If You Don't Use Internet Explorer, You Can Safely Remove It


Q: I use Firefox as my default Internet browser instead of Windows’ default browser, Internet Explorer. Can I remove Explorer from my computer without creating a problem?


A: Yes, many people prefer Firefox as their browser. It’s easy to remove Internet Explorer, and it won’t create a problem. However, unless you have a space problem on your hard drive, I’d advise you to leave it in place. If you do remove it, be sure you first install a replacement browser because there are functions in Windows that rely on an Internet browser (such as getting updates), and problems will likely occur if one is not available. After it’s removed, you may come across some software traces of it. Those traces take up very little room, and they won’t get in your way.


So, on to the removal process. Open Control Panel, Programs and Features and click on Turn Windows features on or off. (In XP’s Control Panel, the program-removal feature is in Add or Remove Programs.) That will bring up the Windows Features screen, which lists a wide range of optional Windows features. Just remove the check in the box next to Internet Explorer and then click on OK (see screenshot below).


You’ll likely get a confirmation screen warning you that its removal may cause problems with other Windows features. Worry not; as long as you have another browser installed, no problems will occur. You then will be asked to restart your computer to complete the process.


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