How to Disable Internet Explorer

Why keep Internet Explorer when you use another browser. It’s just a security risk.

There’s no doubt that Internet Explorer has been a prime target of attack for spyware merchants and other ill-intentioned goons. That’s why many folks have turned to alternate browsers for their web surfing.

If you are using another browser and don’t use Internet Explorer anymore, there’s a case to be made that you should remove it from your system. It is, after all, a potential security threat so, if you don’t need it, why not get rid of it?

Except, getting rid of IE is not that easy. In fact, with later versions of Windows there’s no satisfactory way of removing it completely without risking crippling Windows itself.

That hasn’t stopped folks from trying to remove IE, however, and you can find several techniques documented on various web sites. Instead of removing IE I favor the simple and safer approach of disabling it. Sure, it may not provide the same degree of security as complete removal but that’s a small price to pay compared to the cost of potentially de-stabilizing Windows.

There are several disabling techniques but I suggest the method below as it’s simple, easy to reverse and doesn’t interfere with the operation of the Windows Update service. Furthermore it should work with any modern version of IE.

Step 1. From IE select Tools/Internet Options/Connections/LAN Settings.


Step 2. Put a tick in the check box next to “Use a Proxy Server for your LAN …”

Step 3. Type in “” in the address box and “80” in the Port box. Don’t type in the quote marks of course, just what’s inside them.

Step 4. Click OK.

What you’ve done is set up a dummy proxy server that goes nowhere. With these setting IE cannot make an HTML connection to the internet and vice versa. You have simply and effectively disabled IE.

There’s no magic in the address, any dead proxy address would work just as well. I’ve used that particular address to keep things simple.

If you ever need to re-enable Internet Explorer start it up and select Tools/Internet Options/Connections/LAN Settings from the toolbar and un-check the box “Use a Proxy Server for your LAN …”

If you really want to remove IE more completely then you can check out these resources but, as I said, I don’t recommend it.

Windows 95 – Windows 2000 SR1
Windows 2000 and later.

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