IE 11 Enterprise Mode Not Working?

A few weeks back, I wrote about the Group Policy changes in the Windows 8.1 Update.  One of the big changes in the Update was the addition of Enterprise Mode for Internet Explorer 11.  Enterprise Mode allows web sites (either specified by the end user or via Group Policy) to be processed in such a way that they appear to to the site to be Internet Explorer 8.  There are also some additional ActiveX security tweaks that happen in Enterprise Mode so that [hopefully] organizations can get away from being tied to older versions of IE.

In my testing of IE 11, I came across an application that many of my customers use on a daily basis that had some compatibility issues.  Specifically, a JavaScript pop-up that was supposed to appear when clicking on certain links wouldn’t show up.  All I was getting was a spinning “Please Wait” icon.

I had that “Aha!” moment and put the site into Enterprise Mode and…. buzzer.  Nope, same problem.  What gives?  This was supposed to fix this problem, right?

The Fix!

After banging my head against the desk a few times, it occurred to me that this particular web application has about 10 different URL’s behind it.  You go to the published URL for the application that looks something like http://application.trekker.net, get kicked to https://app.auth.trekker.net, then get kicked to a central login service page (Shibboleth, ADFS, etc.).  After logging in, you’re kicked to https://prod.app.authd.trekker.net:1234.  [URL’s have been sanitized and replaced with trekker.net to protect the innocent!]

After looking at the source of the page (right click > View source), there were another two (!) URL’s in the page I’d never seen before:  https://files.app.trekker.net and https://scripts.app.trekker.net.  Another “Aha!” moment!

I added both of these sites to my XML file (here are instructions on how to set that up) and, voila!  The app works!  It appears that Enterprise Mode was taking my list literally and wasn’t including either of these URL’s since they were different than the main web application.  Lesson learned: if using Enterprise Mode, make sure any other URL’s that are being called by the app get added to the Enterprise Mode IE website list to ensure that everything is running in Enterprise Mode.

7 thoughts on “IE 11 Enterprise Mode Not Working?

  1. N June 10, 2015 / 9:27 PM

    Any chance you’re still monitoring these comments? I’m leading a very large public sector project and need to find someone who can answer two Enterprise Mode questions for me, questions that I have been utterly unable to find definitive answers on. Hope you’ll see this. Would be really grateful.

    Thank you.
    -N

    • Kyle Beckman June 10, 2015 / 10:53 PM

      Definitely! What are your questions?

  2. sonam February 17, 2016 / 9:24 AM

    I have created a policy to enable enterprise mode in IE 11

    Enabled the enterprise mode by using registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\EnterpriseMode

    And also added Site list by using registry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\EnterpriseMode
    Site list is accessible by evry user, i can check that registry values are getting updated but enterprise mode is still not getting enabled. website added in the site list (xml file ) is also not getting opened in Enterprise mode.
    Its really urgent to resolve this issue.
    Kindly help.

    • Kyle Beckman February 17, 2016 / 9:43 AM

      This article isn’t about enabling Enterprise Mode… it is about dealing with sites that have content that comes from multiple URL’s. Here’s another article I’ve written on enabling and using EMIE in the Enterprise.

  3. Steven March 23, 2016 / 7:34 AM

    I see that you recently answered a question surrounding enterprise mode here. I am using spin.js and the background does not appear when ie11 is set to enterprise mode.

    Appreciate any insight/direction to this problem.

  4. James Grizzle May 18, 2016 / 2:13 PM

    I have an app that uses ADFS for authentication. IE Enterprise Mode is applied to the ADFS login page (and the entire ADFS domain URL). When you navigate to the site, the app redirects to ADFS for authentication. For whatever reason, IE Enterprise mode is not applied to the main page but IE Enterprise Mode is applied to any subsequently loaded resources such as images or CSS. This only occurs during a redirect to ADFS from an app. If the login page URL is typed directly, or the login page is refreshed, IE Enterprise mode works as expected. I thought the issue might be that /adfs/ls didn’t have a terminated URL like /adfs/ls/default.aspx. But adding one did not fix the issue. Have you experienced this before?

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