Lifecycle FAQ—Internet Explorer

Applies to: Internet Explorer

Back to the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy home page


NOTE: This FAQ was updated on April 4, 2018. 

What is the Lifecycle Policy for Internet Explorer?

Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and follows the Lifecycle Policy for the product on which it is installed. A component is defined as a set of files or features that are included with a Microsoft product, whether it is shipped with the product, included in a product service pack or update, or later made available as a web download for the product.

The Microsoft Lifecycle policy continues to provide a minimum of five years of Mainstream Support and a minimum of five years of Extended Support for Business and Developer products, and the Windows operating system.

Compared with older versions of Internet Explorer, Internet Explorer 11 offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and greater support for modern web technologies. Microsoft encourages customers to upgrade and stay current with the latest browser for a faster, more secure browsing experience.

Beginning January 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer available for a supported operating system receives technical support and security updates, as shown in the following table:

 Windows Desktop Operating Systems  Internet Explorer Version
 Windows Vista SP2 *  Internet Explorer 9
 Windows 7 SP1  Internet Explorer 11
 Windows 8.1 Update  Internet Explorer 11
 Windows 10**  Internet Explorer 11


*Since January 12, 2016, Windows Vista SP2 has reached end of support. 

**Windows 10 features Microsoft Edge, a faster, more productive way to browse the web. Microsoft recommends using Microsoft Edge as your default browser and supports Internet Explorer 11 for backward compatibility. 


 Windows Server Operating Systems  Internet Explorer Version
 Windows Server 2008 SP2  Internet Explorer 9
 Windows Server 2008 IA64 (Itanium)  Internet Explorer 9
 Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1  Internet Explorer 11
 Windows Server 2008 R2 IA64 (Itanium)  Internet Explorer 11
 Windows Server 2012  Internet Explorer 10
 Windows Server 2012 R2  Internet Explorer 11


 Windows Embedded Operating Systems  Internet Explorer Version
 Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS) *  Internet Explorer 7
 Windows Embedded Standard 2009 (WES09)  Internet Explorer 8
 Windows Embedded POSReady 2009  Internet Explorer 8
 Windows Embedded Standard 7  Internet Explorer 11
 Windows Embedded POSReady 7  Internet Explorer 11
 Windows Thin PC  Internet Explorer 11**
 Windows Embedded 8 Standard  Internet Explorer 10
 Windows 8.1 Industry Update  Internet Explorer 11


*Since January 12, 2016, Windows Embedded for Point of Service (WEPOS) has reached end of support.

**Beginning January 10, 2017, Internet Explorer 11 replaced Internet Explorer 8 on Windows Thin PC. To continue to receive Internet Explorer 8 updates after January 12, 2016, please contact your Microsoft Account Team.

For customers running on an older version of Internet Explorer, we recommend customers migrate to one of the above supported operating systems and browser combinations.


The information on this page is subject to the Microsoft Policy Disclaimer and Change Notice. Return to this site periodically to review any such changes.