Using IE11 on Windows 8.1? Google may be broken for you

Since the launch of Windows 8.1, the popular search engine Google has been displaying in ‘legacy mode’ for everyone using IE11. There has been no explanation as to why this is happening, and what’s strange about this is that this wasn’t happening on Windows 8.1 before the product launched. October 16 saw Google to be working fine, October 17 did not.

Neither Google nor Microsoft are yet to comment on why this has started to happen to users running IE11. A quick Google search reveals that I am not the only one who is experiencing this. On Google’s own Product Forum, users are complaining that Google is showing up in Legacy mode for them. I also tweeted this out on Twitter, and I received the same response.

Now today, on October 19. Google is completely broken. Search results are being displayed all wrong. The results are in the wrong place, almost as if someone came along and blew the search page up. Why this is happening is still unclear. But it’s strange that this begun happening the day Windows 8.1 launched.

So right now, Google is screwed on Internet Explorer 11. The search engine works absolutely fine on Google Chrome, and FireFox, and Opera, and Safari. It’s just Internet Explorer. Is this Microsoft’s fault? Or is this Google’s?

Update: We have a fix. Whilst in IE11, press ALT+X, navigate to Compatibility View Settings and uncheck ‘Use Microsoft compatibility lists’.

This leads us to believe that this is an error on Microsoft’s part, not Google’s. Microsoft is telling IE11 to display Google in compatibility mode, which renders Google broken. Either way, for users who don’t know how to access the compatibility settings, or don’t have the permissions to, this is a serious problem for IE11 and needs to be fixed.

Update 2: Microsoft has provided a statement to our pals over at Neowin regarding this issue. Microsoft seems to be blaming Google for this issue. “It appears Google made some changes to its search engine that temporarily impacted the way search results rendered for some browsers. We have already made the necessary adjustments to ensure customers using Internet Explorer are not impacted.”

  • BreVDD

    Google is just jealous.

  • Rich

    It is a no-brainer it has to be Google. Particularly it was working fine yesterday and it works fine if you use the F12 tools to change the user string to IE9/10. I’m feeling quite cynical today so I get the impression Google is doing this to undermine people’s impressions of Win 8.1.

    • BreVDD


  • Simon Johnny

    Oh for fuck sake Google is taking the piss now. Luckily, I’ve been using Bing for a while now along side Google and I’m fine giving up Google search, but I feel sorry for those that can’t even search for a replacement browser now.

    EDIT: fix here … from IE, Tools>compatibility view settings. Uncheck Use Microsoft compatibility list.

  • Alex Simkin

    It must be Google – it was fine on Windows 8.1 RTM until the launch day, and now it’s unusable. I hope it’s fixed soon, because Bing isn’t that good in the UK. Glad it can be fixed easily.

  • dačlfjdčlj

    works perfectly fine on my ie11

  • fsačkldf

    hahaha its microsofts fault

  • Larry Page

    Google is responsible for this. But I don’t care. I use the new Windows 8’s built-in smart search.

  • hotrod2391

    Yeah I noticed that too! I’ve been using Win 8.1 RTM since its release to MSDN and Google search was fine until today. Google is crashing MS party alright. I think Google is 666. Don’t buy Google glass. Its a chick repellant. Chicks don’t dig it.

  • Michaël

    LMAO, Google is trying, but I’m a Bing user so I really don’t care. To all the peoples that are in trouble, use Bing, it’s better than Scroogle :)

    • Farmaan

      Joke of the century

      • Michaël

        Nope, Bing ftw :D

        • Farmaan

          Haha well your choice .. but try asking bing what force times distance is and than try that with Google and see which one gives you torque first .. lol but anyways good luck with bing though

          • Michaël

            Ok, but I really don’t understand what you mean sir

  • tom

    I simply uninstalled IE 11 now everything works fine

  • guest

    I don’t see any problem,,It works fine for me

    • guest

      Correction: Ok it’s true,it doesn’t work,but in my case if I use the domain “” ,it does not work for me, but if I use another like “” or “” it works fine

  • Windows Phone Bruker

    Works perfectly fine for me with or without compatibility list.

  • LR

    Have you try with another domain ,In my case “.com” or “” it doesn’t work ,but with “.es” or “.mx”,it works fine

  • NJ

    It’s not just google, it looks like IE11 on windows8.1 isn’t working correctly, as functionality like web outlook also are not working correctly

    • Rich

      Is it OWA you are referring to? It might be worth trying the F12 tools and getting emulation mode to send a user string that is from IE 10. This worked for me on my companies OWA. Though I also know we have to update the exchange server – hopefully after this update the string change might not be needed!

  • tigwat1 .

    all’s fine with me ,never had any probs.

  • Sean Seany is well messed up for me , maybe they just want everyone to use Chrome ? lol.

  • atarliz

    using Bing, so ;)

  • Kevin Smith

    I turned off the “Microsoft compatibility lists” option during OS install. It sounded like exactly the sort of thing that would cause exactly this sort of problem. The rule is: Never use MS products in default configuration ever for any reason.

    • Sargon

      As much as I love Microsoft, I have to agree with this.

  • Iain Simpson

    Windows 8.1 is an exceptional operating system, some folk complain about it but they are confusing not liking modern with the actual operating system. Google are just being pricks here with trying to manifest problems with ie to make people not like the experience.

    • Michaël

      I’m glad there are still smart people on this planet. Your 2 posts saved my faith in humanity :)

  • Iain Simpson

    and google have pulled similar stunts with ie on wp to cause the same problems in the past… all I can say is fuck google products and the horse they rode in on.

    • michelhb

      If that were the case then wouldn’t we also be having problems on IE 10? It’s not just Google either. Yahoo news articles don’t display properly on 11. MS created this problem with their compatibility mode issues and they need to fix it. They’ve gone out of their way to keep us from turning off compatibility mode that they force onto us for sites that don’t need it.

  • Paul Snyder

    When IE 11 is running Chrome randomly reports no network connection when there clearly is network access..

  • Windows 8.1 user

    Chrome is better than all IEs.

  • jvp54

    I “unchecked” Use MS compatibility lists, and still same problem… Maybe the, “now” biggest company (Google) in the world, and stock creeps over $1grand, think they rule the Internet… I am really not partial to any search engine, but would like the one I do choose to use at the moment to work… I have used Google in most instances, just because I technically grew with it, but I am starting to use Bing more frequently. I had used AltaVista way back when, but that was when it was on its own. Rambling, anyway, is there anything from anyone as of this posting?

  • 4Reload

    Still having problems with Google search result page… M$ didn’t fix all the problems….

  • torrentlover

    Google is better than bing, way better!

  • Nya!

    Nya hahaha! I’m on Windows 7 Ultimate 64 Bit, so no problems for me! Even with Chrome! =P

  • 4Reload

    Google Calendar seems to be the new victum. When trying to edit a appointment the page is wrong…

  • michelhb

    Google is not the only sites having problems. Articles on Yahoo do not display properly either. The iGoogle home page is stuck in compatibility mode and nothing I try will fix it. I tried turning off compatibility lists and nothing changes. If I could switch back to IE 10, I would. They seriously need to fix these problems before they release a major update like this and break the internet for everyone using these sites. And don’t give me that crap about Google changed something because the pages were working perfectly before I installed 8.1 and now they don’t. Give us back the compatibility mode toggle on the tool bar or fix these issues. I went through the same thing on IE 10 until I learned how to use Developer mode to turn off compatibility mode, but they’ve taken that option away too. I’m starting to think this is a conspiracy by Microsoft to try to force people away from Google and Yahoo products. All it will do is push people to using Chrome or other browsers. Microsoft has developed a serious case of stupid over the last year.

  • Jemalie John

    options… relaunch chrome in windows 8 mode

  • Karl SE

    not working for me even with the fix.

    also google plus notifications not working

  • Rich C.

    Running WIN7/64. MS updater said I have an “important upgrade”. It was IE 11. OK, why not? Sure enough Google was buggered up. Three hours later after the usual advice didn’t work, I ripped it out in disgust and downloaded IE 10 back in.
    How this got released without someone noticing the Google problem is sheer incompetence.
    We shouldn’t have to try-this/try-that to fix ANYthing. By the way, if Chrome was as fast as IE 10, I’d stick to it. Otherwise, it’s only a backup for me.

  • grakky

    Windows 8.1 broke or appeared to break a lot of things on the Web, Google, YouTube, IE 11 not responding blah blah. Automated repairs, checking for solutions go nowhere like all those Down escalators at the mall, where are all those steps, is the basement full???