How to Uninstall Internet Explorer 8 in Windows Vista

I like to call myself a reluctant Windows user, at best. Microsoft Windows is something I use only when I have to and even then I make sure I don’t touch Internet Explorer even with a 10 ft pole.

Needless to say, whenever I login to my Windows desktop, every couple of weeks, I usually have a slew of updates waiting for me to install them, which I always dutifully install. That’s what updates are for, right ?

Well, this is where the sad part of the story begins. I haven’t really had a problem with any MS updates till now but when Microsoft, in a recent update, pushed Internet Explorer 8 on my computer, all hell broke loose. A lot of web based applications I rely on daily started acting weird. Active-X Add-ons that I need for my work stopped working. IE 8 crashed a lot more and was much more buggy than IE 7 and that is saying something, considering that I hardly used IE 7 also .

Which is why I decided to get rid of IE 8 once and for all and write this post so that it may benefit others who are in a similar situation. I use Windows Vista so some of the instructions might be Vista specific.

The first step to getting rid of IE 8 is to open the control panel and click on the Program and Features applications.

Control Panel

This application will show you a list of all the programs installed on your machine and allow you to uninstall them. Except for one small problem !

As you can see, Internet Explorer 8 does not show up in the list of programs installed on your machine. Since, IE was installed by Microsoft as part of a system update, The Programs and Features application doesn’t consider it a normal user application.

IE 8 shows up as an update installed on your computer. To get to that list, click on the “View Installed Updates” link in the left sidebar.

View installed updates

You will now see a list of all the updates that you’ve ever installed on your computer. If, like me, you’ve had your windows install for a long time, this will be one long list. Browse through the list and find the update which says Internet Explorer 8.

Internet Explorer

Select it, and click on “uninstall”. Follow the instructions, if any, and let the uninstaller take charge. Once the uninstall is complete, restart your computer and carry on with your IE 8 free life.


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 !


  1. You must remember that there are some site that do not work properly, on firefox ect. but only on ie7 or 8.


  2. Hi,

    Thanks for the process description. I successfully uninstalled IE8, but in every download of patches, it keeps showing again as an “important download”. How to remove that from Vista’s list of downloads?


    1. You can’t remove IE from the list of suggested updates. That list comes from Microsoft’s update site and the user has no control over it.

  3. Hi i want to delete IE8 but i can’t find it in view installed updates and i still have it on update that i didn’t installed IE8 i installed it earlyer when the update came(sorry for my bad english)….. can someone help me

  4. How do you get onto internet if you uninstall IE8? Sorry, might be a stupid question for you, but I want to uninstall IE8, and reinstall it, because it keeps on crashing on me.

  5. You have to install Firefox or Chrome (or any other browsers) first before uninstall IE8.

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