Downgrade from IE 7 to IE 6

Windows with its tight Internet Explorer integration will not easily and flawlessly allow one to install multiple versions of IE on the same machine. Since we have a need to officially support our application in IE 6, we need to downgrade from IE 7 to IE 6 on our development machines.

The process is fairly straight forward and the system seems to be no worse for wear. There do not appear to be any noticeable problems since the downgrade.

  • Remove IE 7
    • Open Control Panel -> Add or Remove Programs
    • Ensure you are viewing Change or Remove Programs
    • Click Remove on Internet Explorer 7

At this point, it will pop up a dialog box that warns you about other applications that may be broken if you choose to continue. Just say “Yes”, trust me, it’s fine. And then reboot.

After the reboot, the automatic update will try and re-install IE 7 for you because it is a critical update. Manually cancel the update if you see a little yellow shield icon in your system tray.

  • Prevent any further automatic updates
    • Open Control Panel -> Automatic Updates
    • Click on Turn Off Automatic Updates and then OK
    • Open Control Panel -> Internet Options
    • Go to the Advanced tab
    • Uncheck the box for Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates

Now sit back and enjoy the nostalgia of Internet Explorer 6.

Please note: you should do manual updates so that your system stays up to date with patches for the rest of the operating system. This is not difficult, there’s a program shortcut in the Start menu called Windows Update that will guide you through the process of getting critical updates. Just make sure not to include Internet Explorer 7. This can be run once a month on “Patch Tuesday” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_Tuesday which is the second Tuesday of each month when Microsoft releases security patches.

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