Is it possible to run Internet Explorer on Windows 11?

Possibly, I need to run the full internet explorer, not just a compatibility mode. Thank you!

  • Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking.
    – Community Bot
    May 4, 2022 at 17:22
  • Does it have to run directly on Windows 11, or do you just need it to run in Windows 11? You could save yourself a lot of trouble running IE in a virtual machine.
    – midrare
    Oct 6, 2022 at 4:35

3 Answers 3


[!!] As the screenshot at the end of the answer shows, Microsoft has dropped support for Internet Explorer!!

Because of this, probably these solution will stop working some time in (near) future.

Also, after the discussion in the comments, I must admit I'm not sure these solutions really work, even now...

But if you still want to try...

First method

I recently found out that you can start Internet Explorer creating a flow on Microsoft Power Automate.

Create an empty flow, then click on "Browser Automation" and add a "Launch instance of IE"

(select "Launch new Internet Explorer" and specify an url as "about:blank" or "https://www.google.com" as startup url)

Second method

  • Create a .hta file containing the following:
<a href="about:blank" target="_">Start Internet Explorer</a>
  • Double click the .hta file to open it (if asked, select "Open with Microsoft HTML Application Host)

  • Click the link in the window that will pop up

  • Here you go!


Update (Oct 7 2022): I started working on a fork of @medic17 's answer, you can find it here: https://github.com/develc/IELauncher

You can also download the pre-built installer: IELauncher-setup.msi

  • It worked (I had to select "Launch new Internet Explorer")
    – Mggi
    May 4, 2022 at 17:29
  • 1
    I'm struggling to know how this worked… IE isn't even included in Win11, you have to force-install it. You probably have Edge in IE11 mode. See docs.microsoft.com/en-us/troubleshoot/developer/browsers/…
    – Tetsujin
    May 4, 2022 at 17:36
  • I think that is very likely as there is so much compatibility now built into Chromium Edge
    – John
    May 4, 2022 at 19:08
  • Actually, I am not sure IE is removed completely yet; for example, Winforms (.NET) still use internet-explorer-like components (in some apps), and so does Microsoft (R) HTML Application Host.
    – ciao1092
    May 7, 2022 at 13:28
  • In Windows 11 any structure needing HTML and stuff will use Edge in Compatibility Mode so far as I know.
    – John
    May 7, 2022 at 13:42

The easiest way to run Internet Explorer, on Windows 11 (build 22000.348 or higher), is with the following three line script (save as LaunchIE.vbs or similar):

Set oIE = CreateObject("InternetExplorer.Application")
oIE.Visible = True
oIE.Navigate "about:blank" 'put your URL of choice here

Update: Another option is this small LaunchIE.exe

Now let's clear up a few myths...

Contrary to popular belief, Internet Explorer is still installed on Windows 11. It's only slightly disabled. That is, attempting to run it in the usual ways (such as double-clicking iexplore.exe) will redirect to Edge instead. It is otherwise fully functional, so that legacy applications and scripts, that run IE via COM, will continue to work and so that Edge can provide its "IE Mode".

When you open a web page in Edge IE Mode, it actually runs Internet Explorer in the background (you will see iexplore.exe in the task list). Killing the iexplore.exe task will kill the web page.

If you remove Internet Explorer from Windows 10 (via Turn Windows features on or off) or Windows 11 (perhaps by using something like CCleaner) IE Mode will no longer exist in Edge and any applications or scripts, that depend on IE, will break.

HTAs (HTML Applications) do NOT depend on Internet Explorer, but they use the same MSHTML rendering engine as IE. Removing IE does not break HTAs because removing IE does not remove MSHTML.

On June 15th 2022, absolutely nothing changed in regards to what's installed on Windows 10 or 11. IE was NOT removed. That date simply signified the end of support for IE and all IT departments were strongly encouraged to deploy a group policy to Windows 10 to make IE redirect to Edge, as it does already on Windows 11.

Edit: As of early 2023, IE is "disabled" on Windows 10, via an update, in the same way it is "disabled" on Windows 11.

  • Yeah, for sure the VBS method is easier than the whole Power Automate stuff... I didn't know you could start a IE instance with VBS
    – ciao1092
    Oct 6, 2022 at 16:19

Building on @ LesFetch's excellent answer I wrote a small C# program that can be used as an IE launcher. It uses the same method but can be used in environments that disable vbs. It can take a URL as an argument

// To hide the console windows change solution prperties to "windows application"

namespace Main
    class Program
        static void Main(string[] args)
            // The SHDocVw object requires a refrence to COM object "Microsoft Internet Controls"
            SHDocVw.InternetExplorer IE = new();
            object URL;

            if (args.Length >= 1)
                URL = args[0];
                URL = "http://www.google.com"; // home page

            // Call the IE instance to open the specified URL 
            IE.Visible = true;
            IE.Navigate2(ref URL);

publish as a single exe and use it like you would with the regular internet explorer. It supports passing a web page as a command line argument for scripting purposes.

Feel free to add suggestions and improvements here and at my repo

  • Maybe consider making the default URL "about:blank"?
    – LesFerch
    Oct 7, 2022 at 13:04
  • I considered it but as most people are used to having a home page that's a website desided not to. I will eventually read the user's home page from Windows itself as that's where most companies have it defined
    – medic17
    Oct 8, 2022 at 3:12

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