IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

Summary: Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 9 four weeks ago. Since then, I've been responding to a steady stream of questions from readers. Here are the answers to the questions I hear most often about how to install and tweak IE9, including a clear explanation of how to choose between the 32-bit and 64-bit installers.

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Microsoft released the final version of Internet Explorer 9 four weeks ago. Since then, I've been using it steadily, and I've also been fielding a steady stream of questions from readers. Here are the answers to the questions I hear most often.

Which Windows versions does IE9 work with?

Internet Explorer 9 runs on Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2.

I’m running Windows XP. Can I install IE9?

No. XP is officially out of the mainstream support phase and is not eligible for updates like this. Plus, many of the features are specifically tied to Windows features found only in later versions. IE boss Dean Hachamovich laid out the official explanation in his keynote address at MIX11: "Building a new browser for a 10-year-old OS doesn't make sense. Building for the future of the web does make sense."

Is IE9 really being “pushed” via Windows Update?

Not exactly. As I noted earlier this week, Microsoft has a consistent, well-defined policy for handling the release of a new Internet Explorer version. Two weeks after the final code is released to the web (RTW), it first appears on Windows Update. This is a staged rollout that goes first to Internet Explorer users who previously installed a pre-release version. Over the course of the next few weeks, it's rolled out to a larger number of Windows users, and it should be generally available within two or three months of that RTW date.

Even then, though, the new browser is not automatically installed without your explicit consent. Although it is listed as an Important update, it is not selected for download. You have to visit Windows Update manually and click a check box to download it and start the installation process manually and accept a license agreement. That's a far cry from Microsoft "pushing" IE9 onto your PC.

Where can I download the final IE9 version?

You can get it from Microsoft's official download site. Choose your language, specify which Windows version you're running (32-bit or 64-bit), and click Download.

I’m confused about the difference between 32-bit and 64-bit Internet Explorer. Which one do I need?

If you're confused, join the club. Here's the short explanation:

You should choose the installer that matches your version of Windows. For all Windows versions, regardless of whether they're 32-bit or 64-bit, the setup program installs a 32-bit version of IE9 and makes that the default choice when you launch Internet Explorer. If you’re running 64-bit Windows, use the 64-bit installer. It installs the 32-bit IE code and also installs a 64-bit browser.

Even on 64-bit Windows, the 32-bit version of Internet Explorer is the default. For most users, that’s the correct configuration. Using the 32-bit browser is preferable, primarily because most add-ins aren’t available in 64-bit versions yet. (Adobe's Flash Player, for example, is available as a beta release, code-named "Square." It has not been updated since last November, whereas the shipping 32-bit version was updated in March 2011 to address critical security issues.)

Can I install over the IE9 beta or Release Candidate?

Yes, that is a fully supported installation scenario. You don’t have to uninstall pre-release builds. If you were running any interim builds, however, I strongly recommend uninstalling those builds first.

I'm running IE9, but I'm not sure whether it's the Release Candidate or the final version. How can I tell the difference?

To check the version, click the Tools button (the "gear" icon) in the top right of the browser window, and then click About Internet Explorer.

The final version should say RTM.

How do I uninstall IE9? It’s not in the list of installed programs.

That’s because it’s considered an update to Windows, not a program. To find the uninstall link, open Control Panel, go to Programs and Features, and click View Installed Updates. (You can also type Installed Updates in the Start menu search box to find a direct link.) Scroll down to the Microsoft Windows section to locate the update. Or, to skip the scrolling, click in the search box and type Internet; that should filter the list to show the Windows Internet Explorer 9 link. Click that link and then click Uninstall. You'll need to restart your system to complete the uninstall process, after which your previous version of Internet Explorer (IE8, if you use Windows 7) will be available.

See the next page for answers to questions about customizing and using IE9.

 

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Topics: Windows, Browser, Hardware, Microsoft, Operating Systems, Processors, Software

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  • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

    <i>XP is officially out of the mainstream support phase and is not eligible for updates like this. Plus, many of the features are specifically tied to Windows features found only in later versions.</i>

    I wish users better understood these two statements. But alas, all they ever understand is that XP still has a greater (Shrinking) share, therefore IT MUST be supported!
    The one and only, Cylon Centurion
    • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

      @Cylon Centurion 0005 It is a shame, as I'd love to run IE9 on my work laptop and set it up for customers still using XP. I can imagine why it would be too much effort to make an XP-compatible version, but I'm not happy about it.

      Really, I still think it's going to take quite a long time for XP to fall out of mainstream usage. Windows 8 will have to be incredibly desirable and lightweight to convince businesses and old-timers who prefer to stick to what they know!
      Imrhien
      • If they want to stick with what they know then why...

        @Imrhien: [i]Windows 8 will have to be incredibly desirable and lightweight to convince businesses and old-timers who prefer to stick to what they know![/i]

        ...would they want to upgrade to IE 9? This "reasoning" has always puzzled me. People want to retain Windows XP but want to upgrade everything else? Same thing happened with Vista. People wanted to use 10 year old hardware with Vista.

        We continue to hear stories of people wanting to upgrade but not really wanting to upgrade. If you want to use the latest and greatest you'll have to upgrade to the minimum required to support that thing.
        ye
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @ye [i] This "reasoning" has always puzzled me. People want to retain Windows XP but want to upgrade everything else? [/i]

        Sure... it's a lot less scary to upgrade a program, than replacing your OS. Imagine someone taking their PC to BB and asking the "Geek Squad" to upgrade their XP to Windows 7 and hearing... OK, we'll have to wipe your system to do it. Or better yet, you'll need a new PC...
        Badgered
      • I understand that. However my point is...

        @Badgered: [i]Sure... it's a lot less scary to upgrade a program, than replacing your OS.[/i]

        ...it's unlikely there are significant numbers of people who refuse to upgrade from Windows XP and want to upgrade to IE 9. I suspect most Windows XP users wanting to upgrade to IE 9 will not have a problem remaining on IE 6, 7, or 8 when the learn Windows XP will not support 9.
        ye
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien
        "I can imagine why it would be too much effort to make an XP-compatible version, but I'm not happy about it. "

        They could, but since most of the really cool new features are not supported by XP, to the average user it would appear to be nearly identical to IE8, making it one of the most redundant software 'upgrades' ever.
        Doctor Demento
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien

        It is my hope that businesses won't be using XP past 2014. Heck by next year share should be insignificant.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien

        MS-DOS!
        betelgeuse68
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien I think alot of businesses havent gone to windows 7 because vista was such a load of crap and alot of businesses have decided to stick with XP because of the mistrust Vista has engendered now here comes IE9 and XP users are left out in the cold and it just engenders more mistrust because Safari, Chrome and Firefox sure dont have issues running on different OSes....
        KineticArtist
      • KineticArtist said ...

        @Imrhien ... "I think alot of businesses havent gone to windows 7 because vista was such a load of crap and alot of businesses have decided to stick with XP because of the mistrust Vista has engendered ... "

        Frankly, I do't think so ...

        Businesses who avoided Vista early on were businesses with limited IT experience. They made the right choice - not because Vista was particulalry bad (it really wasn't) but because third-party hardware and software vendors were not prepared for the demands of Vista. These ISVs had been violating published Windows programming practices for years, and it caught up with them when Vista started enforcing published XP programming practices.

        It took a year for those ISVs to fix their stuff but by then the damage was done. Windows 7 was the beneficiary of these ISV efforts to finally fix their stuff.

        Today, the only business XP hold-outs are of a mindset that they will never switch until something breaks. When that happens - they are going to spend a lot more time and money fixing what's broke than they would ever have spent if they had been phasing-in Windows 7 (with XP-mode, if necessary) over the last couple of years.

        (Think of the ostrich with its head in the sand.)

        As for the individuals (or even the mom-and-pop shop), they are used to buying a computer and using it (usually without upgrades) until the computer "breaks". There is nothing that will convince them - and it probably doesn't matter - at least not until they need to upgrade something. Then they will go out an buy a new computer, new peripherals, and new software all at the same time.
        M Wagner
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien

        The API's that are used in IE9 for GPU acceleration among other things are not built into XP nor would MS invest something along the lines of SP4 rebuild of a 10 year old OS just so IE9 could run.

        A not for the editor, for the lazy people who don't know what version of IE9 they are running (Beta, RC, RTW) simple enough to say it is best to run RTW all they have to do is click the gear and if they see "feedback" in the list at the bottom they are using a non-RTW build.
        audidiablo
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien ... and more importantly, stick to what WORKS! If IE9 et al provide nothing they need, what is the sense of updating? And don't give me that BS about it beign secure; it will NOT be any different than any of their past releases.
        tom@...
      • A bigger issue with &quot;hanging onto XP&quot;

        @Imrhien, Badgered and others: So tell me, if "businesses and old-timers" are still running a ten-year-old operating system, on what must be at least three-year-old hardware, what do they do when they are forced to upgrade because their hardware breaks down...as it ultimately will? Are they all running frequent and complete backups so that when the hardware breaks they can migrate to their new systems without losing everything?
        Aha...I thought not.
        destockwell
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        If you're on XP, just use something else! If Microsoft won't support it for long, go to another browser: since Firefox > IE8 (and 9 because of AdBlock Plus). It's faster, anyways.

        And, it's not like Firefox is impossible to roll out to users: there's a way to set what Firefox can and cannot do, implement through a GPO script (though Group Policy doesn't include Firefox entries it has scripts that will copy the configuration file to where it needs to go). You can even tell it how to use extensions that you can roll out through that script anyways!

        So anything else on XP is a pure waste.
        R220
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @ye <i>...it's unlikely there are significant numbers of people who refuse to upgrade from Windows XP and want to upgrade to IE 9.</i><br><br>You're probably right... They probably wouldn't know it existed. It would be interesting to see a study on the number of XP owners who given the choice would "want" to upgrade their OS and/or upgrade their browser to more secure platforms knowing what's involved.
        Badgered
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Imrhien

        I agree totally. Plus in my case, I have about $20,000 in software that will not work with an OS newer than XP.

        Newer versions for Vista or 7 are not an option due to cost and or availability. Actually I have several critical applications where the new versions still do not work reliably on Win 7.

        By in large, the only apps that work right are the MS ones. Everything else is spotty.
        lrdiver
      • Here is the infinite arrogance of windoze

        <i><b>How do I uninstall IE9? Its not in the list of installed programs.</b><br><br>Thats because its considered an update to Windows, not a program.</i><br><br>AH, IT'S NOT A PROGRAM! It's an "update" to WINDOZE!<br><br>Here's where the old bundling habit never dies.</b>
        ScorpioBlue
    • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

      @Cylon Centurion 0005 [i] But alas, all they ever understand is that XP still has a greater (Shrinking) share, therefore IT MUST be supported![/i]

      I think it's probably more like "it's the OS I'm running, therefore it should be supported". Somehow I doubt the average user knows too much about OS shares, nor would they care.
      Badgered
      • RE: IE9 FAQ: how to install, uninstall, and tweak the final release

        @Badgered

        True, true.
        The one and only, Cylon Centurion
      • Correct

        @Badgered That group of people will not upgrade their OS anyway. They have XP because that's what was on the computer when the bought it and when they buy a new computer, they will go with whatever version comes with that.
        cornpie