How to Update Internet Explorer

How to upgrade to Internet Explorer 11, the latest version of IE

Person updating Internet Explorer on a laptop

Lifewire / Miguel Co

There are many reasons to update Internet Explorer. Update Internet Explorer when Microsoft releases a new version of their web browser or if there's 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.

You don't need to uninstall the current version of IE to update Internet Explorer to the latest version. The updated version replaces the outdated one.

How to Update Internet Explorer

To update Internet Explorer, download and install it from Microsoft. Locate your language from the list on their site (English, for example), then choose either the 32-bit or 64-bit link to get that version for your computer. If you're not sure which download link to choose, find out which version of Windows is installed on your computer.

Only update Internet Explorer from Microsoft. Several legitimate websites offer Internet Explorer downloads but many not-so-legitimate websites do as well.

Download links for Internet Explorer

The downloads in these links are for the full, offline versions of IE11. All the installation files are included in the download. Microsoft offers an online version but download the offline version if there's a problem with the current IE install or to put the file on a flash drive or other media.

When the installation files finish downloading, Internet Explorer updates (or upgrades) automatically, and keeps your favorites, cookies, form history, and saved passwords intact.

Person updating Internet Explorer on a laptop
Lifewire / Miguel Co

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 through Windows Update.

What Is the Latest Version of Internet Explorer?

The latest version of Internet Explorer is IE11. Find out what version of Internet Explorer you have if you're not sure if Internet Explorer is up to date.

Screenshot of the About Internet Explorer window showing the version number

In most cases, the newest version of Internet Explorer will automatically install at some point after its release through Windows Update. If the update isn't automatic, check for and install the Windows update manually.

Microsoft Edge Browser

Internet Explorer is being replaced by a browser called Edge (formerly Spartan) that is currently available in Windows 10. Edge is not available as a download from Microsoft for any version of Windows.

Screenshot of Microsoft Edge in Windows 10

If you want to try out Edge, download Windows 10.

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 using Windows 8, IE10 is the latest version of IE you can use. IE11 comes included in the free Windows 8.1 update. If you want IE11, update to Windows 8.1.

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

If you download Internet Explorer on a version of Windows that the web browser isn't compatible with (for example, installing IE8 in Windows 8.1), you're taken to a different page but you can click through the steps to download it.