A moment of silence for Internet Explorer, as Microsoft confirms it’s being shut down in August 2021

Internet Explorer Review
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Pour one out for Internet Explorer, because Microsoft has just confirmed (opens in new tab) that it will end support for the antiquated web browser in August 2021. Microsoft has moved on to pastures new with Microsoft Edge (opens in new tab), its new browser which is approximately a million times better than Internet Explorer ever was. Still, in spite of how terrible it was, we’re going to shed a tear for the end of such an iconic web browser.

Internet Explorer was the default web browser for Windows home computers (opens in new tab) and laptops (opens in new tab) for two decades, but it has rarely matched up to the best web browsers (opens in new tab) out there. Internet Explorer was consistently outclassed by Google Chrome (opens in new tab) and Mozilla Firefox (opens in new tab)  throughout the years. Microsoft announced it was replacing Internet Explorer with Edge in March 2015, but it has continued to support the browser with security updates since then. Now it is pulling the plug on that support too in November 2020, while support for Microsoft 365 apps like Word and Excel will end in August 2021.

It’s hard to argue that Microsoft didn’t put the work into Internet Explorer, even if it never paid off, and supporting it for six years after it was replaced was admirable. Edge itself launched with its own share of problems, but since Microsoft rebuilt it from the ground up using the Chromium architecture, it’s become an impressive browser that rivals even Google Chrome in terms of performance and features, if not user base.

How to switch from Internet Explorer

Internet Explorer will still technically work after August 2021, but it will no longer get security updates from Redmond, which means it will become increasingly vulnerable to viruses, hackers and other malicious software. If you’re a current Internet Explorer, we’d recommend switching to a more modern browser like Edge, Chrome, or Mozilla Firefox.

Even on a secure browser, you should make security and privacy a priority when browsing the web. If you don’t already have one, make sure you install one of the best antivirus (opens in new tab) programs like Norton 360 to keep your devices secure. You can also protect your identity and browser history from snoopers by using one of the best VPNs (opens in new tab)

If you want the complete package, the best internet security software (opens in new tab) often includes antivirus, firewalls, and VPN access for a single monthly or yearly fee. These offer the best value for money, but can be overkill for casual users.

Ian Stokes is the Tech Editor here at Top Ten Reviews. He has extensive experience in tech and games journalism, with work published on IGN, Kotaku UK, Waypoint, GamesRadar, Trusted Reviews, and many more. You'll find him covering everything from smartphones and home computers to 3D printers and headphones. He's also our resident cocktail expert.