Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

Summary: 32-bit IE 9 is what you want to run, but Microsoft makes installing it on 64-bit Windows a little confusing so here's how to do it and what's actually going on.

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Since I've written about how much faster 32-bit Internet Explorer (IE) 9 is than 64-bit IE 9, and all other browsers, on Windows 7, I've been buried by people running 64-bit Windows, and one poor soul who was still running 64-bit Vista, wanting to know how to install 32-bit IE 9 on their 64-bit Windows 7 systems. It's actually both quite easy and a bit confusing, so here's how to do it and a little of the back story. First, as many of you have discovered, if you try to download and install 32-bit IE 9 on a 64-bit Windows PC, you'll get the error message: "This version of setup doesn't support your Windows system type (32-bit/64-bit)." It's right. You can't. Instead what you need to do is to download the 64-bit version of IE 9. Yes, I know, it's the version you don't want if you want great Web browser performance, just stick with me. After you've done this, if you look at your All Programs menu, you'll see, right under Internet Explorer (64-bit), "Internet Explorer," that's the 32-bit version. That's right, when you install the 64-bit version, just like a Cracker-Jack prize, you get the real prize--32-bit IE 9--at the bottom of the box. If you want you can drag and drop the 32-bit IE icon on your main desktop. That's what I do. If you click on the IE icon on your main Windows menu bar, you'll also get the 32-bit version of IE 9 up and running. So, what's going on here? Why did Microsoft do this? That's a good question. In fact, if you look closely at your network setting, you'll find you can't even make IE 64-bit your default Web browser even if you wanted to! As Eric Law of Microsoft explained a while back, "This was an explicit choice made by the IE team, which may change at some point in the future. The problem is that users might inadvertently get "stuck" using the 64bit version and not realize it. This might cause some problems." What problems besides IE 9's 64-bit's poor performance compared to other browsers? The big one is that it's not compatible with some browser add-ons. So why do include it at all? Law explained, "Because we have to. :-)" OK.... Law continued, "One thing to keep in mind is that Internet Explorer is basically the combination of a number of platform components, including the networking components (URLMon/WinINET), the rendering components (MSHTML), the script engines (JScript.dll, vbscript.dll) and a variety of other pieces that hold it all together. These components must be made available in 64bit versions so that 64bit applications can be built using these components. Additionally, because Internet Explorer can be launched/created/used as a COM Server, we offer a 64bit version to enable hosting inside 64bit processes." Law concluded, "One day, 64bit IE might see a lot more use, as 64bit systems take over and 64bit add-ons become available. Time will tell." It may while when it comes to Web browsers though. IE 9 32-bit is clearly the better choice of the IE family. As for the other Web browsers, only Firefox offers a 64-bit version for Windows, and it's out of date. For now at least, if you're running 64-bit Windows, your Web browser, even if you have a 64-bit option, should be the 32-bit model. It will just run better. If you want to know more about IE 9 installing, uninstalling and tweaking, check out Ed Bott's IE 9 FAQ,

Topics: Windows, Browser, Hardware, Microsoft, Processors

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  • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

    Why go through all that trouble? The internet explorer that gets pinned to the start bar is, by default, 32 bit IE. The only way to get to the 64 bit IE is if you explicitly go searching for it.
    Aerowind
    • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

      @Aerowind
      Exactly. You're already using IE7/IE8/IE9 32-bit unless you specifically open up the 64-bit version from the start menu.
      Empro
    • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

      @Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols:
      Well... I checked your Bio and I do not see what qualifies you to an IT technology, IE specifically, blogger. The stuff in your Bio is so old that I do not even understand how you manage to grasp the concept of the today's technology. this 32 vs 64 bit compatibility issue has been here for a while and you just now discovered it... REALLY!?
      Man, you should really update your CV. nobody cares about CP/M-80 anymore
      centurions83
      • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

        @centurions83
        syhprum
      • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

        @centurions83
        I care about CP/M-80 I still have a servicable computer that runs it
        syhprum
      • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

        @centurions83
        lots of processes that were built under CP/M still run. I still have over 1000 users a vertical market MS-DOS program that had its first version in the 80s. We have had a SQL server version for nearly 10 years but some people like the more bullet proof, plainer version. I still sell seats for that product.
        mswift@...
    • A flawed and biased article?

      Sorry, but this article really is nonsense, isn't it. The bias of the author is clear.

      FYI I use both IE9 32bit and 64bit on my Win7 64bit PC.
      Tim Acheson
    • IE 9

      Dear All,

      Sorry i have little confusion, I am strucking in quicktime player plugin issue in IE 9 ,
      Quicktime will support IE 9 32bit only. Please tell me how can i check my IE 9 is 32 or 64 bit ?
      Because its showing in ABOUT IE - 25B bit.
      balac48
      • 25B ?

        Dear balac48,

        Do you think that 25B bit makes any sense? "B" ?

        Actually is 256 bit, and this is not the number you should be looking for. This is just the codification for secure connections(https://...).

        I guess you are running a 32 bit version. Read the other comments and think.
        oasf
  • IE 9 32 bit will be pinned

    People shouldn't be having trouble with this, especially not tech experts. Why are you making this sound more difficult than it is? This doesn't deserve an article.
    Michael Alan Goff
    • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

      @goff256
      People shouldn't be having trouble with this, especially not 'tech experts'. Why are you making this sound more difficult than it is? This doesn't deserve an article.

      There now it's correct
      leocrew
      • I assume SJVN is an expert

        Why else would he be on ZDnet?
        Michael Alan Goff
      • Because...

        ...not everybody is as 'smart' as you are, goff256.<br><br>I can see why the article is here. Some people won't realize what version of the browser they need, so the info here can be passed on (by 'smart people' like you) to those who don't know.<br><br>Why are you being so difficult?
        anonymous
    • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

      @goff256 Because I had lots of people ask me this very question, including at least one tech. support supervisor. Sure, a lot of people knew, but a lot of people clearly didn't, hence this tale.

      Steven
      anonymous
      • Not to offend anyone

        But you must know a lot of really slow people.

        My mother, and this is the woman who refers to Internet Explorer as 'the internet', is able to quickly discover how to get her precious 32 bit IE.

        Then again, she didn't have to look, she just clicks on the e on the quicklaunch bar.
        Michael Alan Goff
      • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

        AND not everyone is a "just try it and see if it works" type of person. Some people want to know what they are getting into beforehand so they don't screw something up that they now have to fix OR so they don't waste precious time installing the wrong thing. Maybe you have time to waste but I don't. So that said, thank you Steven!
        TheShawnThomas
      • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

        @sjvn@... This article could have been written in four letters: RTFM.
        johndpalm
    • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

      @Rick_K My favorite OS are opensuse , win7 . I love both of them :)
      centurions83
  • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

    +1 to all this... IE 64 bit has been around for a long time. but as said, you only get to use it if you deliberately go searching. the source article set off a panic by erroneously doing this... most people, i'm sure, never even knew the (64 bit) shortcut existed, let alone used it - mostly because the first thing you notice is all your toolbars and addins vanish.
    bc3tech
  • RE: Installing 32-bit IE 9 on 64-bit Windows

    The download website does not offer to download a 64-bit or 32-bit version of IE. Instead you are supposed to answer which version of the OS (32-bit or 64-bit) you have.
    And then I maybe I don't understand the purpose of the article.
    volkerwill@...