Installing IE8


My name is Jane Maliouta and I’m the program manager for IE8 Deployment and Management.

When you install Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 there are a few important things to do before you start. First, I recommend you review the system requirements to make sure IE8 is supported on your computer. Second, take a look at the IE8 Release notes to find known issues and workarounds, so you’ll know what to expect during installation. Third, if the installation fails, we have a knowledge base article on Troubleshooting IE8 installation that guides you through a few workarounds.

Here is some additional information that you might find useful when installing IE8.

Which platforms can I install IE8 on?

IE8 is supported on the following operating systems:

  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Vista SP1 (final version only - Currently available to MSDN and TechNet Plus subscribers and Volume License customers)
  • Windows XP SP2
  • Windows XP SP3 (RC2 candidate - Build 3311 or higher)
  • Windows XP Professional x64 Edition
  • Windows Server 2003 SP2
  • Windows Server 2008 (final version only)

IE8 is not supported on pre-release versions of Vista SP1 and XP SP3. When installing on earlier builds of Vista SP1, IE8 just won’t install and you will see this error “The installation does not support your operating system’s current Service Pack version.” When installing on earlier builds of XP SP3, the wizard will proceed but your system will be missing KB946501 which is required for IE8, and hence, your installation will be terminated.

What Operating System languages can IE8 be installed on?

The IE8 beta is currently available in English only. You can install it on any supported localized operating system. For example, if you are running German Windows Vista, you can install IE8. When you switch between languages in the Windows Vista UI, IE8 will continue to appear in English.

How can I tell if I successfully installed IE8?

After IE8 installation is complete, the final screen of the Install Wizard indicates that Internet Explorer installation completed successfully.

After you restart your computer and launch Internet Explorer, you can open the Help->About Internet Explorer dialog to see the version number 8.0.6001.17184

How do I uninstall IE8?

On Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 Platforms:

  • Open the Windows Control Panel and click Add or Remove Programs
  • Select Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 and click Remove
  • Your computer will be reverted to IE6 + previous IE6 security updates or IE7 + previous IE7 security updates
  • You can confirm that by going to Tools->Help About next time you launch IE
  • Be sure to check for any new security updates

Add/Remove Progams screen for uninstall of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003

On Vista or Windows Server 2008 Platforms:

  • Open Control Panel and click Programs
    • Click Programs and Features, and click View installed updates, and then select Windows Internet Explorer 8
    • Click Uninstall this update
  • Your machine will be reverted to IE7 + previous IE7 security updates
  • You can confirm that by going to Tools->Help About next time you launch IE
  • Be sure to check for any new security updates

Uninstall or Change a Program Screen for Vista

Uninstall an Update Screen for Vista

Are there any required updates for IE8?

There are 2 required updates for IE8:

  • KB943302 –This update is required for Vista RTM installs only. It will be installed for you automatically as long as you leave the “Install the latest updates” option checked when going through the Setup Wizard.

If this update is not on your computer when you try to launch IE8, you will be prompted to manually install this KB.

  • KB946501 –This update is required for multi-core XPSP2 x86 computers only. Similar to the one above, this update will be installed for you automatically as long as you keep the “Install the latest updates” option checked when going through the Install Wizard.

If this update fails to install or you unselect the checkbox, you will not be able to install IE8 until this update is on the computer.

You can find out more about updates that get installed during IE8 setup from knowledge base article KB948564.

What do I do when I run into issues installing IE8?

Check out the knowledge base article on Troubleshooting IE8 installation. If after trying the recommended workarounds you still can’t install IE8, go to the IE Beta Newsgroup to see if there are any known solutions available. Microsoft MVPs and IE Team members are monitoring this newsgroup and they will help address your issues.

Thank you,

Jane Maliouta
Program Manager

Edit: Updated "Operating" system; updated KB number to KB948564

Comments (52)
  1. Colin Barnhorst says:

    Hi, Jane.

    This is a nicely written piece that makes me a lot more comfortable trying out IE8 beta.  Thank you very much!

  2. Chris Hughes says:

    Will wait for Vista SP1 and then get IE8 on,

    thanks everyone

  3. Rex says:


    The keyboard shortcut for IE developer tools is whacky (claims in the tool tip, ALT+Y), but that only highlights the blue arrow… you then have to press Enter to get it to open, at which point ALT+Y won’t minimize/close it.

    When you drag a tab… you can only drag it to the tab row.  You can’t drag it to the bookmarks bar (which would be highly intuitive).  Note, you can do this in other browsers.

    Still can’t close the last tab with a middle click.  You need to open a new tab, then close the original.

    Can’t drag a bookmark to the favorites bar if it duplicates an existing url.  (this is really painful, when you want to add a link, then modify it)

  4. Tom says:

    Is it any surprise that Microsoft neglects to release new versions of Internet Explorer to mac users, preventing them from getting jobs?  UniCru requires IE in order to apply for many jobs today, and mac users are told to find a windows PC in order to find work.

    See this Mozilla bug report:

    Since UniCru only supports IE on Windows or Mac (and Netscape, but only on Windows), some form of transaction where UniCru is mentally "slow" or Microsoft is working SHADY BACK ROOM DEALS WITH UNICRU TO KEEP MAC USERS JOBLESS.  I fear the latter.

  5. Is there an available [free] VPC image of a system running IE8 like there are for some other IE versions?

  6. Tino Zijdel says:

    Tom: isn’t that clearly an issue of the UniCru website? You should complain to them instead of here. I don’t think you really miss out on anything not having IE available on the Mac since most alternative browsers are technically superior… (that’s probably considered blasphemy  on this blog :P).

    Although it is very natural for users to blame the browser software when a site doesn’t work (as expected), it is usually just lousy programming on the site’s end…

  7. Shadoz says:

    Is IE8 beta1 really that stable – anybody have experience using it ?

  8. Ellie says:

    I tried installing IE8 beta today, on a Windows XP, SP2 machine. After being asked to install 4 different updates, I gave up. Does it have to be so difficult?

  9. I have a question, if I download and install the Vista x64 version of IE8, will it only replace the 64-bit version of IE7, or will it replace both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions?

  10. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Matt Freedman: Installing the 64bit package installs both 64 and 32bit versions of IE, so yes, both 64bit and 32bit IE will be version 8.

  11. @EricLaw: Thanks! I was sorta hoping it would only install the 64-bit version, so I could continue using IE7 (in case of any problems with the beta), but this way makes more sense.

  12. Travis says:


    IE8 is pretty stable, but the "web" is not quite ready for it yet (it still expects IE to be badly broken – since over the past year, they gave no details about what they planned to fix!)

    There’s still a lot of bugs from IE7, and IE6 still in there, and there are new ones in IE8 too.

    If you are a developer wanting to test out your sites, I would advise to download the Virtual PC, and give it a run… but if you are just an end user/Internet surfer… wait till there is a stable build with more fixes, and an on-the-fly 7 vs. 8 switcher built in.

    Right now, there are waaaaaay to many sites that choke on IE8 to use it as a full time browser.  Considering developers have only had a week to investigate it, I wouldn’t expect a lot of sites to be updated to work with IE8 for another 2 weeks or so.

  13. Kurzbeschreibung: Optionales Update, das ein Problem auf Multicore (Dual Core / Quad Core / Mehrkern)-Computern mit Windows XP Service Pack 2 beheben soll, durch das Programmfenster bei aktivierter Sprachenleiste beim Schließen abstürzen können. Sieh

  14. Eralper says:


    This is a nice blog covering installations topics and faq on IE8 setup.

    Thanks Jane.

    I’m also writing my experiences with Windows Internet Explorer 8 in my blog at

    Also you can find installation screenshots in  photo gallery titled "Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1Windows Internet Explorer 8 Beta 1 Installation Screenshots" at

  15. anonymous says:

    Like a moron, I’m requesting Windows 2000 SP4 support. Why not just ask the users and see the unianimous "YES" for Windows 2000? Even the Silverlight team is supporting it on Windows 2000. Please do the necessary architectural changes but please support it on Windows 2000. Firefox 3.0 runs on it and Opera 9.5 even runs on Windows 95.

  16. Laurent V. says:

    Yes, win2K support is, once again, heavily requested.

    Please help the web to get rid of IE6. Without a IE8 version on win2K, we will have to keep creating multiple IE website instead of a single cross-browser website. Creating a standard website and then applying IE8 bugs workaround, IE7 bugs workaround and IE6 hacks around bugs (yeah hacks) is just painfull.

    Since win2K is supported by Microsoft until 2015, do you really expect webdevs to support IE6 for the next 7 years ? This is madness.

  17. Shresht says:

    Or else you could create a "Win 2k version"  which need not have things like protected mode or other features,  but at least has the sort of standards support included in IE8.

  18. sonicdoommario says:

    Laurent – Win2k only has around 2.5% of the OS market share, so it shouldn’t be a biggie. Blame schools who still infest their buildings with Windows 98 and XP machines with IE6.

    Wouldn’t it be possible to release a rendering engine update for IE6 and 7?

  19. Shresht says:

    Well, if no sites work on Ie6, they would be forced to upgrade…

  20. gabe says:

    by the time ie8 is released ie6 marketshare will probably be less then 10 percent

  21. Blocked Access says:

    I am being blocked when I try to add a bug at the bug tracking site Feedback.

    Can someone please explain how I get access?  I have sent join for access but have no reply for access yet.

  22. Daniel says:

    From the list of supported operating systems; Am I wrong or will IE8 be installable on every OS IE7 was installable as well?

  23. gabe says:

    Daniel you are right ie8 will install on all computers that can support ie7

  24. Stanley says:

    @Blocked Access

    I’m with you brother!  Tired of the shenanigans!

    Just open up the public bug tracking site already!

    If you get unruly users, warn them, (a-la Soccer’s Yellow Card), then if they don’t shape up, block them (e.g. Red Card).

    But your current process of "Lets block all the developers that want to submit serious bugs and regressions BEFORE we lock the code base", makes no sense at all!

    In fact, it looks a lot like the gosh darn monopolistic attitude that some companies are famous for! (not mentioning any names of course)

  25. Will Peavy says:

    @Tom "UniCru requires IE"

    Have you tried spoofing your user-agent string?

  26. gabe says:

    i have a nice idea since all the ie tabs are separate processes now why cant i change the volume for each tab

    this way i could have my favorite music playing in one tab and have other tabs muted while browsing

  27. Daniel says:

    Thanks, gabe. This is great. Now we can do as if IE7 never existed 😉

  28. greg says:

    I think you are all putting the cart before the horse.  A web browser is to browse the web and therefore should work with the sites that are out there.

    The idea of making a browser that everyone has to alter their sites to suit your browser is backwards.  I have gone back to IE6 the reason being is I want a browser to work with the web sites I am viewing.  No wonder they are saying firefox etc is better it is a browser made to view the web that is in existence now.

  29. mike says:

    For my website How secure is the ie. I probably wait a few months before I upgrade. I hate to download new things when they first come out. I would like to know for my audience

  30. Daniel says:

    @greg: IE8 will actually unbreak many sites. It will hurt for a while, yes, but long-term it#s the best solution. other browsers are are proof of concept for this.

  31. I have installed Vista Ultimate and know IE7 done work anymore. I have to use Fire Fox what I have to done. I would re installed IE7 but I could not fond I version for Vista. Could you help me further.

    my emailadres is

    Thanks and regards

  32. Jane [MSFT] says:


    Fred, you mentioned that IE7 does not work anymore after you installed Vista Ultimate. What do you mean by IE7 does not work anymore? Does it not launch? What OS were you running before and did it have IE7 on it?

    I recommend you try starting IE7 in no add-ons mode to see if that fixes the problem. You can also try resetting IE settings on Advanced Panel of Tools->Internet Options.

  33. Evan W says:

    Still waiting for Internet Explorer’s *PUBLIC* bug tracking!!!!



    Question: "How many years does it take Microsoft to open up a PUBLIC bug tracking system for IE?"

    Answer: "FIVE years AND COUNTING!"


    If you didn’t laugh, don’t worry.  It[1] isn’t funny.

    [1] It == Situation with no public bug tracking for IE.

  34. Bill says:

    A general comment about this blog and the posts here.

    If blue (#0066aa) is your hyperlink color then for usability you should not use it for any other titles etc. on your page that are not hyperlinks.

    This blog fails because the right hand side is chock full of blue titles, which are also (#0066aa) both of which are not underlined.

    The titles in this post are at least a shade different in blue (#0080ff), but they shouldn’t be blue at all.

    Its a minor thing but when MS is trying to put a professional image forward for Web Developers a few basic usability issues being addressed would go a long way to indicating some level of commitment to the community at large.

  35. Nidonocu says:

    Will it be safe to upgrade to Vista SP1 from Vista RTM with IE8 installed or should we uninstall IE8, upgrade and then reinstall?

  36. Aaargh! says:

    Why no Mac or Linux versions ?

    All relevant browsers are multi-platform, why not IE ?

  37. jLl says:

    Considering that it is still a beta, does it actually override an installation of a previous version?

    As far as I can tell, IE7 is hosed if I try to install IE8b1. Which, if that’s the case, would be extremely annoying.

  38. Mmh, I tried it on WinXP but it didn´t worked. The setup closed immediately and nothing happend then. I tried it 3 times, then i gave it up -.-

  39. Jane [MSFT] says:

    @ Nidonocu: We recommend you uninstall IE8 prior to upgrading to Vista SP1, and then re-install it after SP1 is on your machine.

    @jLi: IE8 Setup will backup IE7 in the uninstall directory and if you choose to uninstall IE8, you will be reverted back to IE7. If you are experiencing different behavior, please seek help in the IE8 Beta newsgroup:

    @Andreas: Do you get an error message when trying to install IE8? Please make sure you are running XP SP2 on your machine and you have downloaded the correct IE8 package (the one for Win XPSP2).



  40. Theo says:

    @Aaargh! asked "Why no Mac or Linux versions ?"

    Maybe because Linux has negligible market share, and Mac has been shown (by the firefox team) to do tricks to ensure that other browsers are at a disadvantage vs their native Safari?

    Windows ownz.

  41. Michael says:

    I tried installing it, and everything went ok.  The installer said "Internet Explorer has been successfully installed…"  But when I tried to find the icon to launch it, I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I couldn’t even find IE7.  Somehow both of them got wiped entirely off my computer.  I even searched through Program Files, WINDOWS, system32, etc. and found nothing.  Is this some type of glitch or is my computer acting weird?  I’m running Windows XP SP2, fully updated and patched.

  42. D A says:

    Michael, have you tried to run IE via the Start->Run… then type "iexplore"? Also, I’d try to install it one more time.


  43. Alex says:

    Is there any way to manually uninstall IE8 without using the Program & Features dialog? I don’t see IE8 listed in there.

  44. SebasC says:

    Well uhmm i CANT remove IE8 Beta 1… i have Windows XP SP3 but there is absolutly no REMOVE button to push and remove it…

  45. @Ottmar Freudenberger

    thanks very much for the link to the VPC image

  46. Leon says:


    Would it be posebil for you guys to make a portable version of IE8 ? .. i reggen it would help alot of people have multiply versions of IE.

    Eg. I personaly like IE6, while i would to have a IE8 to test with.


  47. Michael says:

    ok, I reinstalled IE7, then IE8, the folder is there now.  No icons though, I used Winkey+R -> iexplore to start it.  But, every time I start it, "an error has occurred"

  48. Hansjörg says:

    But the download links are invalidated. So can not download. No easte bunny for me this year.

  49. Geld Lenen says:

    Hansjörg, just search for it on the web. You can find it for sure!

  50. Asuka's Blog says:

    最近做上了微软官方社区XP版面的版主后,发现大家问得最多的问题就是XP SP3和IE8,看来我们的技术爱好者对于新技术还是很关心的,今天早上看到了篇IE官方Blog上的文章,说明了当从XP SP2升级到SP3后,IE的版本问题以及相关卸载的问题。

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