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Impacts of removing Internet Explorer from Windows

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
old Harry Waldron
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Joined: December 31st, 1969, 5:00 pm

Post Posted December 7th, 2004, 4:06 am

Image After enjoying good experiences with Firefox 1.0, many forum users have asked, "Should I keep Internet Explorer?" Some of the impacts of removing IE from the Windows environment are shared below:

Impacts of removing Internet Explorer from Windows

1. Many web sites are programmed to work only with Internet Explorer. For example, webmasters authoring a site may have not tested with other web browsers. Some webmasters may not be familiar with WC3 standards or taken the time to program their site so it is universally acceptable by all browsers. Probably 95% of all websites on the Internet should work with Mozilla browsers, but there it a site is not compatible it may appear distorted or inaccessible unless IE is used as a browser.

2. Windows Update (WU) requires Internet Explorer. As an alternative, you may be able to manually download security updates, but it will require more monitoring and work than letting WU handle this for you.

3. Some Anti-Virus Products require IE for updates. Live updates or automatic DAT updates used by both Norton and McAfee are built on Internet Explorer's foundation. You may be able to manually update your virus signature files but it could require more work.

4. Both removing and restoring IE is risky and difficult. IE is complex with extensive hooks built into Windows, for efficiency and functionality. Thus unplugging it from your system may impact Internet connectivity, Windows functionality, and break functionality in Microsoft Office and non-MS products.

5. IE is more than a browser, it is the foundation for Internet functionality in Windows. If you compare the install base for IE 6 SP1 (43.5MB) to FF (4.5MB), it provides an indication IE is more than just a browser.


Each Windows user has options regarding Internet Explorer, which include:

1. Using both at the same time (my own preference)

2. Alternate between the two (more of 50/50 usage)

3. Leave IE intact and use FF the most

4. Remove the IE icon from the desktop

5. IE partial uninstall - removes the browser but leaves the IE foundation in place

6. IE full uninstall - full removal of IE foundation using non-MS tools

Points 5 and 6 above can have consequences. I wanted to caution our members and guests that there are no advantages in removing IE and that doing so can break things.

I've always kept IE installed, updated, and with hardened settings from a security perspective. For years, I've always had more than one browser installed on my PCs, as I actively develop web pages and want to make sure they work with all browsers (which is how I discovered FF).

Based on my own experience, IE and FF can reside on the same PC without issues providing two complete Internet tool sets. If you like the neat features in FF, you can simply use it the most and leave your IE/Windows environment intact.

This link discusses how to repair or reinstall IE if needed:

How to repair or reinstall Internet Explorer if needed
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... -us;318378

I hope everyone has a great experience with Firefox 1.0. :)

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