Compatibility mode

How to enable IE Mode on Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge makes it easy to load old websites using Internet Explorer mode, and here's how to enable and use the feature.

Internet Explorer mode on Microsoft Edge
  • To enable IE mode, open Microsoft Edge > Settings > Default browser.
  • Select the Allow option for the “Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer mode (IE mode)” setting.
  • Restart the browser to start using IE mode for legacy websites.
  • You can also set up IE mode on Microsoft Edge through Group Policy.

Alongside all the features and improvements for the version of Microsoft Edge based on the Chromium engine, Microsoft also includes a compatibility mode using the Internet Explorer rendering engine to load old websites.

The feature is known as “IE Mode” and has been designed for organizations to load internal sites without using a different browser or redesigning the legacy pages. The new approach loads the pages within Microsoft Edge like a regular website without using and managing multiple browsers.

If you have to use this compatibility mode, the version of Microsoft Edge available in the stable channel includes the “Internet Explorer compatibilities” settings to quickly enable IE Mode and a separate option to open Edge when browsing an incompatible website with Internet Explorer. Alongside the settings, it is also possible to use the Group Policy Editor to configure the compatibility mode.

This guide will teach you how to enable IE Mode to load legacy websites using the Internet Explorer rendering engine on Chromium Edge for Windows 10 on Windows 11. (See this video tutorial to configure the feature on the Pureinfotech YouTube channel.)

Enable IE mode on Microsoft Edge

To enable IE mode on Microsoft Edge, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.

  2. Click the Settings and More (ellipsis) button on the top-right corner.

  3. Select the Settings option.

  4. Click on Default browser.

  5. Under the “Internet Explorer compatibility” section, turn on the “Allow sites to be reloaded in Internet Explorer mode” toggle switch to enable IE mode on Edge.

    Enable IE mode on Edge

  6. Click the Restart button.

  7. (Optional) Click the Add button in the “Internet Explorer mode pages” setting.

  8. Confirm the website to force the browser to load in IE mode.

  9. Click the Add button. 

Once you complete the steps, when sites require Internet Explorer, you can use Microsoft Edge to reload the page using IE mode.

If you use the “Internet Explorer mode pages” setting, the sites will open in IE mode for 30 days, then page will load normally again.

Open site with IE Mode on Edge

After the IE Mode is enabled, you need to reload a page with the compatibility mode manually.

To open an incompatible website with IE Mode on Edge, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.

  2. Click the Settings and More (ellipsis) button on the top-right corner.

  3. Click the “Reload in Internet Explorer mode” option.

    Reload in Internet Explorer mode

  4. (Optional) Right-click the tab and select the “Reload tab in Internet Explorer mode” option.

After you complete the steps, the website should reload in compatibility mode. The option won’t be available in the menu if the feature is not enabled.

If you want to exit IE Mode, you can use the same instructions, but on step No. 3, select the Exit Internet Explorer mode option.

Open Internet Explorer sites on Microsoft Edge

On Windows 11, Microsoft Edge also lets you configure the browser so that when someone is using Internet Explorer incompatible, or all sites will load within Edge.

To let IE open websites with Edge, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge.

  2. Click the Settings and More (ellipsis) button on the top-right corner.

  3. Select the Settings option.

  4. Click on Default browser.

  5. Under the “Internet Explorer compatibility” section, use the “Let Internet Explorer open sites in Microsoft Edge” drop-down menu and select the option to handle browsing when using Internet Explorer:

    • Never – IE will never switch to Edge to load the site.
    • Incompatible sites only – IE will still load sites, but websites designed for a modern browser will load in Edge.
    • Always – IE will always switch to Edge to load websites.

    Let Internet Explorer open sites in Microsoft Edge

Once you complete the steps, websites will open on Microsoft Edge, according to your configuration when surfing the web with Internet Explorer.

Enable IE mode with Group Policy on Microsoft Edge

Alternatively, you can enable IE mode on Edge with Group Policy. However, you will need to download and install the policy template before configuring the Group Policy settings. 

Install Microsoft Edge policy template

To install the policy template to enable IE Mode on Edge, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge (business) website.

  2. Under the “Policy File” section, click the Download button.

  3. Select the version of Microsoft Edge. (Usually, you want to use the latest stable version available.)

  4. Select the build (latest version available).

  5. Select the platform — for example, Windows 64-bit.

  6. Click the Get policy files option.

    Download Edge Group Policy files

  7. Click the Accept & download button.

  8. Double-click to open the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates.cab file.

  9. Double-click to open the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates.zip file.

  10. Select the extraction location.

  11. Click the Extract button.

  12. Double-click to open the MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates.zip file again.

  13. Click the Extract all button from the “Compressed Folder Tools” tab.

    Microsoft Edge extract policy templates

  14. (Optional) Select the location to extract the files.

  15. Check the Show extracted files when complete option.

  16. Click the Extract button.

    Windows 10 zip extract

  17. Browse the following path inside the (extracted) “MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates” folder:

    windows\admx
  18. Select the “msedge.admx” and “msedgeupdate.admx” files and click the Copy option from the “Home” tab. 

    Copy msedge.admx

    Quick tip: You only need to copy the “msedgeupdate.admx” file if you want to control the update settings of Microsoft Edge.
  19. Browse to the following path:

    C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions
  20. Click the Paste button from the “Home” tab.

    Paste msedge.admx in PolicyDefintions folder

  21. In the “admx” folder, inside the “MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates” folder, open the language folder that represents your language — for example, en-US.

  22. Select the msedge.adml and msedgeupdate.adml files and click the Copy option from the “Home” tab.

    Microsoft Edge copy language template files

    Quick tip: You only need to copy the “msedgeupdate.adml” file if you also copy the file on step No.12.
  23. Browse to the following path that matches your language:

    C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US

    In the command, change en-US for the folder that matches your local language.

  24. Click the Paste button from the “Home” tab.

    Paste language policy files

Once you complete the steps, the new policies to enable or disable IE Mode on Edge Chromium will install in the Group Policy Editor.

Enable IE Mode on Microsoft Edge

To enable IE Mode on Chromium Edge with Group Policy, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for gpedit and click the top result to open the Group Policy Editor.

  3. Browse the following path:

    Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Microsoft Edge
  4. Double-click the Configure Internet Explorer integration policy.

    Microsoft Edge Group Policy settings

  5. Select the Enabled option to enable IE Mode for Microsoft Edge.

  6. Under the “Options” section, select the “Internet Explorer mode” from the drop-down menu.

    Enable IE Mode on Chromium Edge

  7. Click the Apply button.

  8. Click the OK button.

After you complete the steps, websites will render in the Internet Explorer compatibility mode. And you’ll notice a familiar IE icon on the left side of the address bar, letting you know the website uses Internet Explorer.

These steps enable IE Mode for intranet websites. If you want to load external websites with Microsoft Edge, you will have to enable and set up the “Configure the Enterprise Mode Site List” policy, which includes creating an XML file with the list of domains you want to load automatically with the Internet Explorer mode.