Windows

Internet Explorer: How to disable IE via Group Policy or Windows Registry Settings

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From the release of Windows 11, users using Windows 11 will notice that they can no longer access the Internet Explorer 11. The Internet Explorer 11 desktop application has now been retired and is out of support as of June 15, 2022, for certain versions of Windows 10. Microsoft has directed that those users that still rely on IE11 for running certain applications be redirected to the Microsoft Edge browser.

Microsoft Edge’s Internet Explorer mode (IE mode) offers a smooth, single browser experience for businesses that use Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) for legacy compatibility. Instead of switching back to IE11, users can access old programs directly from Microsoft Edge.

Using group policy or registry settings, you can disable IE11 as a stand-alone browser after configuring IE mode without compromising IE mode functionality in your organization.

This article explains how to disable Internet Explorer 11 from your system’s list of available browsers.

Here are other related guides: How to forcefully remove Microsoft Edge Browser the hard way from your device, how to Block downloads on Microsoft Edge using GPO on Windows Server 2019 and 2022, and Set Google Chrome as default: How to set a browser as default in Windows.

What user experience following traffic redirection to Microsoft Edge

All Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) activity is routed over to Microsoft Edge when the disabled Internet Explorer 11 as a standalone browser policy is enabled, and users encounter the following:

  • The task bar and Start Menu will no longer contain any IE11 icons.
  • Users will be routed to access the same file or URL in Microsoft Edge when they attempt to start shortcuts or file associations that require IE11.
  • Microsoft Edge will launch in its place when users attempt to start IE11 by using the iexplore.exe binary directly.

You can choose to display a redirect notice for each user who attempts to start IE11 as part of configuring the policy for this experience. The display options for this message are “Always” or “Once per user.”

How to disable IE via Group Policy

To open the Group Policy Editor, click the Windows Start Menu, then search for Group Policy Editor, then run it as administrator as shown below.

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Navigate to the following path:

Computer Configuration>>Administrative Templates>>Windows Components>>Internet Explorer
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In the Internet Explorer settings, double-click Disable Internet Explorer 11 as a standalone browser.

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Next select Enabled.

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Select one of the following under Notify that Internet Explorer 11 browser is disabled:

  • Never: if you don’t want users to be notified that IE11 is deactivated.
  • Always: if you want to warn users whenever they are redirected from IE11.
  • Once per user: If you just want to tell users the first time they are redirected.

To save this policy option, select OK or Apply.

How to disable IE via Registry settings

You can disable Internet Explorer in Windows by creating and editing a new registry value named “NotifyDisableIEOptions.” Here’s how:

First, search for “Registry Editor” in the Start menu and run as administrator.

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Navigate to “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft” folder. Then Right-click on the “Microsoft” folder and select “New >> Key.”

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Name the Key “Internet Explorer”. Then right-click on the “Internet Explorer” folder and select “New >> Key.”

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Type “Main” as the new folder name. Then right-click on the “Main” folder and select the “New >> DWORD (32-bit) Value” option.

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Type “NotifyDisableIEOptions” as the new value name. Then double-click on the “NotifyDisableIEOptions” value and set the Value Data to either “0, 1, or 2.”

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The Value data 0, 1, and 2 represent the following:

  • Never (0): if you don’t want users to be notified that IE11 is deactivated.
  • Always (1): if you want to warn users whenever they are redirected from IE11.
  • Once per user (2): If you just want to tell users the first time they are redirected.

Click “Ok” close the registry editor and restart Windows.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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