Internet Explorer Tips & Tricks
Uninstalling Windows Internet Explorer 7

Got Internet Explorer 7? Got Problems?
Windows XP - All Versions - Windows Internet Explorer 7 Installed

Lots of people who have installed IE7 and don't like it, mistakenly think they can't uninstall IE7 when, in fact, they can. You can uninstall IE7 and revert back to IE6 if you're having compatibility issues with IE7 or just plain don't like it. You can remove IE7 (and revert back to IE7) by going to Control Panel/Add Or Remove programs. And, if you don't see IE7 listed, try clicking the "Show updates" check box (at the top) to make sure that all "Windows Updates" appear. Then review the Windows Updates section. Remember to look under the "W" section. It's not called "Internet Explorer" in the Add/Remove programs dialog. It's called "Windows Internet Explorer" and this throws a lot of people off. They're looking under the "I" section :)

When you uninstall Windows Internet Explorer 7, Internet Explorer 6 will automatically replace it. In most cases you will not lose your Favorites or settings during this procedure (sounds like a hospital doesn't it?).

One thing you might encounter during the uninstallation of Windows Internet Explorer 7, is a warning dialog, which appears with the frightening warning that if you continue with the uninstall, some of your applications might not work correctly. While indeed frightening (and this dialog is especially common to those folks, like us, who install a lot of software programs) , it's very unlikely that any of your applications would quit working unless they specifically require IE7 or one of its components to function. And it would be highly unusual for any software programmer to make an application that would require a specific version of Internet Explorer to work - especially Internet Explorer 7 because it's relatively new.  So the vast majority of you can zip right past the ominous warning - you shouldn't have to worry about any programs on your computer going belly-up.

After you've uninstalled IE7 you're might be faced with another challenge - depending on how Microsoft is doing automatic updates at any given time. Windows Updates may reinstall IE7 automatically. But, you should NOT turn off Windows Updates. So here's what you can do so you will continue to get Windows Updates, and still have the option to opt-out of installing Windows Internet Explorer 7.

1. Open Control Panel - Change the Automatic Updates Control Panel setting to "Notify me but don't automatically download or install them."  Just remember that you'll have to pay close attention from now on to what updates Microsoft is trying to install. Make sure you ALWAYS install security updates - so pay attention here.

2. When Windows Updates are available a "yellow shield" will appear in your system tray notification area. That tells you that updates are available for your computer..

3. Click on the "shield" icon and, when prompted, choose "Custom Install". This should bring up the "Choose updates to download" dialog box.

4. Review the entire list of updates available for your computer and "Internet Explorer 7" or "Windows Internet Explorer 7" or something akin to it. or similar. This entry is usually the last item or close to the last item. Remove the check mark beside this IE7 or Windows Internet Explorer 7 entry and click Close.  Remember that anything you leave checked will be installed and this is what you want if there are important security or operating system updates waiting to be installed. You want to make sure that IE7 is not reinstalled (if you've gone through the trouble of uninstalling IE7 we assume you don't want it reinstalled - and You can always reinstall Internet Explorer 7 manually at anytime by going to http://www.microsoft.com/ie/ ).

5. A few seconds or so after you click Close, another box should open which is labeled "Hide Update". Add a check mark next to "Don't notify me about these updates again." That should keep IE7 from reinstalling itself on your computer.

Notes: From what we've seen, people who ran any of the various Beta versions of IE7 and subsequently installed the final version over the Beta -are having fits trying to uninstall IE7. So, the lesson to be learned here is whenever you're using a Beta version of anything, especially anything Microsoft, uninstall the Beta first before installing the final version. If you're one of the unlucky ones who did the above, you're probably not going to be able to remove IE7 without some difficulty. Just be forewarned.

We don't want you think we're promoting the uninstallation of Windows Internet Explorer 7. We're not. But there are some of you who really don't like it - and some who are having problems with it. There's not a software program in the world that is going to run well on 100% of all computers, 100% of the time. We just wanted those who are having troubles with IE7 to know there is an option besides continuing to use IE7 or switching to Firefox or another browser. IE7 increases your security while allowing you to remain in control of your computer. Overall, we think Microsoft's done a good job with IE7.


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