How to Update Internet Explorer

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

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.

The information in this article applies to Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, & XP.

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 The updated version replaces the outdated one.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 Download and Update Internet Explorer

To update Internet Explorer, download and install it from Microsoft.

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

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.

  1. Locate your language from the list on their site (English, for example).

  2. 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.

    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.

  3. 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
    Miguel Co / Lifewire 

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.

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 has been replaced by a browser called Edge (formerly Spartan). It's available by default in Windows 10 and as a download from Microsoft for macOS and other versions of Windows.

Microsoft Edge download page

The easiest way to update Edge in Windows 10 is through Windows Update. If you're not using Windows 10, check for an update from the About Microsoft Edge page in the settings, or download Edge manually from Microsoft to get the latest version.

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.