If you’re reading this on Internet Explorer version 8, 9, or 10, take heed: Microsoft no longer provides you with security updates or technical support.
As of Jan. 12, 2016, only the most current version of Internet Explorer—IE11—will receive updates, fixes, and support on Windows 7, 8.1, and 10.
According to Redmond, IE11 “offers improved security, increased performance, better backward compatibility, and support for the Web standards that power today’s websites and services.”
Microsoft served its first end-of-life notice in July 2014; today, as it did then, the company encourages all customers to upgrade to the latest browser for a more secure experience.
Older variants of Internet Explorer won’t automatically vanish from your computer. But beware that running an outdated browser is more likely to expose you to viruses, spyware, and other malware. You may also miss out on new software—like Office 365, which uses modern Web standards that are unavailable on antiquated platforms.
The good news is, most home PC users have likely already made the switch (thanks to Automatic Updates). Those still living in the past, however, can visit Control Panel > Windows Update > Check for Updates. Or just click the button at the top of Microsoft’s website.
Those with Windows 10 can also check out the Edge browser (pictured), which includes features like Web Note and Cortana integration, as well as IE11 backward compatibility.
Based on Net Market Share’s desktop browser version data, Microsoft IE8, 9, and 10 made up less than 20 percent of the market share in December. Internet Explorer 11, in contrast, accounted for nearly 26 percent.