How-To Geek

How to Completely Disable Internet Explorer in Windows


A lot of Windows users dislike Internet Explorer enough that just using a different browser is not enough–they want it gone. Although there is no way to completely uninstall it, let’s take a look at how to disable Internet Explorer in Windows so you won’t have to deal with it anymore.

Before disabling Internet Explorer, you might want to follow our guide to import your bookmarks and settings from IE to Chrome and make Chrome your default browser.

To disable Internet Explorer, click the Start menu and type “control panel” in the search box. Then, click Control Panel in the results.

(If you’re using Windows 7, you can just click the Start menu button and then click the “Control Panel” button.)


On the Control Panel screen, click the “Programs” category.


In the Programs and Features section on the Programs screen, click the “Turn Windows features on or off” link.


The Windows Features dialog box displays. Uncheck the “Internet Explorer 11” box.

In Windows 7, you may have a different version of Internet Explorer installed. But, this procedure works the same way for any version of Internet Explorer in Windows 7, 8, or 10 that is installed as part of the Windows system.


A warning dialog box displays saying that turning off Internet Explorer might affect other Windows features and programs. To continue disabling Internet Explorer, click “Yes”.


On the Windows Features dialog box, click “OK”.


A dialog box displays while the changes are applied.


You need to reboot your computer for the changes to take effect. If you’re not ready to restart, click “Don’t restart” and then restart manually when you’re ready. Otherwise, click “Restart now”.


Once your computer reboots, Internet Explorer will not be available in the Set Default Programs list (Control Panel > Default Programs > Set Default Programs).


Internet Explorer will also not be available on the Open with context menu. And, when you select “Choose another app” from the submenu…


…Internet Explorer is not available in the list of programs for opening related files, such as .htm files.


This doesn’t completely remove all traces of Internet Explorer as other programs and processes rely on its rendering engine. However, this procedure will definitely get it out of your way when working on your computer.

Brian Burgess worked in IT for 10 years before pursuing his passion for writing. He's been a tech blogger and journalist for the past seven years, and can be found on his about me page or Google+

  • Published 07/22/09

Comments (37)

  1. edgardo dela cruz

    Is there a way to turn off internet explorer on windows vista? or maybe disable it.

  2. Mrrix32


    1) Live in Europe :P

  3. Kyle

    Same steps I do believe.

  4. Kelly

    why would you want to do that, IE8 rocks!

  5. Bill

    Kelly from Microsoft! Is that you?

  6. hydir

    Just ignored it.
    Leave IE 8 alone, and install Firefox or Chrome
    you might just don’t know when u might used it

  7. Gideon

    Bill from Microsoft! Is that you?

    Some people may have other opions, as everyone knows Fx is the best but she thinks IE is better.

  8. rame

    thanks niga

  9. rroberto

    on removing internet explorer…if you use windows update, msn/hotmail or other ms sites, and truly want them to do everything they’re supposed to do, imho, you should not get rid of internet explorer….ms has designed their own websites to only partially work with firefox or chrome, or not really at all

  10. robert

    I keep getting a message that I may be a victim of computor counterfeiting. What is this all about and how can I keep this from appearing on my commputor.

  11. Greg Zeng

    GREEN BROWSER, CRAZY BROWSER & MAXTHON rely on I.E., but improve it considerably.

    OPERA browser {“shareware” in theory only} is my preference – instant MHT file saves.

    MOZILLA products are next; too many crazy add-ons needed to emulate OPERA.

    SAFARI, GOOGLE, etc – poor. Recover after crashing? MHT handling, bookmark tranfer / backup for other browsers, spelling correction, easy form-filling, …. ?

    Greg Zeng, Australian Capital Territory

  12. Sam Tate


    WHY are we SHOUTING every OTHER word?

    JUST to let YOU KNOW,Google Chrome IS THE best


    OPERA is GOOD, but IS ALSO quite SLOW

  13. mike

    firefox has an IE Tab plugin. If you want to use IE on occasions (check exchange server mail with outlook web access) it works well enough.

  14. Andrea Borman

    Thank you very much for this usful information. I understand from what I have read here and on other sites that we cannot uninstall internet explorer without causing problems for our computers,that is if we did this Windows may not start(I have Windows7) but I have taken notice of your guide to HIDING Internet Explorer( I have Internet Explorer8) and I have just done this. And my pc is all the better for it as I never use Internet explorer as it is a slow and usless browser. But as I uses several browsers,depending on what I am doing online,I have not set any default programes to open my files and photos as your files can be opened on any browser you happen to be using at the time or on thier own.But thank you for shareing this tip to hiding internet Explorer as it will help a lot of people who have no use for it. But also if you change your mind and want it back you can just tick the box in setting and re start computer and its back if you want it,which I dont. Also this way of hiding Internet explorer rather than deleting it is safer as it wont mess up windows on your pc. Andrea.

  15. tomk96

    I live in the Netherlands (Europe) and I didn `t got a screen were i can chose my browser!

  16. Henry

    I have internet explorer 8. It will not let me download mozilla firefox. Is there any way to correct this?

  17. Igor

    No I could not find this option.

  18. John

    There is another way to get IE out of the way and that is to make Firefox your default browser. (I love Firefox). Just click on tools then options, then advanced. Check in the box that begins with “Always check to see if Firefox….” and click the Check Now button. You will get a pop up that asks you if you want Firefox to be your default browser. Just click yes and thats all there is to it. Whenever you click a link on a web page or in a message Firefox will pop up and not IE. I don’t use IE anymore. The last good version Microsoft had was IE 6 SP2 and since then it has got more and more unstable to the point where it is almost unusable especially if you have a lot of tabs open like I do.

  19. etherium

    can’t we just make internet explorer illegal so people like my dad who think their 6 year old browser is the best in the world would actually modernize?

    I mean, im in college now and he still refuses to change that browser.

  20. Michael

    Won’t uninstalling Internet Explorer keep certain items from working that only use internet explorer?

  21. Michael

    Never mind I didn’t see the explanation of that. Sorry I’m idiot.

  22. Ash

    I see this mis-information spread around the web, but I expected more of HtG.

    The terms uninstall and delete are completely abused in relation to ‘Turn Windows features on and off’, whether we’re talking about IE or anything else in the list. It’s not even a matter of not ‘completely remov[ing] all traces’; more correctly, all it does is remove a few traces. To actually remove any of the bloat that comes part and parcel with any Windows 7 installation (500MB for tablet support, ~2GB for speech support, hundreds of megs of drivers you’re never gonna use)*, you have to modify the install medium with something like RT 7 Lite.

    *Sizes according to RT 7 Lite

  23. cindy

    i go into the uninstall box, explorer 8 isn’t listed, but i still have it. anymore suggestions?

  24. Gary

    Best way is to wipe windows. Install Linux and run Chrome. You are now Safe and secure

  25. Juthail

    Kelly – The reason people want to get rid of Internet Explorer is because it has a lot of weaknesses compared to other browsers. The major would be its weakness to Malware of all kinds.

    rroberto – The Microsoft websites, such as MSN (now Bing), Hotmail, and other such free sites, all have other competitors that are much better. Anything you can find on Bing, you can find on Google, Yahoo, Altavista, and As for Email, there is little free email that tops the usability, space, and protection of Google Mail (Gmail). They also work with any browser, making them Windows, Mac, and Linux friendly.

    Sam Tate – I must disagree with Chrome being the best. Reason? If you don’t get thousands of useless themes, add-ons, and other useless tidbits, Firefox is the safest, fastest, and most user friendly browser you can get for any operating system.

    John – Setting Firefox (Or any other browser) as your default, does not stop IE from opening when you have malware in your system. This means if something happens to get into your system (usually through email or social sites), you will see pop-ups appearing in Internet Explorer.

    Michael – Disabling Internet Explorer won’t effect any programs that use the internet, with the exception of Windows Update. Of course, if Windows didn’t have so many errors, there wouldn’t be so many updates.

    I finally switched back to Windows from Linux, and I have to say that I miss Linux. Windows runs slowly (Even with a 2.4Ghz duel processor and 4gigs of DDR3 RAM). In the last two weeks I have had to remove a lot of malware causing pop-ups in Internet Explorer, which never happens in Linux. There are CD’s littering my desk as I needed them to install drivers and non-MS programs. With linux, everything can be downloaded, installed, and running within a few minutes. (You can even install Linux without a CD…)

    So why did I switch back to Windows?
    1) So I could test Windows 7, and so far it is failing miserably.
    2) So I could play Windows only games (Gaming companies take warning… Windows wont last forever)
    3) I may have lost my mind.
    4) I have a linux desktop under my windows desktop, with duel setups, so I can switch easily when Windows fails, which happens more often than not.

  26. hawre

    so helpful , thanx

  27. poncho

    thank you very much!

    @Juthail… Opera is the best because is fast, secure and light.

  28. snacks

    I hear people speaking of how “fast” a browser is….can someone please explain? I mean, are we talking about how fast pages load? (Isn’t this governed by connection speed?) Or perhaps how fast the browser starts up?


  29. Tay


  30. Khaled Sha2ra

    Thx u

  31. Mat

    Any Web browser is better than I.E. :)

  32. Rya

    Juthail – Are you single? j/k… Seriously though… Well Said!!!

  33. Jesus

    Dude, I did all the steps you reffered, when it restarted it didn’t start anymore!! It just keeps an underscore blinking… Help?

  34. Connor

    Yay! thanks!! the only reason i hate IE is because its slow. :3 <3

  35. ashkan-iran

    tanks alot Icould solved my problem with I.E

  36. Razgriz, The Knowledgeable

    Simple Kelly, if a Adware File, Such as Adware.Lop, which my Antivirus just detected, or RON Ads, Which Run IE8 In the Background, will exploit IE8 To Display Advertisements. the only way to stop it is by shutting down IE8. the Adware Program would not be able to open IE8, and Thus would become benign, unless it has a override feature, which i highly doubt it does, or it could use an alternative Browser you have, such as Google Chrome, or Firefox, or Safari, Opera, ETC, ETC, if the file is programmed to open it in case the user tries to disable IE8.

  37. Gaurav

    it helps me thankssss

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