Internet Explorer shortcut on a Windows 10 desktop.

It’s 2019, but some businesses and government agencies still have old websites that don’t function correctly in new web browsers. Windows 10 still includes Internet Explorer 11 and Microsoft has committed to supporting it with security updates.

We recommend avoiding Internet Explorer when possible. It’s old and outdated. It doesn’t include modern web features and is likely easier to attack than modern web browsers. Only use it when necessary—which, for most people, shouldn’t be much.

Even Microsoft recommends avoiding IE and encourages you to use Microsoft Edge instead. Microsoft’s Chris Jackson has called Internet Explorer a “compatibility solution“—not a modern web browser you should use.

How to Open a Web Page in IE From Edge

If you use Microsoft Edge, you can quickly open web pages in Internet Explorer when necessary.

To do so, click menu > More Tools > Open with Internet Explorer. Edge will launch IE and open the current web page.

Opening a web page in Internet Explorer from Microsoft Edge.

How to Launch Internet Explorer on Windows 10

You don’t have to use Edge to launch IE. You can launch Internet Explorer and use it normally. You’ll find Internet Explorer in your Start menu.

To launch Internet Explorer on Windows 10, click the Start button, search for “Internet Explorer,” and press Enter or click the “Internet Explorer” shortcut.

If you use IE a lot, you can pin it to your taskbar, turn it into a tile on your Start menu, or create a desktop shortcut to it.

Launching Internet Explorer from Windows 10's Start menu.

Don’t see Internet Explorer in your Start menu? The IE feature may be removed—it’s installed by default, but you’re free to remove it.

Head to Control Panel > Programs > Turn Windows features on or off. (You can launch the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start menu, too.) Ensure “Internet Explorer 11” is checked in the list of features here and click “OK.”

Enabling Internet Explorer from Windows Features.

How to Automatically Open Specific Websites in IE

For system administrators, Windows 10 offers an “Enterprise Mode” feature. Administrators can add a list of websites to the Enterprise Mode list. When a user visits a site on the list in Microsoft Edge, Edge will automatically open that web page in Internet Explorer 11.

This lets users use the Microsoft Edge browser normally. Rather than manually launching IE, Edge will automatically launch IE when they navigate to a website that requires Internet Explorer.

This option is part of Windows Group Policy. You’ll find the “Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List” option at Computer Configuration\Administrative Templates\Windows Components\Microsoft Edge\.

Configuring the Enterprise Mode site list on Windows 10.

This will all likely change a bit with the launch of the new Microsoft Edge. It’ll be based on Chromium, the open-source project that forms the basis of the Google Chrome web browser. But Internet Explorer, in some form, is set to be part of Windows 10 for the foreseeable future. It’s still necessary for websites that require ActiveX and browser helper objects.

IE may soon be the best way to use old websites that require Adobe Flash on Windows soon, too.

RELATED: What ActiveX Controls Are and Why They're Dangerous

Profile Photo for Chris Hoffman Chris Hoffman
Chris Hoffman is Editor-in-Chief of How-To Geek. He's written about technology for over a decade and was a PCWorld columnist for two years. Chris has written for The New York Times and Reader's Digest, been interviewed as a technology expert on TV stations like Miami's NBC 6, and had his work covered by news outlets like the BBC. Since 2011, Chris has written over 2,000 articles that have been read more than one billion times---and that's just here at How-To Geek.
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