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Do I Need to Install IE 11?


Hi, Leo. My computer’s an HP Pavilion Slimline desktop PC. My operating system is Windows 7, Home Premium, 64-bit, Service Pack 1. I noticed in the last Windows Update, Internet Explorer 11 was included. IE 11 was included in the important updates. Now, I remember IE 10 was an optional update. Do I need to install IE 11? I’m still using IE 9. Would I have to install IE 10 before I install IE 11?

Let me answer the last part first: no, you won’t need to install IE 10 before IE 11. Windows Update would actually show you IE 10, if that was what you needed first.

Instead, as you noted, IE 11 is included immediately with Windows Update. Now, I’m not really sure what the criteria for important or optional might be according to Microsoft, but in general, my tendency would be to take the update.

I want to talk a little bit about why you should take the update, and my theory on why it changed from “optional” to “important”.

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Taking the update

In general, I recommend always taking the latest Internet Explorer update.

These days, the number of people who report problems due to the update is significantly smaller than it has been in the past. In the past, Internet Explorer had some rocky updates, and in some ways it got a bad reputation because of that. These days it’s actually pretty good.

As with any product, some small number of people are absolutely going to have issues. But for the vast majority of people it is indeed a safe upgrade.

The reason I recommend always updating to the latest IE is actually twofold: one, Internet Explorer has fundamentally become a better browser. It’s more standards-compliant and it’s faster than previous versions.

Second, new updates are more secure. Updates simply include more security fixes or design changes, not all of which get applied as patches to the older versions.

Internet Explorer 11Important versus optional

Now that’s actually one of the reasons that I think that “important” and “optional” may have gotten changed. The update from IE 9 to 10 was really more about Windows 8 than anything else. For people not using Windows 8, there probably wasn’t a tremendous amount of value to the update. Hence, it was optional. And you’ll notice that IE 10 is what was included in Windows 8. I think that’s specifically why IE 10 exists.

The update from 10 to 11 however, isn’t really as much about adding support for a new version of Windows as it is about improving the browser overall. IE 11 is better; it’s more secure; and it’s probably got some bug fixes that the simple transition from 9 to 10 didn’t have.

As a result, the transition from 10 to 11 or from 9 to 11 becomes more … “important”.

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22 comments on “Do I Need to Install IE 11?”

  1. Too many people have complained about 2 things:
    compatibility issues, including that, by some amazing anomaly, IE 11 doesn’t even work with Microsoft websites. But, now that I think about it, it’s probably some garbage like McAfee/Norton/AVG toolbar or something. But, we can always use compatibility view or F12 developer tools. No problem.

    What annoyed me about the IE 11 preview (which comes in between the beta and final) is not so much that 64-bit tabs were a separate EPM option, but that it ran 64-bit half the time: used 64-bit tabs, and used 32-bit tabs. Until I hear otherwise about the final release, I’m sticking with IE 10 on Windows 7. I know that shouldn’t annoy me as much as it should, but it does.

    • So I decided to try IE 11 after seeing it run on another computer. I can say that, for whatever reason, on Windows 7 with service pack 1, it does not have nearly as many of the bugs it does on Windows 8.1. Thankfully, it is free of the EPM functionally I mentioned above and just works like it does on IE 10.

  2. I recently installed IE11 but I hardly ever use it. My browser of choice is Firefox and I also have Chrome. IE11 has too many compatibility issues on too many websites for me to recommend it. But it used to be (and I’m guessing it still applies) that many third party programs have a dependency upon some of the dynamic link libraries (DLL’s) that are delivered with IE. And I’m also guessing that’s why you can’t really uninstall IE, just turn it on or off in Windows Features. Since IE11 is supposed to be a much more secure iteration, install it. If it doesn’t work revert back to IE10 or leave it installed and use a different browser.

  3. I find this very interesting as I have a compatibility problems with IE11 and Adobe flash player. Ever since I down loaded IE11 my browser does not work with certain websites that require Adobe, I have tried everything I can think even uninstalling Adobe and then downloading and reinstalling the latest version but to no avail. I have tried to redownload IE10 but my pc wont allow this. Please help.

    • I once had Chrome installed and Flash player often crashed with that too, or wouldn’t re-install, so not just specifically a problem with IE. I have been prompted to download Silverlight, Abode Air and Abode reader in conjunction with Flash Player, and again before installing IE or Chrome, because I am positive that is where the conflict lies – Fash before IE and/or Flash before Chrome install.

  4. Briefly, after e11 (windows 7 os) update we couldn’t remotely access my ladies office site. After deleting e11 and going back to e10 we realized e11 was the culprit. This of course after a couple of hours trying all sorts of ideas. Any ideas on what to do? Should we do anything? Neither of can be considered really computer savvy.

  5. I think we should install IE 10 and 11 after some careful considerations. I will just give one simple example and many others can be found (I work with lots of systems involving VPNs and virtual networks).

    If you use a Citrix web plug or a Citrix receiver, the VPN or virtual system might not launch from IE10/11 .

  6. I have found that there are”multiple” compatibility issues when Microsoft updates upgrades to IE9 or higher.Therefore I have lately been” required” to uninstall all IE upgrades above IE 8 I have to uninstall Ie 9 or 10 and Hide thes updates in Microsoft Updates

  7. I typically recommend updating anything as important as a web browser. But IE 11 has its share of issues with Compatibility even more so then IE 10. Of course IE keeps losing ground to Chrome and frankly IE is a mess with its most recent browser releases IE 10 and IE 11 only working on Windows 7 and Windows 8. My company has been reluctant to embrace upgrades in IE as many companies are. I think many of their PC’s still run Windows XP pro. So not a lot of options for them other then spend money to upgrade OS or move on to another browser. This forces me to stay with a older version of IE and use a browser like Chrome for my personal web browsing. I think the whole confusing of what version of IE works with what Windows OS has just been magnified of late. The other trouble with IE compatibility with sites has been the sites themselves. If they see more IE 8 users then IE 11 users. Why would they focus on making sure their site works with the least popular browser? I typically tell people to just use the most popular browser and things will generally work better. If that’s IE 8 and Chrome then have both those browsers on your PC. If you want a modern and safest browser then use IE 11 or Chrome. Microsoft has done nothing to fix Compatibility issues in my opinion other then add more confusing to the mix with a multitude of IE versions that have varying degree’s of compatibility. You can’t blame people for using older versions of IE if that’s what works for them. Microsoft should realize that to get people on what is best and most recent. You have to actually make a product that people want and can use.

  8. I recommend that you do have the latest IE web-browser installed, especially if you like to download files and do a little more with your computer than admire its software functions. I don’t get the real difference between running IE 10 or 11 however, because neither differ tremendously in their service provider experience, perhaps only not having the latest web browser could affect system software conflict.

    Useful tips:

    It had taken me some good many days to work out why I could not download/open download of IE 11. To my dismay, I discovered that my
    new comptuer, although a Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit operating system, was not even running (Windows 7 SP1). I have had to download (Windows 7 SP1) seperately onto my system, before being able to download IE 11. Please note: that Windows 7 does not automatically mean that it comes with (SP1). To check if it does or doesn’t, type Command into the search area of your start icon. Mine
    read as Microsoft Windows (6.1.7600) version, which means that you are not running a Windows 7 SP1 operating system – so download
    this for free from Microsoft, ensuring that you have no Antivirus ect blocking downloads. Any downloading of anything that keeps being blocked by windows, can be resolved by going to Internet Options; Security Tab, Custom Level and under ‘downloads’ click enable. I still got security notifications when I downloaded any file from any website in my browser, before installing IE11, yet just had to click on the notification and said okay to download.

    As with compatibility issues, IE 11 does indeed work with all Microsoft websites, but only if you have an up-to-date web browser – IE 11 will not run on your computer if you haven’t even got Windows 7/8 SP 1/2 installed like I didn’t. Also, as most Windows systems run on 64-bit parameters, there are also (automatically) configured 32-bit software components that run in direct conjunction with 64-bit ones. Only ever download internet files that are compatible with your 64-bit operating system or 32-bit if that is your default system is highly recommended, otherwise software conflicts easily arise and you end up tampering with registry keys as I have done in the past, and made things so much worse for myself!. There is a wealth of free download programmes on the Internet, yet very few of these will be virus-free and not run in conjunction with your system, so always make absolutely certain that it isn’t a corrupt file or incompatible with your specific 64-bit or 32-bit operating system.

  9. I installed ie11 3 days ago and after having issues with espn and fantasycast because thats where im at most of time i couldnt see videos and couldnt get fcast up and pops up everwhere and browsers were poppin up on diffrnt tabs saying new latest update for driver etc. ( i have all the latest of everything) runnin win7-64bit and never had this problem since ive had it last 3yrs. Now i had a buddy if mine who wrks in tye feild whos in another state take control of computer and try to fix issue and after 2 days and literally try everything i have to buy a external drive and back up and reinstall everything from scratch. Tyvm IE11. Funny thing is dont even remember installing IE11. Why me? Why? S

  10. I’m still wary of upgrading to IE11 and hide the updates. I accepted the update to IE11 when it first appeared in Windows updates and had to reinstall two of my computers from scratch (both 32 bit Windows 7). It was a total nightmare so I have stuck with IE10 since – I use Firefox and Chrome and IE is just there for Windows updates. I’d like to have the most up to date browser, but anything that can wreck my system and prevent me turning it off and make it crash, is not something I want thank you. I assume this has been fixed now. I might try it on one of our four laptops but I really don’t fancy reinstalling again.

  11. Ok, This might sound silly, but here it goes. I run Windows 8.1 with ie11. My question is, do we really need any explorer at all? Why cant we run or use other browsers and not have explorer loaded at all on the computer. So, do we need Explorer so Chrome works? Or any other browser to work? I understand when Windows is installed, Explorer will be installed also. I wish at the time on a fresh Windows install, they would let us choose which browser we would like to use in which it would be installed and not explorer. Ok, this was my 2 cents.

    • Internet Explorer (that’s Internet Explorer, not plain Explorer) is an integral component of Windows. Some components of Internet Explorer are used by other Windows Processes so it can’t be deleted.

      • By saying Explorer, I meant Internet Explorer. Windows should still give us a choice on which browser we want to use. Internet Explorer 11 always freezes and locks up and I get tired of it.

        • What Mark meant is that you can’t uninstall Internet Explorer. It’s an integral part of the Windows operating system. You can, however, simply ignore it.

          In other words, yes. Microsoft does give you an option to use what ever browser you want. You can always use Chrome. Just install it on your computer and always use it.

    • Components of Internet Explorer are used by other programs on the machine regardless of whether YOU use it. So you cannot uninstall it. But you don’t need to use it.


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