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Do I still need Internet Explorer updates if I don't use it?

I never use Internet Explorer or Outlook Express, and therefore have to do
my windows updates manually. Many of the updates have to do with IE, Outlook
Express, etc. and are considered ‘critical’. Do I really need these
updates?

Oh, my, yes. At least for Internet Explorer.

You may think you’re not using it, but you are. Just not where you
expect.

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Outlook Express you’re welcome to write off, I think. If you don’t use it
and you’re certain it’ll never get run by accident, then you’re pretty safe to
ignore those updates. However I also see no harm in taking them, and that’s
what I do.

Internet Explorer (IE) is another mater entirely.

We think of IE as this program we run when we want to browse the internet.
And so it is; it remains the most popular browser on the internet.

“… even if you don’t use Internet Explorer as your
browser, be sure to take all the updates for it.”

But it’s also much more than that.

Or rather, I should say that parts of IE are much more than
that.

One of the early controversies about Windows and IE was Microsoft’s claim
that it could not be removed, that it was too deeply integrated into the operating
system. And so it is … what we call Internet Explorer actually includes
components that are considered a part of Windows itself.

And therein lies the problem: those components within Windows are used by
other applications besides Internet Explorer. I believe that the HTML rendering
engine might be the biggest and most obvious component used by other programs
to display HTML, but there’s nothing that says that’s the only such
component.

So when you fail to take an update to IE you run the risk of not updating
some component of IE that’s being used by other programs. And even though you
don’t use IE as your browser, other programs you do use may well be relying on
those components.

So my recommendation should be fairly obvious by this point: even if you
don’t use Internet Explorer as your browser, be sure to take all the updates
for it. You probably are using IE in ways you hadn’t realized.

Again, this is exactly what I do.

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2 comments on “Do I still need Internet Explorer updates if I don't use it?”

  1. And indeed, the most obvious is that IE is typically the path to doing MS software updates for all of the components you do use…

    Reply
  2. My computer is showing dll errors since windows updated automatically. Internet explorer has been nothing but a problem for me. what can I do about the errors/

    Reply

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