XPSP3 and IE7, Confusion over how to remove IE7

  skidzy 09:03 18 May 2008

Little advice for those thinking of updating to SP3 if you have not already.

Recently ive been reading that some have problems uninstalling IE7 when updating to SP3,this can be done...but only in the correct sequence.

If this affects you,read on;

XPSP3 will continue to ship with IE6 and contains a roll-up of the latest security updates for IE6. If you are still running Internet Explorer 6, then XPSP3 will be offered to you via Windows Update as a high priority update. You can safely install XPSP3 and will have an updated version of IE6 with all your personal preferences, such as home pages and favorites, still intact.

If you are currently running IE7 or IE8 on Windows XP SP2 (XPSP2) and you are thinking of upgrading to XPSP3, read on.

Internet Explorer 7 Users

If you are currently running IE7 on XPSP2, Windows Update will offer you XPSP3 as a high priority update. If you choose to install XPSP3, Internet Explorer 7 will remain on your system after the install is complete. Your preferences will be retained. However, you will no longer be able to uninstall IE7. If you go to Control Panel | Add/Remove Programs, the Remove option will be grayed out.

This behavior is by design and here is why. When we install IE7 on Windows XP SP2, we backup the existing IE6 files in an uninstall directory. Those IE6 files are the ones that shipped on XPSP2 plus all the security updates you’ve installed while using IE6. Windows XP SP3 contains a newer version of the Internet Explorer 6 files. If you have XPSP3 on your system and uninstall IE7, your system would revert to the backed up (older) version of the IE6 files rather than the newer XPSP3 version. You would end up in a mixed file state in Windows where most files would be the upgraded XPSP3, except for the IE6 files restored when uninstalling IE7. This state is not supported and is very bug prone. To ensure a reliable user experience, we prevent this broken state by disabling the ability to uninstall Internet Explorer 7.

If you must uninstall IE7 after you have upgraded to XPSP3, then you have to first uninstall XPSP3, and then uninstall IE7. After this series of uninstalls, you will be reverted back to a XPSP2, and a stable version of IE6, so feel free to upgrade to XPSP3 again.

If you install IE7 after you install XPSP3, then you will be able to uninstall IE7 at any point and be reverted to the newer IE6 version that ships in XPSP3. The restriction on uninstalling only applies to when you install a Windows Service Pack release on top of a standalone IE release.

Keeping this in mind, you might want to uninstall IE7, upgrade to XPSP3 and then install IE7 again so you can uninstall IE7 in the future if need be.

  birdface 09:55 18 May 2008

A useful bit of information skidzy.I will remember it and hope that I never have to use it.

  johndrew 10:13 18 May 2008

You have really caused me some confusion as my current situation doesn`t fit with what you say.

I was running IE7 (after upgrading from IE6) under SP2 and all was well - it could be uninstalled.

I installed SP3 (it took two attempts) and again all is well. As a result of your post I looked at Add/Remove and find IE7 is not greyed out. This means, presumably, that I can remove it without removing SP3 if I need to.

Given that IE7 was installed prior to SP3, by an update, I shouldn`t be able to do this by the rules above. I have definitely installed SP3, it exists in Add/Remove and shows in `My Computer/General`. There must be some rule that covers this and surely I`m not the only one to have this situation??

  T0SH 10:31 18 May 2008

I have SP3 installed and IE7 on a desktop where is available for uninstall from add remove programs, but on a laptop again with SP3 the only IE7 items available for uninstall are some IE7 updates ?

Cheers HC

  Poitier 14:59 18 May 2008

I find the info from skidzy very interesting but you are not alone.I find myself in the identical situation as you except that SP3 installed first time without problems.

  Woolwell 16:39 18 May 2008

I'm in the same situation as Poitier.

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