How to turn Internet Explorer off

Depending on which version of Windows you're using, there are two ways that you can turn off access to Internet Explorer:

  • Remove all visible entry points to Internet Explorer and set another web browser as your default.

  • Turn off Internet Explorer. (This option isn't available in Windows Vista.)


Remove all visible entry points to Internet Explorer and set another browser as default

Applies to Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1


Windows allows you to remove all the visible entry points to Internet Explorer and to set another browser as the default. Once access is removed and another browser is chosen as the default, all Internet Explorer icons and menu entries will be removed and Windows will no longer automatically launch Internet Explorer. However, it remains possible for apps and users to directly launch Internet Explorer.

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To make changes in Windows XP

Before you make changes, you should to install a browser other than Internet Explorer, and you must be logged in to your PC as an administrator.

  1. Click the Start button, and then click Set Program Access and Defaults. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. Under Choose a configuration:, click Custom, and then under Choose a default Web browser:, select the browser you want to make your default.

  3. To remove all visible entry points for Internet Explorer, clear the Enable access to this program check box for Internet Explorer, and then click OK.

To make changes in Windows Vista

Before you make changes, you should to install a browser other than Internet Explorer, and you must be logged in to your PC as an administrator.

  1. Click the Start button Start button, click Default Programs, and then click Set program access and computer defaults. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. Under Choose a configuration:, click Custom, and then under Choose a default Web browser:, select the browser you want to make your default.

  3. To remove all visible entry points for Internet Explorer, clear the Enable access to this program check box for Internet Explorer, and then click OK.

To make changes in Windows 7

Before you make changes, you should to install a browser other than Internet Explorer, and you must be logged in to your PC as an administrator.

  1. Click the Start button Start button, click Default Programs, and then click Set program access and computer defaults. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. Under Choose a configuration:, click Custom, and then under Choose a default web browser:, select the browser you want to make your default.

  3. To remove all visible entry points for Internet Explorer, clear the Enable access to this program check box for Internet Explorer, and then click OK.

To make changes in Windows 8

Before you make changes, you should to install a browser other than Internet Explorer.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter default programs in the search box, select Apps, and then tap or click Default Programs.

  3. Tap or click Set program access and computer defaults, and under Choose a configuration:, tap or click Custom.

  4. Under Choose a default web browser:, select the browser you want to make your default.

  5. To remove all visible entry points for Internet Explorer, clear the Enable access to this program check box for Internet Explorer, and then tap or click OK.

To make changes in Windows 8.1

Before you make changes, you should to install a browser other than Internet Explorer.

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter default programs in the search box, and then tap or click Default Programs.

  3. Tap or click Set program access and computer defaults, and under Choose a configuration:, tap or click Custom.

  4. Under Choose a default web browser:, select the browser you want to make your default.

  5. To remove all visible entry points for Internet Explorer, clear the Enable access to this program check box for Internet Explorer, and then tap or click OK.

Turn off Internet Explorer

Applies to Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1


Windows XP, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 allow you to turn off Internet Explorer. If Internet Explorer is turned off, it's not available for use by any users on the PC and can't be launched for any reason, even if no other browser is available on the system. The program files to launch and use Internet Explorer are removed to a separate storage location as a backup copy so that a user can turn Internet Explorer back on.

When Internet Explorer is turned off using this feature there is minimal impact on third-party programs (and other parts of Windows itself) that call upon Internet Explorer app services, because the Internet Explorer files that provide functionality to third parties and other parts of Windows are left intact.

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To turn off Internet Explorer in Windows XP

  1. Click the Start button, click Control Panel, and then click Add or Remove Programs.

  2. Click Add/Remove Windows Components.

  3. Clear the check box for Internet Explorer, click Next, and then click Finish.

To turn off Internet Explorer in Windows 7

  1. Click the Start button Start button, click Control Panel, click Programs, and then click Turn Windows features on or off. Administrator permission required If you're prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.
  2. Clear the check box for Internet Explorer to turn it off, and then click Yes.

  3. Click OK and, when prompted, restart your PC.

To turn off Internet Explorer in Windows 8

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter control panel in the search box, and then tap or click Control Panel.

  3. Tap or click Programs, and then tap or click Turn Windows features on or off.

  4. Clear the check box for Internet Explorer to turn it off, and then tap or click Yes.

  5. Tap or click OK and, when prompted, restart your PC.

To turn off Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1

  1. Swipe in from the right edge of the screen, and then tap Search.

    (If you're using a mouse, point to the upper-right corner of the screen, move the mouse pointer down, and then click Search.)

  2. Enter control panel in the search box, and then tap or click Control Panel.

  3. Tap or click Programs, and then tap or click Turn Windows features on or off.

  4. Clear the check box for Internet Explorer to turn it off, and then tap or click Yes.

  5. Tap or click OK and, when prompted, restart your PC.