Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

This question comes up a lot for various, an quite legitimate reasons. Internet Explorer, or "IE" is one of the biggest targets on the internet for virus writers, spyware writers and hackers. Naturally, once in a while due to their efforts, or for other reasons, IE breaks.

In which case a repair may be called for.

Before we get into IE itself, though, most problems that look like they're caused by IE are not at all. As I mentioned, viruses and spyware may attack or use IE, but they don't necessarily damage it. The viruses and spyware are themselves the "damage". Poorly written add-ons can also manifest as problems within IE. In all these cases "fixing" IE won't help, you need to get at the root of the problem. My earlier article "IExplore.exe has generated an error." Now what? discusses many of the things to look at when you suspect, or experience, a problem in Internet Explorer.

So after all that, let's assume you've come to the conclusion that IE itself must be repaired.

We'll start with the first part of the question: How do you delete Internet Explorer? Answer: you don't. There are ways to disable parts of it, and even remove other parts of it, but the fact remains that Internet Explorer is a key part of Windows itself. It cannot be completely removed, and still have Windows work.

"How do you delete Internet Explorer? Answer: you don't."

And in fact, that leads us to our first step in repairing Internet Explorer. Under Windows XP, run the System File Checker. This tool performs a check on all operating system components, including Internet Explorer, and repairs any that it finds are missing or damaged.

If that doesn't resolve the problem, or you're running a version of Windows that doesn't have the System File Checker, your next best option is a re-install. In fact, your best option in this case is to download and install the latest version of Internet Explorer from Microsoft's web site. This will repair your IE installation, or overwrite it with a fresh installation of the latest version.

Article C2366 - June 9, 2005 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

June 18, 2005 11:54 PM

What if I have XP Service pack 2? What version of Internet Explorer does a person download then? I mean wouldn't the "regular" IE have only Service Pack 1? In that case , I wouldn't want it would I?
I hope this makes sense.

June 19, 2005 7:53 AM

Just download the latest from the Microsoft site. I'll be fully up to date.

Clif Notes
July 10, 2005 12:01 PM

Hi Leo,

I just published a review about your website/software which included the following links.

You can take a look at the reviews by following this link.

If you wish, you are welcome to comment there or write me back. I always welcome comments, even if you don't like what I said.

Clif Notes
Dedicated to promoting freeware and free information

July 18, 2005 10:20 AM

Here's a question that I hope someone can answer....
I need to re-install IE due to Spyware.
Spybot can't remove the spyware because it keeps saying the problem file is "currently in use." Even when IE is closed. It's still running, of course. So therefore, I need to re-install in hopes this will remove the problems with my current IE. But.......
How to get the re-install if you can't use IE to get on the internet???
This is making me batty. Please help!

July 19, 2005 12:11 PM

If you can't get to the internet on this computer, then you'll most likely need to either use another computer to download and burn to CD, or use your installation CDs to re-install.

September 16, 2005 10:42 AM

I attemtped to delete IE by deleting the icons and using the control panel Add/Remove programs.
I now realize that was a big mistake.
What should I do now??

September 16, 2005 5:17 PM

Depends on your operating system. If Windows XP, run the System File Checker.

December 14, 2005 5:27 PM


I am not able to remove IE 6, and I can't re-install over it because it says I have a newer verson running...AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!
I didn't see an answer for this particular question.

December 20, 2005 8:50 AM

my IE is provided by my old ISP & i think that i need my IE provided by my new do i sort this out? can i still get onto the internet to get a new one if i just install this one? my new ISP told me to sort this. help please

Leo A. Notenboom
December 20, 2005 10:03 AM

You can just download and install the new version.

David Swartz
March 4, 2006 12:56 PM

I actually want to delete Microsoft Internet Explorer but do not wish to reinstall it. I use Mozilla Firefox and have not used Internet Explorer for two years, but Internet Explorer seems to be opening itself to pepper my screen with pop-up windows warning about security. Explorer itself seems to be my security problem. Will removing it (the file says it's protected when I try to delete it) cause problems with the rest of my Windows functioning properly? If no, how can I get that program off of my computer?

March 10, 2006 9:54 AM

Hello to all. I have a a problem. I've got a lot of viruses and spaywares, but i clen my computer. But the problem began when i opend IE. It says "The page cannot be displayed"! But the internet is working, couse i can log into msn messenger, get update from antivirus... But IE doesn't work. So i reinstall IE, but still doesn't work. What can i do? (Win XP pro, IE6)

kevin funk
March 12, 2006 4:33 PM

I get a message that says I have a buffer overrun on my internet explorer and it won't connect to the internet I've tried to redown load it but it still pops up how can I fix this.


March 12, 2006 8:00 PM

I'd follow the steps in the article that was referenced:

April 22, 2006 5:17 PM

I tried to delete IE before i new that it was not possible to do so. I believe that it deleted some files because now when I run IE I always get the "Internet Explorer cannot display the page" page, no matter what web site I enter. I have tried the SFC, it ran all the way through and didn't give me any messages. I have tried to download IE and re-install but it tells me that the version i have is more current and it will not install. I have also tried to re-install XP altogether, still to no avail. help!

June 5, 2006 11:41 PM

i want a install a new version a internet explorer so plz give full details and a suggesation for install

Lars Fogde
July 8, 2006 2:59 AM

So you don't believe that this methode will work???

July 8, 2006 10:59 AM

I don't see anything there that relates to Internet Explorer.

August 15, 2006 5:18 AM

hi, i have a problem. my IE can't click some button...i should thing so, problems with autoupdated Windows XP(on others computers this problems not detected). IE update version Q867801.
how i can resolve this problem?

October 21, 2006 5:01 PM

I just downloaded Ie provided by Yahoo. How do I uninstall Ie 7 and put Microsoft Ie 7 on correctly..My problems is Yahoo dominates Ie and I am getting lots of pop up and crap from Yahoo..

February 3, 2007 10:30 PM

A website I visit every day has all of a sudden become "blocked" in Internet Explorer 7. Also it seems Windows Security isn't letting me view it either. I have reinstalled IE with no luck. I have added this web site to my "trusted sites" list and no luck. I have done everything I know to do, as a techie for over 20 years and still no luck. I can no longer visit the web site I use every day. I downloaded firefox and was able to view the site I want, but not log in. THIS IS CRAZY. If Jeff Levy were here himself, I'd grab him by the collar and fall to my knees pleading, "help me or I shall surely die!"

am aser
February 17, 2007 1:02 AM

answer above question

February 24, 2007 3:47 PM

When I launch IE I get a popup that says the 'installation failed, try again or go to Windows Update under IE tools to install. First when is tools under IE? Second I went to Windows Update and it says there is 0% to install. I don't get it but still I can use IE. Also on my desktop IE does not have a check mark. Can you help me. Thanks

March 15, 2007 6:41 PM

I use the internet for work and I am having the same problem as Ann, who posted her question on Feb 3, 2007. I am unable to login and access anything. I was advise by the company I deal with to remove IE7 and download IE6. I have tried, but I am unable to get rid of the IE7. How do I get rid of IE7 and reload IE6. PLEASE HELP!!!!!

March 17, 2007 5:06 PM

1 thing you can do is go back before the IE 7 install from your restore point. Your system should be tracking and making restore points on major installs.

Big Ed
March 20, 2007 6:35 AM

When I click on address bar the drop down freezes for up to a minute everytime but never does it when I click on favorites. Why? Please advise.

sharon kurimski
May 19, 2007 1:21 PM

Every time I check my mail or do anything I get this pop-up that has me type in my password,and I tried to cancel but it won't let me do it it says allow me to view this at all times I tryed that didn't work what do I do now??

T. Lieberg
May 22, 2007 3:04 PM

I can not get into my mail. For some reason my yahoo now says yahoo.commicrosoftinternet explorer, it will let me do everything else but get into my yahoo e-mail. How do I get rid of Microsoft internet explorer?

eva canizo
July 25, 2007 9:59 AM

hi i've browse on my IE, then i got my pc acquire viruses and my IE always popping up with security toolbar. What will i do? Please help. Can i reinstall my IE.

February 21, 2008 7:34 PM

The answer to all your IE problems is Mozilla Firefox.

Go to and install it.
then delete IE

joan koenhaas
May 6, 2008 6:06 AM

my e mail address has not been accepted by Micrsoft websites .i have had this e mail for 5 years.
[email removed] what is this? Please

Travis Turner
June 29, 2008 11:33 AM

i am getting 2 different dll messages and im hoping i can delete explorer and reinstall it. how do i do that. ive tried the repair tool and it fixed it temporarily. messages are kernel32.dll and mshtml.dll. can you help me?

June 29, 2008 5:05 PM

Hash: SHA1

If you mean INTERNET Explorer, please read the article you
just commented on.

If you mean WINDOWS Explorer, you cannot delete and
reinstall it, much like Internet Explorer, Windows Explorer
is also a part of Windows itself. I would start with SFC:


Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


August 8, 2008 1:23 PM

We are having problems with a webpage called webkinz, it is not working properly ,when i got on another computer, it was working just fine. its just this one website i am hav ing trouble with, please help my daughter is driving me nuts cause she wants to play

August 17, 2008 7:53 PM

I am constantly receiving "Microsoft Internet explorer has encountered a problem and must shut down Sorry blah blah blah every time I shut down a program or almost anything else. I have run repeated scans and know there is quite a number of errors. What is the best program to repair these errors as I do not want to keep purchasing programs and still have problem. I must say unfortunately I am not real computer savvy either Thank You

Alan Fraser
August 23, 2008 1:50 AM

I can't get Windows Updates because IE cannot install the Windows Update ActiveX control. I get error 0x8ddd0004. I have tried all the fixes suggested on the MS web-site for this erro, but not work. I have uninstalled IE7 and the same problem occurs in IE6. Any ideas?

Rex Bruce
August 31, 2008 10:56 AM

I deleted or totally disabled IE thru the DOS box by accessing each programme and removing all code with PF8 key. While this still left remnants of the programme, it is totally unable to work. I now use only firefox as this highlights dangerous websites. I find it annoying when programmers (microsoft) write programmes that hijack my pc when I want to have control of my PC. Repeat, I WANT TO HAVE CONTROL OF MY PC.

October 17, 2008 10:37 PM

hi.. i want to share you guys that the new IE 8 Beta 2 has a problem.. well, i oftenly used IE to surf the internet where all of the sudden it started to lagged my pc.. suddenly when i refresh my IE got name on my IE toolbar, it is Gdooey Mae.. it have caused many problem on my pc.. my pc wallpaper always changes and also my local disk C: and D: cant open automatically when i click on it.. so plzz can you ppl help me.. not only im facing this problem though.. i guess there's many more...

Kevin Ashman
October 21, 2008 11:07 PM

I have add-ons that are clogging up my Internet explorer. I am resentful I am not able to uninstall it or at least REMOVE ALL the add-ons completely. I can disable them and remove some but no matter what, some of the same ones try loading themselves when I start it, create new tabs, etc. The program is SLOW and bogs down the CPU. I've tried all the advice on here, and I'd like to start with a CLEAN slate. Please tell me this is possible? Can a revert reset this stuff?

Anita Nagy
October 31, 2008 6:30 AM

I have a problem with internet explorer too. I had internet explorer 7.0 for first , but I installed another version of internet explorer 8.2 beta because I wanted to use a webpage that I couldn't use before. Now the problem with that is, I can't use internet explorer for a long time, because it close itself after a short time when I want to use it. What's more I cant't be able to use my files too, the other prolem is I have windows vista and I tried to install another version of internet explorer, but I have to delete 8.2 beta before I install the new one. Can you give me some piece of advise in this case?

January 16, 2009 6:41 AM

I have Windows Vista and I'M NOT sure what I should Internet explorer 7 seem to be screwed up,and I don't see that I have "Outlook express" as well.

January 19, 2009 6:28 AM

I have Windows Vista and a H P processor.I don't see Internet Explorer. I get H P windows Internet explorer and MY A O L on the site that comes up when i press I E. is this the same ?

February 5, 2009 9:03 AM

i have 2 internet explorers one is 64bit and some programs wont run off of 64 bit explorer so i want to delete it and only have the other one how do i do that

February 21, 2009 3:56 PM

I have IE issues. I cannot access IE or do i even have a drop down menu to go to my homepage. I have tried the system file checker and that did not work. I am able to access certian sites that are not thru IE but most everything I do is Internet Explorer. It is my notebook that is giving me the problem so I have to use my desk top to gather info on how to fix this. I need to know how to get my notebook working again. Any help or advice would be greatly appriciated:)

Patricia Sanders Amarillo Texas
March 22, 2009 2:45 PM

hen I installed internet ex 8. It messed up my puter and won!t let me do things like go into different sites. I want it off. Thank you

April 2, 2009 10:34 PM

ie6 is corrupt unable to delete when trying to over write with ie7. even ie7 is behaving weird simalar problem suggest me.

May 4, 2009 1:09 AM

DO NOT download IE8. Its full of flaws and has left me with a f*#& up laptop. I tried to uninstall using System Restore only to mess up things more. Now my Internet Browser won't load at all and all my System Restore's have been rendered useless. IE8 sucks big time and I'm hella pissed off that Microsoft would even pose this on ppl by adding it to their "Automatic Windows Update". I've tried for 4 days now to fix to no avail.

Sandra Byers
October 28, 2009 5:41 AM

I just added explorer7 and now my email won't work properly. I try to delete groups of email I don't want to read and something in the program (that wasn't there yesterday) decides it delete one email at a time. I want this particular program off my pc. please tell me how.

November 21, 2009 8:56 AM

I was wondering if to fully uninstall and then reinstall IE could solve the following problem:
I have a big problem with my IE. The history browser keeps getting full of site that I have never visited (including pornsites). I tried to download a serial a few days ago and when I saved it it only dissapeared when I tried to open it in one of my folder. After using the NOD32 and even the Hp Health to scan it it didn't find the virus. So I was wondering if to fully uninstall and then reinstall IE could solve this problem.

First, NOD32 is good anti-virus, but it's not an anti-spyware program. You should run one of those too. Then, this article: Why are there websites in my browser history that I've never been to?

November 24, 2009 3:44 AM

Hi Expert,

I am facing a problem while downloading a file in Internet explorer.

It pops out a window for downloading and it seems it destroys the file itself before going further and pop-up gets closed with no response.

I heard that this problem happened with IE6, but I have IE7 installed.

This problem is with few systems and for others downloading is perfect.

Could you suggest what could be the setting to enable download.


January 21, 2010 8:40 PM

my internet will not let me close it after i installed ie8

January 30, 2010 8:29 AM

I am running IE7 and I need to load IE6 instead. How do I do that?

March 1, 2010 2:54 PM

I have installed a Netgear wireless router, my laptop which is running windows 7 will not connect to the internet, I have connection but when I launch IE it errors out to IE can not display webpage. I am not sure what to do.

Garima Khator
March 26, 2010 10:54 AM

Hi Leo,

I recently upgraded from IE7 to IE8 on my vista laptop. But then I started experiencing problems like very slow downloading and uploading speeds. So I uninstalled IE8 and went back to IE7. But my troubles still persist. I am now unable to download anything from the internet (including mozilla firefox and IE8, the download just stops occuring after initial 1-1.5MB). I can't watch any videos online and of late, I can't even upload any pictures bigger than 2MB on gmail. I checked my internet download speed, and its 18MBPS. I have kaspersky anti-virus which shows no virus problems at this time!

Any help is duely appreciated!

Mike McGlamery
April 30, 2010 11:57 AM

I have tried to delete my history off of internet explorer, with no success. I have tried to do it through using the tools section and reseting under the advanced tab. Can I uninstall IE and reload, and how do I save my favorite sites?

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