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Disable Enhanced Security Configuration for Internet Explorer in Windows Server 2019/2016

Last modified: October 7, 2022
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The Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC) is designed to protect a server against dangerous websites capable of malware infecting the system. To open all its content in IE you need to add a website to the Trusted sites zone. Enhanced Security Configuration on Windows Server 2019/2016 is supported by default in Internet Explorer. These security restrictions are genuinely beneficial in most situations. But in some cases, you might want to allow Internet Explorer to open all websites without adding them as trusted ones, including all third-party content. Here is how to deactivate enhanced security settings for Internet Explorer in Windows Server 2019/2016.

Here is just one example. When allowing Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration, you will see this Start page when launching IE:

IE ESC Hard Admin

If you try to open a website, you will see a pop-up window that tells you the Content from the website listed below is being blocked by the IE ESC:

IE ESC content from the website blocked by the IE ESC

You must either click Add to add the website to the Trusted sites zone or click Close to open in a restricted mode. A part of the content of the website (such as JavaScript or Web fonts) will not be available in the last case. As a result, most websites will lose some of their functionality. 

How to disable Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC) of Internet Explorer on Windows Server 2019/2016

1. Click the Start Button and Launch Server Manager:

window server manager

2. Head to Local Server.

3. Find IE Enhanced Security Configuration and click on On:

Server Manager local server

4. Turn off IE ESC for Administrators and/or for Users and click OK:

IE ESC administator and user

5. Be sure to restart Internet Explorer!

Now when you launch IE you will see soft configuration page telling you Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration not enable:

IE ESC SoftAdmin

You can visit all websites without adding them to the Trusted sites zone:

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