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Uninstalling IE7- updated (and installing)

June 29th 2006 in Uncategorized


The following information is out of date.

The way that we remove IE7 changes depending on what version we are running.

For IE7 Beta 3 and 2, we can remove IE via add/remove programs without turning on “view updates”.  The IE7 public preview and earlier builds, on the other hand, appeared in add/remove programs as a Windows Update, and were only viewable if “view updates” was turned on.

If IE7 does not appear in add/remove programs, the uninstaller path differs depending on what version of the Web browser you are running, as follows:

Beta 3:  %windir%\ie7beta3\spuninst\spuninst.exe
Beta 2:  %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe
Beta 2 Preview – March:  %windir%\$NtUninstallie7b2pmx$\spuninst\spuninst.exe
Beta 2 Preview – January:  %windir%\$NtUninstallie7bet2p$\spuninst\spuninst.exe
Beta 1:  %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta1$\spuninst\spuninst.exe
If the installer starts, but install/uninstall fails to complete, try Safe Mode with Networking Support.

If that doesn’t work, follow the instructions at this URL to remove IE7 via recovery console:

Some software (for example ccleaner) deletes uninstaller directories such as those described above.  Some people may manually delete the folder because they want to save disk space (silly – very silly – if you don’t know what a folder is for, and it seems that most people hit by this problem did not understand the implications of deleting the folder, you should not delete it).  If the uninstaller folder is empty, or has been deleted completely, whether by third party software or manually to preserve disk space, you will not be able to remove IE7 via Add/Remove Programs or the commandline. 

Microsoft have released an Uninstaller Kit which  “Forces uninstall of Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 using default files and settings.   This toolkit will uninstall Internet Explorer 7 Beta 2 using default files and settings from Microsoft. It is only intended for use if normal uninstallation methods failed. See KB 923721 for more information.”


The MS uninstaller will run on releases besides Beta 2, it won’t be an exact uninstall because other releases backed up a slightly different set of files and reg keys than beta 2.  Therefore, it is not recommended that the uninstaller be used with anything other than Beta 2.

Regarding the error message “Error message: IE7 must be uninstalled from the User Account that installed it”, there are two suggested fixes, both involving the same registry key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer

Right click the Internet Explorer folder in the left pane, and try the following:

Create a DWORD  called “InstalledByUser”.  Set its value to 00000000


Create a new STRING calle “InstalledByUser”.  Set the value to the User account name used to install IE7.

If your computer is part of a domain, and you originally installed IE7 when logged on locally, you will see the error “must be uninstalled from the User Account that installed it”.  The opposite also applies. So, if your system is on a domain, try logging in locally and vice versa.

If you are not running IE7 Beta 2, and if running System Restore does not resolve the situation for you, then your safest choice is to stay with the Preview, or format your PC and install Windows afresh.  Rumour is that if you are in an area of the world that qualified for free technical support for IE7 Beta 3, then the support team *may* remote into your system, and recreate the uninstaller directory for you.  But this is by no means definite.  I’ve seen *one* report by *one* user saying that this is what happened for them.

You will not be able to install any future builds of IE7 while any Beta build is is installed, nor will you be able to run a Repair Install of XP.

Some are suggesting taking a copy of the missing uninstall folder from another PC to replace the lost data, and even offering a folder for download. I cannot recommend that people take this step.  The results are too unpredictable.  Things are a bit less dangerous now that IE7 installs compulsory security patches, but there may still be file type mismatches that could mess things up.

Putting aside the question of whether or not it is legal to redistribute MS files in such a way, the danger of sourcing a replacement uninstall folder from third parties is:

1.  Potential for system damage (immediately obvious or appearing later) thanks to DLL Soup.
2.  Potential exposure to hostile assembly hacking, or viruses or trojans.

The golden rule when working with betas is that you should not install them if you are not willing or able to reformat the machine on which it is being installed.

Regarding the warning that appears when we uninstall IE7 mentioning programs that may stop working if IE7 is removed, that warning is related to the dangers discussed here.  I agree, the warning is confusing too many users and I am inclined to feel that the warning should be removed as too confusing/frightening.  I’ll be interested in your feedback on that.

One last hint, if you are uninstalling a previous beta of IE7 in preparation for installing Beta 3, please reboot TWICE… yes, TWICE.  It *does* make a difference.  That is because on first boot after uninstalling IE7 there are several processes that occur before Windows finishes loading.  Sometimes things don’t *quite* get cleaned up properly, and that second boot ensures that we’re working with as clean a slate as possible and that there are no left over tasks hanging around that may mess things up.

Before installing IE7 (and before *uninstalling*), it is important to complete the following steps.

  1. Set a restore point (just in case)
  2. Disable antivirus, antispyware, crashguards etc.
  3. Shut down all other running programmes (except for firewall) – that includes Messenger, Windows Defender, OneCare – don’t forget to exit via systray icons as well.
  4. Turn off Automatic Updates until you have uninstalled all you want, rebooted twice, installed what you want and rebooted twice – once you’ve done that, turn Automatic Updates back on (believe me, you’ll thank me later)

A piece of good news is that IE7 Beta 3 will remember previous Web Feed subscriptions and settings.

10 comments to...
“Uninstalling IE7- updated (and installing)”

Matthew Leib

Thanks for the DWord value hint, that solved my problem. None of my installed user accounts would allow me to uninstall the beta two version.


%windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe was deleted ,now isn’t find it ,do you Offering it to me ,thank you.


the spunist.exe in %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\ is lost anyway, while the others r still there, can u give me some suggestions?


Can some give me folder: %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe because my user account is deleted. Ccleaner delete %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe and I cant uninstall ie7 beta2


Can some give me folder: %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe because my user account is deleted. Ccleaner delete %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe and I cant uninstall ie7 beta2


I need allso the folder: %windir%\$NtUninstallie7beta2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe because I cant uninstall ie7 beta2


I too need the $NtUninstallie7beta2$ folder.

Chris Milligan

OK, I followed the instructions and uninstalled MSIE 7. Now when I try to get to a page in my old version of MSIE, I still can’t get any pages to load.

Oy vey.

Edmund Singleton

Some of us do not feel compentent enough to mess around with the registry…


Hi, I too need the $NtUninstallie7beta2$ folder. what ? :S

Lots of people said Internet Explorer Beta 3 would not be released until August… they were wrong!!!!
IE7 Beta 3 has been released and is available for download now at the Internet Explorer Home Site, and at www.microsoft.com/downloads.
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