IE Enterprise Mode

Internet Explorer 11 Enterprise Mode

IE 11 Enterprise Mode is meant to run older web applications that are not compatible with IE 11. The browser will actually render them in a previous version of IE so that companies can still upgrade and take advantage of security updates. This is especially important after IE 8, 9, and 10 went end-of-life on January 12, 2016.

Create XML File

In order to use Enterprise Mode, you must point your machines to an XML file hosted on a web server. We’ll get to how to point machines to this file shortly, but first, we need to create it. It’s an XML file, so you could always open Notepad and type it out, but the easiest way to do it is download the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager from here: https://microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=42501. This is small tool that will create the XML for you. Here’s what the tool looks like:

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To add a site, click the “Add” button.

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Here we can add the URL and tell IE which version to launch the page in. By typing in “microsoft.com”, we capture the entire Microsoft domain, so any Microsoft site will launch in this mode. After we add our sites, you can go to File > Save to XML to output your XML file. If you open the XML file, this is what you will see:

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Deploy the XML File

First, you need to add your XML to a web server. This can be an IIS web site, or really anything. For me, I created another application off the default web site for one of my ConfigMgr servers. The only thing that exists there is my XML file. You will need the full URL for the next part.

The best way to deploy the XML file is to use Group Policy. The policy you are looking for is at Computer Configuration > Policies > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer and it’s called “User the Enterprise Mode IE website list”. Enable this policy and input the URL to your XML file.

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After you have everything configured, you will know that IE Enterprise Mode is working by navigating to a page that was included in your sites.xml file. From that page, press SHIFT + F12 to bring up the page source. You should see the highlighted portion of the next screenshot set to whatever version of IE you choose.

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