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date 10.Aug.2020

■ Internet explorer Edge addon, begone!

Confession time: I like internet explorer (IE). Or rather I am used to it and don't feel like changing anytime soon. I don't understand why IE gets so much stick, it must be a combination of naivety, and clouded technical vision for the world at large. Do you really believe that Chrome is good for your privacy? Or open source Firefox is more stable? Or that browsers with more "capabilities" (and hence more attack surface) are more secure?

As for web developers, I am sorry but as an end user I cannot share your discomfort with supporting an old school browser like IE. That's life, get over it. In fact IE is the only shell-friendly browser (supporting IShellBrowser interface), so you can reuse its windows from xplorer². So given that IE is as good (or bad) as any other browser, I save myself the trouble of installing and constantly updating a 3rd party browser, and use IE that comes with windows.

There are many websites that don't work with IE at all (e.g. Twitter) or half-work (like Stack Overflow and YouTube). Many other websites warn that they'll stop supporting IE soon. Recently I was surprised to see Edge browser launching automatically when attempting to use one of these websites in IE. A message comes up claiming that the website you were trying to reach doesn't work with Internet Explorer. I suppose they are trying to help but some websites half-work with IE and I want to keep the laggard pressure on websites not to abandon IE just yet :)

So how do you turn this annoying new IE feature off? It is down to a new addon (BHO) called IEtoEdge, however you cannot turn it off through the GUI (Manage add-ons menu command), as all the buttons are disabled!

manage addons disabled

A quick google search on "IEtoEdge" didn't return any useful results, but it is quite easy to turn it off, as I discoverd after some registry tweaking. You need to locate a registry key called HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Policies\Ext\CLSID, then find {1FD49718-1D00-4B19-AF5F-070AF6D5D54C} (the clsid of IE_TO_EDGE_BHO.DLL) and set its value to zero:

disable IEtoEdge using regedit

When you restart IE, the Edge addon will be disabled. Hopefully it will stay so after the next windows update.
Long live Internet Explorer! :)

ps. Sadly this fix isn't permanent, from time to time something (a scheduled task?) resets the above {1FD49718... registry value to 1, so you need to zero it out periodically and restart internet explorer. To make things easier I set a regedit bookmark (favorites menu) on this value

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