Compatibility mode

How to enable IE Mode on Microsoft Edge Chromium

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

Alongside all the features and improvements in the roadmap for the new version of Microsoft Edge based on the Chromium engine, Microsoft 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 separate browser or redesigning the site. 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 also possible to use the Group Policy Editor to configure the compatibility mode.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to enable IE Mode to load legacy websites using the Internet Explorer rendering engine on Chromium Edge for Windows 10. (See also this Edge video tutorial to configure the feature.)

How to enable IE mode on Microsoft Edge

To enable IE mode on Edge, use these steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Edge on Windows 10.

  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.

    Microsoft Edge enable IE mode
    Microsoft Edge enable IE mode
  6. Click the Restart button.

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

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 on Windows 10.

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

  3. Select the More tools submenu and choose the “Reload in Internet Explorer mode” option.

    Reload in Internet Explorer mode option
    Reload in Internet Explorer mode option

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

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 10, 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 on Windows 10.

  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, including:

    • 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
    Let Internet Explorer open sites in Microsoft Edge

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

How to enable IE mode with Group Policy on Microsoft Edge

Alternatively, you can also enable IE Mode on Chromium Edge with Group Policy. However, you will need to download and install the policy template before you can configure 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 for 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.

    Microsoft Edge download policies
    Microsoft Edge download policies
  7. Click the Accept & download button.

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

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

    Microsoft Edge extract policy templates
    Microsoft Edge extract policy templates
  10. (Optional) Select the location to extract the files.

  11. Check the Show extracted files when complete option.

  12. Click the Extract button.

    Windows 10 zip extract
    Windows 10 zip extract
  13. Browse the following path inside the (extracted) “MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates” folder:

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

    Copy msedge.admx
    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.
  15. Browse to the following path:

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

    Paste msedge.admx in PolicyDefintions folder
    Paste msedge.admx in PolicyDefintions folder
  17. In the “admx” folder, inside the “MicrosoftEdgePolicyTemplates” folder, open the language folder that represents your language — for example, en-US.

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

    Microsoft Edge copy language template files
    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.
  19. Browse to the following path that matches your language:

    C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US

    In the above command, make sure to change en-US for the folder that matches your language.

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

    Paste language policy files
    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
    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 dropdown menu.

    Enable IE Mode on Chromium Edge
    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 compatibility mode, and you’ll notice a familiar IE icon on the left side of the address bar letting you know the website is using Internet Explorer.

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

Update May 20, 2021: This guide has been revised with the steps to configure IE Mode on the Chromium version of Microsoft Edge using the new compatibility settings and updated the process to install the Group Policy templates.