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Prevent the automatic delivery of Windows Internet Explorer 9 in Windows 7

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, Greg Shultz shows you how to use the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit to prevent the automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 9 on a Windows 7 system.

As you may know, Microsoft is touting Internet Explorer 9 as the best thing since sliced bread. It's supposed to be very fast, very secure, and very contemporary with all sorts of fancy bells and whistles. For the most part, these claims are true. However, not all Web sites or browser-based applications are compatible with Windows Internet Explorer 9, so there are a lot of folks who would like to hold off on upgrading to this new version.

Unfortunately, the default delivery mechanism for Internet Explorer 9, Windows Update, treats the new browser version as an important update, as shown in Figure A, and automatically flags it for installation. As such, it could very easily be installed inadvertently. Fortunately, for those of you who want to prevent that possibility, Microsoft has created the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit.

Figure A

By default, Windows Internet Explorer 9 is marked as an important update and flagged for installation.

In this edition of the Windows Desktop Report, I'll show you how to use the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit to prevent the automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 9 on a Windows 7 system.

Note: Environments managed with an update management solution such as Windows Server Update Services or Systems Management Server do not need to use the Blocker Toolkit. The ability to manage deployment of updates, including Internet Explorer 9, is built in.

A note on Internet Explorer 9 installation

Before I get started, I need to clarify my comment about the inadvertent installation on Internet Explorer 9. Of course, Internet Explorer 9 will not install automatically, but because it is flagged as an important update and the check box is selected, you will be automatically prompted to install it unless you continually clear the check box. If the check box remains selected, you will see a dialog box that offers you the choices of Install, Ask Me Later, and Don't Install, as shown in Figure B.

Figure B

Before it actually installs, Internet Explorer 9 displays a prompt.

If you do not pay close attention, you could inadvertently choose the Install option. Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit will prevent that scenario from occurring.

Getting the Blocker Toolkit

Once you download the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit, you'll see that you have a simple executable file named IE9_BlockerToolkit.exe. When you double-click the file, you will be prompted to accept the EULA. Just click Yes and you'll be prompted to choose where you want to place the extracted files, as shown in Figure C. Use the Browse button to select a location and then click OK.

Figure C

You'll be prompted to choose where you want to place the extracted files.

You'll then find the following four files in the folder that you selected:

Table A

IE9_Blocker.cmd Script for use on individual systems
IE9_Blocker.adm Group Policy Administrative Template
IE9_BlockerHelp.htm Help system
IE9_BlockerHelp-GPFilteringDialog.jpg Image displayed in Help

Using the Blocker Toolkit

The Group Policy Administrative Template is designed to allow Windows administrators to use Group Policy to centrally manage the blocking or unblocking of the automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 9 across various systems in their environment via the Group Policy Object.

The Group Policy Administrative Template can also be added to the Local Group Policy Editor in certain versions of Windows 7 and be used to block the automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 9 on individual systems. This includes Windows 7 Professional, Windows 7 Ultimate, and Windows 7 Enterprise.

Users of Windows 7 Starter and Windows 7 Home Premium will have to use the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker script.

The Group Policy Administrative Template

Adding the Group Policy Administrative Template to the Local Group Policy Editor is a straightforward procedure but involves more steps than using the script. Even so, some of you may prefer to use a GUI rather than a script.

To begin, launch the Local Group Policy Editor by clicking the Start button, typing gpedit.msc in the Start Search box, and pressing [Enter]. Next, expand the Computer Configuration branch of the console tree, right-click Administrative Templates, and select Add/Remove Templates, as shown in Figure D.

Figure D

After you right-click Administrative Templates, select Add/Remove Templates.
When you see the Add/Remove Templates dialog box, click the Add button and then locate the IE9_Blocker.adm file, as shown in Figure E. Then, click Open to add the template and then click the Close button to close the Add/Remove Templates dialog box. When you do, you'll see the Classic Administrative Templates folder inside Administrative Templates.

Figure E

After you click the Add button, locate the IE9_Blocker.adm file.
Now open the Classic Administrative Templates folder and drill down to the Automatic Updates Blockers v3 folder, as shown in Figure F.

Figure F

You'll now find the Internet Explorer 9 blocker setting in the Local Group Policy Editor.
At this point, double-click the new setting to bring up the Do Not Allow Delivery of Internet Explorer 9 through Automatic Updates dialog box, shown in Figure G. Then, select the Enabled radio button, click OK, and close the Local Group Policy Editor. To complete the operation, restart your system. When you do, Internet Explorer 9 will be moved from the Important section of Windows Update to the Optional section.

Figure G

When you select the Enabled radio button and restart your system, Internet Explorer 9 will not be available as an Automatic Update.

The script

Using the script is easy. Just open an Administrator Command Prompt by clicking the Start button, typing cmd in the Start Search box, and pressing [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Enter] to run with administrator rights. Respond to the UAC. Then type the command

ie9_blocker /b
as shown in Figure H. To complete the operation, restart your system. When you do, Internet Explorer 9 will be moved from the Important section of Windows Update to the Optional section.

Figure H

Internet Explorer 9 is now optional.

What's your take?

Now that Internet Explorer 9 is flagged as Optional, you won't have to worry about it inadvertently being installed because it is flagged as an Important. However, at a later point in time, you can go to the Optional section of Windows Update and install Internet Explorer 9.

Will you use the Internet Explorer 9 Blocker Toolkit? As always, if you have comments or information to share about this topic, please take a moment to drop by the TechRepublic Community Forums and let us hear from you.

Addendum

On several, but not all, of my Windows 7 systems, I have discovered that Internet Explorer 9 does not appear in the Optional section of Windows update. It is completely blocked, which actually makes sense.

If that happens to you and at a later date you want to install Internet Explorer 9, you can simply unblock the update. To do so from the the Local Group Policy Editor, just select the Disabled option. To do so with the script, just use the command

ie9_blocker /u

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

19 comments
pethers
pethers

IE9 is the best version of IE ever - why would you want to keep an old outdated and vulnerable IE version on your PC???? You're all mad.

Doodah
Doodah

I installed IE9 and W7SP1 within the same 24 hour period. For about a day things seemed okay. Then I discovered my PC had mysteriously rebooted itself, and after logging in, my gadgets were acting really weird. The clock was a big black square with only a second hand that would not move. The others were either invisible or just small blocks where they used to display. I tried to open IE9 to Google this, and noticed that IE9 would flash on the screen and then disappear. Another reboot did not help matters. I suspected IE9 and tried to remove it, but it did not show up in Programs and Features (or Windows Components), so I could not remove or disable it. Using Google Chrome to search online, I was advised by multiple sites to use SFC, so I did. After two runs of this (I hit some sort of maximum number of files on the first run) W7SP1 and IE9 had been removed. The gadgets work again, and IE8 is back on my PC. Gmail now warns me that I have Compatibility View turned on (which I don't) and Compatibility View is now disabled. Other than that I am limping along. What was my most reliable PC is now crippled and unreliable.

ejkolkman
ejkolkman

Didn't like it so I uninstalled it. Then I went into windows update, right clicked on the IE9 Update and selected hide update. I have not had to worry about it since and didn't need to download anything special to block it.

montanasman
montanasman

It would have been good to let us know that some people may need to "pressing [Ctrl]+[Shift]+[Enter] to run with administrator rights" after typing in "gdEdit.msc". It took me 5min or so to figured it out. Good thing I read the whole article before adding the blocker. After figuring out how to open group policy, the rest worked just as you said.

kevlar700
kevlar700

Video acceleration is dangerously implemented hence OpenBSD allows you to close the aperture for security reasons. Therefore and for other reasons I wouldn't use IE9 as there will be major security problems in the video acceleration and hackers know this. On the other hand I'd like to use css3 on my websites but as XP users, aka the majority can't get IE9. Can everyone please switch to firefox or chromium. They win hands down anyway and allow better websites to be made for all aka at all!!!

donaldgagnon1
donaldgagnon1

I decided to try it and it really has a lot of problems rendering many different sites. But, now I'm stuck with what's left of it. I thought perhaps it was corrupt and tried to repair or reinstall, but I simply get a message that it's already installed and it stops there. I tried going back to IE8, which is equally a hassle and now it too appears corrupt and also won't let me reinstall or repair. I tried to delete the IE folder entirely to do a clean install, but, even though I am running as Admin, it won't let me delete it. So, just because I use their OS (Win 7), I am being force fed IE, whether I like it or not. Just another of the countless reasons to distrust and dislike anything Microsoft. Just to clarify, I am also a web designer and developer. Since half the planet still uses IE for their browser I begrudgingly have to have an operating version of it on board just for testing purposes. If not for that, it wouldn't be installed on anything we own.

cwclone-web
cwclone-web

definite improvement BUT too many websites just don't work and I have to resort to Chrome to complete web activity. Very disappointing. MS should have taken more time to resolve backwards compatibility issues. I realise they are trying to move the ball forward in technology but failing to work on a good 10%-20% of sites is not going to endear them to the general public...

HarveyNoel
HarveyNoel

Hello from Paris, France. Thanks for your great and precise articles ! Well, after installing Live Mail on my Windows7 system, my GreenBrowser browser shows me some web sites with enormous characters, covered lines of text, etc. i've searched for updates, nothing ; and why only some sites ? taking advice, i've ran "internet explorer" : here it is ! IE9 is here, and i'm sure i wont be able to get back to an old version... From now, i MUST use IE9 to see some sites (and unfortunately MINE, written under Xoops 2.4 !!) in good conditions... Now, i'm not shure we will have any chance against Microsoft in the future... Fells like the Big Butterfly covers earth with his wings...

TobiF
TobiF

I mainly use Opera and Firefox. IE. When Windows Update started nagging, I accepted this update. By the way, is there any similar way to say NO to the junk mail filters? I filter for spam and other things in my own way. I don't want Microsoft to determine what's spam or not. But their junk mail filters for Outlook are flagged as important in exactly the same way. As a result, every month I manually hide this item before I give green light for the rest updates. (And due to some weird bug, I first need to reboot my computer, in order to see the list of available updates, so I typically reboot twice: before and after the update...)

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Are your currently blocking Internet Explorer 9 from installing on your systems? Have you had any inadvertent deploys?

wladue
wladue

And you'r an idiot

kevlar700
kevlar700

IE9 isn't available for XP, IE8 is still supported and as IE9 has lots of new code like the HW accel, it is far more vulnerable than IE8 and don't give me the latest security enhancements rhetoric from microsoft which means next to nothing and accompanies every release. Many businesses wait for major fixes to come out though they do keep coming anyway just a little slower or left unfixed rather. Remember for my web design purposes I want people to use IE9 or rather just about any other browser with css3. You shouldn't say if you don't have it on good independent authority. I wouldn't and don't use any Microsoft code in a serious online context.

pethers
pethers

Compatibility View button fixes most issues with sites that I have found - and it remembers and keeps the setting next time you visit the site.

Greg Shultz
Greg Shultz

...to uninstall it. To do so, go to Programs and Features in the Control Panel, select View Installed Updates and when the list appears, you will be able to select and uninstall Internet Explorer 9.

Renaisssance2008
Renaisssance2008

I tried it, however there are some sites that it just doesn't work right. I need to access my time portal every week. all is ok until I have to enter the address and state from a pulldown box. Box won't come down. On another site to view and print checks, print button in IE 9 missing. Little nuances such as that. I have 15 machines deployed with win 7 pro and ultimate.

kevlar700
kevlar700

Intels and AMD/ATI's Open source moves should help. "http://www.contextis.com/resources/blog/webgl/" "however this still pushes much of the responsibility of securing WebGL on the hardware manufacturers. Perhaps the best approach would be to design a specification for 3D graphics from the ground up with these issues in mind."

kevlar700
kevlar700

We have XP boxes that have been running for many years, without slowing down, though they've still needed maintenance from software incompatibilities etc.. But your obviously clever cos you've mesmorised us with your words.

jjmcgaffey
jjmcgaffey

Actually, IE9 works fine in Gmail if you _disable_ compatibility view - had a client who was pulling his hair out over a mostly-blank Gmail screen with the buttons that normally run across the top running down the middle left. I disabled Compatibility View for Gmail and it came back to normal.

donaldgagnon1
donaldgagnon1

I went through that silliness, but all that does is basically disable and not really uninstall. If you download a clean version after that and try to install it, you still get the error message that it's already installed and it stops the new installation and reenables the corrupt one. And you still can't delete the IE folder in order to ever get a clean and fresh install. I've wasted hours trying to get beyond this endless loop of frustration. But, as noted, I'm a web designer and need to have a copy of a working IE just to test sites before launch, since millions of people still use IE. (which I really don't understand why!!)