IE11 Changes

In the past, I’ve published “Minor changes” lists for IE9 and IE10. The goal of those lists was to briefly document changes that might not be recorded elsewhere.

This time around, I’m aiming to provide broader coverage of changes in IE11, including major new features and APIs. While this won’t be the best place to get the details about the changes listed, it hopefully will provide a good start for further research.

Microsoft has published some great guides to new features and compatibility changes, including the enhanced test-drive site and testing portal.

Since I’m now an MVP rather than an employee (and no longer get check-in mails), I’ll be building this list as I discover new changes myself, so tune in periodically to see what’s been added.

New APIs and Features

The following are new APIs and features:

Fixes and Tweaks

The following are fixes and adjustments to existing features or settings:

MSDN-Documented Minor Changes

The IE Team have themselves tagged many minor (but very welcome) changes in the IE11 Minor Changes List on MSDN.

IE11 on Windows 7 

Here are 13 features Microsoft lists as unsupported in IE11 on Win7:

  • Automatic phone number detection
  • Device Orientation events
  • Drag and drop touch support
  • Effects batching and stroke improvements
  • Encrypted Media Extensions
  • Enhanced Protected Mode (EPM) AppContainers (see below)
  • F12 developer tools UI Responsiveness (available after Win7 update)
  • High DPI support
  • Hover touch support
  • Link highlighting
  • Media Source Extensions
  • Pinned site enhancements
  • Screen Orientation API
  • Scrolling and zooming with touch and other inputs
  • Syncing across devices
  • SPDY
  • IME Awareness Improvements

Windows 8.1 uses AppContainers for Isolation in Enhanced Protected Mode while Windows 7 does not support AppContainers.

If I’ve missed a significant delta, please let me know in the comments. Thanks!


Comments (20)
  1. Chris says:

    Will there be SPDY in IE 11 for Windows 7?…/ie-11-for-windows

    [EricLaw] Great question. Based on the Win7 IE11 release preview, no, SPDY will not be supported except on Win8.1+.

    In some respects, this is unsurprising, because SPDY support requires changes in WinINET, SChannel.dll (and perhaps other DLLs). While WinINET ships in the IE package, traditionally SChannel is only distributed as a part of Windows itself.

  2. Mog0 says:

    Is there anywhere good to report bugs in IE11?

    I discovered yesterday that the Win7 Release Preview has a bug that means that using the dev tools to examine a node (not modify) can cause IE to lose most of the CSS rules from a stylesheet (all the fonts and layout in the page break).

    This bug was not in the Win8.1 Dev Preview so it's a bad regression. It makes the dev tools of limited use if they break the layout I'm trying to debug.

  3. @Mog0: I'll pass along your feedback to the Dev tools team, but you should search for and file your IE bugs here:…/SelfNomination.aspx

  4. says:

    @Mog0, I'm John from the IE test team. Can you give me a URL and repro steps I can use to see your issue?


  5. Mog0 says:

    @John Jansen, thanks. I've submitted the bug details on connect with ID 802413.

    Would be great to have this fixed as I love the new dev tools, this bug spoils it though. Hopefully it's not too close to release.

  6. David Storey says:

    You missed text-combine-horizontal in CSS support.…/css-writing-modes. As far as I’ve seen, it is only supported in IE so far.

    [EricLaw]: Per the W3's test-suite, this should be supported in both IE10+ and WebKit?

  7. Davy De Durpel says:

    It seems that the behavior of the property has changed in IE11 compared to previous versions. Not sure if it is a bug or an undocumented feature 😉  Here's more details about the issue:…/478f3272-19c2-46e9-9247-1ce17a7c51f6 

    [EricLaw]: The behavior you've described would be a serious bug in Internet Explorer. The fact that there are no other reports of this problem suggest that this is more likely an issue with JavaScript on the site in question. Do you have a repro URL that we could look at?

  8. 0dak says:

    How to disable WebGL in IE11? I would like to enable it manually like geolocation.

    EricLaw: Per the IE engineers, there's no mechanism to disable WebGL either per-site or globally.

  9. Peter says:

    I use a VAIO laptop model VPCF1390X, running Windows 7 Professional. I used to run IE10 but discovered I could upgrade to IE11 which I did.

    After the upgrade I discovered that my touchpad sensitivity changed but I can always use buttons for commands. Also my Gadgets changed (installed from the MS Gadgets) now showing red borders, most noted in the weather large Gadget. I have lost the Clock Gadget. Trying to reinstall it does not work – it just disappears.

    Any comments or suggestions?

  10. Andy Schmidt says:

    The updated WinInet of IE11 is breaking FTP PASV mode:…/ftpopenfile-and-internetwritefile-broken-changed-in-ie11

    EricLaw: The WinINET guys are working on this issue. Thanks!

  11. Bruce Upton says:

    I use work off line several times a day with IE 10. Is there anyway to turn this function on and off in IE 11.

    [EricLaw] Can you elaborate on what you use it for? This feature was slowly gutted from IE7 onwards and didn't really do much at all after IE8.

  12. Munish says:

    Looks like IE 11 is caching document.cookie along with the document. That is causing lot of trouble. Is there a way to tell IE11 not to cache the cookie state?

    EricLaw: Can you elaborate on what you mean? (E.g. repro steps). Thanks!

  13. AT says:

    'Long buggy, "Import from another browser" command is disabled'

    This one still exists for me on Windows 7, although it only seems to be accessible from the (normally hidden) File menu. I haven't tried to use it, but it certainly wasn't disabled: it offered Firefox and Chrome as potential import sources.

  14. Dave Porter ( says:

    Can you get SVG foreignObject support going?  My gosh, it's killing me to provide flowed text with alignment, and all the CSS styling I need in IE11.  As you know SVG lacks clean ways to accomplish this, so the foreignObject is a godsend.  Unfortunately, it would appear IE11 doesn't and won't support this at all.  Say it isn't so!!  🙂  

    [EricLaw] As noted here, foreignObject isn't supported in IE11. The IE team does not add new platform features in monthly updates, so the soonest you could conceivably see this is in IE12. I have no idea whether or not that's in the plans though.

  15. MissingOffline says:

    How can I "work offline"? Even when I'm online, I often view cached and local pages with online calls embedded, and I don't want IE automatically sending info. Now this is gone  (unless you can tell me where it's been hidden.)

    [EricLaw] The "Work offline" feature has been decaying since Internet Explorer 7, and by IE9 or IE10 it basically didn't do anything; any attempt to hit the network would result in a connection being made at that time. Eventually, the menu item was removed entirely as it didn't do much other than break 3rd-party applications which were built upon WinINET. When running modern versions of Windows on a laptop, using the "Airplane mode" feature would work well for simulating offline. For any version, you could use Fiddler with a rule set to drop traffic while "offline."

  16. Suhas says:


    I'm seeing an issue IE 11 is firing continuous "DISPID_ONQUIT" messages to BHO event handler.

    DISPID_ONQUIT message is being fired randomly. Some cases being when browser idle, on minimizing and maximizing browser.

    Since DISPID_ONQUIT messages are normally sent when browser window is being closed,BHO will unload upon receiving the message.

    Similar issue is explained <a…/dispidonquit-ie-event-on-win8

    Is this a bug in IE 11?

    Is there any that BHO developer has to do work around this?

  17. Edward Brey says:

    The feature to ignore "autocomplete=off" doesn't seem to work in the immersive browser. For example, try logging into eBay and see if you have any more success saving your password than I do. Is that by design? Is there any reason the immersive and desktop browsers would handle passwords differently?

    [EricLaw] No, I'm not aware of any reason these would behave differently, and they don't seem to behave differently to me; in both modes, the page will remember my password and refill it when I select my username.

  18. Edward Brey says:

    You're right, Eric. I think I figured out what was happening. It looks like some sites like eBay play JavaScript tricks that prevent IE's password manager from working in either browser. I was running the LastPass add-on, which did detect the login form and auto-filled it. Of course, LastPass only runs in the desktop browser. Normally, LastPass disables the IE password manager, but I turned it back on in hopes that IE would "learn" the passwords and carry them over to the immersive browser. So I assumed it was IE filling the form, but really it was LastPass. It would be great if there were a sandboxed space for add-ons in the immersive browser.

    [EricLaw] As I noted, password autocomplete works properly in both modes. Putting on my psychic debugging hat, I think you are saying: "Hey, I noticed that the password does not autofill when I visit the page, I have to explicitly click into the edit control and start typing or hit the down arrow."  Automatic Fill (with no user interaction) is new to IE11 and to benefit from it, the form must fulfill extra criteria (for security reasons). These are: (1) the site is SSL, (2) the page contains no mixed content, (3) there is only 1 identity on the site, and (4) the site is not framed.

  19. BobW says:

    Work offline somehow got turned on, preventing Windows Livemail from working and as a result.Livemail is  useless.  It had always been necessary to go into IE to turn on Work Online.  With that missing from IE11 it seems I'm stuck.

    [EricLaw] Work Offline was removed entirely from WinINET in IE11 (it doesn't even check the old registry key), which means that whatever problem you're encountering in Windows Live Mail is entirely unrelated to having IE11 on the machine.

  20. ¡Firedog says:

    @BobW: 'It had always been necessary to go into IE to turn on Work Online.' Not true. The commands within the program (/Work offline/Go online/ on the ribbon, or /Working online/Working offline/ on the status bar) worked until the release of IE11. Since then, only clicking the status message works.

    This is only a problem for those who install third-party software that interferes with the Windows Internet connection. If you don't install Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, you won't have any problem with GlobalUserOffline.

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