorer?

Yes. You can review the XML-based compatibility list.

What is Enterprise Mode?

Enterprise Mode is a compatibility mode designed for Enterprises. This mode lets websites render using a modified browser configuration that’s designed to avoid the common compatibility problems associated with web apps written and tested on older versions of Internet Explorer, like Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8.

For more information, see Turn on Enterprise Mode and use a site list.

What is the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager tool?

Enterprise Mode Site List Manager tool gives you a way to add websites to your Enterprise Mode site list, without having to manually code XML.

For more information, see all of the topics in Enterprise Mode Site List Manager tool.

Are browser plug-ins supported in Internet Explorer 11?

The immersive version of Internet Explorer 11 provides an add-on–free experience, so browser plugins won't load and dependent content won't be displayed. This doesn't apply to Internet Explorer for the desktop. For more information, see Browsing Without Plug-ins. However, Internet Explorer for the desktop and Internet Explorer 11 on Windows® 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) do support browser plugins, including ActiveX controls such as Adobe Flash and Microsoft Silverlight.

Is Adobe Flash supported on Internet Explorer 11?

Adobe Flash is included as a platform feature and is available out of the box for Windows 8.1, running on both Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer for the desktop. Users can turn this feature on or off using the Manage Add-ons dialog box, while administrators can turn this feature on or off using the Group Policy setting, Turn off Adobe Flash in Internet Explorer and prevent applications from using Internet Explorer technology to instantiate Flash objects.

ImportantImportant
The preinstalled version of Adobe Flash isn't supported on Internet Explorer 11 running on eitherWindows 7 SP1 or Windows Server 2008 R2 with SP1. However, you can still download and install the separate Adobe Flash plug-in.

Can I replace Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 with an earlier version?

No. Windows 8.1 doesn't support any of the previous versions of Internet Explorer.

Are there any new Group Policy settings in Internet Explorer 11?

Internet Explorer 11 includes all of the previous Group Policy settings you've used to manage and control web browser configuration since Internet Explorer 9. It also includes the following new Group Policy settings, supporting new features:

  • Turn off Page Prediction

  • Turn on the swiping motion for Internet Explorer for the desktop

  • Allow Microsoft services to provide more relevant and personalized search results

  • Turn off phone number detection

  • Allow Internet Explorer to use the SPDY/3 network protocol

  • Let users turn on and use Enterprise Mode from the Tools menu

  • Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list

For more information, see New group policy settings for Internet Explorer 11.

Is there a version of the Internet Explorer Administration Kit (IEAK) supporting Internet Explorer 11?

Yes. The Internet Explorer Administration Kit 11 (IEAK 11) is available for download. IEAK 11 lets you create custom versions of Internet Explorer 11 for use in your organization. For more information, see the following resources:

Where can I get more information about Internet Explorer 11 for IT pros?

Visit the Springboard Series for Internet Explorer 11 webpage on TechNet.

Is there a version of the Internet Explorer Blocker Toolkit that will prevent automatic installation of Internet Explorer 11?

Yes. The Internet Explorer 11 Blocker Toolkit is available for download. For more information, see Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 11 on the Microsoft Download Center.

Can I customize settings for Internet Explorer on Windows 8.1?

Settings can be customized in the following ways:

  • Internet Explorer 11 Settings charm.

  • Internet Explorer 11-related Group Policy settings.

  • IEAK 11 for settings shared by both Internet Explorer and Internet Explorer for the desktop.

Can I make Internet Explorer for the desktop my default browsing experience?

Group Policy settings can be set to open either Internet Explorer or Internet Explorer for the desktop as the default browser experience. Individual users can configure their own settings in the Programs tab of Internet Options. The following table shows the settings and results:

 

Setting

Result

Let Internet Explorer decide

Links open in the same type of experience from where they're launched. For example, clicking a link from a Windows Store app, opens Internet Explorer. However, clicking a link from a desktop app, opens Internet Explorer for the desktop.

Always in Internet Explorer

Links always open in Internet Explorer.

Always in Internet Explorer for the desktop

Links always open in Internet Explorer for the desktop.

Revision history

The following table summarizes changes to this content.

 

Milestone

Change

Windows 8.1

New

Spring Update 2014

Updated with questions about Enterprise Mode

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