How to uninstall Internet Explorer in Windows 8.1

“Internet Explorer is the best browser ever!” – Nobody.

Although it’s true that Internet Explorer has come a long way – it’s still full of problems.

IE is prone to crashes, gets in the way by suggesting stupid websites, and is the bane of every web developers existence.

Thankfully, Microsoft has recognized this problem and is concocting an entirely new browser for Windows 10 but until then we have to figure out what we’re going to do with IE.

IE is a royal pain the in butt.

I generally have an imperturbable personality – it takes a lot to get my blood boiling – but Internet Explorer can really put me in a choleric mood.

And the worse part is that it isn’t listed in Programs and Features with all the other software on my computer!

Programs and Features in Windows 8.1

It’s almost like Microsoft is saying that they don’t want you to remove that refractory browser.

Microsoft wants you to love IE.  It wants you to make it your default browser for life and forsake the competition.

We’ll I hate IE and I’m on a mission to remove it.

Where the heck is Internet Explorer?

The reason we don’t see Internet Explorer in our Programs and Features listing is because Microsoft thinks of it as a Windows Feature.  It’s a feature of the operating system itself (not a program).

Sounds like a bunch of symantec nonsense but that’s what we have to deal with.

To remove Internet Explorer, we can click Turn Windows features on or off in the left pane or press the Windows Key + w and type “features on or off”.  Either way will get you one step closer to IE liberation.

Turn Windows Features on or off

You may remember that I showed you how to remove IE in Windows 7. The process is virtually the same for Windows 8.1 (I just wanted to publish another post as an outlet for my intense antipathy toward IE).

Now hunt down Internet Explorer 11 in the feature list and uncheck it.

Turn off IE

Getting rid of Internet Explorer

IE will give once last wail of a cry begging you to keep it around.  Don’t let your heart soften.  Straighten your back, firm up your wrists and brazenly click Yes to disable IE.

The warning says:

Turning off Internet Explorer 11 might affect other Windows features and programs installed on your computer, including default settings.  Do you want to continue?

I know the warning looks scary but it’s 100% benign.  As I’m about to show you later in this article, life without Internet Explorer is positively bracing!

Click Yes with confidence and continue.

Turning off Internet Explorer might affect other Windows features and programs installed on your computer, including default settings

Windows immediately gets to work searching for the required files to disable Internet Explorer.  After a few seconds you’ll see a prompt to reboot.  Save any open documents and click Restart Now.

Windows completed the requested changes buddy!

Life without IE

When your PC restarts everything will look the same except that abominable IE icon is no longer wasting valuable space on your taskbar.

Life without IE

And you won’t find it on the Start Screen anymore.

Internet Explorer no longer on Start Screen

or in your Default Programs list.  Press the Windows Key + w, type “default programs” and click on Set Default Programs.

No Internet Explorer in Set Default Programs

Bam! no IE yay!

Also since your computer has no longer has a default browser, if you try to surf the net from File Explorer you’ll get flinty message about an Application not found.

Application not Found in Windows 8.1

So make sure you have an alternate browser like Vivaldi, Chrome or Firefox installed before you yank IE.

The Bottom Line

You have a choice.  I love choices.

You can either eat the green pill and continue living a life with IE full of not responding messages and poorly rendered web pages or you can eat the blue pill and extricate yourself from the error laden world of IE.

The choice is yours.

And I hope I’ve just made your decision making process a little bit easier!

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Posted in Internet Explorer 10, Internet Explorer 11, Web Browsers, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 Tagged with: , ,
  • TroubleBoy

    Thanks for this; worked a charm…

  • Ralph Hickok

    But this doesn’t actually uninstall it. Is there a way of doing that?

  • Nofearorfavor

    Ate the blue pill and it tasted sweet…. thank you.