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Here's how to enable the Spartan Edge rendering engine for IE11 in Windows 10

When it comes to web browsers, Windows 10 gets a little complicated. Internet Explorer 11 is the default browser for now, but later Spartan takes over as it has the new Edge rendering engine (but it can fall back to IE11 for legacy sites).

The Preview 9926 build has Internet Explorer 11 for the browser, however it does have some bits of the new Spartan one coming later this year. Specifically, you can enable the new rendering engine in IE11, the same one that is found in Spartan.

Enable Experimental Web Platform Features

  1. Open IE11
  2. Type about:flags in the address bar
  3. Set 'Experimental Web Platform Features' to enabled
  4. Restart browser

According to AnandTech, who outlined how to enable this feature, a small number of testers already have this enabled by default. For the rest of you, you can force it to work all the time. However, keep in mind this is literally why it says experimental. As such, you are getting the new rendering engine (that can be fast) but you may also experience some other performance issues.

If you want to live on the edge, try enabling this feature to see the performance difference. Worse comes to worse you can set it back to Automatic or even Disabled, in which case you just use the old IE11 rendering engine.

Additionally, you can also enable the 'Set Custom User-Agent String' function, which may also help circumvent old IE-only content.

Source: AnandTech

Daniel Rubino
Executive Editor

Daniel Rubino is the Executive Editor of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft here since 2007, back when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, Microsoft Surface, laptops, next-gen computing, and arguing with people on the internet.

56 Comments
  • Seems faster..
  • My internet explorer won't open in this builld ! :/
  • try pinning it on the taskbar, it'll launch from there
  • Thanks it worked!
  • no bother at all, it's kinda weird though, ie will launch from anywhere but the start menu, eventhough it points to the exact same location
  • I have the same issue with my 8.1 ultrabook, whenever IE and especially Bing give me that annoying "page can't be displayed" message, I just remove it from taskbar and reattach it from program view, works 99% of the time.
  • It doesnt work for me either. I tried launching it from Cortana and various places from it in the Start Menu, but I'll try pinning it to the taskbar like you said in an earlier comment and see if that works. Now if only this build would let me watch videos on the browser or apps without crashing lol.
  • Try running it as administrator. That worked for me
  • If someone cant start IE from start menu than click on it with right / show me file location delete that shortcut and creat a new one in the same place and it will work
  • I have the same problem but I can launch IE through Cortana when I search. My taskbar pins don't show up for some reason. I think it has to do with the taskbar position being set to the left side.
  • Nor me. I just get "IE has stopped working" and it gets stuck in a loop of restarting and crashing. Posting via reliable Chrome.
  • Are you using a beta build of chrome?
  • well, those html5 tests aren't exactly reliable
  • I'll do it later
  • Neat! Trying that now.
    Anyone notice this preview build is less stable than previous early versions of Windows? (like win7 and win8 beta)
  • i think it's been more stable than any preview before (at least compared to windows 8 preview)
  • Agreed. I'm happy with win 10 so far. Feels almost final. Even the new store looks better
  • Are people seriously trying to compare the stability of a "preview" release to a previous "retail" or "beta" release? Microsoft put a lot of effort into making sure that people understood that this is a preview release yet people seem to have completely ignored all of that text that came before clicking on the download link and pretend like they're installing something meant to be used on their everyday computer. Although I am using it on my every day laptop, but I understand my stupidity for doing so :)
  • I'm with you, we stupid people can stupidly isntall it on our main pcs as long as we are aware of how stupid we are for it!   amazingly, it hasnt bitten me in the ass yet, how about you?
  • I've been running this on my main pc at work since day one. Been surprisingly stable. Just waiting for spartan touch before I install on my surface pro
  • Please don't start again. We have heard this song so many times before.
  • Of course they are oolong2. If Microsoft said this was the final version or didn't say a damn thing at all, they would sound exactly the same as they do now. Its not about what MS said this is, its who can bitch and moan about the loudest because they hate Microsoft. Not rich enough to go OSX and not smart enough to go Linux. So we're stuck with em.
  • I've had the same experience. I remember that Windows 7 always worked flawlessly for me and I never noticed any UI/UX stuff that seemed too unfinished, but Windows 10 is so bad I'm not even using it (I put it on my mother's new SSD so we don't have to buy an os for a while).
  • You have to remember that the beta/preview releases of 7 and 8 are different than 10. In the older days, everything is set by design and it is implemented and tested over and over. We don't have access to as many builds except the ones that are tested extensively. Now, the users are active in the design and features changes dramatically. We are having more regular builds den out that are relatively fresh out of the market. Because of that, you will see more bugs in them. Overall, this iterative process, design/implement /test/design again (which is more prevalent in smaller companies because they are more agile and working on smaller projects) should prove to produce a solid product at the end.
  • You didn't install this expecting there not to be problems did you? Wait, I think said you did. You thought this was Windows 7 which was actually a version of Vista that most bugs were worked out of.  You're kind of new OS game huh?  Try a dual boot and leave your mothers stuff alone.
  • I haven't run into any real issues yet. I did a clean install of the OS.
  • As far as I can tell most of the stability issues come from users who upgraded from win7/8 rather than doing a clean install of 10.  I did a full clean install on my laptop and desktop and nither are having any issues. ... well, the laptop is no longer having issues now that I have the right drivers installed.  That stupid mouse driver was touch-and-go for a while, but it seems to be sorted out now. I just mean to say that if you are having problems then try reinstalling and see how it goes.
  • What happened to the Internet explorer app that's seen in windows 8/8.1? I found it easier to navigate that app, than the standard browser activated from 8/8.1 browser...
  • That's what Spartan is replacing, and since we don't have Spartan yet we don't have a touch-friendly browser yet.
  • Yes its better for touch on my tablet. Kinda miss it. Waiting on Spartan I going to be crazy
  • In the meantime try chrome in windows 8 mode
  • I'm wondering if this will keep my IE in Win10 from crashing all the time... Probably not though, lol.
  • Didn't keep mine from crashing.  Can't even go to windowsphone.com without it crashing.  Had to hold my nose and install Chrome.  At least Chrome allows swiping to go to the previous page to simulate a touch browser.  But I wish I could pin websites to the Start menu.
  • I was hoping turning this on would fix the problems I've been having with IE on this build, but sadly no. Some sites take a long time to start loading, some won't open at all, I can't login to my bank's portal, etc.  I understand though that this is just a beta at best, so no worries, I downloaded Chrome while they fix the bugs.
  • Have you been using the smiley face up in the right corner to report sites that aren't working right?
  • Yes, please do this. Feedback is key to getting this to work properly in the final build. I'm sure they would get around to it eventually but to make absolutely sure, send that feedback!
  • I just enabled this and for the love of Peter Frampton, Tumblr pages actually load correctly now!
  • It was enable by default on the last build of W10 for me but the performance wasn't great. I'll try again.
  • Got it running but I got issues. It clearly isn't ready.
  • If one were to change the Agent String, what would one change it to?
  • literally, the first non-Microsoft site I went too was broken--this Bill Nye piece in the LA Times. http://www.latimes.com/sports/sportsnow/la-sp-sn-bill-belichick-patriots... it does render properly in compatibility mode, at least.
  • I noticed the same thing in IE. 
  • Video playback doesn't work for me on IE or any other app that streams video. It will hang up on the loading animation and then crash/close the app/browser. Anybody else have this problem, and maybe a potential fix to it?
  • One thing to note if using a device in tablet mode, your desktop grays and the icons cannot be selected. Turn off that mode, transfer any programs you use to either the task bar or start menus. I have done this with Skype for desktop as I have 3 accounts I use and I do not intend to log in and out to do that. I will admit, I have cleared my desktop of all icons and don't miss them in the least. I use the tablet mode as I am one of those rare beasts who actually loves Windows 8, even on non-touch.
  • "If you want to live on the edge' pun intended if the name of the browser would be Edge. :/
  • The rendering engine's name is edge... So the pun was correctly intended.
  • My lenovo yoga 2 13 display auto rotate seems disabled by this OS.
  • Hmm. It seems that when I enable Spartan engine it disables the video quality setting in OneDrive videos.
  • is this placebo, or is it blazing fast?
  • How nice and sneaky of microsoft to add it in the technical preview. My mindset was already on having a real go at spartan later in the year. But having it in an "alpha form" already to some degree, yes, is truly exciting!
  • Yeeaayyy.. that's work good.
  • Again another useless post, really?!
  • You're talking about yours, right?
  • I did this and now my IE refuses to open without "internet explorer has stopped working
  • No problems so far here. Although, the live chat on my website detects the user agent as chrome
  • I use Firefox most of the time and one thing I notice about this build is that webpages FLY on this OS.  I have never seen pages load as quickly as they do on this build.  IE screams too. The page load times are immensely faster.  I won't use chrome but anyone else using Firefox notice in improvement in pages loading?