Block and Remove / Uninstall Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)

Dennis Faas's picture

Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) has been released as of November 1, 2006. If you're not ready for it yet, there are a few options to prevent its installation through Automatic Updates.

Personally, I update my computer manually, so I can see what's being installed before it's installed.

Reports say that IE7 is more secure and has more functionality than Internet Explorer 6 (some improvements include tabbed browsing and a built-in RSS reader) -- but I prefer to wait until they get a few more bugs worked out and some patches for the flaws that still exist before I'll agree to install it myself.

Many users have automatic updates enabled on their systems. Microsoft is distributing Internet Explorer 7 as a high-priority update through Automatic updates and the Microsoft update sites. Internet Explorer 7 will be available for users of genuine Windows XP SP2, Windows XP 64-bit Edition, and Windows Server 2003 SP1. See the Microsoft Updates IE7 announcement for more details.

Installing IE7: Through Automatic Updates

If you use automatic updates, a notification will appear and you can choose whether or not to install IE7. (Note that the update will only be available if you run your system with administrator privileges).

Once you click on the automatic updates notification balloon, you will be presented with 3 options: Install, Don't install, and Ask me later.

  • If you select Install, follow the prompts to install it.
  • If you select Don't install, you can install it at a later time from the Windows update site.
  • If you select Ask me later, it will not install it and you will be prompted to install it at a later time.

Uninstalling IE7

If you install IE7 it will replace IE6. If you want to uninstall IE7 at a later time, you should be able to remove it through the Add / Remove applet in the control panel. If you do install it and uninstall it later, the automatic updates will inevitably ask you if you want to install it again.

In that case, just select the Don't install option. Important: If you do want to remove IE7 after installation, make sure you uninstall it correctly through the Add/Remove applet in the control panel or with another uninstall utility. Do not delete it manually as that will cause more problems. Note that installation of IE7 will not override your default browser.

Other Options to Uninstall / Remove IE7

As previously mentioned, there are other options to prevent the automatic delivery of IE7. You can download a toolkit to disable the automatic delivery (available to users running genuine Microsoft Windows). Toolkits to prevent the installation of some updates from Microsoft have had expiration dates in the past. According to Microsoft, the toolkit to block IE7 does not have an expiration date.

IT Administrators can use Update Management solutions for Windows Server Systems and SM Servers from Microsoft for better solutions to block the installation of IE7, respectively.

Disabling Automatic Updates

To control whether or not you receive automatic updates, you use the automatic updates applet in the control panel. To do so: Click Start, then click on control panel. Once the control panel applet opens (in classic view), double click on the automatic updates applet to open it). You will be presented with 4 options: Automatic (recommended), Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them, Notify me but don't automatically download or install them and Turn off Automatic Updates and click the apply button. More information regarding Automatic Updates can be found at the Technet2 Microsoft site.

Downloading Updates Manually

If you do turn off the Automatic Updates option, make sure you check the Microsoft Windows Update site on a regular basis. The second Tuesday of every month Microsoft releases updates.

Occasionally, Microsoft releases updates at other times when they need a patch to fix a patch. It's important to keep your Windows and other programs updated for security and safety reasons. Microsoft encourages you to keep Automatic Updates turned on, but as long as you take the necessary security measures and update your computer regularly, you should be fine turning them off.

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