Microsoft finally and officially retired this year Internet Explorer, an outdated web browser. If you try to run it on Windows 10, it will launch Microsoft Edge, the company’s current browser, instead.

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If you’ve never used IE in its latest iterations other than as a download tool Google Chrome or one of his many alternativesthen you probably won’t care. However, Internet Explorer remains the only browser able to properly view many older websites and some legacy web platforms, and if you ever need to use one of them, you may end up looking at a blank page.

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Back in 2003, Internet Explorer was the default browser for Windows and Mac and completely dominated the web scene. At the time, prioritizing Microsoft browser-only compatibility was not considered a major disadvantage. In this way, Microsoft could create custom extensions for open standards such as HTML and CSS that only worked in IE.

Some of these extensions were design-related, such as Embedded OpenType (EOT) fonts. Others were functional, such as JScript.Encode, which could obfuscate the site’s source code before it was reverse engineered. Internet Explorer also supported the once-popular ActiveX plug-ins that allowed it to open file types not normally supported by browsers. Many older sites relied on ActiveX to function.

A lot has changed since then. open source fire fox browser popularized the use of extensions, Apple introduced Safariand finally Chromium, relying on Google resources, turned IE into a niche browser. In 2015, Microsoft stopped developing features for IE in favor of Edge.

Solution: IE mode

If you’re on Windows and need to access a website that modern browsers don’t support, you can still do so thanks to a hidden option in Microsoft Edge called IE Mode.

To get started, click the ellipsis button in the upper right corner of the window. Scroll down and select Settings. In the “Default Browser” section, you can allow sites to reload in IE mode:

You can also add specific websites that will automatically load in IE mode for 30 days:

In the Appearance section, you can also add an IE Mode button to the toolbar to quickly switch between the two engines:

If the website still looks wrong after activating IE Mode, you can use Internet Explorer Compatibility Mode to view the page as if it looked even in older versions of IE…

Microsoft Edge advises you not to use IE mode without a good reason. Internet Explorer doesn’t support all modern standards, which can result in missing images and text, and many of today’s most popular sites don’t support it at all. Also, the underlying IE engine doesn’t receive security updates as often as the Chromium engine that powers Edge.

Microsoft has pledged to support IE mode until 2029. We can only hope that most of the sites that are still online will be rewritten using open standards sooner so that IE mode is no longer needed.

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