How to uninstall Internet Explorer 8 from Windows 7

If statistics are anything to go by, Internet Explorer is the biggest and the most popular browser on the Internet. Of course, all of us geeks here know that statistics are not always correct … or fun.

But, well, the truth is that IE owns anywhere between 60-70 percent of the browser market and despite it’s flaws, it’s still going strong. While most of the geeks have long moved to Firefox, there are millions of Windows users who still swear by IE, not because they like it but because of the simple fact that it is bundled along with their OS – Windows.

When Microsoft released the latest Incarnation of Internet Explorer, version 8, a couple of months back, it started pushing it as the answer to everyone’s miseries. Advertisements promoting IE 8 and urging users to upgrade were (and still are) on the Internet, in magazines and on TV. MS also did all it could to force users into installing the latest version of Internet Explorer on their computers by pushing it through windows update as a recommended update.

Internet Explorer

I agree that IE8 has some pretty nice features and is miles ahead of IE 7 or 6, but for people like me, who have almost completely moved over to firefox, IE just takes up precious space on the computer and is of absolutely no practical use.

And it looks like Microsoft has been thinking the same way as I do.

Windows 7, like all previous versions of Windows is also going to ship with Internet Explorer but Microsoft, faced with a number of legal threats for bundling IE along with Windows, has finally provided an option in Windows 7 to uninstall IE. The only problem is that the option to do so is hidden quite deep and with this post today, I’ll teach you how to get to it and remove Internet Explorer once and for all from your Windows  7 running PC.

First, of all, open the Control Panel and from there go to the Add-Remove programs utility. In Windows 7, this utility is present under the Programs heading and named simply, Uninstall a Program.

Add-Remove Programs

On the right hand side of the pane, you’ll see a list of all the programs that you’ve ever installed on your computer but Internet Explorer 8 will not be present in this list. To get to that, look at the left hand pane and you will see a link which says “Turn windows features on or off”. Clicking on this link will open a window with a list of all the windows features that you can turn off (or on).

Turn windows features on or off

Internet Explorer is listed in this window as a feature of Windows and it is turned on by default (denoted by the tick mark against it’s name).

Remove Internet Explorer

To remove Internet Explorer all you have to do is uncheck the Internet Explorer 8 option.

To be fair, this feature only turns Internet Explorer off, which means that it’s still there, but you won’t see it in the programs menu and you won’t be able to run it using the windows Run command also. All links supposed to open in Internet Explorer will fail with a message saying that the application required was not found.

Missing IE ? Turning it back on is simple too, just follow the same procedure and check the tickbox saying Internet Explorer 8.


Sharninder is a programmer, blogger and a geek making a living writing software to change the world. His tech blog, Geeky Ninja, is where he shares his wisdom, for free !

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