Microsoft Edge replaced Internet Explorer as the default Windows web browser back in 2015. Six years later, Microsoft is replacing that version of Edge with a newer model.
Microsoft announced on its tech blog on Friday that Edge Legacy (the older version of the browser that comes pre-installed on Windows 10 PCs) will be automatically removed from those computers with a software update on April 13. Anyone still using Edge Legacy on Windows 10 is strongly advised to switch over to the new version of Edge based on Google’s open-source Chromium software, which launched a year ago.
If you don’t manually make the switch before April 13, your PC will do that for you. Those who have Edge Legacy on their task bars or desktops will see it replaced by the new version of Edge. You could theoretically keep using Edge Legacy if you just don’t install the April 13 software update, but the Chromium version of Edge is the only one that will keep getting new features and, most importantly, security updates going forward.
For what it’s worth, Microsoft promises the new Edge is fast and reliable, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. This should go without saying, but if you use a third-party browser like Chrome or Firefox, this change will not affect your daily routine in the slightest. It’ll be like it never even happened.
The removal news isn’t entirely a surprise. Microsoft confirmed in August 2020 that Edge Legacy browser would no longer be supported after March 9, 2021. The latest development reinforces the coming change, with Microsoft taking the dramatic step of removing the browser automatically.
Internet Explorer will be sticking around, though that, too, is set for some changes. Microsoft started winding down support for the browser in November 2020, and that’s expected to end on Aug. 17, 2021, when Microsoft 365 ends its support for the now-ancient browser.
That doesn’t mean Explorer will follow Edge Legacy into oblivion, however. Microsoft wrote in the 2020 announcement that the browser “isn’t going away.” The reason? “Customers have made business-critical investments in IE 11 legacy apps and we respect that those apps are still functioning.”
All that said, you definitely shouldn’t still be using Internet Explorer unless you have a specific reason to do so.