Ask Leo! #717 – How Do I Uninstall and Reinstall Internet Explorer in Windows 10?

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Featured: Fixing Internet Explorer in Windows 10. Also this week: Get an external drive! But which one? Also, what every web site can tell about you.

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How Do I Uninstall and Reinstall Internet Explorer in Windows 10?


Because it's so tightly intertwined with Windows itself, repairing Internet Explorer (IE) by uninstalling and reinstalling has always been a somewhat obscure process. With the advent of Windows 10, that process changed. It's no more or less obscure; it's just different.

Uninstalling IE can be marginally helpful if you never use it, but by resetting some of the software and settings reinstalling can be a useful diagnostic step if you're having problems.

Uninstalling IE in Windows 10

Run the Settings app and click on Apps.

Apps item in Settings App

On the resulting Apps & Features page, click on Manage optional features.

Manage optional features

The list of optional features currently installed may take a few seconds to populate. When it does, scroll down until you find Internet Explorer.

Optional features list

Clicking on Internet Explorer exposes an Uninstall button; click on that.

IE Uninstall button

Windows will then look like it's uninstalling Internet Explorer, displaying a progress bar near the top of the page.

Uninstall progress

When it's done, you can close the Settings app.

Note that I said it appears to be uninstalling IE. In fact, even when the process is done and you've closed the Settings app, Internet Explorer has not been completely uninstalled.

You must reboot. On return from the reboot, Internet Explorer will no longer be present.

If that's all you wanted, you're done, though you may want to read some the additional notes below on exactly what has and has not been uninstalled.

Reinstalling Internet Explorer in Windows 10

The process to reinstall Internet Explorer starts the same way as the uninstall, shown above: open the Settings app, click on Apps, and click on Manage optional features. This time, when you get to the optional features list, click on Add a feature.

Add a feature link

This resulting page will take a few seconds to populate a list of available features. Once complete, scroll down until you find Internet Explorer. Click on it and then click on the Install button.

Internet Explorer install button

Unlike the uninstall process, you do need to click the back arrow at the top of the page to return to the “Manage optional features” page. Then, like the uninstall process, Windows will display a progress bar at the top of the list.

Install progress

And, once again like the uninstall, you must reboot for the changes to take effect.

What you're really uninstalling

Not all portions of Internet Explorer can be uninstalled, because, as I mentioned above, Internet Explorer is so tightly woven into Windows.

So, what's being uninstalled and reinstalled?

My belief is that it's mostly about the user interface — those portions of Internet Explorer you can actually see and interact with are removed or reinstalled. The “guts”, if you will, remain.

Those portions of Internet Explorer used to render web pages, for example, are key components not just of Windows, but of other applications as well. They may not display their information in a web browser, but still use the same technology as webpages. The guts of Internet Explorer are used to display it in whatever window or context the applications choose.

The result is that uninstalling and reinstalling may not solve the same broad spectrum of issues that, say, uninstalling a completely stand-alone browser like Chrome or Firefox might. Only a reinstall of Windows itself would do that. Even so, many of the issues we experience with Internet Explorer and browsers in general do revolve around the user interface, so it remains a valuable debugging and diagnostic technique.

Related Links & Comments: How Do I Uninstall and Reinstall Internet Explorer in Windows 10?

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What External Drive Should I Get?

I frequently recommend you purchase an external hard drive for your backups. Backing up to an external drive is probably the most important first step in getting an overall backup strategy in place.

The inevitable question is, “What external drive should I buy?”

The problem, of course, is that the answer keeps changing. Technology evolves, and as a result, so does my recommendation.

Let me give you a few guidelines, and then a few current (as of this writing) examples.

Continue Reading: What External Drive Should I Get?

What Can a Website I Visit Tell About Me?

When I visit a web site that collects visitor statistics, I understand they can see my IP which will tell them my ISP [Internet Service Provider]
ISP is an acronym for Internet Service Provider. (Not to be confused with IP, which is completely unrelated.)
As the name implies, an ISP is the company or service that provides the physical connection between your home or place of business and the internet. Along with that connection, they may provide additional services such as email, web hosting, or more.
" >ISP, that I have a  Mac, the area where I may live, what browser I use, if I'm new to the site, or if I click information on the site. But can the site collect the following information:
  • My computer name (the name I assigned to my computer)?
  • Profile information???
  • My browsing history (any/all sites I've visited and when) or can they just tell the number of items in my history?
  • Email addresses associated with my computer?

I've reviewed similar questions but I'm not sure I truly understand what information a web server can collect from my connection/browser.

This turns into a fairly complex answer pretty quickly. It's both more and less than you might think.

I'll start by covering what every website sees.

Continue Reading: What Can a Website I Visit Tell About Me?

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Posted: August 14, 2018 in: 2018
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