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Reasons to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11

If you’re using Windows 7, you should upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 to continue receiving security updates and technical support. Learn about the end of support, benefits of upgrading to Internet Explorer 11 — such as easing your Windows 10 migration — and resources available to help you upgrade successfully.

Older versions of Internet Explorer are out of support.

Starting January 12, 2016, only the current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system receives technical support and security updates. Microsoft recommends that customers running older versions of Internet Explorer upgrade to the most recent version, which is Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7.

For a complete list of browser/OS combinations supported after January 12, 2016, please see the Microsoft Support Lifecycle FAQ for Internet Explorer.

What are the benefits of upgrading to Internet Explorer 11?

Internet Explorer 11 is a consistent, reliable browser platform for enterprise web apps. Most large organizations have a wide variety of web apps that have evolved over the past 20 years. Only Internet Explorer 11 offers the manageability and backward compatibility that older web app portfolios need.

  • Internet Explorer 11 has the best backward compatibility of any web browser. With nine document modes, Internet Explorer 11 is the only browser with high-fidelity emulation for older versions of Internet Explorer. Upgrading apps to modern standards is still the best long-term strategy, but you can use backward compatibility to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 more quickly and easily.
  • Web technologies like HTML5, CSS3, and WebGL help ensure that Internet Explorer 11 works better than older versions of Internet Explorer with today's websites. On Windows 10, Microsoft Edge offers even better support for modern web standards.
  • Internet Explorer 11 is more secure than older versions. For example, independent security firm NSS Labs found in 2010 that Internet Explorer 8 blocked about 85% of socially-engineered malware, but more recently reported a 99% block rate for Internet Explorer 11. With security features like SmartScreen and Enhanced Protected Mode, Internet Explorer 11 significantly reduces risk.
  • Internet Explorer 11 is faster than earlier versions, with improvements in JavaScript performance, network optimization, and fully hardware-accelerated text and JPEG rendering. Think your web apps on Internet Explorer 8 are slow? Breathe new life into them by upgrading to Internet Explorer 11, which puts your hardware investment to better use.
  • Internet Explorer 11 can ease your next Windows migration. Internet Explorer 11 is the last version of Internet Explorer and is supported for the life of Windows 7, Windows 8.1, and Windows 10. Upgrading to Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 can help unlock the next generation of software, services, and devices.

What about the costs? A March 2015 Forrester Consulting study found that nearly half of IT pros surveyed found the upgrade to Internet Explorer 11 was easier than previous browser upgrades. With great benefits and easier upgrades, migrating to Internet Explorer 11 makes sense.

What about Windows 10?

Microsoft Edge is the faster, safer browser designed for Windows 10. We suggest using Microsoft Edge as your default browser. Organizations can configure Microsoft Edge to fall back to Internet Explorer 11 automatically using the Enterprise Mode Site List. Starting with Windows 10, version 1607 (also known as Windows 10 Anniversary Update), you can even limit the use of Internet Explorer 11 just to approved sites. Learn more at Microsoft Edge.

I want to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11. Now what?

As an end user, you most likely have Automatic Updates turned on, and have already upgraded to Internet Explorer 11 without having to do anything. If you haven't turned on Automatic Updates yet, do so now by clicking the Check for Updates button on the Windows Update portion of Control Panel to get started.

If you manage computers on behalf of your organization, there are several resources that can help IT professionals upgrade those computers to Internet Explorer 11:

If your organization needs hands-on guidance, Microsoft has a number of deployment and compatibility services available to assist with migrations. These services include:

  • Microsoft Premier Support – Gain the most benefit from your IT infrastructure by pairing your business with Microsoft Services Premier Support. Our dedicated support teams provide continuous hands-on assistance and immediate escalation for urgent issues, which speeds resolution and helps you keep your mission-critical systems up and running.
  • Microsoft Consulting Services – Fast and effective deployment of your Microsoft technologies shortens the time it takes to see value from your investments; and when your people use those technologies to their fullest extent, they help grow their skills and your business. Microsoft Services consultants work with your organization to deploy and adopt Microsoft technologies efficiently and cost-effectively, and can help you minimize risk in your most complex initiatives. Our expertise on the Microsoft platform and collaboration with our global network of partners and technical communities, fuel our ability to help you consider just what else is possible through your innovation and Microsoft technologies and solutions.
  • Internet Explorer Migration Proof of Concept – The Microsoft Services Internet Explorer Migration Proof of Concept helps customers understand the migration process to the latest version of Internet Explorer, using a structured workshop targeted to IT professionals and developers. Your subject matter experts will quickly learn how to evaluate compatibility issues and remediation techniques. For more information, contact your Microsoft Services representative or visit
  • Microsoft Partners on Pinpoint – Connect with a certified IT specialist in your area who knows how to help you upgrade to the most current version of Internet Explorer, with minimal disruption to your business and applications.

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