Important Dates & Details on the IE 11 Phaseout for Microsoft 365

Monday, November 16, 2020

Important Dates & Details on the IE 11 Phaseout for Microsoft 365

One of the indicators that technology is always evolving is when a particular software or component reaches a sunset period or end of life. This happens when it is no longer supported by another application or by manufacturer security updates.

IT challenges when an application is going to be phased out include finding a new application to take its place and updating workflows before the event happens.

One significant sunset is going to happen shortly for Internet Explorer 11 when Microsoft Teams and Microsoft 365 stop supporting the browser. When this happens, it means that when trying to access any of the apps in that platform, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, Teams, OneDrive, etc., that you’ll experience problems.

Microsoft explains that “customers will have a degraded experience or will be unable to connect to Microsoft 365 apps and services in IE 11.”

Here is what you need to know about the IE 11 phaseout to ensure your office continues running efficiently.

IE 11: What You Need to Know

When Will Teams Stop Supporting IE 11?

The first impact you’ll see if you use Microsoft 365 and IE 11 is with Microsoft Teams. Teams stops support for the browser on November 30, 2020.

This means that you won’t be able to use Teams on the web interface in IE 11 and anyone trying to access a video call in that browser will have problems.

Since you can’t control what browsers invitees may use to connect to a Teams video call, it’s a good idea to add a note in your meeting invitation that the Internet Explorer browser will not work. This will give people a chance to install an alternate browser if needed.

When Will Microsoft 365 Stop Supporting IE 11?

You have a little more time before all the other applications in Microsoft 365 stop supporting Internet Explorer. That support end date will come on August 17, 2021.

This means you’ll no longer be able to properly use any of the web applications for Microsoft 365 or important file sharing sites like OneDrive and SharePoint.

Is IE 11 Reaching End of Life & Losing Security Update Support?

You don’t have to worry that having IE 11 on a computer is going to pose a security risk, because the browser is not yet reaching end of life. It is still being supported by Microsoft through regular security updates, depending upon your operating system (OS).

Microsoft notes that because Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system, it has the same lifecycle policy of the product on which it is installed.

So, if you have IE 11 installed on Windows 10, then you don’t have to worry.

However, if you’re running IE 11 on Windows 7, an OS that reached end of life on January 14, 2020, you won’t be receiving any security updates for IE 11 or Windows 7. This leaves your system at severe risk of a malware infection or breach.

What Alternate Browser Can I Use?

Microsoft 365 can be used with the current versions of the following browsers:

  • Microsoft Edge
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • Firefox (Does not fully support Teams meetings)

If you want to stay with a Microsoft browser, then their new Chromium-powered Edge browser is a good option. It’s designed to be fast, secure, and includes features like Categories, which allows you to save categories of webpages to access later.

Edge also offers several security controls, such as tracking transparency and Microsoft Defender SmartScreen for blocking malicious websites. A password monitor is coming soon as well and will alert you if your password has potentially been breached.

Can We access Sites with Edge and IE 11 in the Same Browser?

Many businesses use IE 11 with legacy sites and prefer to access them that way. So, to avoid companies having to use a “two-browser workflow,” Microsoft has added a component to Edge called IE mode.

What IE mode does is allow you to access websites in Edge and IE 11 in a single browser. Edge uses its Chromium engine for modern websites (opened in Edge) and utilises a Trident MSHTML engine from Internet Explorer for viewing sites in IE 11.

Sites loading in IE 11 will display the IE logo on the left side navigation bar. Sites have to be specifically configured through a policy to use the IE mode, otherwise they’ll be opened with Edge.

IE Mode supports functionalities such as:

  • Document modes and enterprise modes
  • ActiveX controls
  • Browser helper objects
  • IE settings and Group Policies for security zone settings
  • IE F12 developer tools, when launched with IEChooser
  • Most Microsoft Edge extensions

IE Mode does not support:

  • Internet Explorer toolbars
  • IE settings and Group Policies impacting the navigation menu
  • IE 11 or MS Edge F12 developer tools

Ensure Your Cloud Environment is Up To Date

NMX IT Solutions can help your Thames Valley area business with a review of the tools you use to identify any sunsetting technologies and guide you through an upgrade before any issues may occur.

Contact us today to schedule your consultation! Call 01628 232300 or reach out online.

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