Longtime subscriber John used an article comment to ask a question on my Terry’s Computer Site. Unfortunately, no one answered him there, so here it is:
I have an HP mini 110 netbook with Win7 home premium. I set up a user account and all programs run from both user and administrator account except IE8. It will not open on the user account. Even tried running as administrator from user account without success. Any ideas? I can’t download a new copy of IE8 as the microsoft website says I have IE8 already installed. Do I remove IE8 and download a new copy. Since I am using Win7 will microsoft website be able to detect thatIE8 has been removed?
I wasn’t sure if John would be able to uninstall Internet Explorer 8, since it’s built into Windows 7. In earlier versions of Windows, Microsoft had made it virtually impossible to remove Internet Explorer.
I also looked at the Windows 7 Control Panel’s Uninstall A Program page, where I found:
The interesting thing there is that it doesn’t say that you can uninstall Internet Explorer 8. It says that Internet Explorer 8 is one of the Windows components that you can "turn off."
Then, I tried a quick Google search, where I found that, not only can you remove it, Microsoft tells you how!
In the Microsoft Support site’s article How do I uninstall or remove Internet Explorer 8? (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/957700), Microsoft Support warns:
When you remove Internet Explorer 8, your earlier version of Internet Explorer is restored with your customizations (such as add-ins, Favorites, and your home page). However, Internet Explorer 8 is a part of Windows 7. Therefore, if you remove Internet Explorer 8, you will have to install a third-party browser to be able to connect to the Internet.
The article goes on to provide instructions for removing Internet Explorer 8 from Windows 7, from Winodws Server 2008R2, from Windows Vista or Windows Server 2008, and from Windows XP or Windows Server 2003.
So, here’s a big reminder — if you’re going to uninstall IE8 and run a third party web browser, make sure you have downloaded and installed the third-party web browser before you uninstall IE8.
Otherwise, you won’t be able to download one. You would have to download a copy to another computer, put it on a CDR or flash drive, take the CDR or flash drive to your computer, and then install the third-party web browser on your netbook.
However, that wasn’t John’s ultimate goal. He wanted to uninstall IE8 so that he could reinstall IE8 on his Windows 7 netbook.
The real issue is, does Microsoft offer a download of Internet Explorer 8 for Windows 7? I don’t know. Since all my Windows computers are already running Internet Explorer 8, all I can say is that I can’t find an IE8 download for Windows 7 on the Microsoft.com web site.
I can find versions for 32-bit and 64-bit versions of XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and Windows Server 2008. Just not one for Windows 7.
If you uninstall Internet Explorer 8 from Windows 7, expect that you will have four alternatives:
- Use a third-party web browser and not be able to do Windows Updates until you install a different version of Internet Explorer,
- Hope that “SFC /SCANNOW” from the Windows 7 command line will reinstall IE8 from your Windows OS DVD. Just have a set of recovery DVD’s but not an Operating System DVD? Hope that your manufacturer put a copy of the Windows 7 files on your hard drive…
- Reinstall Windows 7, or
- Try the Internet Explorer 9 Beta version (I haven’t tried it and I’m not about to…)