When each new version of Microsoft Internet Explorer is released, it causes headaches in I.T. departments all over the world. While new versions often bring with them security enhancements and a host of new features, this is not always something that is necessarily welcome when the current version is running smoothly. Because with an updated Internet Explorer, quite often a host of new compatibility and stability issues also follow causing untold problems and extra work for administrator’s. If the current version isn’t broken, why would you want a new version that in all probability will break something?
The problem here is that Microsoft usually doesn’t take too long to start pushing out these updates as ‘High Priority Updates’ which are then in danger of being installed automatically. If Automatic updates are enabled, there will be little choice and the update will get installed. Whether you are an administrator for a company or a home/small business with a network, quite often you want to be in control of when to decide when something like this is deployed.
Microsoft have actually recognized this fact, and as a consequence have some tools available to enable the blocking of Internet Explorer as a high priority class update via Automatic Updates and the Windows Update/Microsoft Update sites. There is a version for Windows XP and Server 2003 which prevents the update to IE 7, one for blocking IE 8 which works on Windows XP, Server 2003/2008 and Vista, and a tool for blocking IE 9 on Windows Vista, 7 and Server 2008.
Once you download and extract the package you will see that it is a command line tool. Simply open a command prompt call the script with the ‘/b’ argument if you only want to block the update on the local machine, or ‘computername /b’ for a remote location. The reverse can also be accomplished by substituting ‘/b’ for ‘/u’.
IE80Blocker.cmd remotecomputername /b
IE80Blocker.cmd remotecomputername /u
Alternatively you can simply create a registry key that will block the install which is what the script does. It is located under these keys:
The key name is: DoNotAllowIE70, DoNotAllowIE80 or DoNotAllowIE90 depending on the version to block. Setting this value to 1 blocks the install, setting to 0 allows the install.
If you are uncomfortable modifying your registry, IntelliAdmin has created a free tool to make the changes for you. Download, install and run the Network Administrator Tool.
1. Select the action to perform, find and click on the ‘Automatic install Blocker’ from the list, click Next. You have the option to block IE 7, 8 and 9.
2. Select the computer(s) to perform the block on. Enter the local computer name to affect just that one or find the remote machine through the browse window. Enter any needed authentication details in the step 3 area. Then simply click ‘Execute‘ to insert the registry entries.