Intermittent session renewals in Internet Explorer 11

Symptoms
You are using Internet Explorer 11 in Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows 8.1, and you access an internal web application that uses session-based authentication. At some point, you are prompted by the website to authenticate again.  
Cause
Internet Explorer periodically issues web requests for the browserconfig.xml file to the root of a website. The response should then be used to refresh websites that have been pinned to the Start menu, or to modify the view within the New Tab page where your "Frequent websites" are displayed. In case the website is not using Internet Explorer Protected Mode, which is the default for websites in the Local Intranet and Trusted Sites security zones, the request to browserconfig.xml does not contain the session cookie from the current window. However, in case the web server's response sets a new session cookie, this will be propagated to the window, and it invalidates the previously used session. 
Resolution
To fix this issue, install the most recent cumulative security update for Internet Explorer. To do this, go to Microsoft Update. Additionally, see the technical information about the most recent cumulative security update for Internet Explorer.

Note This update was first included in the MS16-037: Security update for Internet Explorer: April 12, 2016.

Registry information

Warning Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly by using Registry Editor or by using another method. These problems might require that you reinstall the operating system. Microsoft cannot guarantee that these problems can be solved. Modify the registry at your own risk.

After you apply this update, you must edit the registry to activate the functionality. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. On the Start menu, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
  2. In Registry Editor, locate and select the following registry subkey:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer
  3. Press and hold (or right-click) Internet Explorer, select New, and then select Key.
  4. Type Download, and then press Enter to name the new subkey.
  5. Press and hold (or right-click) Download, select New, and then select DWORD Value.
  6. Type EnableDownloadConfigXml, and then press Enter to name the new entry.
  7. Exit Registry Editor.
Status
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.

References
Learn about the terminology that Microsoft uses to describe software updates.
Properties

Article ID: 3143504 - Last Review: 04/12/2016 18:44:00 - Revision: 1.0

Internet Explorer 11

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