Microsoft sets deadline for end of support of IE 11 by 365 apps

Microsoft tells IT admins still relying on internet Explorer 11 to move to its Chromium-based Edge browser now.

Developer working in a software develop company office.

Microsoft reminds admins that IE 11 will still continue to function for line-of-business internal apps.

Image: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Microsoft has announced a cut-off date after which Office 365 apps and Teams will no longer working with its legacy browsers, Internet Explorer 11 and the old Microsoft Edge. 

On August 17, 2021, people who still use the old Edge or IE 11 can expect a "degraded experience", or may not be able to connect to Microsoft (Office) 365 apps on IE 11 anymore. 

"Beginning August 17, 2021, the remaining Microsoft 365 apps and services will no longer support IE 11," Microsoft said in a blogpost

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By degraded experience, Microsoft means that users won't see new Microsoft 365 features in IE 11. That means no new Teams features will appear for IE11 users. 

"For degraded experiences, new Microsoft 365 features will not be available or certain features may cease to work when accessing the app or service via IE 11. While we know this change will be difficult for some customers, we believe that customers will get the most out of Microsoft 365 when using the new Microsoft Edge. We are committed to helping make this transition as smooth as possible."

Microsoft nods to the changes to the browser landscape that have happened since IE 11 was launched in 2013. Today, the web is ruled by open web standards that IE historically did not conform to. The new Edge which is based on Google's Chromium project offers "better, more innovative online experiences", according to Microsoft.

"We believe that Microsoft 365 subscribers, in both consumer and commercial contexts, will be well served with this change through faster and more responsive web access to greater sets of features in everyday toolsets like Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, and more," Microsoft says. 

While Microsoft 365 apps, such as Teams, will no longer get the latest and greatest features in IE 11, Microsoft reminds admins that IE 11 will still continue to function for line-of-business internal apps. 

"Our customers' own legacy IE 11 apps and investments will continue to work. Customers have made business-critical investments in IE 11 legacy apps and we respect that those apps are still functioning," it says. 

Microsoft is also ending support for the Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop app on March 9, 2021, meaning no more security updates after that date. The company is releasing a Windows 10 mandatory update on April 13, 2021— the April Patch Tuesday —that includes the new Microsoft Edge. 

"When you apply this update to your devices, the out of support Microsoft Edge Legacy desktop application will be removed and the new Microsoft Edge will be installed," Microsoft notes.  

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For IT admins with an eye on the ball, Microsoft's announcement should not be a surprise. Last August, the company announced it will drop support for two of the three browsers it has supported until now on Windows 10. That is, IE 11, old Edge, and the new Chromium-based Edge. Going forward, it will be just Chromium Edge, which works on Windows, Linux and macOS.

The Windows 10 update on April 13 will be coming to all supported versions of Windows 10. Admins will get a chance to test the update and its impact in the optional Windows 10 March Preview (or "C") release. The versions that will see the optional update include: 

  • Windows 10, version 1803, all editions (April 2018)
    • Note: This version will not be included in the optional Windows 10 March Preview release.
  • Windows 10, version 1809, all editions (October 2018)
  • Windows 10, version 1903, all editions (May 2019)
    • Note: This version is out of support for desktop
  • Windows 10, version 1909, all editions (October 2019)
  • Windows 10, version 2004, all editions (May 2020)
  • Windows 10, version 20H2, all editions (October 2020)
    • Because Windows 10, 20H2 already uses the new Microsoft Edge as its default browser, it will not be reinstalled; only Microsoft Edge Legacy will be removed.

The change will not impact Windows 7 or Windows 8.X, which was never supported by the new Edge browser.