Running earlier versions of Internet Explorer on Windows 7

Certain web sites and/or intranet sites may not display or function properly when viewed using IE 8, which is the default web browser on Windows 7. This can be a problem if your users need to access web applications that are certified for an earlier version of IE but are not certified for IE 8 because of government (or other) policy requirements. You can remove IE 8 from Windows 7 by opening Control Panel, selecting Programs, selecting Turn Windows Features On or Off, and unchecking IE 8 in the Windows Features dialog.  Doing this will leave your computer browser-less but unfortunately you still won't be able to install an earlier version of IE on the computer, but if users of Windows 7 computers need access to an earlier version of IE you can provide it to them in several ways:

  • By using RemoteApp to publish the earlier IE version from a Remote Desktop Session Host (RDSH) running Windows Server 2008 R2.
  • By using Windows XP Mode and Windows Virtual PC to run a local virtual instance of the earlier IE version on the user's Windows 7 desktop.
  • By using Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) to run a centrally-managed virtual instance of the earlier IE version on the user's Windows 7 desktop.

For more information on Microsoft virtualization technologies like these, download my free ebook Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions, Second Edition from Microsoft Press.

Mitch Tulloch is a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) and widely recognized expert on Windows administration, deployment and virtualization. For more tips by Mitch you can follow him on Twitter or friend him on Facebook.

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