Downgrading IE9 to IE8 on a Windows 7 x64 box

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Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Veteran in computer systems, malware removal and ransomware topics.  I have been working in the field since 1985.
I had to do a bit of research to find the answer to this question so I thought I'd share my results.  Due to our outdated mainframe systems, we need to downgrade IE9 to IE8 in order to stay compatible.  We also needed to downgrade Java.  In order to this on a new machine from Dell, I logged into the profile and did the following:

NOTE: before doing any of these steps it is highly suggested you install an alternate browser and backup your system.

Open the Control Panels
Click on Uninstall a Program in the category view
Click on View Installed Updates
navigate down to the Internet Explorer 9 update (near the bottom) - This is there on new systems
Double click to remove the update, say OK to the prompt

When the update has been uninstalled it will ask you to reboot, do so.  After the reboot make sure you have IE8 which is located in c:\program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer.  

Note that it is very important that the downgrade be done this way or you may lose all internet functionality.  DO NOT use Turn Windows Features on and off!!!  You can uncheck IE9 this way but it will not revert to IE8.  If you follow the steps above after the reboot you will have reverted to IE8.

A not so drastic step to alleviate the same problem is to turn on compatibility mode in IE9.  This will allow you to either view all websites as if you were using an earlier version of IE or to add specific websites which you need to view in an earlier version of IE.  I found this information fairly easily and the authors should be credited, so if you want specific instructions for turning compatibility mode on or off check out http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1196-internet-explorer-compatibility-view-turn-off.html.  Also this site give instructions on viewing all sites in compatibility mode  or downloading a registry file to enable or disable this http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/1220-internet-explorer-compatilbility-view-all-websites.html.

Expert Comment

Unfortunately, Windows automatically upgraded me back to IE9 then rebooted the computer.  Nice.
LVL 31

Author Comment

by:Thomas Zucker-Scharff
Sorry to hear that.  Try the compatibility steps referenced at the end of the article.

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