How to Update Internet Explorer

How to Upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, the Latest Version of IE

Screenshot of the Internet Explorer Logo
Internet Explorer. © Microsoft

You might want to update Internet Explorer for any of several different reasons. Maybe you heard that Microsoft released a new version of their web browser and you'd like to try it out. You'll need to update Internet Explorer to do that.

Perhaps you're dealing with a problem with Internet Explorer and other troubleshooting steps haven't worked. In many cases like this, you can update IE and the problem may go away.

Regardless the reason why you want to, it's very easy to do.

In case you're wondering — no, you do not need to uninstall your current version of IE to update Internet Explorer to the latest version. The updated version will replace the outdated one you have installed right now.

How to Update Internet Explorer

You can update Internet Explorer by downloading and installing it from Microsoft:

Download Internet Explorer [Microsoft]

Screenshot of the Windows 7 IE11 download page
Internet Explorer Download Page for Windows 7.

Locate your language from the list on their site (English, for example), and then click the 32-bit or 64-bit link to get that version for your computer. Read this if you're not sure which download link to pick.

Not Using Windows 7? Read the "IE Support" section below for more information on IE11 in other versions of Windows.

The downloads in the link above are for the full, offline versions of IE11, meaning that all the installation files you need are included in the download. You're welcome to use the online version they offer here but the offline one is best if you're having trouble with your current IE install or you want to put the file on a flash drive or some other media.

You should only update Internet Explorer from Microsoft! Several legitimate websites offer Internet Explorer downloads but many not-so-legitimate websites do as well. Your best bet is to update IE directly from the browser's developer — Microsoft.

That's really all there is to it. Internet Explorer will update (or upgrade) automatically, keeping all of your favorites, cookies, form history, and saved passwords perfectly intact.

Incremental updates to Internet Explorer, like those you might see on Patch Tuesday that correct small bugs or fix security issues, are always best received via Windows Update.

What Is the Latest Version of Internet Explorer?

The latest version of Internet Explorer is IE11.

See What Version of Internet Explorer Do I Have? if you're not sure if you're up to date.

Screenshot of the About Internet Explorer window showing the version number
'About Internet Explorer' Window.

In most cases, the newest version of Internet Explorer will automatically install at some point after its release via Windows Update.

See How Do I Install Windows Updates? for help doing that.

Microsoft's Edge Browser

Internet Explorer will eventually be replaced by a browser called Edge (formerly Spartan) that is currently only available in Windows 10.

Screenshot of Microsoft Edge in Windows 10
Microsoft Edge.

Edge is not available as a download from Microsoft for any version of Windows. It's included as part of Windows 10 and so is only available if you're using Windows 10.

See Where Can I Download Windows 10? if you're interested in trying out Edge in Windows 10 but don't yet have this version of Windows.

IE Support in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, & XP

IE11 is included in Windows 10 and Windows 8.1, so you don't have to download it from Microsoft. You can also install IE11 in Windows 7 by downloading and installing it as directed above.

If you're still using Windows 8, IE10 is the latest version of IE you can use. IE11 comes included in the free Windows 8.1 update. See How to Update to Windows 8.1 for help with that.

The latest version of Internet Explorer for Windows Vista is IE9, available for download here (choose Windows Vista from the selection). For Windows XP, Internet Explorer maxes out at IE8, available from the IE8 download page.

If you try downloading those versions of Internet Explorer on a version of Windows that the web browser isn't compatible with (e.g., if you try getting IE8 in Windows 8.1), you'll be given a different page at first but you can just click through the steps to download it anyway. You might do this if you plan on installing IE on a different (supported) computer later.

Not sure what version of Windows is installed in your computer? See What Version of Windows Do I Have? for easy instructions on figuring that out.