How to Turn Off IE Automatic Updates

Test Automation Published on:
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For all you fellow IE weirdos that can only run your applications against older version of IE9 or IE10 but have test machines that are consistently updating your browser to IE 11, this one is for you.

I've recently been working on a project that actually requires that our super new AngularJs, HTML 5 application is supported on IE9 and IE 10 only. Weird, right? Why not just create a cool ActiveX-based or Flash application instead (sarcasm)?

Anyway, I can't really get into the details of why this ridiculous requirement is in place; the issue being that due to a corporate policy all our test lab machines have Install updates automatically enabled on them, which — no matter how many times you uninstall IE 11 automatically — reverts back to 11 due to an automatic update. Grrrrrr!

The other issue is that only super administrators can set the machines to change this setting. Short of getting approval from the CEO and signing over the rights to my firstborn child, there's no way I can get an admin to change this for me. So what to do?

If you're an IE weirdo like me and need this functionality, this is what worked for me: the Internet Explorer 11 Blocker Toolkit. The toolkit allows you to disable automatic delivery of Internet Explorer as an important class update via the Automatic Updates feature found in Windows. And the bonus is that you don't need to be a machine admin to install it.

All you need to do is download the IE11_BlockerToolket.exe, extract it, and dbl click on the IE11_Blocker.cmd file:

This will create a registry key and sets its value to block (or unblock) automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 11. The key created is:

Registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Setup\11.0

Key value name:

Value Result
Key is not defined Distribution is not blocked.
0 Distribution is not blocked.
1 Distribution is blocked.

How to uninstall IE 11

If you need to uninstall IE 11, all you need to do is the following:

  • Navigate to your Control Panel
  • Under Programs,
    click on Uninstall a program
  • Under the Programs and Features area, click on View installed updates
  • Under the Installed Updates, find the Internet Explorer 11 and click on the Uninstall button.
  • Reboot your machine. Your computer should now have the previously-installed version of IE.
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