Although it has officially reached its end (opens in a new tab) in the hands of its father, Microsoft, Internet Explorer lives on as a little residual barnacle on the unresponsive leviathan of Windows 11, seemingly accidentally accessed via a small, unassuming submenu (thanks to The Verge (opens in a new tab) for the spot).
twitter user @XenoPanther (opens in a new tab) discovered the offending menu option, now likely to be fixed by Microsoft. You can go back in time by finding “Internet Options” in Control Panel, navigating to Programs, then “Manage Add-ons” and finally clicking the “Learn more about Toolbars and Extensions” link. “. Oddly enough, this launches the Internet Explorer help page in all its glory, and you can browse the Internet from there at your own risk.
Friendly reminder that IE is still working in August 2022 pic.twitter.com/f2hg41LwIpAugust 2, 2022
The fact that this is one of those windows system links that opens a help page in the default browser that no one has ever deliberately clicked on in the history of computing tells me that someone at Microsoft simply forgot to flip the proverbial switch from “Internet Explorer” to “Edge” in that little menu abandoned after the former disappeared. It’s interesting that Internet Explorer still exists in some form on the new OS, but it makes some sense given Windows’ direct continuity to DOS, constantly building and iterating over its older versions.
Like those jewels made from the hardened paint layers of car factories (opens in a new tab), the new continues to build on top of the old without any real purging or breaking, and that’s fantastic. That’s why we can always get Deus Ex (opens in a new tab) and Fallouts 1 and 2 (opens in a new tab) worry-free while console backwards compatibility is treated as a luxury and many apps for early iPhones are already lost forever.
And maybe the ghost of Internet Explorer is a little less Sadako (opens in a new tab), a little more Casper anyway. As I resign myself to at least two Chrome sessions a week by locking down my Alder Lake rig with 32GB of RAM, I look back at Microsoft’s oft-maligned browser with fondness and longing – that’s what I had l habit of looking at Wookieepedia (opens in a new tab) and download the Counter-Strike: Source skins in 2008!
You really should let the memories carry you—you don’t want to be actively browsing the internet in 2022 with this death trap. Here’s what it looked like when I loaded our website, and our peers at Kotaku’s site came up as a long, mobile-style scroll with giant, blown-out image thumbnails. The steam, oddly enough, was well charged!