Today I learned that Microsoft Edge on Windows 10 does work with an Enterprise Mode Site List after all. I had been trying in vain for weeks (off and on) to get it to redirect into Internet Explorer those sites that I had configured to do so through the Enterprise Mode Site List XML file. As far as I could tell, I was correctly using the Group Policy setting “Allows you to configure the Enterprise Site list”, providing a valid UNC path to the sites.xml file on our DFS. No matter how I configured the contents of the file, Edge simply would not perform the redirection. The redirection would work flawlessly if I configured the Group Policy setting “Sends all intranet traffic over to Internet Explorer”, but I didn’t want to open all of our intranet sites in IE, and there were plenty of Internet sites that I wanted to open in IE.
Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 7 had been successfully retrieving the sites.xml file via a UNC path, rather than an URL, for months. Furthermore, Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10 was able to retrieve the file via UNC path. Running short of new things to try, on a whim, I copied the sites.xml file to a web server and provided the path in the Group Policy setting as an HTTP address, and lo and behold, Edge happily loaded the file and redirected users to Internet Explorer.
To be sure I wasn’t making up the ability to use a UNC path, I checked the TechNet article Use Enterprise Mode to improve compatibility, which is part of the Microsoft Edge – Deployment Guide for IT Pros. It clearly states that the
SiteList value at
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\MicrosoftEdge\Main\EnterpriseMode accepts a UNC path, and this is what was being created by my Group Policy setting. However, the Group Policy setting’s field, into which you enter the path, asks for a URL. So, perhaps the TechNet document is wrong. Maybe the editor simply copied and pasted from the IE11 article Turn on Enterprise Mode and use a site list, and did not validate those instructions for Microsoft Edge.
Anyway, I hope that this post helps other systems administrators who may find themselves in the same situation, but I also wish that Microsoft would address this inconsistency between Edge and IE. A UNC path on our DFS (which is something within my control) is far easier for me to administer than a file on a web server (which is outside of my control).