How to Block Internet Explorer From Accessing the Internet
Whatsapp Pinterest
Advertisement

Internet Explorer, the web’s favorite punching bag, has been relegated to an afterthought for most users. While it’s still included in Windows 10 for legacy enterprise purposes, Microsoft now includes Edge as the default Windows browser.

Despite this, you may still wonder how to disable Internet Explorer (IE). Maybe you don’t want other users on your system working in the clunky browser, or just hate it and want to block Internet Explorer from your system.

1. How to Block Internet Explorer From Accessing the Internet Through Windows Firewall

Windows includes a built-in firewall that allows you to control how programs communicate with the internet. You can set up a new rule here to block all connections through Internet Explorer.

To start, search for Windows firewall and open Windows Defender Firewall with Advanced Security. Click Outbound rules on the left panel, then select New Rule from the right side.

Windows Firewall Add Rule

On the resulting Rule Type window, choose Program and hit Next. You’ll then need to browse to the executable file for Internet Explorer.

On a 64-bit installation of Windows 10, you’ll find folders for Internet Explorer in both the Program Files and Program Files (x86) folders. In our testing, blocking the version of IE inside Program Files had no effect, yet blocking the file inside Program Files (x86) blocked both executables from running.

As a result, you should block the following file if you’re on 64-bit Windows:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

If you’re using 32-bit Windows, this will be in the following location:

C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe

Internet Explorer Location Windows Firewall

Moving on, choose to Block the connection and set it to apply to all three of the available location types. Finally, give it a descriptive Name like Block Internet Explorer. You can also set a description if you want.

Once you confirm this, Internet Explorer won’t be able to access anything on the internet.

2. How to Completely Disable Internet Explorer

In case just blocking Internet Explorer from accessing the internet isn’t enough, let’s cover the nuclear option. You can completely disable Internet Explorer on your system, preventing anyone from using it.

As it turns out, you can’t uninstall Windows Internet Explorer like a normal program, since it’s considered part of Windows. Instead, you’ll have to turn it off from the Windows Features menu.

Search for Windows features in the Start menu and select the Turn Windows features on or off entry. This will bring you to a panel with a list of optional features in Windows. Here, uncheck the box for Internet Explorer 11 and click OK.

Remove Internet Explorer Windows 10

Windows will take a moment to remove Internet Explorer, then it will prompt you to restart your computer to complete the process. After a reboot, you won’t see any trace of Internet Explorer on your system.

If you ever need to access IE again, simply repeat this process and check the box for Internet Explorer 11 to re-enable it.

3. Block Internet Explorer Using a Fake Proxy

This is the “classic” method of blocking internet access for Internet Explorer. Windows supports the use of a proxy server to connect to the internet. You can take advantage of this to block all network traffic by pointing your computer to a dummy proxy server.

Unfortunately, this trick has a major drawback. Nearly all other browsers (including Chrome and Firefox) use the proxy settings you’ve chosen for Internet Explorer, meaning that doing this will prevent you from getting online with other browsers too. It’s thus almost too effective, as you’ll need to remove the setting when you want to get online.

To change your proxy settings in Windows 10, head to Settings > Network & Internet > Proxy. Here, disable the Automatically detect settings slider at the top of the page.

Next, go to the bottom and enable Use a proxy server. Set the Address to a dummy value; 0.0.0.0 will work fine. Leave the Port as 80 and click Save.

Windows 10 Change Proxy Settings

After saving, these changes should take effect immediately. To reverse them so you can get back online, just disable the Use a proxy server slider.

Prevent Others From Changing the Proxy

It would be an issue if someone could jump into the Settings app and disable the proxy options you’ve set up. To prevent this, you can block access to these settings.

If you’re using Windows 10 Pro, you can do this using the Group Policy Editor. Type gpedit.msc into the Start menu to open it, then browse to the following object:

User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Internet Explorer > Prevent changing proxy settings

Set this to Enabled and it will block access to the Settings page used above, as well as the proxy settings in the old-school Internet Options section of the Control Panel.

Windows Proxy Settings Blocked

Those without Windows 10 Pro should look at how to access the Group Policy Editor in Windows Home How to Access the Group Policy Editor, Even in Windows Home & Settings to Try How to Access the Group Policy Editor, Even in Windows Home & Settings to Try Group Policy is a power tool that lets you access advanced system settings. We'll show you how to access it or set it up in Windows Home and 5+ powerful Group Policies to boot. Read More . While you can make similar changes via Registry edits instead, they’re a bit clunky for this due to the proxy settings being available in both the Control Panel and Settings app.

4. Use Windows 10’s Family Parental Controls

Windows 10 includes parental control options under the umbrella of “family.” This allows you to restrict what your children can do on the computer. One of the tools it provides is the ability to whitelist and blacklist certain websites using Internet Explorer and Edge.

Windows 10 Parental Control Websites

If you check the Only allows these websites box, you can restrict them to only browsing those pages. Combine this with a blank list, and you’re effectively blocked Internet Explorer from accessing the internet. Of course, this only works for the child’s account, but it’s still useful.

See our guide to Windows 10’s parental controls The Best Windows 10 Parental Control Tools The Best Windows 10 Parental Control Tools Wondering how to make your PC child-friendly? Our Windows 10 parental control tools and advice will help you control kids' computer usage and keep them safe online. Read More to get started with setting up a family.

Setting Up the Right User Account

The above methods are the main ways to disable Internet Explorer and prevent it from getting online. Once you’ve set one of them up, it’s important to make sure the users that you don’t want accessing Internet Explorer can’t change these settings and get right in.

To do that, you’ll want to make sure those account are set up as Standard users, not administrators. Head to Settings > Accounts > Family & other users to review the user accounts on your system and make sure they’re set as Standard accounts.

Windows 10 Change Account Type

Make sure you also understand User Account Control on Windows User Account Control and Administrator Rights on Windows 10 User Account Control and Administrator Rights on Windows 10 Whether you use an Administrator or a Standard Windows account, what matters is your User Account Control security level. Here's what you need to know. Read More . With UAC, admin accounts only run programs as an administrator when necessary. Standard users can’t make system-level changes (such as adjusting firewall rules) without providing administrator credentials.

You’ll know a feature is restricted by UAC when you see the blue and yellow shield next to it. Unfortunately, these aren’t really present in the Settings app, as they mostly appear in the aging Control Panel.

Windows UAC Shields

With the proper methods set up and the right restrictions on user accounts, you’ll have Internet Explorer fully blocked. And there won’t be an easy way for someone else to undo your changes. See our guide to locking down Windows user accounts How to Lock Down Windows User Accounts How to Lock Down Windows User Accounts Letting people use your computer while you're gone could lead to problems. We show you how to restrict Windows features on standard or child accounts so others can't access sensitive info. Read More for more ideas.

Blocking Internet Explorer: Success!

We’ve looked at how to block Internet Explorer from accessing the internet. The firewall method is the best choice for most people, while outright removing it from Windows works too. Whatever you choose, make sure you have the accounts locked down that you don’t want accessing IE in the first place.

Remember that most of these tips are pretty narrow in focus. You may want to review our full guide to parental controls The Complete Guide to Parental Controls The Complete Guide to Parental Controls The world of internet-connected devices can be terrifying for parents. If you have young children, we've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about setting up and using parental controls. Read More for protection on other platforms.

Explore more about: Computer Security, Firewall, Internet Explorer, Parental Control, Proxy, Windows Registry, Windows Tips.

Enjoyed this article? Stay informed by joining our newsletter!

Enter your Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Scott
    June 22, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    Do not do this. Those proxy settings are for the computer as a whole, not just internet explorer. This will not disable internet explorer, it will disable internet and network access for almost everything.

    You should take this article down it's so bad.

  2. RickD
    June 21, 2018 at 4:09 pm

    DANGER! Danger, Will Robinson!!!

    If you implement this procedure: Windoze Update STOPS Working...

    Unless you ALSO take Baz' advice (post of April 22, 2015 at 11:48 am)
    and use his 3 exceptions!

    Buyer Beware!

    RickD

    P.S. Windoze will try to tell you your Firewall is at fault! (LOL)

  3. Tim
    December 4, 2016 at 2:33 am

    Hey there, Im trying this as well, but I cant find the Internet explorer folder in regedit! Any tips?

  4. Daniel
    November 23, 2016 at 8:27 am

    A quick and simple trick to encourage users to use an alternative browser is to first unpin the IE shortcut icon from the Taskbar and delete it from the Desktop. Then locate IE in the Start menu and edit its properties so that it targets a different browser (e.g. Google Chrome). This way when someone clicks on IE, it actually starts Google Chrome instead.

    NOTE: This is only a deterrent, and determined computer savvy users will eventually figure it out and change things back or find some other workaround.

    Here's how:
    1. Right-click on the IE shortcut icon in the Taskbar, and select "Unpin from taskbar"

    2. If there's an IE icon on the Desktop, right-click it and select "Delete"

    3. In the Start menu, locate and right-click on Google Chrome and select "Properties." Do the same for IE, and place the two properties windows side-by-side.

    4. Copy and paste the content of the "Target" and 'Start in" fields from the Google Chrome properties window to the corresponding fields in the IE properties window. (Do NOT click Apply or OK yet).

    5. In the IE properties window, click "Change Icon..." and copy the file path from the "Look for icons in this file" field.

    6. Click "Apply" and then "Close", to close both windows.

    7. If the icon for IE has changed to the Google Chrome icon, (which it probably will have), right-click it and select Properties again.

    8. Click "Change Icon..." and past the copied IE icon file path back into the "Look for icons in this file" field.

    9. Click "Apply" and then "Close", to close the window.

    The IE icon will now look as it should, but when it is clicked it will open Google Chrome instead of IE.

    :-)

  5. Daniel
    November 23, 2016 at 7:22 am

    Google Chrome also no longer works after setting the proxy server settings in IE as described in this article.

  6. Frances
    June 17, 2016 at 11:25 pm

    I disabled Internet Explorer back in October. Haven't looked back since.

  7. ravi teja
    March 6, 2016 at 4:38 pm

    I have read this post bcoz i my IE is opening by itself when i am using chrome but when i have blocked explorer my chrome is not working so please give a solution for my question

  8. Baz
    April 22, 2015 at 11:48 am

    I followed similar to this article, but used GPEDIT.MSC to remove the "Connections" tab.
    You can exclude Windows Update from the block by adding the following exceptions to the proxy settings:
    http://*.update.microsoft.com;
    https://*.update.microsoft.com;
    http://download.windowsupdate.com
    However the whole thing was negated when the user simply "reset" Internet Explorer settings from the "Advanced" tab (LOL).

  9. Terrapin J
    April 5, 2015 at 8:01 pm

    is there a way to script a site to not allow anyone using IE access to it?

    in other words. i run a site i'd rather not allow internet explorer users to be able to gain access to since it is the insecurest browser on gods green earth webwise, so i want to restrict it at the httpdocs root. it is invision boards php driven.

    anyone? anyone?

    thanks

  10. Thomas
    January 28, 2015 at 3:32 am

    But very intriguing artile and I will try still try this!

  11. Thomas
    January 28, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Hi, you cannot get rid of Internet Explorer even if you try. Its a important component of windows that is deep and integral. Other program use Internet Exploror's HTML code and ext to make it work. So it just best to keep it and update it.

    • Terrapin J
      April 5, 2015 at 8:06 pm

      actually you can. filexile and turning off safety features for such and deleting both IE roots. it leaves only the sqmapi.dll and pdmproxy100.dll files in 64 bit folder version intact after you purge them.

      • Peter
        April 26, 2018 at 4:43 am

        I need a better explanation of your workaround. I am having IE getting loaded with crap though I use Mozilla. Have been infected twice. But these other ways don't allow me to use my Viber and Skype which I need to talk to my people in Ukraine! Help!

  12. GIVNBYGRACE
    August 19, 2010 at 9:41 pm

    Caution! Some LAN configurations will not work if you attempt to point IE to a fake proxy server. I believe the best safety strategy when using a Windows-based computer is to keep the IE browser fully updated with strong security settings in place and only use it to perform Microsoft-related updates. Core components of the IE browser package are utilized by non-Microsoft vendors. IE8 is much improved over previous versions and in most cases will not cause problems by simply being on your computer.

  13. darrell thomas
    August 16, 2010 at 2:28 pm

    this dont work as it disables all connects with other web browsers aswell please help

  14. Rabblerawr
    August 14, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I don't know if I'm doing something wrong or what, but on my computer Chrome and IE use the same Internet LAN settings, so if I disable IE from accessing the internet, it stops Chrome as well. Can somebody help me out with this?

  15. GA
    August 14, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Get a firewall! :)

  16. Kevin Ke
    August 14, 2010 at 5:50 am

    Ya, you can completely remove IE, but the best way for you to do is modify your Windows Installation disk. (nLite, vLite and 7Lite got this options).

    @rdube: horror? Unless most of your softwares are IE-based. I tried xp, vista and 7 with IE uninstalled, used them without any probs. If updating via web is a habit, I suggest using WUD.

    For me, I will think twice before using softwares that statically based on IE - if that's not a must.

  17. Rachelle
    August 13, 2010 at 8:39 pm

    I got a horrible virus, which prevented my machine from accessing windows updates and corrupted Windows. Microsoft techs spent 20+ hours trying to find and disable the worm, but ultimately OS is toast. I don't think Windows updates can be installed from other browsers, so please be careful about blocking access. These updates are critical.

  18. qpease
    August 13, 2010 at 2:36 pm

    When we used to use Windows XP at school I did this to prevent those few extra viruses that get downloaded somehow to school computers. Now we use Ubuntu and have not a worry about any of the multitude of problems associated with IE and Windows. I never really liked IE and can't see how so many people are stuck in a rut with this cumbersome web browser.

    • qpease
      August 13, 2010 at 2:46 pm

      Also wanted to mention the headache that IE causes in the design of webpages using strictly html. My daughter designed several webpages for a few organizations this year. The looked beautiful and many people commented how great they were, but the the people using IE called, email, etc. complaining how how everything was garbled. The website had to be tweaked a bit and still not everything was perfectly viewed on IE. We placed a header that read: " This website is view best in any browser other than Internet Explorer". We got a few very happy converts out of this. For me, IE is nothing but a headache. I tried IE8 and still feel it is nothing in comparison to Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.

  19. Nat Jay
    August 13, 2010 at 7:08 am

    I stopped using IE in 2006. What works best for me is to simply block IE from accessing the internet through my firewall (simple firewall settings is all it took). Been using Firefox and Chrome for all online access.

    BTW many of the problems with IE also seem related to people using older versions of that browser -- like IE6 and IE7.

  20. Nat Jay
    August 13, 2010 at 5:08 am

    I stopped using IE in 2006. What works best for me is to simply block IE from accessing the internet through my firewall (simple firewall settings is all it took). Been using Firefox and Chrome for all online access.

    BTW many of the problems with IE also seem related to people using older versions of that browser -- like IE6 and IE7.

  21. Anonymous
    August 13, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Assuming the kids are just habitual in using IE, if you change the default browser and all shortcuts to point to an alternative browser, won't it cover most cases? You could even keep the name and the icon of the shortcuts the same as for IE, but they would instead open the alternative browser. If the kid is determined, he would find a way anyway.

    @Mrcloseencounters, there might be a way to uninstall IE, but not its COM components so that the windows update will not fail.

    • Kevin Ke
      August 14, 2010 at 3:50 am

      Ya, you can completely remove IE, but the best way for you to do is modify your Windows Installation disk. (nLite, vLite and 7Lite got this options).

      @rdube: horror? Unless most of your softwares are IE-based. I tried xp, vista and 7 with IE uninstalled, used them without any probs. If updating via web is a habit, I suggest using WUD.

      For me, I will think twice before using softwares that statically based on IE - if that's not a must.

  22. irha
    August 13, 2010 at 2:53 am

    Assuming the kids are just habitual in using IE, if you change the default browser and all shortcuts to point to an alternative browser, won't it cover most cases? You could even keep the name and the icon of the shortcuts the same as for IE, but they would instead open the alternative browser. If the kid is determined, he would find a way anyway.

    @Mrcloseencounters, there might be a way to uninstall IE, but not its COM components so that the windows update will not fail.

  23. banzai
    August 13, 2010 at 12:02 am

    Am I the only one who has never, NEVER in 10 years of IE use suffered any kind of exploit directly attributible to IE? I prefer IE to any other choice in the list. Microsoft has been slow on web standards, I'll admit, but I find IE to be a smoother, more solid browsing experience than Firefox and better on personal security than Chrome (see: "What Google Knows About You"). That's just my opinion.

  24. bmcgonag
    August 13, 2010 at 1:25 am

    I work in computer repair, and I try so hard to get people to quit using IE, but they just resist and refuse. I don't understand it. Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Chrome are all better browsers.

    I wish I could just go in and disable IE on their machines too, but I'd lose business, adn I guess when you think about it, them using IE probably triples my business.

  25. bmcgonag
    August 12, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    I work in computer repair, and I try so hard to get people to quit using IE, but they just resist and refuse. I don't understand it. Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Chrome are all better browsers.

    I wish I could just go in and disable IE on their machines too, but I'd lose business, adn I guess when you think about it, them using IE probably triples my business.

  26. Anonymous
    August 12, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    Some 3rd party programs also use IE's internet settings, so pointing IE to a dummy proxy server may cause those 3rd party programs to stop using the internet as well.

  27. Ryan Dube
    August 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    Yes - I read some horror stories on a few forums where someone tried to do an uninstall, I guess it didn't turn out too well...lol.

  28. Mrcloseencounters
    August 13, 2010 at 1:13 am

    You have to have IE if for no other reason than to install updates/patches/fixes. (You choose the term)

    MC

  29. cookieman
    August 13, 2010 at 1:05 am

    How about just uninstalling it?
    Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off -> Uncheck Internet Explorer

  30. cookieman
    August 12, 2010 at 11:05 pm

    How about just uninstalling it?
    Control Panel -> Programs and Features -> Turn Windows Features on or off -> Uncheck Internet Explorer

    • Mrcloseencounters
      August 12, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      You have to have IE if for no other reason than to install updates/patches/fixes. (You choose the term)

      MC

      • Matthew S
        August 14, 2010 at 12:14 am

        I turned it off in win 7 and I can still update/patch/fix. I have auto update off and use MSE Update Utility to keep MSE up to date.

    • George
      May 5, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      This would work for inexperienced users and small children, but even basic users know how to enable ie within control panel, or at least are competent enough to Google it.

    • George
      May 5, 2015 at 6:30 pm

      This was perfect for what I needed. If you were hoping to truly help at least one person, than you have done a good job. I needed a way to block the internet without disabling IE, as the machines use software to generate .html reports. We have several workstations on the other side of the US. These were put into place to monitor equipment. Lately, the operators have been surfing the web and the PCs are collecting junk. This was just what I was looking for, thank you!!