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Explorer 9, or just IE9, is the current version of Microsoft's internet browser. I'll show you how to uninstall IE9, if possible.

I downloaded Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) released by Microsoft Corp. My OS is Windows 7 Professional. I was encountering problems, such as my computer slowing down, not being able to access Gmail, etc. I tried to uninstall IE9, but I am getting the message, 'An error occurred. Not all of the updates were successfully uninstalled.' What does that mean? Kindly guide me on how the IE 9 be uninstalled.

It might be possible to uninstall IE9. Unfortunately, there are also a few things that might cause it to be not possible.

Personally, I recommend that you stick with IE9 unless it's causing you serious system instability; even then, uninstalling it still might not be the right thing to do.

Let's cover both how to uninstall it (if you can) and what I recommend doing instead.

Internet Explorer 9

Uninstalling IE9

First, be aware that Internet Explorer cannot be completely uninstalled. Various components of IE are used and required by other applications as well as Windows itself.

When we talk about uninstalling IE9, what we're really doing is attempting to revert to the previous version, IE8.

Start in Control Panel, Programs, Uninstall a program. In the resulting dialog:

Windows 7 Control Panel View installed updates link

Click the View installed updates link.

The resulting list may take several seconds to fill up; make sure to wait until it's done changing.

IE9 item in Installed Updated

Scroll down in the list and locate the "Windows Internet Explorer 9" entry. If that entry does not exist, you cannot uninstall IE9.

If it does, right-click the entry and click Uninstall.

Update uninstall confirmation dialog

Naturally, you'll need to confirm the uninstall.

Windows 7 Restart Required

And, of course, Windows needs to reboot.

After rebooting, run Internet Explorer and you'll find:

Internet Explorer 8 Welcome Dialog

Internet Explorer 8 displays its first-time welcome screen.

When the uninstall won't work

There are some situations where uninstalling IE9 is not available:

  • Your machine came with IE9 pre-installed.

  • The IE8 backup files were not kept or were subsequently deleted when IE9 was installed.

  • A service pack was applied after IE9 was installed.

In the later case, you may be able to uninstall the service pack, uninstall IE9, reinstall the service pack, and then reinstall subsequent updates. (I really don't recommend this path.)

In the other cases, the only solution that I'm aware of is to reformat and reinstall Windows.

Instead of uninstalling...

I strongly advise against reverting unless IE9 is causing you truly serious issues. I say this for a couple of reasons.

  • Internet Explorer is clearly on the path to continue being updated in the future. Eventually, older versions, even IE8, will no longer be supported; you may be left vulnerable to security and other issues. Staying with IE9 now keeps you safer for longer.

  • Uninstalling is not without risks. It's not uncommon for the system to be less stable after having removed an update as large as IE9.

If it's simply a matter of taste or unfamiliarity with IE9, I strongly suggest that you take the time to get used to it. I know many people believe Microsoft changes things just for the fun of it, but that's simply not the case. Quite often, there's a very strong, well-thought-out and researched reason for making changes in utilities as widespread as Internet Explorer.

On the other hand, consider moving forward with a different browser rather than trying to move backwards with IE8. Firefox, Chrome, and Opera are all very robust, proven browsers that you may like better or that may behave more properly on your system.

I honestly believe that uninstalling IE9 in favor of IE8 should really be viewed as a last resort.

(This is an update to an article originally published September 25, 2010.)

Article C4461 - May 18, 2011 « »

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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?

32 Comments
JOhn
September 25, 2010 2:07 PM

From IE9 website
To uninstall Internet Explorer
The following instructions apply to both Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

1.Click the Start button , type Programs and Features in the search box, and then click View installed updates.

2.Right-click Windows Internet Explorer 9, click Uninstall, and then, when prompted, click Yes.

3.Click one of the following:

•Restart now (to finish the process of uninstalling Internet Explorer 9, and restore the previous version of Internet Explorer).

•Restart later (to wait until you shut down or restart your computer).

I read the question such that he had already tried the obvious.
Leo
26-Sep-2010
Rob
September 28, 2010 10:08 AM

This works to uninstall IE9 and reverts back to IE8
http://www.ghacks.net/2010/09/16/how-to-uninstall-windows-internet-explorer-9/

Gerry Myers
September 28, 2010 11:38 AM

Dear Leo....Thanks to your article in Ask Leo #250 on "How do I uninstall IE9" I have been able to use the link you give at www.ghacks.net and removed the Beta Version on Internet Explorer 9.which I did not like in it's present state. I must admit that I saw "Download IE 9" a few days ago and did so not realising that it was Beta. Again you have not failed . And I thank you . When my senior Citizens monthly check arrives I will indeed buy you a few lattes. I am at prersent much much happier to have IER 8 back again.

Frank Golden
September 28, 2010 12:23 PM

First thing I did was create an image using Clonezilla just before installing the beta.
Good that I did because uninstalling IE 9 beta caused instabilities in my computer.
I always have several recent images available but will generate a new one just before doing anything potentially risky.
FWIW, I like IE 9.
I did have an issue with an addon but once I disabled the offending addon everything was OK.

IE9 tests faster than IE8 using the Sunspider Java benchmark, much faster and is even faster than Firefox 3.6.10 but it is still slower than both Chrome and Opera.

Cassandra_IE_Team
September 28, 2010 12:59 PM

Thanks for sharing this information for anyone who is having difficulties uninstalling. For most, the steps that John provided in his comment should do the trick. The nice thing is that Windows will automatically revert back to your previous version of IE8.

I hope you will all give IE9 another shot when it's out of beta! If anyone wants to submit feedback or leave opinions about IE9 beta for the developer team, you can do so at Microsoft Connect http://connect.microsoft.com/

Thanks again, Leo!

Cheers,
Cassie
IE Outreach Team

Bob
September 29, 2010 7:52 AM

I believe windows installs ie9 beta via windows updates and might also include service pack 1.

Uninstalling the updates for "ie8 beta" in the past has worked for me.

Walt
September 29, 2010 9:06 AM

It was a little different this time when uninstalling the IE9 Beta. I went to the Microsoft site and found a reference that explained that I needed to not just go to the Control Panel Program Uninstall menu, but to choose the Uninstall Updates submenu from the choices on the left hand menu. I like this way of looking at program installations, separating new programs from updates. I was using Win7 Ultimate 32 bit, and I hadn't installed anything after installing IE9 Beta and the uninstall went just fine. I like IE9! Just a few glitches with applications. Microsoft has a good feedback system with this release which allows you to really make comments about what you like or dislike about IE9.

Take Leo's advice and do an image backup before installing the beta, just in case. Good advice when installing anything, just that who has the time to do it. Keeping an external backup drive or a spare internal partition for backups like this makes sense. I'll be happy to get USB 3.0 or an eSata/Firewire interface to speed up the external backups though.

Miss Andrea borman.
October 10, 2010 9:03 PM

I too have had problems with both IE9 and IE8. I have done what most people do not advise. I edited the Internet Explorer file on my hard drive to change the ownership from Trusted Installer to my name. Then I was able to delete that IE file in programs on my hard drive,with the help of a tool called UNLOCKER. Now IE is permanently uninstalled from my Windows 7 laptop.But my computer is not effected in the least and Windows update and everything else works. The only difference is that I no longer have IE on my computer. My computer works because I only uninstalled the browser,Internet Explorer by deleting the file which is another way to uninstall a program. Andrea Borman.

David Trujillo
February 9, 2011 12:03 AM

I'm not sure why anyone would want to remove Internet Explorer 9. I've istalled the beta of this browser on my Vista home computer, and it works perfectly. Way fater than Internet Explorer version 8, or ealier. It will run kinda sluggish for a brief moment, but there is an automatic update that will apperar if your auto updates are enabled. Once the update is installed, it runs like a smooth cadillac. My only con on this, is I hope they put a spell checker in the full version when released.

Jess
May 24, 2011 8:38 AM

I went to "http://connect.microsoft.com/" and had problems with where to state problems I'm having with IE9. Since IE9 Beta, My hotmail takes forever to load between each of it's functions, when executing the "show content" it opens at the bottom, when attempting to Login at a membership sites the page cycles endlessly and I'm constantly bombarded with pop-ups asking me if I want to disable this or enable that and so on. I just went to Chrome. They can have their super techno ultra sophisticated geek bloated slick stuff that doesn't work anyway.

Joe
May 24, 2011 9:00 AM

Great advice. I uninstalled IE9, and I may have done a registry clean. After rebooting and expecting to have IE8, system cannot start at all..As Leo wrote, if possible, don't uninstall IE9.

Rob
May 24, 2011 9:00 AM

I find IE9 slightly "different", too, but I am getting used to the changes I have encountered and it works well for me, just like IE8 did.

Michael Hersh
May 24, 2011 9:20 AM

Is it true that Win 7 64 bit does not work on Explorer 9

IE9 works fine in Windows 7 64 bit.
Leo
24-May-2011

Obiwan Computerguy
May 24, 2011 10:06 AM

Well -I'm- sure why people want to remove IE9.

Facebook. Works great in IE8, not at all in IE9.
Revert back to IE8 and all is well again. (by the way, this is not -me- but rather someone who called me for help).

As Leo noted, I recommended using Firefox, at least for Facebook, but the response was
negative, saying "IE is what I'm familiar with".

Computers are nothing if not fun ....

Facebook works fine for me in IE9.
Leo
24-May-2011

Dave
May 24, 2011 12:12 PM

I remember being able to turn of Internet Explorer with the "turn off windows features" option on the windows install disc. Not sure if this is still available for Windows 7, but I know I have used it in previous versions of Windows to even just re-install my IE. I have had very little problems with IE and have used it since I stopped using Netscape Navigator MANY years ago. I have fixed people's IE with the windows installation disc before, by disabling it then removing the Disc and then restart, then, put the disc back in the drive and enable it again. As I said, I have not had a problem with my IE9 ,Its great, therefore I have not tried since upgrading to windows 7. I am going check it today, now I am curious.

I hope this helps,

-Dave

Mike
May 24, 2011 12:27 PM

I've been working with computers since DOS-1A, just to make the point that I'm not a newbie, either to Operating Sytems or to IE (and other browsers). My latest computer (workhorse) came with Win7 and IE8. For some reason I've never been able to determine, IE8 has been nothing but sluggish. Always. Firefox outperforms it like a Learjet compared to a bicycle. However, there are reasons why I prefer to use IE at times.

When IE9 was finally released, I'd hoped it would resolve the sluggishness inherent in IE8, so I installed it. Not only was IE9 STILL just as sluggish, but it had an entirely different interface that I'd have to learn all over again. If there is no benefit, but additional aggravation, then it serves me no purpose. I got rid of it.

If memory serves me, I think I simply used System Restore. In any case, it was mundane, I'm back to IE8 when I need it, and I've experienced no additional problems as a result.

Karina
May 24, 2011 2:13 PM

My problem with IE9 is that I am unable to access/use any of the Adobe formats. Tried to get my bank statements: unable to display (not supported), so I have been going for several weeks now without getting my bank or card statements. Email is iffy, at best, with the display all weird and flashes of images that go here and there... And the best part: Chrome, Firefox, and Safari all do the same since installing IE9. And no, none of the anti-virii programs find anything. Reinstalled everything, still the same problem. All started with IE9. Yuck.

Keef
May 24, 2011 8:07 PM

MS change things for their own reasons.
Like making all your children the same size regardless of age and renaming “shoe polish” to “footwear refection enhancer” then moving it from under the sink, to the freezer, fourth self down, left rear side, under the frozen carrots, is not an improvement., but that aside, I installed IE9 and hated it. It tends to be very MS orientated (bing and suchlike) Google nicked, and searching from address bar rubbish, can no longer make your own Search entry etc.
So I uninstalled it and have reverted back to IE8 for now, which now crashes more than ever before. Although it had issues, I liked IE8 but they should have just fixed it.
Tried FF4.0 since beta, but add on issues not fixed in final release, I.e. I hate tabbed browsing (turns “windows” into “filing cabinet”) and it can’t be turned off in FF 4.0. Don’t like Opera much
Fortunately I have a bootable cloned backup drive that I re-clone about once a month, and will clone this back after updating with all my recent data and files, but I will try a system restore first when ready to see if that improves things, hopfully they'll fix FF soon.

Bill Baker
May 25, 2011 5:45 AM

Like a previous comment, I was unable to access Bank of America website using IE9. Checking on Goggle it appeared to be a common problem and the only solution appeared to be , revert to IE8. This was quite staight forward and the problem has gone away.

Ron N.
May 25, 2011 2:22 PM

I tried IE 9 on a Win 7 machine. I hated the screwy interface, but was prepared to give it a decent try.

But when I opened gmail only one-half of the page was displayed. The other half was a block of blue. I removed 9 and put 8 back on and all was well.
Packrat1947

sVen
May 26, 2011 12:06 PM

The engine in Internet Explorer is a core component of Windows. Not using the latest version, (RC, not beta) is the same as skipping other important Windows updates.
Aside from that, please use Firefox, or another NON-active-X browser for banking, credit card purchases, etc.

Ken
May 28, 2011 10:26 PM

Leo,
Thanks for the article. I just bought a new Dell notebook computer with Windows 7 and IE8 installed. The Windows update keeps telling me there is an update for IE9 I need to install. I have been delaying installing IE9 and now after reading all the problems people are having with IE9 I will stay with IE8.
Thanks for a great newsletter, though now I have moved from XP to Windows 7 I wish I had paid more attention to your past articles on Windows 7.

Arlene
May 31, 2011 9:07 PM

A couple of months ago, I tried using uninstall to roll back IE9 to IE8. I had disastrous results. I had more than one complete computer crash with some "DOS-looking" screen coming up each time. It literally took at least 40 minutes or so each time for Windows to boot my system. Another friend of mine rolled by IE9 by using a System Restore to just before he installed IE9. That worked for him without issue. I tried to do the same, but unfortunately, my system did not have a restore point that jived. What an absolute mess. I cannot believe Microsoft continues releasing such unstable software. No wonder Macs are taking over.

Eric
June 1, 2011 9:50 AM

I understand the difference between Internet Explorer and Windows Explorer. When I updated my Win7 Ultimate computer to IE9, I could no longer access Windows Explorer which just crashed and re-started over and over. I was unable to roll back to IE8 and eventually had to re-install the OS.
It's a tough one.....

Tony
June 7, 2011 8:54 PM

My IE8 stopped working last year and I couldn't figure how to get it to browse again. I waited patiently until I thought everyone was happy with IE9 so I could do the upgrade. IE9 also doesn't browse. Strangely enough, if I right-click the icon and select Start InPrivate Browsing, it will work. What do I need to do to get it to work normally again?

I'd be tempted to clear the cache: What's a browser cache, how do I "clear" it, and why would I want to?
Leo
10-Jun-2011

Pete Long
October 24, 2011 2:41 AM

Hi you can also remove via command,

How Do I Remove Internet Explorer 9?

Pete

Odell Whitman
October 26, 2011 11:01 AM

I Found This And It Worked For Me. Open Control Panel, Then Click Programs And Features, Then Click View Installed Updates, Click Names At Top Of Page, Locate And Right Click The Windows Internet Explorer 9 Entry, Click Uninstall. Choose Restart Now Are Later. (Good By 9).

mohammad afsar
November 8, 2011 10:16 AM

about ie9 my knwledge increased thank you you are solving common people problem i like too much last artical stand alone also helped me iam very happy

Habib
December 15, 2011 9:52 AM

So if I just uninstall the later version I will get the default IE version. Can I roll back to a particular version, instead of rolling back to the default version. For example, to IE8 from IE9 while I had IE7 installed on my computer at the time of fresh installation.

I'm actually fairly unclear on the scenario you're outlining. Uninstall should take you back to whatever version was present prior to IE9. If that result is not what you want (say IE7) then you'll need to install what you do want (say, IE8).
Leo
15-Dec-2011
Siva
January 5, 2012 7:53 PM

hi there,

im getting an error when trying to uninstall ie9,im getting the following error "an error has occured.Not all of the updates were successfully uninstalled" then when try to re-install im getting the current machine has already has the latest ie9 version.could please advice on the following,im not able to work on ie as of now as the page show white blank screen only.

Harshvardhan Trivedi
March 15, 2012 11:15 PM

Thanks Mr.LEO,after reading your article I have decided not to go back to IE8.If possible tell me how to stop all types of advertisement in IE9.Thanks.

jim holmes
March 6, 2013 7:59 AM

Uninstalling IE9 has completely baffled me and much cleverer friends who tried to assist as I was unable to connect to the internet with internet explorer so I have changed to Google Chrome. Problem is my computer refuses to retore the system to a previous date since IE9 was installed.

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