December 9, 2020 Zachary Kitchen

What You Need to Know About Impending Loss of Support for IE 11

They say the only constant is change, and that’s never been more true than when you’re dealing with technology.

Operating systems, hardware, and software continue to evolve, making it necessary to upgrade and leave behind tools and cloud solutions that you may have been using for years. 

One of the long-time browsers that’s been a mainstay in offices forever is soon due for retirement.

While Internet Explorer may not yet have reached its end of life, it is losing support from a major platform very soon. Microsoft 365 will no longer support the browser in less than a year and Teams will no longer support it in less than a month.

IE has been around since 1995, but when Microsoft brought out its new Edge browser in 2015, the writing was on the wall for Internet Explorer. For any offices that are still using the browser, now is the time to migrate your workflows to a new one.

Important IE 11 Phase Out Dates

Before we go through the pertinent dates that you need to know, let’s discuss what “losing support” means.

Does it mean that suddenly Microsoft 365 applications will stop working in IE 11? 

Yes, that could be the case for some of them, for others you may experience a degraded experience.

What that means, according to Microsoft, is that some new features may not be available when using any of the Microsoft 365 apps in IE11. It could also mean that features that used to work, no longer work. 

The bottom line is that after each of the two phaseout dates, you don’t want to be using Teams or Microsoft 365 in Internet Explorer at all, and you want to have another browser that is supported in place.

Microsoft Teams Stops Supporting IE 11 (11/30/2020)

IE 11 will lose support from Microsoft Teams on November 30, 2020. This could seriously impact a remote team who can no longer connect if you’re not prepared. 

It can also cause problems with people not being able to get on Teams video calls if they’re using Internet Explorer.

If your office uses Teams for online meetings, now is a good time to make sure everyone has a supported browser (Edge, Chrome, Safari) and that you make a note on your meeting invites about the loss of Teams support for IE 11.

Microsoft 365 Stops Supporting IE 11 (8/17/2021)

For the rest of the Microsoft 365 family, you have until August 17, 2021 before you can no longer use those apps effectively in IE 11. This would impact vital apps like Outlook, Word, Excel, OneDrive, and others.

It’s important to plan a migration well ahead of August so that your team’s workflow isn’t disrupted by everyone having problems on the loss of support date.

Browser Upgrade Options

You have several upgrade options for moving workflows from IE into something else. You will want to check each to make sure other cloud tools you use are compatible.

Here is a rundown of each browser option.

Microsoft Edge

This is the smoothest transition since you’ll be going from one Microsoft browser to another. 

Edge’s Chromium upgrade earlier this year made the browser much faster. It also has excellent security options.

Make sure NOT to upgrade to Edge Legacy (the non-Chromium version) because it’s reaching end of life on 3/9/2021.

Microsoft Edge also has an IE Mode that will allow users to open specific IE legacy sites in IE on Edge, so they don’t have to have a two-browser workflow.

Google Chrome

Google Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, with about 66% of the internet browser market share.

Because of its popularity, it is the most supported as far as browser extensions and cloud software.

Two issues to consider is that Chrome tends to be a memory hog, and some people worry about its security since Google’s main business is selling online advertising.

Safari

Safari is Apple’s native browser on Mac products. While it works great on iMacs, MacBooks, iPads, and iPhones, it’s no longer supported on Windows. This means you could only download an older non-supported version on Windows, which would not be a good idea for IT security.

Safari also has a problem with certain webforms not working in the browser.

Firefox

Firefox is also supported by Microsoft 365, however not all Teams features will work in this browser. So, it’s not recommended if you use MS Teams, but okay if you only use the other apps in Microsoft 365.

Firefox is seen as being more secure than Chrome, but also tends to hog system memory resources.

Ensure Your Upgrades and Migrations Go Smoothly

Migrations mean that data needs to be transferred from an old app to a new one. Digital Crisis can help your Houston area business migrate to a new browser, software, or computer smoothly and with no data lost in the process. 

Contact us today to schedule a consultation. Call 713-965-7200 or reach us online.

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