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Withdrawal of support for Internet Explorer

Microsoft Internet Explorer is now end-of-life, and Microsoft is withdrawing support for it. As a result, NHS Digital is no longer offering support for Internet Explorer in its products, and web-based services produced by NHS Digital may not work correctly.

NHS Digital sites may not work in Internet Explorer

If you use Internet Explorer to access websites, you may find that NHS Digital services do not work, or do not work correctly.

End-of-life product

Microsoft Internet Explorer is now end-of-life in the Microsoft Lifecycle Policy, which means that support is gradually being withdrawn.

This means that the final version of Internet Explorer, version 11 (IE11) will start to be supported in fewer places, ahead of final support withdrawal.

Microsoft have announced that support is being withdrawn as follows:

  • 30 November 2020 - Microsoft Teams withdraws support for IE11
  • 17 August 2021 - Microsoft 365 stops supporting IE11

It is anticipated that at some point after these dates, that security patches and other vital updates will finish.

Impact on NHS Digital

Internet Explorer is based on old technology, and doesn't work in the same way as modern web browsers.

Because of this, developing any web-based application normally requires work on the 'front-end' or user interface to be done twice - once for modern browsers, and again just for IE11.

This comes at a significant cost to the organisation, and ultimately this is a cost to the taxpayer.

With Microsoft withdrawing support from IE11, and the wide availability of free suitable alternatives, we cannot justify spending public money on this additional development.

Alternatives to Internet Explorer

To access NHS Digital web sites and applications, you can use any of the following:

Microsoft Edge is installed by default as part of all Windows operating systems, and includes compatibility for Internet Explorer.

Users with compatibility issues

We understand that some older applications that users have may only work correctly in Internet Explorer.

The official Microsoft guidance is that users should use Microsoft Edge in the specific IE mode, which will enable them to continue to use these IE only applications smoothly, whilst accessing websites like NHS Digital using their Chromium powered modern web browser.

Last edited: 27 August 2020 8:41 am