Why Was Internet Explorer so Reviled?

All the reasons why IE was such a terrible web browser

Mixed race businesswoman frustrated at computer at desk in office
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Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser struggled badly over the years, never quite winning the hearts of Internet users as more of them found reasons to switch to an alternative like Chrome or Firefox. Finally, the company announced its plans to bury the IE brand, with the intention of rebranding it for Windows 10. Inevitably, some confusion and questions among longtime users of the browser came with this decision.

What was so bad about Internet Explorer anyway? Was it really that terrible? Once the browser of choice by many, today it's a big trend to find the social web littered with all sorts of insulting yet hilarious meme images featuring the IE logo and jokes or bitter comments about it on social media.​

Here are several of the main reasons why a formerly popular web tool was ultimately so disliked.

It Was Really Slow

Perhaps the most prominent complaint about the web browser was its slowness. Waiting several seconds for it to load could feel like an eternity, and when that didn't even work — the browser sometimes just crashed.

Some users reported that it took twice as long for stuff to load in IE compared to competing browsers. If you never even once experienced slow loading while using any version of IE, you were probably one of the few lucky ones.

It Had Lots of Problems Displaying Web Pages Correctly

Remember images or icons appearing broken in IE? Did certain areas of websites look wonky or completely out of place? It was a common problem for everyone who used the browser, and one that many web developers probably spent many hours pulling their hair out over.

Microsoft failed to implement updates that could produce consistency across all versions of Internet Explorer as well as what you saw in other browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc. So if you noticed things looked terrible in IE, it wasn't just you. It was Microsoft's decision to ignore the need to keep up with web standards.

It Lacked Great Features, Especially Compared to Other Browsers

Unless you count the ridiculously wide variety of toolbars that you could use with Explorer, the browser hasn't really offered much of anything else in terms of features over the past several years. After IE6 was released in 2001, Microsoft got lazy. If you wanted to use cool apps and extensions or enjoy password and bookmark syncing, using Explorer was out of the question.

It Was Difficult to Uninstall and Switch to Another Browser

The only thing worse than a bad computer program is a bad computer program that is meant to be used with everything, yet difficult to switch to a different browser. Microsoft built Explorer right into Windows, so a lot of users simply accepted that they were stuck with having to deal with it.

In some cases, uninstalling Explorer is impossible. Trying to uninstall it may just revert it back to an older version.

It Was Buggy and a Security Nightmare

Perhaps not as obvious of an issue to the average Internet user was Explorer's disturbingly bad reputation for being safe and secure. The browser faced all sorts of terrible bugs and holes and hacks over the years, putting users at risk — even more so with delayed fixes and update schedules.