How to stop automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 7 (IE7)

Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) has been released as of November 1, 2006. If you’re not ready for it yet, there are a few options to prevent the automatic installation of it. Personally, I update my computer manually so I can see what’s being installed before it’s installed. IE7 is theoretically more secure and has more functionality than Internet Explorer 6 (some improvements include tabbed browsing and a built in rss reader), I will wait until they get a few more bugs worked out and some patches for the flaws that still exist before I install it myself.

Many users have automatic updates enabled on their systems. Microsoft is distributing Internet Explorer 7 as a high-priority update through Automatic updates and the Microsoft update sites. Internet Explorer 7 will be available for users of genuine Windows XP SP2, Windows XP 64-bit Edition, and Windows Server 2003 SP1. See the Microsoft Updates IE7 announcement for more details.

If you use automatic updates you will be notified that the update is available and will have to choose whether or not to install IE7. The update will only be available if you run your system with administrator priviledges. If you run your computer with limited privilegdes you will not have to choose to install it or not.

Once you click on the automatic updates notification balloon you will be presented with 3 options:

  • Install
  • Don’t install
  • Ask me later

If you select Install, follow the prompts to install it.

If you select Don’t install, you can install it at a later time from the Windows update site.

If you select Ask me later, it will not install it and you will be prompted to install it at a later time.

If you install IE7 it will replace IE6. IF you want to uninstall it at a later time, you should be able to remove it through the Add/Remove applet in the control panel. If you do install it and uninstall it later, the automatic updates will download it again and ask you if you want to install it. In that case, just select the Don’t install option. IMPORTANT: If you do want to remove IE7 after installation, make sure you uninstall it correctly throught the Add/Remove applet in the control panel or with another uninstall utility. DO NOT DELETE IT as that will cause more problems. Installation of IE7 will NOT override your default browser.

There are other options to prevent the automatic delivery of IE7. You can download a toolkit to disable automatic delivery of IE7 from Microsoft. It is available for users running genuine Microsoft Windows. Toolkits to prevent the installation of some updates from Microsoft have had expiration dates in the past. According to Microsoft, the toolkit to block the installation of IE7 does not.

IT Administrators can use Update Management solutions for Windows Server Systems and SM Servers from Microsoft for better solutions to block the installation of IE7.

To control whether or not you receive automatic updates, you use the automatic updates applet in the control panel. (Click on start, then click on control panel. Once the control panel applet opens (in classic view), double click on the automatic updates applet to open it). You will be presented with 4 options: Automatic (recommended), Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them, Notify me but don’t automatically download or install them and Turn off Automatic Updates and click the apply button. More information regarding Automatic Updates can be found at the Microsoft site.

If you do turn off the Automatic Updates option, make sure you check the Microsoft Windows Update site on a regular basis. The second Tuesday of every month Microsoft releases updates. Occasionally they release them at other times when they need a patch to fix a patch. It’s important to keep your Windows and other programs updated for security and safety reasons. Microsoft encourages you to keep Automatic Updates turned on, but as long as you take the necessary security measures and update your computer regularly, you should be fine turning them off.

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