The Problem: Memory Leak in Internet Explorer 11
Microsoft recently released a series of Security Updates to address several vulnerabilities in Internet Explorer 11 (IE11). After applying the most recent updates, IE11 has been shown to utilize significantly more memory on a computer, and the memory is not properly released (known as a memory leak). The memory leak affects both Windows 7 and Windows 10.
On Windows 10, the noticeable behavior is a slowdown of performance over a period of time (length of time depends on the amount of memory in the computer and other activities being performed).
On Windows 7, the sluggish behavior becomes apparent much more rapidly, and the reduced performance will quickly result in IE11 crashing.
These behaviors have been identified, verified and reported by many IE users, using many popular websites (such as Amazon and Walmart).
Important Notes regarding Microsoft support:
- ● Microsoft’s supported operating system is Windows 10.
Microsoft’s terminated support for Windows 7 in January 2015 (exception: security updates).
- ● Microsoft’s default browser for Windows 10 is Edge.
Microsoft will be updating IE11 for security reasons, not for performance or feature updates.
The Short-Term Solution: Open a new browser window
There is currently no software solution for the memory leak issue. The issue has been reported to Microsoft, but they have not indicated whether a product update is forthcoming.
The best short-term recourse for users is to open a new browser window when they begin seeing sluggish behavior. Users can do this by pressing Ctrl-N in IE11. This will open a new browser window, with the user on the same screen they were viewing previously. The user will have full functionality in the new window, including their browsing history (the ability to use the back button). The user can then close the previously impacted window to release the memory that had been allocated to it.
Another alternative to minimize impact on users is to encourage use of ndOffice. ndOffice moves most of your users’ interaction with NetDocuments out of Internet Explorer and will minimize their potential to see this problem.
The Long-Term Solution: ndClick
NetDocuments is completing development of ndClick, a browser-agnostic add-on to the NetDocuments service. This add-on will maintain the functionality previously handled by the ActiveX control in IE. ndClick works with the latest browsers (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari) to properly check out, check in, open, download and print documents. ndClick has been designed to work in conjunction with ndOffice for a seamless transfer of documents to locally installed applications.
The beta period for ndClick is expected to begin in April 2018, and the release date will be determined by the beta feedback. Once ndClick has been released, NetDocuments will announce a termination date for supporting Internet Explorer and the ActiveX.
Our Recommendation and Promise
We applaud Microsoft’s ongoing commitment to providing security updates for their products, regardless of whether the product is currently supported. NetDocuments generally works with outdated software long past the date that the software manufacturer has ended support for their products. As an online product, we rely heavily on the browser for delivering our product to your users. In this case, we have found that the latest security updates provided by Microsoft may degrade the ability to use NetDocuments, just as it negatively impacts interaction with many other popular websites.
NetDocuments does not force our customers/partners to use a specific browser or add-on software to access our service. We recognize that changing enterprise software is a huge undertaking, and do not want to impose difficult or unrealistic expectations on our users. However, we will make recommendations to ensure that you obtain the best security, performance and usability while using our platform. In this case, we encourage all NetDocuments users to consider changing to a different browser as soon as NetDocuments releases ndClick, so we can all take advantage of the added security, performance and functionality of the updated products. We will encourage you to participate in the ndClick beta process and begin strategizing on the browser of choice for your firm based on the NetDocuments supported browsers.