Disabling Microsoft Internet Explorer

As I go around busily installing Firefox on people's machines, I typically don't just stop there -- I'm not happy until Internet Explorer has been safely disabled. Since Microsoft made the brilliant move of embedding the browser into the OS, it takes some work to disable it. Here I explain how to effectively disable MSIE by telling it to use a nonexistent proxy, (with exceptions for Microsoft's own site, so that you can still download OS updates).

Here's how I disable Internet Explorer:

Start Explorer.

From the toolbar, choose "Tools", and then select "Internet Options".

That will bring up the "Internet Options" box, where you should choose the "Connections" tab. It should look basically like this:

Tools : Internet Options : Connections

Hit the "LAN Settings" button. That should bring up the "Local Area Network (LAN) Settings" box, which looks like this:

Tools : Internet Options : Connections : LAN Settings

In the "Proxy Server" section, Check the "Use Proxy Server" checkbox; then, in the Address blank, type in nowhere.int and Then press the Advanced button. This should bring up this "Proxy Settings" window:

Tools : Internet Options : Connections : LAN Settings: Proxy, Advanced

Make sure the "Use the same proxy server for all protocols" checkbox is checked, as above.

Then, in the "Exceptions" box, type in:
(As shown above)

You're basically done -- now just press "OK" buttons to make all the dialogs go away.

(Now would be a good time to purge the MSIE cache, if you want.)

Now try accessing http://google.com from MSIE. It should be inaccessible. Try accessing http://microsoft.com -- that should work.

-- Sean M. Burke, 02005-05-09