Selenium automation with Edge in Internet Explorer mode

Automating with Selenium and Edge in IE compatibility mode.


This task package demonstrates how to run your Edge browser on a Windows machine in IE mode. This is useful for web apps that cannot run in other browsers (like Chromium Edge or Chrome) due to compatibility issues.


This was tested mainly on Windows 10 and 11 by running the tasks below. On the system, the latest Microsoft Edge (Chromium based browser) was installed and also Internet Explorer 11 was enabled in Windows Features. We also have proofs that basic web apps can be automated on a Windows Server 2019, even by running a Worker agent/service through Control Room.

Please read more about the prerequisites and how to enable IE mode for Edge below:

Edge browser configuration for IE mode

Allow websites to use this mode Edge IE Settings

Enable button for page reload in this mode Edge IE Button


  1. Open Default Edge In IE Mode: Simplest example which opens IE with the well known Open Available Browser keyword.
  2. Open Private Edge In IE Mode: Same as above, but this time you have the possibility to specify a custom MS Edge binary path along with a command line argument which will start the browser in private mode.
  3. Open Custom Edge In IE Mode: You're in full control over the arguments, capabilities and both webdriver and browser's used executables in order to fully customize the run. Since the Open Browser keyword is used here, a webdriver has to be explicitly provided. (the other tasks will automatically download and use such a webdriver executable matching your detected browser version)

Webdrivers selection

By default, the first two tasks are automatically downloading a webdriver adequate to the browser and system you're using. But this happens only if the sought after executable is not found in PATH (which contains the project root and bin directories).

  • If you want to download a webdriver no matter what you have in PATH, simply set download=${True} to your Open Available Browser call.
  • If you want to use your locally available one, either use the third Task (employing the Open Browser keyword call) or continue to use Open Available Browser with download=${False} and make sure you place the right executable name in PATH. (copy-paste the executable you'd like to use from bin inside the same folder or root, then rename it into IEDriverServer.exe in order to be automatically detected and used)

⚠️ Don't forget to try with different versions and architectures of the webdriver in case you experience issues, as the implicitly downloaded one will default to 32bit. That's why you can override the behavior by setting the RPA_ALLOW_64BIT_IE env var to any value. (this takes effect when a webdriver is automatically downloaded)


Protected mode

The last two tasks (2 & 3) are ignoring the "Protected Mode" setting in order to make your life easier, but this may also create problems when automating a legacy web app, therefore is advised to comment out this option and enable/disable this mode for all your zones. (follow the registry based approach if you don't see the checkbox)

Add a 2500 DWORD key with value 3 (disabled) or 0 (enabled) and make sure it's set the same on all zones.

Protected mode

Comment out these options once you either enabled or disabled this mode on all your zones:

  • Task 2: IE_OPTIONS.ignore_protected_mode_settings = True
  • Task 3: ... ignoreProtectedModeSettings ${True}

🔗 How to Disable Protected Mode in Internet Explorer

Private mode

In Task 2 we experimentally run the browser in private/incognito mode and this requires some other options (which are set already), options that attract additional configuration under the registry.

Add a TabProcGrowth DWORD key with value 0 as instructed by the error.

CLI args

Technical information

Last updated

23 November 2023


Apache License 2.0