Using Enterprise Mode and Internet Explorer 11

Starting on Internet Explorer 11, the Enterprise Mode feature enables the organization to create a list of sites that will be emulated on Internet Explorer 7 or 8.


In order to use Enterprise Mode the minimum requirement is Internet Explorer 11 (the feature also works with Microsoft Edge), and using this feature the organization can from a centralized location list all websites that require a legacy browser and the IE 11 will make the proper changes to emulate those pages on their required version of the browser.

For the end-user it will be automatically, when a website that requires legacy features is accessed the IE 11 in Enterprise Mode will perform the changes on the fly. Last but not least, the companies can move forward with IE 11 and Microsoft Edge adoption using such feature.

Understanding the Enterprise Mode process..

The process is simple, the first step is to create the list with the sites and their modes. There is a tool for that called Enterprise Mode List Manager and we covered the installation process on this Tutorial:

After having all the applications listed we will need to create a Group Policy, and then publish the list to the users, after that the Internet Explorer 11 will follow the list for legacy applications. In order to publish the list we will need an instance of IIS where we can publish the XML file that is going to be created by the application.

Another important step is to make sure that your internal applications team test their applications and define the browser requirements, with that information we can create a consistent list that will be used for the entire organization.

Preparing the IIS to host the Enterprise Mode file…

The first step is to deploy an IIS server (if you have one that you can use, that is fine). If you decide to install, there is no secret just add a new Server Role and select Web Server (IIS) and use default settings to complete the installation wizard.


Using the Enterprise Mode Site List Manager utility, we can add the websites and configure the IE version accordingly, as show in the figure below.


The next step, is to save the file (we will use the APCorporate.xml name) and save it on the root folder of the IIS, which by default is the C:\Inetput\wwwroot folder.

Note: Make sure to use the same address in the new GPO that will be created in the next section.


In order to test it, just access the same URL that was defined in the GPO from any web browser and the result should be the content of the XML file.


Configuring Group Policies

You can edit an existent policy, however for this Tutorial we are going to create a new Group Policy using Group Policy Management Console, and the name of the new GPO was defined as IE-GPO.


In the new Group Policy, at the user level, expand Administrative Templates, Windows Components, click on Internet Explorer. The setting that we are looking for is Use the Enterprise Mode IE website list, please double click on it.


Select enable, and provide a URL (including server name and XML file), we will configure the IIS and the XML file in the following section of this same Tutorial.



At this point we have the GPO in place, the web server (IIS) hosting the XML file with a couple of sites. From the end-user perspective we just need to access one of those websites (in our case and we will notice that there is the Enterprise Mode icon on that page, and we know for a fact that some emulation based on the XML is going on that site.


When you click on that icon you will see more information about the Enterprise Mode and it informs that is enable for that site, in our case is using IE7 and (image below) is using IE8.