Installing and uninstalling IE 7 beta 2

The release of Explorer 7 beta 2 has raised some questions, especially about maintaining the various IE versions you may have on your computer. Basically the beta overwrites IE 6, and Joe Maddalone's Multiple IE instructions don't work, but you can uninstall the beta quite easily and IE 6 is restored to you.

I suppose I do a few people a favour when I write down clear installation and uninstallation descriptions and instructions. Here it goes:


Installing the beta is very simple: just download the installer and double-click on it. On my computer the installer got stuck on 43% for quite a while, but eventually it continued and the installation was succesful.

Installer gets stuck on 43 %

During the installation, you see a few messages that something (probably the installer) tries to change your IE settings. These are mildly annoying, but I see the point in them. If all goes well these will eventually protect innocent end users from getting new settings from a malicious site.

Message about IE settings

Restart your computer, and you'll see the IE 7 icon somewhere. In addition all your shortcuts to IE 6 now start up IE 7.

IE 7 icon

No IE 6

Now you've lost your IE 6. I used Joe Maddalone's trick by first copying all IE 6 files he mentions (to my Mac, to be entirely on the safe side), and moving them back to my Windows computer after IE 7 had installed. When I ran IEXPLORE.exe the IE 6 interface started up, but as soon as I typed in a URL my default browser (Mozilla) was started to show the page. Therefore IE 6 will not work next to the IE 7 beta. I hope someone will find out how to make it run next to the eventual final IE 7, because it's then that we'll really need it.


To uninstall IE 7 beta 2 again, I followed the instructions from the IE Blog (Q 6). Go to the Add/Remove Programs control panel, be sure to check 'Show updates', and the IE 7 beta will appear as the final Windows update.

IE 7 uninstall

Uninstall it by clicking on it, then on the button. Again you see a few messages that your settings are being changed, and eventually you have to restart your computer. When that's done you have your old IE 6 back.

I ran through this entire process twice now, so it works ... for me.

This is the blog of Peter-Paul Koch, web developer, consultant, and trainer. You can also follow him on Twitter or Mastodon.
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Comments are closed.

1 Posted by Matthew Pennell on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

Apparently the standalone IE6 from Evolt ( works okay alongside IE7.

2 Posted by Lachlan Hunt on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

I didn't get that spyware alert at all when I installed it, mine just installed without any problems at all. That may have something to do with some other spyware protection software you have installed or maybe system configuration, but it definately won't affect all users.

This is definately a problem not being able to have 2 versions of IE installed. The alternatives are to either set up 2 computers - one with IE7, the other with IE6. Otherwise, one could set up a dual boot system, but that would require constant restarts, though it would still be better then installing and uninstalling. Microsoft definately need to find a legitimate solution to having both browsers available simultaneously.

3 Posted by Jeroen Hendrickx on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

I found an instruction guide for IE 5.5 err... somewhere and basically copied the exact same files from an IE6 installer.
It took a while to find them all as the cab-archives are different.

The files are:

And a new empty .txt-file

At first I got some files wrong and I got a IE6 GUI with IE7 functionality. But this setup seems to work properly.

Haven't really had the time to test it, though.

4 Posted by Jeroen Mulder on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

It's interesting you are mentioning the behaviour of the entered URL in IE6 being opened in your default browser . I have had this for a couple of weeks now, but the only IE7 beta I have is beta 1 as a (failed) non-install. Can you confirm removing or uninstalling Public Beta 2 recovers IE6?

On another note. Excellent idea to run IE7 seperately :-)

5 Posted by Jonathan on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

Jeroen, I had that problem too. I had downloaded a copy of IE 7 Beta 1 modified to run side-by-side, and it screwed up my system just like yours. Check you at the IEBlog, and remove the registry key the say to. That fixed the problem for me.

6 Posted by Jeroen Mulder on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

Jonathan, ah, you rock. I wasn't able to find a lot of information on it right away, but you saved my day!

Ok, carry on. :-)

7 Posted by Justin Perkins on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

Yeah I thought I was burned when I installed IE7 and realized IE6 was gone, that was until I found the Evolt standalone (as Matthew pointed out). Works like a charm.

8 Posted by Kate on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

I'm using the Maxthon shell with IE6. It provides a lot of functionality that has heretofore been lacking in IE. I'd like to try IE7, but am afraid it might cause problems with Maxthon. Any thoughts on this before I take the plunge?


9 Posted by Kate on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

Here's a way to try out IE7 beta 2 without disturbing your IE6 installation. Create a separate folder for the IE7 download (I put mine in the Program Files folder on the C: drive), then extract the .exe file with a decompressor. Next, create a blank file in the folder named 'IEXPLORE.exe.local'. Finally, run iexplore.exe.

I found this tip on the Maxthon forum at It seems to work OK, as I'm able to have IE6, IE7beta2 and Maxthon (operating on IE6) all at the same time.

Incidentally, I wasn't successful in installing IE7beta2 the normal way; it kept reporting an error. At least now I'll be able to compare it with IE6 and Maxthon.

Hope this helps.

10 Posted by Renato Targa on 1 February 2006 | Permalink

The procedure in comment #9 didn't work properly for me. I can run IE7, but after its first crash, my IE6 does not work anymore (it opens 60+ windows and points an error after a click).

11 Posted by frankf on 2 February 2006 | Permalink

I've installed IE7 beta2, but I didn't get the white box as explained above. This might have something to do with me already setting a custom page.

12 Posted by Peter Crackenberg on 2 February 2006 | Permalink

I downloaded the standalone version at un-zipped it and it worked like a charm.

About the only problem I've found with it, is that the IE Conditional Comments still render as if it's IE7, rather than IE6, so a few sites I've done look odd, when they trapped for pre-7 IE versions.

13 Posted by jojo on 3 February 2006 | Permalink

I got a laptop with old IE5.5. Tried to upgrade to IE6 SP1 but get this message saying previous installation was not completed or sth similar and need rebooting. I have been rebooting for a week but get stuck with the same thing. Would IE7 kick everything off for me?

14 Posted by Joe Maddalone on 3 February 2006 | Permalink

"Joe Maddalone's Multiple IE instructions don't work"

That is a mistake... the problem is that my instructions never call for you to actually install any of the browsers.

15 Posted by Keith on 4 February 2006 | Permalink

ppk (and others),

Here's another solution to the problem:

16 Posted by Chris Hester on 6 February 2006 | Permalink

The advice in comment 9 forgets to mention that you need to also rename or delete shlwapi.dll in the extracted folder.

17 Posted by David Owens on 6 February 2006 | Permalink

The article here explains how to fix the conditional comments. I've got IE6 and IE7 beta 2 both seeminly running with conditional comments working.

18 Posted by Sherman Buck on 6 February 2006 | Permalink

I installed IE7 and when I went to use it I got an error message: The procedure entry point InternetGetSecurityInfoByURLW could not be located in the dynamic link library WININET.dll It won't let me reinstall the software again to resolve whatever issue this is, nor can I uninstall it. I get a message telling me I need to log in as the user it was installed as, and I am already that user, since I am the only one on my computer??? I should've listened to my intuition as I started to download IE7. I should no better with all the ongoing problems I have been having with XP pro and Outlook. Any help in getting this off my machine would be appreciated. Please don't tell me to read the install/uninstall procedures; been there done that.


19 Posted by jim on 8 February 2006 | Permalink

after running ie7beta2 on several computers this works best:
1: extract the app from the exe file:
2: get and run the batch file (per 15above)

this resolves most (all?) of the issues mentioned here and doesn't require changing the registry, files, etc.

20 Posted by Tim L. on 9 February 2006 | Permalink

I tried to install the public beta 2 and after rebooting -- NOTHING worked! At least nothing that required a network connection. I uninstalled IE7, went back to IE6 and eveything is OK.

Thank you for posting these instructions.

21 Posted by Graham Ledbrook on 9 February 2006 | Permalink

After I installed IE7 Beta I found that Msn Explorer favourites did not work also in Outlook Express which I use to get hotmail Every time I tried to get mail I had to log onto the hotmail server using hotmail id and password. I removed IE7 by doing a restore back to an earlier date and all IE6 options and outlook express returned OK

22 Posted by Rog on 10 February 2006 | Permalink

In reply to Kate's message (No 8) i use maxthon as well and i installed IE7 and they work together without a problem. Maxthon just sites over the top of IE7 and still has all the extra functionality.

23 Posted by John on 16 February 2006 | Permalink

Here's another solution to the problem, this one uses a VBScript file to start IE7.

24 Posted by Will B on 16 February 2006 | Permalink

I'd like to reiterate David Owen's comments from 6th February.

The page at provides a workaround for conditional comments, as well as a fix giving each version of IE a different window title to help distinguish between them.

I've tested this in both Windows Me and 98se, with IE 5, 5.5 and 6 (couldn't test IE 7 of course), and it seems to work fine.