Repair Internet Explorer

Dennis Faas's picture

Today, David M. sent me an email asking me how to go about Repairing Internet Explorer:

" Hello Dennis! The May 20, 2003 issue of the Gazette mentioned the very useful Internet Explorer Repair Tool, accessed from Add/Remove Programs in Control Panel.

In the past, this method has worked for me when using Win98 and IE5. However, I now run Win2K and IE6 and the IE Repair Tool isn't listed in the Add/Remove Programs, so I can't repair it.

Do you or any of your learned readers have any ideas, please? "

My Response:

I get asked this question a lot from readers, so I've decided to provide a General Guide on how to repair Internet Explorer (versions 5+).

With respect to David's question: I searched Google and found a Microsoft Knowledge Base Article (#318378), entitled "How to Reinstall or Repair Internet Explorer and Outlook Express in Windows XP" which provides 2 methods of repair.

I was able to test the instructions on a Win2k machine (as well as my XP machine) and it worked. Here's a synopsis taken from the Knowledge Base #318378 using Method #1:

To Repair Internet Explorer 6.x (Win2k / WinXP)

  • Start -> Run
  • Type: sfc /scannow
  • Click OK
  • Follow the prompts
  • Reboot when System File Checker completes

There is also another method Microsoft describes (Method #2), but it is much more involved and requires editing the registry:

Side Note: Both methods listed require that the Microsoft Windows XP CD-ROM be available.

To repair Internet Explorer 5:

  • Click Start -> Settings -> Control Panel
  • Launch Add / Remove Programs
  • Go to Install / Uninstall tab
  • Click Microsoft Internet Explorer 5 and Internet Tools
  • Click Add / Remove
  • Click the Repair Internet Explorer option
  • Click OK

For Windows 98 Second Edition:

The IE Repair tool is not present in Add / Remove Programs (Control Panel) and is only available in the Uninstall Dialogue Box. Infopackets Reader Michael W. sent me this information about accessing the IE Repair feature for Windows 98 SE:

  • Click Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> System Information
  • Click Tools (tool bar) -> Internet Explorer Repair Tool

Alternatively, you may follow the instructions for IE5.01 (below).

To repair Internet Explorer 5.01:

  • Click Start -> Run
  • Type: msinfo32.exe
  • Click OK
  • Msinfo32.exe tools will open
  • Click Tools (tool bar) -> Internet Explorer Repair Tool

Not sure which Internet Explorer version you have?

The easiest way to find out is to load Internet Explorer, and click Help -> About. The version number should be displayed in the Window.

Microsoft has also provided a much more complex (sure-fire) way of determining what version of Internet Explorer is installed on your system:;EN-US;164539

Internet Explorer Service Packs

Service Packs include a wide range of bug fixes and address security vulnerabilities. The download link is below (see: Get Most Recent Version). You can also download Service Packs through Windows Update:;EN-US;ie

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