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My Internet Explorer 11 just disappeared..? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have just come across a very odd problem...

    We are talking Windows 10 and we are talking IE11...

    Many of my customers still use IE11 under Windows 10. On Friday my customer said that she could no longer use IE11..

    I checked her PC and sure enough it wouldn't work.. On further inspection I noticed that the iexplorer.exe file had physically disappeared from the users machine... I could see the directory C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ and I could see the other files and directories under there but iexplorer.exe was gone...!!

    I tried going in to Add / Remove Features but it would not allow me to install it.... I tried everything to get it back but I just could not put it back, I even copied the file from another Windows 10 PC but it still would not run...

    After hours of trying to get it to work I just gave up and did a re-install of the O/S leaving all the files and programs where they were.. This didn't work first time, but second time I ran it we were back to where we were... All very odd..., the machine has no viruses or malware but the iexplorer.exe file just disappeared..

    I thought this was a one off, but I have just seen it on another Windows 10 machine.. It was there two hours ago, but the file iexplorer.exe has just gone!.. Again, I tried to put it back via Add / Remove Features and there was no option whatsoever in there to add IE11 as a feature?.

    This time I did a System Restore to get it back...

    Is the Microsoft removing the software..?

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 3:35 AM

Answers

  • Try this..

    dism /online /disable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"
    reboot
    DEL /S /Q "%TMP%\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%TEMP%\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%WINDIR%\Temp\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Temp\*.*"
    then
    dism /online /enable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"

    • Marked as answer by CPA-UK Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:06 AM
    Saturday, December 23, 2017 9:34 AM

All replies

  • Hi,

    Have a look under C:\Program Files (x86).... sysinfo will tell you the CPU class of the computer.

    Start>menu>I>Internet Explorer

    or

    winkey+s will open up the Windows search, start typing 'internet explorer' (no quotes) and matching files/folders will be listed. There should be an entry there for Internet Explorer, right click it and select "Pin to taskbar" from the context menu.


    Rob^_^


    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 5:34 AM
  • Hi Rob, thanks for coming back to me...

    I think maybe I've not explained it correctly..., the problem is the file (iexplorer.exe) has physically been removed from the machine..., its gone.. Not a problem related to finding the icon and re-creating it..., something has deleted the exe file and removed the option from the Add / Remove Features...

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:15 PM
  • noticed that the iexplorer.exe file had physically disappeared from the users machine... I could see the directory C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\ and I could see the other files and directories under there but iexplorer.exe was gone...!!

    Ignoring the typo this could be explained by having Internet Explorer 11 unchecked in Windows Features.

     tried going in to Add / Remove Features

    Try starting from an Administrator Command PromptOptionalFeatures.exe

    That would be where you should be able to see a check box item for  Internet Explorer 11.  Note that all it does is hide iexplore.exe and its shortcuts.  Checking it again should restore those missing elements and may not even require a reboot after doing that.  So it is a mistaken concept to be thinking of this as doing an "install".

    did a re-install of the O/S leaving all the files and programs where they were.. This didn't work first time, but second time I ran it we were back to where we were...

    That makes me wonder if your "leaving all the files and programs where they were" then includes other user preferences, such as "Hide Internet Explorer 11 and its shortcuts".  Also, what was the user using as their browser?  Whenever this symptom description comes up it makes me think that there must be another browser whose install program takes the overly severe measure of removing the option from the GUI thus trying to prevent the user from ever being able to switch back to IE.

     

     did a System Restore to get it back...

    So what else did your System Restore undo?

     

    BTW I have been involved with another example of this symptom recently and tried unsuccessfully to get the user to do some diagnosis of the incident.  In particular I wanted them to check if  ie4uinit.exe was still available and what they could do with it.  So, if it happens again, you could first try seeing what all else is missing.  Note that the Windows Features GUI is essentially a convenience to avoid having to use DISM and I suspect that the switches on that ie4uinit.exe tool just provide a way of not even having to be aware of the DISM command or its syntax.  Unfortunately it is not intended to be used interactively so doesn't even have a help display.

    https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/ie/forum/ie11-iewindows_10/internet-explorer-ie11-is-not-listed-as-an-option/263bf8db-a205-4cb6-841d-d143a61d0a6c?page=3



    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:25 PM
    Answerer
  • Thanks for the feedback...

    I couldn't see that iexplore.exe was hidden, but that has got me thinking now.... When I manually copied a version of it over it didn't mention any overwrite of an existing file etc...

    Did all the usual stuff too, so sfc /scannow, dism etc...,nothing fixed it and nothing found any problems..

    Ideally, I could do with this to happen again...

    On the machine we had problems with at the weekend..., there was no option to tick or untick ie11 in the Add and Remove Features..., it just wasn't there..., gone!..., but if I get it next time I'll try that command prompt angle you mention...

    First time of the re-fresh of the O/S, I still had the problem.., i.e. no ie...

    As I was dreading a full laptop rebuild of what was one of the directors machines, I gave it one last go to to the re-fresh and it worked!, ie was back and working as were all the other programs and apps on the machine...

    All seems okay... If I didn't know better I would say it was a malware problem but the machine was as clean as whistle.. 

    Wednesday, May 17, 2017 7:54 PM
  • Hi CPA-UK,

    Thank you for your sharing and it can help other community members who have same questions and find the helpful reply quickly.


    Please remember to mark the replies as answers if they help.
    If you have feedback for TechNet Subscriber Support, contact tnmff@microsoft.com.

    Tuesday, June 6, 2017 9:39 AM
    Moderator
  • I have just had exactly thee same problem after a Windows 10 update. Had completely wiped Internet Explorer off the computer. Had to do a Live Chat with Microsoft who took over my computer and so corrupted had to reinstall Windows 10. Still doing it so don't know yet whether that will cure the problem.
    Friday, December 22, 2017 12:26 PM
  • I have just had exactly thee same problem after a Windows 10 update. Had completely wiped Internet Explorer off the computer.

    The original conditions for this incident and the ones that exist now are significantly different.  For example the W10 FCU now deprecates the Windows Features checkbox (and probably the underlying DISM technology too) that has been mentioned above.  Now you can start from Settings, Manage Optional Features and see if Internet Explorer 11 is even there or if not if it can be added that way.  In either case, it would be the same thing: the iexplore.exe browser stub would be hidden from use.


    Robert Aldwinckle
    ---

    Friday, December 22, 2017 4:53 PM
    Answerer
  • Try this..

    dism /online /disable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"
    reboot
    DEL /S /Q "%TMP%\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%TEMP%\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%WINDIR%\Temp\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temp\*.*"
    DEL /S /Q "%LOCALAPPDATA%\Temp\*.*"
    then
    dism /online /enable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"

    • Marked as answer by CPA-UK Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:06 AM
    Saturday, December 23, 2017 9:34 AM
  • This worked!
    Tuesday, January 9, 2018 2:50 AM
  • Hi,

    Very weird indeed.

    I just ran a line suggested by Microsoft in the command prompt (FORFILES /P %WINDIR%\servicing\Packages /M Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-*11.*.mum /c "cmd /c echo Uninstalling package @fname && start /w pkgmgr /up:@fname /quiet /norestart") to enable IE11 to show images (from my own website mind you!) And now..... no IE11 anymore.

    One cannot seem to download IE11 for Windows 10 anymore. All I see are download links for Windows 7. I guess they want me on Edge.


    • Edited by Geert Hofman Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:05 PM
    Saturday, January 13, 2018 12:04 PM
  • That line that you ran is suppose to remove IE.  I'm having the same issue and none of the above solutions worked.
    Tuesday, February 6, 2018 5:03 PM
  • This did not work for me: "Feature name Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64 is unknown."

    I also downloaded the standalone 11 installer and got error "updated version is already installed". I also tried unpackaging the CAB file with the standalone installer which had a IExplorer.exe inside but nothing ever happened when I tried to run it.  I was able to find a resolution without using Internet Explorer 11 at all.


    Optional features did not have Internet Explorer listed as a feature to add.

    • Edited by TheMadMatter Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:04 PM
    Tuesday, February 13, 2018 11:02 PM
  • Worked for me!  In fact the dism enable was sufficient.  Would love to know what changed.  Thx

    Monday, March 12, 2018 6:58 PM
  • This happened to me today, let me guess Microcrap wants its users to use the crapEdge browser? No I should have choice much like I have a choice to buy Office pro vs paying 356 a month 
    Sunday, March 25, 2018 4:10 PM
  • If iexplorer.exe just disappears

    1. Registry change: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
      1. Set UseWUServer value set to 0, which means The computer gets its updates from Microsoft Update.
      2. Reboot
    2. Go to settings (not control panel)
      1. Apps
      2. Manage Optional Features
      3. Add Feature
      4. Select Internet Explorer
      5. Verify Internet Explorer is listed under the installed features
    3. Open Command prompt as admin (don’t bother going to control panel and add windows features, it won’t work)
      1. dism /online /enable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"
      2. And of course,,  another reboot
    4. Set registry setting from Step 1 back to 1
      1. Reboot not required now, but will need to apply setting.
    • Proposed as answer by EdInJapan Wednesday, October 3, 2018 3:46 PM
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 4:44 PM
  • Thank you very much, my dear.

    I've been struggling with this issue for some weeks now and your solution was the only one that really worked.

    Best regards.

    Monday, August 6, 2018 3:49 PM
  • Thank you very much, my dear.

    I've been struggling with this issue for some weeks now and your solution was the only one that really worked.

    Best regards.

    Monday, August 6, 2018 5:21 PM
  • On this solution... I do not have that loacation in my registry.   It stops before this point here... \WindowsUpdate\AU

    Thursday, September 13, 2018 1:40 PM
  • Thank you for this MABassett--it finally gave me some progress that led to this getting fixed for me. I will add a few more things that I had to do to make things work for me. 

    First, in my situation I am using a laptop from work. My company sets group policies, proxies, etc. It also has an internal server where it directs all our company computers to go to for Windows Updates. For whatever reason, I believe that the server we are being directed to is not set up correctly, because Settings>Apps>Manage Optional Features>Add Feature just returns a message that there are no features to add. So, I knew I had to redirect the computer to Microsoft's cloud server. This is where your Registry Change helped me.

    Also, my proxy in Internet Options is also being set by my company. What I did was disable all of those, and get on a direct internet connection so that I wouldn't have to rely on the correct settings here--just disable all of them so the setting is direct to internet.

    So, here are my steps based on the ones you posted.

    1. Get to a direct internet connection where there is no proxy needed.

    2. In Control Panels>Internet Options>on the connections tab make sure that all proxy info is unchecked so that you are set to connect directly to the internet. Close the control panel.

    3. Open Edge or other browser and make sure the Internet can be browsed.

    4. Do the Registry change:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\WindowsUpdate\AU
    Set UseWUServer value set to 0, which means The computer gets its updates from Microsoft Update.
    5. Reboot

    6. Go to Settings>Windows Update and check for updates. You don't have to install any updates, the point here is to make sure that you are actually getting to Microsoft's servers. Note that if it is not connecting properly, one way I found to make it go back to the Microsoft servers is to Windows button + R, services.msc and then stop the Windows Update services. The go back to Windows Update and check again. (That will start the service again.)

    7. Then go to Settings>Apps>Manage Optional Features>Add Feature

    At this point, it should load a list of optional features to add. (If it doesn't it means that for some reason the computer is not hooking up with Microsoft again.)

    8. Select Internet Explorer from the list, and let it install. (It will reappear on menu back.)  Note that I had some additional problems here. The installation bar would climb about 1/3 done and then just stopped. I finally had to reboot and go back to step 7 above.

    9. Open Command prompt as admin (don’t bother going to control panel and add windows features, it won’t work.

    10. dism /online /enable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64"

    11. Reboot

    12. Revert registry settings.

    Wednesday, October 3, 2018 4:47 PM
  • Thanks, you are the man!
    Thursday, December 13, 2018 11:30 AM
  • i am having the same issue here for months...ie just gets removed, i have to go control panel, add remove programs, add features and put a check back on IE 11...i checked the regedit setting, it is set to use our WSUS. this is getting to be a big pain in the a$$. every day someone else

    Steven J Einhorn

    Monday, May 20, 2019 2:57 PM
  • Didn't work for me in 1903
    Tuesday, November 12, 2019 2:44 AM
  • This just happened to me today on a Win 10 1903.  SFC /Scannow showed no issues.

    I ran this command dism /online /enable-feature:"Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64" Three times.

    The first 2 times it said the command was incorrect.

    The third time it worked and requested a reboot.

    Odd because I only typed the command once, and just used the up arrow to run it for the second and third time.



    Friday, February 28, 2020 11:11 PM
  • i am having the same issue here for months...ie just gets removed, i have to go control panel, add remove programs, add features and put a check back on IE 11...i checked the regedit setting, it is set to use our WSUS. this is getting to be a big pain in the a$$. every day someone else

    Steven J Einhorn

    I'm running into this with 1909.  Wondering if you ever found a solution Mr. Einhorn?
    Monday, April 13, 2020 10:51 PM