Microsoft: Now you can test Edge browser's IE mode with Internet Explorer Driver

Microsoft is helping developers use a third-party tool to automate testing of legacy apps in Internet Explorer mode within its Edge browser.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Microsoft has released a new tool to help developers ensure that old websites and apps work with Internet Explorer mode in Chromium-based Edge. 

Internet Explorer (E) 11 is on its way out with Microsoft ending support for it in key apps like Teams and Office last year. However, IE 11 still remains a component of Windows 10 until June 15, 2022, after which support will be dropped in some versions of Windows 10.  

IE mode within Edge can be used to ensure backwards compatibility with legacy business apps and internal sites. IE mode in Microsoft Edge is supported through at least 2029 to give web developers eight years to modernize legacy apps and eventually remove the need for IE mode, Microsoft said last year

SEE: Windows 11: Here's how to get Microsoft's free operating system update

To test these sites with IE mode, admins can now use Edge with Internet Explorer Driver, a server for automated testing of IE mode that's maintained by the Selenium Project. The driver supports JavaScript, implements the WebDriver specification and can be downloaded from the Selenium project. 

"To prepare for June 15, you can now use Internet Explorer Driver to validate that IE mode is the right solution for your business-critical legacy websites or apps," says Microsoft's Zoher Ghadyali in a blogpost.

"With just a few changes to an existing test that runs against Internet Explorer, you can get your tests running in Internet Explorer (IE) mode in Edge," Ghadyali adds. "By running your tests in IE mode, you will be able to verify that any legacy web content that runs in Internet Explorer will work as expected in IE mode in Microsoft Edge."

Selenium recommends after June 15 that developers test IE sites with IE Mode in Microsoft Edge rather than IE 11 browser as it will stop fixing issues with IE 11 at that point. 

"The Selenium Project will not remove support for IE 11 when it retires but we will not actively fix issues as we have done with previous versions of IE," it notes

Selenium also notes that the "Microsoft Edge team have committed to supporting IE Mode in Edge until 2029 when support for Windows 10 is retired."

Microsoft is still recommending that organizations that depend on IE11 move across to the Edge browser before June 15 because it supports rendering modern and legacy web content. 

To run test in IE mode in Edge, admins will need to install Edge, Selenium 4 or later language bindings, and the Internet Explorer Driver version 4.0 or later. The driver needs to be set up with Selenium's required configuration.  

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