Windows 10 users must upgrade this week or lose access to the internet

Millions of Windows 10 users are at risk of losing access to the internet unless they ditch one ageing app. In a few day’s time, Microsoft will be ending support for one of its most iconic pieces of software, Internet Explorer 11. IE11’s curtain comes down on June 15 with Windows users having to upgrade to Microsoft Edge to continue accessing the net.

If you thought this news won’t affect many people, think again. A new study has shined a light on the vast number of Windows users that will be hit by this huge change.

Research conducted by Lansweeper has revealed almost 47 percent of Windows 10 PCs still have Internet Explorer 11 installed, and they will need to switch over and upgrade to Microsoft’s newest browser Edge ahead of the fast-approaching end-of-life date.

The Lansweeper study used a huge sample size, with over nine million Windows devices from 33,000 organisations analysed.

Speaking about the findings, Roel Decneut, chief strategy officer at Lansweeper, said: “From our perspective, it’s not a complete surprise that only a fifth of the Windows 10 devices are on the latest version, or that Internet Explorer EOL will affect so many.

“There could be many reasons for organisations to delay upgrading, including being more conservative, having more pressing issues to deal with, or simply having no visibility into the version of operating systems they’re running. Organisations will need an overview of each device they own when Internet Explorer 11 support finally ends. Without this data, they’ll remain vulnerable.”

After June 15 the IE11 app will automatically redirect users to Edge. The Chromium-powered browser does have an Internet Explorer mode which will make the transition easier.

This mode will be available in Edge until 2029.

The study also highlighted other areas of concern for Windows users.

The research found over three quarters (79 percent) of analysed Windows 10 machines are running out-of-date versions of the OS, which opens them up to unpatched vulnerabilities.

While it also discovered that almost half (45 percent) of analysed Windows 10 PCs were capable of downloading the Windows 11 upgrade.

This shortfall in hardware requirements has led to just 1.44 percent of users upgrading to the latest version of Windows.

If you’re one of the Windows users who is still relying on IE11 for all their browser needs, you can prepare for the big switch over right now.

One important thing you might want to do today is import any data you have in Internet Explorer to Edge.

Microsoft explained how to do this in a recent blog post which reminded IE users of the upcoming swap-over date to Edge.

In it, the Redmond-based tech giant said: “We recommend that users import their data from IE to Microsoft Edge before your organisation’s internal IE retirement date. To easily import their data, users can copy and paste edge://settings/importData into the Microsoft Edge address bar, then choose “Microsoft Internet Explorer” from the selections under “Import from”. These steps are also included in the IE retirement end user adoption resources email series.”

Internet Explorer is one of Microsoft’s most iconic and long-standing pieces of software, and it will be the end of an era once the app gets shuttered.

In the early days of the worldwide web Internet Explorer was one of the most recognisable browsers around.

After the browser wars between Internet Explorer and Netscape Navigator in the 90s, the Microsoft software went on to become the world’s most popular browser.

It had a staggering 95 percent share of the market at one point and was the undisputed king until Google Chrome came along.

Microsoft’s Edge browser is a direct response to Chrome’s current monopoly on the market.

Edge is based on the same Chromium tech that Google’s browser is built upon.