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  • Pros & cons of disabling Internet Explorer

    Posted on Moonbear Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 7 Questions: Windows 7 Pros & cons of disabling Internet Explorer

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      • #2076951 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        I haven’t used Internet Explorer since I installed Chrome in 2014.

        The only reason I’ve not looked into disabling it before now is that I really have no way to tell what programs or system functionality could be adversely effected.

        Outbound connections for Internet Explorer have been blocked at the Windows Firewall for a couple months now with no issues.

      • #2077913 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Internet Explorer (IE) is part of Windows, and does interact with other Windows programs, even if it is not actually running at the time and is never used for browsing.  For example, the security settings in IE can affect how Outlook behaves.  See this link for more info.

        How would you disable it, anyway?

        Windows 10 Pro 64 bit 1909

      • #2079426 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Cannot answer your inquiry, but; have NEVER used IE at all ever on my system.  Have not ever opened it.  Have always used Mozilla FireFox and now on v72.0.1.  IE is still upon my system blocked by FireWalls, have two (2) running on my system and both are blocking IE.  Have had other browsers and will not allow them to be upon my system, they are not very secure, most are not really usable browsers IMHO!  Chrome cannot be run OFFLINE because nothing is sved to my system, everything is ‘over the internet only’ only the launcher for Chrome is upon your system, IF YOU use that browser.  By the way, have been on the web since before WWW and Windows were ever created and established on the web.

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      • #2079578 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Have had other browsers and will not allow them to be upon my system, they are not very secure

        Details of the lack of security of these browsers please.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2079645 Reply
        Da Boss

        It’s possible to disable IE11, but that does leave a security gap, in that you downgrade to the previous IE version.

        See @martinbrinkmann‘s article on for further details:

        This removes Internet Explorer 11 from the Windows 7 system and replaces it with the version of the browser that was installed before it. On my system, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, that was Internet Explorer 8. You can then keep using that browser, or update to Internet Explorer 9 or 10 instead.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2085556 Reply
          AskWoody Lounger

          Thanks very much for the link.

          After reading the article and the comments, I’ve come to the conclusion that disabling IE11 isn’t worth the complications that may arise from doing so.

          As I said in my original post, I have IE’s outbound connection blocked with Windows Firewall and I think I’ll just leave it at that.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2082404 Reply
        AskWoody Lounger

        Microsoft support directions on disabling/re-enabling Internet Explorer can be found here.

        Win7 - PRO & Ultimate, x64 & x86
        Win8.1 - PRO, x64 & x86
        Groups A, B & ABS

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by RDRguy.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2082745 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        Have had other browsers and will not allow them to be upon my system, they are not very secure,

        So, You are using Firefox that just now patched a huge security hole that was abused in the wild for a long time. It maybe that by using Firefox you have already been hacked (the new patched Firefox 72.0.1 doesn’t remove the hack).

        IE is part of Windows OS and can’t be un-installed. You can just deactivate the external browser part.

        The new CrEdge, for example, will remove and replace the current Edge but will leave IE in place.

        • This reply was modified 2 months, 2 weeks ago by Alex5723.
      • #2084090 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        On Windows 10, Internet Explorer is a Windows feature and may be turned off. Whether it is wise to turn off this feature is another question.

        G{ot backup} TestBeta
        offline▸ Win7Pro SP1 x64 InUse
        online▸ Win10Pro 1909.18363.752 x64 i5-9400 RAM8GB HDD Firefox75.0b11 Windows{Image/Defender/Firewall}
      • #2085499 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        There are still programs out there (yeah, I’m looking at you, Quickbooks!) that open specific other programs to accomplish a task.  Quickbooks, for example, opens IE to get to some of its help pages (they used to force Excel for spreadsheets, as well, but either they changed or I found some secret to open LibreOffice instead).

      • #2085541 Reply

        After disabling IE in the Windows 7 settings way back when, I tried forcibly removing the Internet Explorer directories from \Program Files and Program Files (x86) when I ran Windows 7, along with the SFC backups (otherwise they would just come right back).  I did have to restore ieproxy.dll to get things to work okay, if I recall, but otherwise, I never noticed it was gone.

        Of course, that doesn’t mean that the alternate copies of files (possibly older, less up-to-date ones) in WinSxS were not quietly being used.  That thought was what led me to abandon the practice.

        It’s better just to have an OS that does not have a browser embedded so deeply.  It was a deeply cynical ploy that MS engaged in in order to corner the browser market, and now that IE is all but dead and MS is an also-ran in the browser market, Windows users are still paying the price for Microsoft’s anticompetitive plot, in terms of legacy technical debt.

        After the eventual settlement between the US government and MS, I tried the IE blocking thing in XP, and it hardly had any effect at all.  I already had something else set as the default browser, so anything that simply called the default already pulled up Mozilla or Firefox (I do not remember which I was using at the time).  Any program that called IE directly, though, would bring it right up, as if the block was not there, and a lot of programs did do that, since IE was virtually guaranteed to be on all Windows systems, and would render everything in a known (but nonstandard) way.


        Group "L" (KDE Neon User Edition 5.18.3).

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2110863 Reply
        AskWoody Plus

        — can be found here.

        Another way, which keeps a record of disabling/enabling, at the link “See optional feature history”:

        Start, Settings, Apps, Apps & features, Optional features, Internet Explorer 11, Uninstall.
        (Requires restart.)

        Offline: Win7Pro ∙ SP1 ∙ x64
        Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-6500U ∙ RAM 12GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender
        Online: Win10Pro ∙ 1909.18363 ∙ x64 ∙ i7-8565U ∙ RAM 16GB ∙ SSD ∙ Firefox ∙ McAfee Internet Security ∙ Windows Defender

        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by KYKaren.
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by KYKaren.
        • This reply was modified 2 months ago by KYKaren.
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