How to uninstall IE8

Posted March 9, 2008 by Rob Rogers in Browsers

If you’ve found that Internet Explorer 8 isn’t to your liking, you can uninstall it and revert back to IE7 (or IE6). The method for performing the uninstall will depend on whether you are running XP or Vista.

Removing IE8 on Windows XP:

1. Click the Start Button and select Control Panel.

2. Select Add or Remove Programs.

3. Find and select Windows Internet Explorer 8 from the list of available applications.

4. Click the Remove button.

5. Restart your system.

Removing IE8 on Windows Vista::

1. Click the Start Button and select Control Panel.

2. Select Programs (Programs and Features if you’re using the Classic View).

3. Select View installed updates (it will be under the Tasks column if you’re using the Classic View).

4. Find and select Windows Internet Explorer 8 from the list of available updates.

5. Click the Uninstall button at the top of the list.

6. Restart your system.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
View more articles by Rob Rogers

The Conversation

Follow the reactions below and share your own thoughts.

  • Volodia

    thanks, didn’t notice ‘windows …..’ stuff 😉

  • Steve

    Rubbish. IE8 doesn’t show in add remove programs

    • davak

      What OS you running? I can confirm that in Vista it is found in the View Installed Updates section of Add/Remove Programs.

      • Foo

        Not in Win7

        • Anonymous

          because Win7 has build-in with IE8, u cannot uninstall it.

    • shauna

      i’m having the same problem- no ie8 under any name variation in add/remove and i run vista- this is being a real headache. i already reinstalled ie8 to see if that would help. i’m running firefox right now- but i can’t get ie8 off my computer, nor can i revert it to ie7

      • shauna

        thanks davak- didn’t see the view installed updates option in vista- gotta love vista…

    • dre

      there is a check box in there that show windows updates>> dre

    • Different55

      OMG….. You have to uninstall Service pack SP3 THEN uninstall ie8. Or, (like me) you don’t have SP3 and it STILL doesn’t show up. In that case, here: and
      those helped me.

  • leroy

    thanks worked great i had so much trouble with ie8 on vista

  • Greg

    yo! what happens if there is no uninstall program on XP?

  • Greg

    yo! what happens if there is no uninstall program on XP?

    • Stephen

      You need to click the tick box near the top right that says “Show Updates”
      It will then be listed and you can remove it.

      • Naveen Dpt2007

        Hey cool it worked out Thanks a lot


    To remove IIE on XP, which is not listed under add remove programs, you have to select Add/Remove Windows Components.

  • b

    retard, i want it rolled back, not wrecking ti from windows component. AND it does not show a remove option on the add or remove programs.

    • ispaleny

      run c:WINDOWSie8spuninstspuninst.exe

      • technet6

        thank youuuuuuuuuuuuu very very very very very much

        i hope good luck for you & thank you agine

      • Yg

        Thanks a lot…. it worked 🙂

      • Anonymous

        does not recognize path. I have windows xp. Can’t remove ie 8. I understand from above that it is part of windows. Do I have to remove windows and if I do, how do I get it back?

      • human being

        thank u so much for ur help it’s work……wooooohhh

      • Bowtell2

        Thank you and other responders who recommended using spuninst.exe for getting rid of IE8. I can’t believe how difficult it was before finding your site, then how easy it was afterward.

        Thank you, thank you, thank you. It really is appreciated.

  • Linda

    windows internet explorer is NOT listed in the ‘Programs & Features’ in Windows Vista – it’s not an easy uninstall as you have stated above. 🙁

  • mag lee

    ie8 is not listed in the programs????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • jack


      1) Go to Programs and Features
      2) On the left hand side, look under Tasks > Click “View Installed Updates”
      3) When it loads all of the updates > Look for “Windows Internet Explorer 8 beta”

      • ceax

        Ty so mutch, worked! 😀

  • IE8user

    1. On Vista, make sure you click “View installed updates”.
    2. On both Vista and XP, make sure you are looking for “Windows Internet Explorer 8” in the list of updates.

    Then if it’s really not listed, you can use a command line to uninstall (different commands for Vista vs XP). Step-by-step instructions are here:

  • Don

    Thanks a bunch – uninstalling now from Vista Ultimate.

  • Kred

    Unfortunately in xp doesn’t work (otherwise I d haven’t searched for a solution). I find Windows Internet Explore 8 beta 2 and uninstalled.
    After having rebooted I found IE8 again and… surprise: there’s no more an uninstall option under control panel. No way to get back to IE7… and I need it at work!

  • Dave

    Removed IE 8 from Add or Remover Programs. Still couldn’t reinstall IE 7.
    Any Answers?

  • Rick

    Try This………To Uninstall IE8 Copy/paste this path into RUN dialog or follow path and execute file “spuninst.exe” PATH= “C:WINDOWSie8spuninstspuninst.exe”

  • Rick

    Try This………To Uninstall IE8 Copy/paste this path into RUN dialog or follow path and execute file “spuninst.exe” PATH= “C:WINDOWSie8spuninstspuninst.exe”

  • anil

    am using xp and i have ie8. if i try to uninstall throungh add remove programs, it is not showing ie8 ..plz help in this issue

    • Anonymous

      im having A HUGE problem when id installed and uninstalled IE8. when i did installed, everything went slow, programs not responding, and those dam pop ups. know same issue again when i uninstalled it. I still have folders naming IE on programs files which cant / wont delete.

      please help….someone

      Im now using firefox…and i have winxp pro sp3


    THE CONTROL PANEL DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE OPTION TO REMOVE. I WANT TO GET RID OF IT.!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sandman

    Here’s a question:
    Why do so many of you people asking for help, get so P.O.’d at the very people that are politely trying to help you? There are any number of reasons for similar problems, and some solutions may not work for everybody. There are also lot5s of different places you can go to find other solutions that may help.
    I, for one, found my solution here. Thanks to “IE8User” for pointing me toward the article.
    Thanks to all that provide their advice.
    Everybody else , just relax.

    • Nullen_Void

      I agree with you Sandman. You are trying to help and they just get PO’d

      I have a better question. Why are so many people installing beta software on critical machines?

  • Josie

    Thank you, thank you , thank you!. This program is garbage-microsoft should be ashamed but they’re not. I an so happy to get this the h-ll off my computer

  • avi

    hi!!! everybody knows to go to add remove and to uninstall . the problem is that the internet explorer 8 beta , does not have the remove button. and it does not apear in other uninstall programs like your uninstaller.
    do u have any idea .

    • dontknowme

      omg my same problem please let me know if u find the solution

    • mike

      When I removed Service Pack 3, IE 8 appeared in the list.

  • Aditi

    thanks a lot

  • Nabil

    IE8 doesn’t show anywhere in my PC .. not in updates or in Add Remove !! i’m running Vista … and also the IE8 is not working it closes and gives error msg once I fire it !!! any solution?

  • Martin Lewis

    Erm… nope, that doesn’t work. When trying to reinstall IE7 after the methods described above for IE8 uninstall, a message pops up saying that a newer version of IE is installed, cannot continue.

  • Fred

    Thanks. Works a treat. I can’t believe some of the nasty comments on here. Ungrateful n*bheads!

  • sofia

    thank you

  • Rickard

    2008 server nor vista has ie in programs, please dont post information that is incorrect 🙁
    You find it under installed updates…

  • Just A Guy


  • rachel

    Had to uninstall because it wasn’t compatible with my ichapters book for college. Otherwise I didn’t really have any problems with it. I was able to successfully use it in PeopleSoft, which I still cannot do with Firefox.

  • mike

    You may need to uninstall WinXP SP3 before you’ll see IE8 listed in Add/Remove Programs.

    • nvm

      What?! All that for a crappy IE8?!

  • Bald E. Guy

    would work just fine if ie8 appeared in Add/Remove Programs!

  • nextelmichaelg

    thank you!

  • Mark

    Thanks for this information. I found the IE8 RC1 was far too buggy and incompatible with a large amount of sites I visit.

  • V

    Thank you for the useful guide.

  • ScrewM$

    IE8 crap! Souped up IE7 trash.
    Can’t uninstal,
    Can’t fnd install reference in add/remove prorams.

    What are these M$ retards thinking anyway?

    Example1: When several tabs open it does no allow you anymore to save all and reopen
    Opera anyone? Hello!!

  • maggie levack

    i tried removing ie8 with the add/remove program and it won’t remove. it also tells me that about 5 programs have been downloaded with ie8 and they won’t work without it. I am so fed up with internet explorer. its BS.

  • Anonymous

    I have successfully un-installed IE8 frm my Windows XP. First, you need to un-install Service Pack 3 from your pc, because SP3 is the one that is blocking the IE8 Uninstallation!

    Go to:
    (To make things easier for you, I have copied the steps below):

    To remove Windows XP SP3 from your computer, use method 2.

    Method2: Use the hidden $NtServicePackUninstall$ folder.
    Click Start, click Run, type this: c:windows$NtServicePackUninstall$spuninstspuninst.exe in the Open box, and then click OK.
    When the Windows XP Service Pack 3 Removal Wizard starts, click Next.
    Follow the instructions on the screen to remove Windows XP SP3.

    After SP3 has been removed and your pc has re-started, you now need to remove IE8:-

    Alternative steps for Windows XP or for Windows Server 2003:
    To uninstall Internet Explorer 8, follow these steps:
    Click Start, and then click Run.
    In the Open box, type Cmd.exe, and then press ENTER.
    Inside the Cmd.exe window, type in the following command: %windir%ie8spuninstspuninst.exe
    Press ENTER to uninstall Internet Explorer 8.
    When the uninstall program is finished, restart your computer.

    After you have restarted your computer, your previous IE have already been automatically rolled back in. To check your IE version simply open Internet Explorer, click Help and then About Internet Explorer.

    Voila! It worked perfectly!

    P/S. In case your previous IE was not rolled back in, simply install IE7 into your pc.

  • bob

    Super, and thank you very much for taking the time to help us.

    (Even including the idiot trolls who didnt bother to read the alternate instructions you provided for Vista.)

  • Rick

    Ok what they say doesn’t work. I tried. Best way to remove IE8 for XP is to go to start/search and type in IE8 and check hidden files and folders. The IE8 folder will pop up and click on it. Select spuninstal which will open up and show you the icon to uninstall IE8.

  • adrian

    ie8 nu arata in adauga eliminare programe

  • adrian

    ie8 nu arata in adauga elimenarea programelor

  • Mona

    I added ie 8 on my computer running 0S winxp. Now I want it off and I can’t see it to remove it. It does not show up in add/remove programs or updates. Has anyone else had this problem and if so how did you fix it?

  • a

    its not that easy!!

  • kong

    its really help me on my duty! Thanks ~~

    MS IE -> Windows IE -.- ” making ie 8 look unable to install at all… -.-

  • eclipse

    omg dude your a life saver i hated IE 8

  • Neil

    Windows IE8 is not listed in the “Add or remove programs” area. Common sense.

  • Bob


    I removed IE8 as you suggested sbove. It was removed successfully, and IE7 became the default browser. But now every time I start IE7 it takes me to the Customize Your Settings page at After I select my settings and click on ‘save your settings, it says “Settings were not able to be saved successfully.” On the status line at the bottom of the page, it says ‘Done, but with erros on page.’

    How do I stop this webpage from coming up. I used IE7 several years before I mistakenly updated to IE8.

    I have been running Windows XP since before it was released to the public (new machine) and now am at SP3. I have already installed the MS updates for this month.

    Thank you in adavnce for your help.


  • Ian

    From what technical book is that from, look closer

    • jody

      Sorry, I had to vent. Here is my real question:

      Ummm like, ummm, how do I reset IE8 back to IE7; there’s no button?

      JUST JOKING HERE AND WANTED TO SAY THANK YOU FOR TAKING THE TIME TO PROVIDE A SOLUTION TO THE PROBLEM THAT I GOOGLED. I AM SORRY THAT YOU HAVE HAD TO KEEP UP THIS EFFORT FOR 6+MONTHS. As for those of you who might actually noticed that I have insulted the hell out of you, I will offer a little advice that I have found useful for me (XP service pack 3): add/remove programs through the control panel sucks and it lacks on my system until, well, I become hostile enough to lash out a forum posters, so I have downloaded a simple cleaner that zips through the uninstall process and then scans to clean all from one app. so I often don’t even get prompted to reboot in order to remove the last lingering pieces of any program. I think that the real name is just CCleaner, it is free, and there are “settings” that allow you to do things like: show updates, hide windows components, view entire start up menu. Good luck.

  • Steve

    After installing IE8, when I log in, I get a complete blank screen (except for the screen saver), no icons, no start, no nothing and then I get a “Windows Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close….” How do I get rid of IE8 when I can’t even get to my start button?

  • Chuck

    Solution does not work – zi followed them, supposedly IE9 was removed, but when I go to instann IE7 am tols that there is a newer version installed and installation aborts.

  • RMS

    so what do i do when IE 8 doesn’t give me the option to remove? I’m not an expert but I’ve added/removed programs a gazzilion times, and it only shows up on my list without any option to add or remove?

  • Anonymous

    t does NOT Work!..

  • jmeltzer

    As others have said, Windows Internet Explorer is not in Add/Remove Programs.

    Please remove this incorrect page.

  • bangir

    it did not work!

  • xxxxx

    ñ digam!!
    remover ie8 no adicionar e remover programas ??? eu nunca teria pensado nisso!!
    bando d otários!!


    Thanks for the reassurance that using the uninstall feature in Control Panel
    is a safe approach to utilize.

    • KEVIN

      Looks like I may have spoken too soon, seeing the prior comments. . . .


    Based on all the other comments- please allow me to refer those who may need
    Microsoft’s answer to the subject-

  • Anonymous

    I uninstalled IE8, and then did the same for IE7 when it didn’t start…. I made sure Firefox worked, but when I uninstalled IE8 it stopped working!
    I have Windows XP, Firefox 2.0.0
    What do I do?

  • Anonymous

    lol. 🙂

  • Jean-Patrick Smith

    MAke sure you look under ‘W’ for Windows… that had me fooled for a few seconds.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks a million, I used the Vista instructions & it worked a dream 🙂

  • Anonymous

    This doe not work – ie8 hangs up halfway through the delete process and says that it cannot copy certain files.

    • Anonymous

      Hi I get this same thing, have you fixed it yet?

      • Anonymous

        Unfortunately I had to uninstall windows completely and reinstall it. I
        tried working with Microsoft engineer for three days and we could not get
        IE8 cancelled.
        Sorry I dont have better news for you.

  • Name

    IE8 wp3
    control panel
    No option to remove or change IE8

  • Brad

    What do I do if in XP there is not remove button?

    Yes, it is strange.

  • Brad

    what do you do when there is no remove button???

  • Anonymous

    no ie8 in add remove, everybody knows 2 look at add remove

  • Anonymous

    i cannot remove ie8 from my system and the option of removing it is not there,what other ways are there of removing ie8 from my system?

  • Anonymous

    THere is no remove button for IE8 in the copntrol panel.
    How do i remove it?

  • Anonymous

    Hi, I’m having troubles uninstalling IE 8 with beta. I have Windows XP, but for some reason it seems to stop copying files during the uninstall at a file called ieencode.dll.000. I can’t understand it and have run it for 40 minutes and have waited on phone with microsoft for 25 then gave up.
    Does anyone know what I’m talking about or has had the same problem?
    Thanks, Sue

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous

    I followed instructions for windows xp but ie8 refuse to be removed. No remove option.

  • Anonymous

    Graywolf_anf—— YOU ARE A GOD!!! after spending half a day trying everything, yours was the only thing that worked!!! KUDOS!! Anyone having this sh*t problem that MICROSHIT has passed onto us the CONSUMER! Read how Graywolf figured it out. To me its the only thing that worked. As for you Graywolf, you need a job at Micr$hit…….then again maybe not. Try Mac,cause the next O.S. i was considering buying was Mac.(if you work for Micro$hit read on) I did put the emphasis on BUYING! I was considering Win 7 ,but after this MALICIOUS! crap Microshit makes me swallow, well they can go F&C% ! THEMSELVES! Ok ive said enough. 3 Cheers to Graywolf!!

  • Anonymous

    Once IE8 is uninstalled, how do I install 6 or 7?

  • Anonymous

    Followed the whole discussion for about 3 hours today, tried all the various fixes and in the end, you know what, I have gone over to firefox.

    Things just started going wrong when I installed IE8 by accident. Painfully slow, no access to mail or e-banking, blank screen, absolute nightmare. Finally had enough after 3 system restores and discovered I’d lost my favourites AND the ability to add new ones.
    I tried Graywolf’s wise words, but couldn’t make it happen (told me I’d lost a file called ieeula.chm. Whatever is going on?

    By the way, Microsoft had somehow made it hard even to install firefox — kept telling me that Windows wouldn’t allow it. Hah! Well now I just downloaded it onto a pen drive from my son’s laptop and installed it in about 3 minutes flat.

    I am now going to stick post it notes on all our computers saying DON’T DOWNLOAD IE8.

    Thanks for all your thoughts guys, and for sharing the frustration…


  • Kent Rosendale

    I tried that…don’t think it worked…try again….but thanks anyway!!!!!

  • Ramona

    The only version of IE I have is 8 therefore I do not have the remove button so that I can get IE7. So how do I remove IE8 so that I can install IE7?

    • lmd

      Well I did it all to no avail. (Thanks for all those who’ve offered suggestions upthread, btw.) I made the mistake of downloading IE8 on a machine with XP recently because I’d naively thought all the infamous problems created by IE8 working on XP would surely have been ironed out by now. Dumb move on my part so I removed IE8 with Control Panel’s add/remove programs, but IE8 remained parked in my system nonetheless,with the entire IE8 interface & all its features intact on my browser rather than IE7’s, although my add/remove programs now says I only have IE7. I tried the MS recommended trick of entering the cmd.exe prompt (%windir%ie8spuninstspuninst.exe) but it was “not recognized as an internal or external file name, operable program or batch file.” I did a search for IE8 files on my drive to try to track down where they might be hidden but the search came up empty. I just wanna get rid of this hideously horrible parasite.

  • Anonymous

    Microsoft :

    Important You cannot uninstall Internet Explorer 8 if it is set as not removable. This occurs if you install Internet Explorer 8 before you install Service Pack 3 (SP3) for Windows XP.

  • Anonymous

    Are you joking?I don’t have the option to remove Windows IE 8 in add/remove programs.I hate this slow and no add-ons browser.I have Revo uninstaller..I’m thinking a forced uninstall.I heard you have to uninstall SP 3 to remove IE 8 from Windows XP.So if you have any other options for me,I’d like to hear them.Thank you.

  • Name

    Tried everything listed here – even removed SP3 as suggested – still can’t uninstall IE8. Any ideas short of reformatting the computer???

  • Anonymous


  • dumbie8

    it does not show add/remove program. i sure would love to know how to remove it.

  • Debrastroup

    Can someone tell me how to uninstall explorer 8? There is no remove button in the control panel add/remove program. I am running windows xp. If I can’t remove it can I disable it?

  • Mike

    The original poster just assume to uninstall IE8 is like uninstall any other programs.
    This is wrong and he should edit his post.

    for xp:
    click START
    click RUN
    and type this: c:WINDOWSie8spuninstspuninst.exe
    click OK

    It should open another windows asking do you want to uninstall IE8 (software update), click OK.

    Good Luck.

  • Marinogo

    I did, exactly as you showed it above, but a folder still in de loca drive, I try to deleted and it won’t allowed me.
    so I try to install IE6 and tells me, that still have a new vesrsion, and set up is cancel.
    any ideas , IE8 its nothing but a pain, as well as the new messanger uffffffffffffff

    I need help

  • J61042

    When IE still wil not uninstall…gets jammed into a programming loop, trying to find one file (ieakmmc.,chm) and stays in the loop, even Norton gives people a working way to uninstall their software. And your answer about people gettind PO’d is not
    so clevereither…most have tried this method for both XP and Vista, only to still be stuck with this disaster of a piece of programming junk….

  • Fukui

    program files/ internet explorer and delet everything xcept connection manager/ reinstall ie7

  • Hephzib44

    Is this out-of-date now? Nothing I do allows me to remove the horrible IE8 and revert to IE7. I’ve removed it from the Windows components and updates and it doesn’t show there as an option any more. I even removed the individual files and still have IE8. Nothing on the Microsoft site worked.

    If it’s out-of-date can this please be shown on the article?

  • UninstallingThings

    There is no “Remove” buttong for uninstalling IE8 on Win XP SP2

  • Akumar

    remove botton is not showing when i am opening add or remove program in my system.
    i am using window XP in my system and want to reinstal internet exp 8 from my system, please help.


  • Michael Notts

    IE8 opens HTML files much quicker than any other browser but a pop up keeps showing a menu called ADD-Ons that no matter what I delete or Disable so there are no ADD-ONs in the list it still keeps poping up

    How do I stop the pop up menu

    • Michael

      Sorry that should read opens …. MHTML files …. quicker

  • Darthdoom34

    there’s no IE8 in the add/remove programs dialog
    (winXP SP3)

  • D_ashish

    I can’t remove internet explorer 8. not showing remove button in add remove programs.

  • Unni

    Steps to uninstall Internet Explorer 8 Beta from the computer:

    Note: These steps are only for Windows XP with Service Pack 3.

    1) Click on Start, click on my computer.
    2) Browse to C:WINDOWS

    Note: You will have to unhide the files and folders: 1. Start Windows Explorer. To do this, click Start, click Run, type userinit.exe , and then click OK.
    2. Click Tools, and then click Folder Options.
    3. Click the View tab.
    4. Click Advanced Settings.
    5. Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders, click to clear the Hide Protected Operating System files (recommended) check box, and then click OK.
    3) Double click on the folder “ie8″.
    4) Double click on the folder “spuninst”.
    5) Double click on the executable “spuninst.exe”.

    Follow the prompts and then click on “Finish” to restart the computer.

    Your Internet Explorer will roll back to the previous version (IE7 or IE6).

  • Lana

    Thnx, this really helped 😀

  • Veer_delhi

    “spuninst.exe” is the best way to roll out from IE8 to IE7 , you can also give a try for “add/remove programms >>but tht will not work 🙂 …. also u can type in command line “rundll132.exe/install.inf/inf.32.exe >>>might work .

  • 10liltoes

    None of this sht works and now I am stuck with crappy windows internet explorer that doesn’t work and can’t find it. Not in add/remove or the hidden files or anywhere. Typed in all that crap that you all put in
    this site and NOT ONE OF THEM WORKED! VISTA also sucks!

    • David Kirk

      Thousands of people have used these directions. I’m sorry they don’t work for you. It sounds like Vista is giving you other problems. Consider upgrading to Win 7 as most people consider it a much better product. If you are tired of windows, try a mac box. The mac mini is an inexpensive introduction to the mac world. If all of that is too expensive and you have time to learn, then diving into the world of linux distributions can be exciting. Alternatively, you can blast away in the comments here… hey, it’s free therapy!

  • bobbie

    i try to uninstall ie8 and in contol add and remove it in there but when i click remove a window pops up and i click next and it goes to the other screen and will not remove it at all please help me with is i have try everything