How to Install Internet Explorer on Windows

by Aaron Parson

Microsoft's Web browser, Internet Explorer, installs automatically as part of Windows, so most people never need to install it manually. To replace the browser after someone uninstalled it, either re-enable it in the system settings or download a new copy, depending on your version of Windows. In many cases, however, Windows still has the browser installed even if its desktop icon goes missing: Try searching for it by pressing the "Windows" key and typing "Internet Explorer."

Internet Explorer for Windows 8

You can't truly uninstall or reinstall Internet Explorer on Windows 8 or 8.1, but there is a toggle in the system settings to turn it off or on, which serves the same purpose in practice. To re-enable IE, press "Windows-W" to open the search screen for settings. Search for "features" (without quotes) and choose "Turn Windows Features On or Off." Check the box next to "Internet Explorer 11," (or "Internet Explorer 10" if you don't have the 8.1 update) press "OK" and reboot your computer if prompted.

Internet Explorer for Older Systems

To install Internet Explorer on Windows 7 or an older version of Windows, download its installer for free from Microsoft's website (links in Resources). Windows 7 can run Internet Explorer 11, while Windows Vista needs version 9. After the installation program downloads, run it to install the browser -- if the installer doesn't show up on your desktop, check the Downloads folder in your Windows user folder. When the installer finishes, it prompts you to reboot your computer before you can use Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer Updates

You don't need to install a new copy of Internet Explorer to update it. If you have automatic updates turned on, your system takes care of Internet Explorer updates as well. If not, run Windows Update manually -- press the "Windows" key and search for "Windows Update" (without quotes) to find it.

About the Author

Aaron Parson has been writing about electronics, software and games since 2006, contributing to several technology websites and working with NewsHour Productions. Parson holds a Bachelor of Arts from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Wash.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Omar Havana/Getty Images News/Getty Images