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Uninstall Internet Explorer Versions in XP

K Vee Shanker asks:

My operating system is XP and I’m not able to uninstall the IE browser. There is no such option in the ADD/Remove Programs. Can you help me?

Thanks for the question, and let me begin the answer with the following quote from Microsoft, “After you install Windows XP Service Pack 3 (SP3), you cannot uninstall Windows Internet Explorer 7 or Internet Explorer 8”.

However, versions of Internet Explorer can be uninstalled. For this demonstration, IE8 was removed. After that, the browser automatically reverted to the previously installed IE7. With a minor adjustment to the Run line command (see below), this process can also be used to uninstall IE7 (it should be noted that wasn’t done here).

Before uninstalling a browser, be sure another is installed. For more information, and for IE uninstall instructions for Vista, click here [1].

Begin by making hidden files and folders visible (this step is recommended by Microsoft, but I didn’t find it necessary. On my computer, the IE uninstall was successful either way).

Click Start and select My Documents. Or, since the goal is to get into Windows Explorer, the keyboard shortcut (Win+E) can also be used.

pierce_uninstalling_internet_explorer_1 [2]

Whichever method is chosen, from the Tools menu, select Folder Options.

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Under the View tab, in Advanced settings, click the radio button beside Show hidden files and folders.

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For the next step, you’ll have to know the correct IE version number. If you’re not sure which version you’re running, in the IE Help menu, click About Internet Explorer (the screenshots below were taken after IE 8 was uninstalled).

pierce_uninstalling_internet_explorer_8 [5]

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Then, using the keyboard shortcut (Win+R), bring up Run and type (or copy and paste) the following, %windir%\ie8\spuninst\spuninst.exe

Then click OK.

pierce_uninstalling_internet_explorer_4 [7]

This run command applies to IE8. When removing a different version, the version number will need to be changed (%windir%\ie7\spuninst\spuninst.exe)

In the Removal Wizard, click Next.

pierce_uninstalling_internet_explorer_5 [8]

The following message will appear, with a list of all programs and updates installed after the installation of IE8. While a warning indicates that these programs might not work properly if IE is uninstalled, I had no problems and, when the process was complete, Windows updates and IE8 were easily reinstalled.

pierce_uninstalling_internet_explorer_6 [9]

Click Finish in the Removal Wizard for an automatic restart. Or, if you’re not ready for a restart, check the box, Do not restart now.

pierce_uninstalling_internet_explorer_7 [10]

Thanks again for the question.