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How to redirect from
Internet Explorer
to Microsoft Edge

Martin Nielsen

Internet Explorer 11 is dead, and has been for some time.

Microsoft has officially announced the retirement date, June 15, 2022.

While most users have moved from Internet Explorer to newer, evergreen browsers like Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox or Microsoft's newest offering, Edge, there are still holdouts. According to Statcounter.com, IE11 only recently dropped below 1% globally.

Some specialised industries like construction and shipping, along with some governments and institutions still have a lot of users that do what they've always done; use Internet Explorer. Despite Microsoft Edge being installed on their computer.

Microsoft has a solution for this, and it is rather elegant.

They get Internet Explorer 11 to automatically switch to Microsoft Edge when it detects a compatible website.

Smart. Now how do we implement this?

Getting on Microsoft's Redirect List

All you have to do is e-mail Microsoft. It really is that simple.

Send an e-mail to [email protected], with the following information:

  • Website owners name
    Whether it is a one person band, small foodie blog or large corporation, they just need the name of someone with the authority to make the changes, and potentially contact if need be.
  • Corporate title
    Not strictly needed in our experience, put something like "Owner" if it is your own website.
  • Email address
    They send a confirmation e-mail to this address when the transfer is complete. It does not have to be from the domain being added.
  • Company name
    If it is a company website, they'd like to know the name. If it is a private one like a blog, you can leave it out.
  • Street address
    Same as above, this is only really applicable for businesses cases in our experience.
  • Website address
    The URL of the website in question.
    Example: myamazingwebsite.com

That is it. Send it off and wait a few days.

These e-mails are at the time of writing not handled by robots, but real humans!

Every website is vetted manually and added to the list by hand, so it can take a weeks time for it to update.

What happens when people visit my page now?

Once you're on the list, and someone visits your website from Internet Explorer, it automatically opens Microsoft Edge and forwards the page seamlessly, while informing the visitor that Internet Explorer is officially deprecated.

Shows the dialogue box that appears when a visting a website from Internet Explorer 11 when redirecting to Microsoft Edge.
Image courtesy of Microsoft.com

Can people stop the automatic redirect?

Yes, they can.

Microsoft has a little guide for it, if you want to do it the technical way (when deploying a large number of computers).

Individual users can change a few settings in Microsoft Edge on their own.

In Microsoft Edge, click the dots in the upper right corner, and then Settings.

Then open the "Default browser" pane in the list to the left. Here you can choose whether or not Edge automatically opens items in the list (the default behaviour, "Incompatible Sites only"), always does it regardless of listing, or never does it at all.

You can also force Edge to emulate Internet Explorer if you ever need to. But that is a whole different topic.

A screenshot of Microsoft Edges compatability options for Internet Explorer.