Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I just bought a new laptop with Vista, but I cannot get on the internet with it. It seems a Vista edition without IE is released in Europe.

The shop is closed, so I cannot ask the provider who set everything up for me. In Vista there is a document file called Internet Explorer, but no .exe file.

I have had my emails imported to Outlook but neither the internet links in them and icons which should bring me to the internet get me anywhere - in both cases I get a box saying that the adresses cannot be reached.

What am I not seeing? How can I get on the internet?

UPDATE: things have been solved by downloading Firefox.

share|improve this question
See "Vista without a browser__How to get on the internet?" at… ... – Arjan Nov 7 '09 at 18:28

The inbuilt FTP tool should allow you to download Firefox, as detailed here

  • Type "FTP" into Run or cmd.
  • When prompted for username, type anonymous.
  • Enter your e-mail address as a password
  • Type hash and hit return.
  • cd /pub/
  • type BINARY and hit return.
  • lcd c:\ to change the local directory.
  • type mget *.exe
  • when that's done, type exit, and go to c:\, where your new FF installer should be.
share|improve this answer
Success! She did it,… Or maybe that was just a transfer using some USB drive, as suggested on yet another site? – Arjan Nov 7 '09 at 21:28
Firefox is very cool, but just consider that most websites are tested first for IE and then for Chrome, Safari, Opera and Firefox. – SRO Nov 9 '09 at 21:19
However, none of the other browsers have an open FTP that I could find, so this is the only method I am aware of. More to the point, any half-decent web developer will test in all major browsers. – Phoshi Nov 9 '09 at 21:36
To always get the latest stable release you should cd /pub/ – Sam Hasler Dec 18 '09 at 12:33

Search for iexplore.exe.

If you can find it, your problem is solved.

share|improve this answer
Why down-vote? I think it's quite interesting to know if iexplore.exe is still present, but simply unreferenced, on a Vista N system. – harrymc Nov 7 '09 at 20:33
Even more: I'd kind of expect the question asker to come back and tell us if iexplore.exe is still to be found... Likewise for Phoshi's solution. :-( – Arjan Nov 7 '09 at 20:54
Looks like it was Molly's solution that worked, though! – Phoshi Nov 7 '09 at 23:33

you can download the latest version Internet Explorer 8 for Vista from Microsoft.

or download the Firefox installer and install it on your computer.

if you don't like IE or Firefox, you can also install Opera, or Google Chrome as viable alternatives.

whichever program you install as your default web browser will then open the links you click in Outlook.

share|improve this answer
Or opera, or Chrome, but more importantly, how, if he doesn't have a usb key to transfer it ? ;) – Gnoupi Nov 7 '09 at 16:57
But how can I download the Firefox when I cannot get on the internet? – Anja Dybris Nov 7 '09 at 16:58
Sorry, maybe the question should have been tagged 'vista' and 'browser'. I'm sure the provider was on the internet with the laptop to register and start some programs. – Anja Dybris Nov 7 '09 at 17:00
well, you're posting here right now, so i suppose you have internet access. copy the installer onto a USB stick. although not recommended, Windows Explorer works as a web browser as well. – Molly7244 Nov 7 '09 at 17:05
It might not with IE missing, as it used the old IE engine! – Phoshi Nov 7 '09 at 17:06

A bit too much for a comment, but we might get more people here with the same problem. I assumed the shop had just messed up by clicking away the browser ballot screen, or might have installed some unknown browser. How often would that happen? Well, I read on Ars Technica it will also be used for existing installations, if Microsoft's proposal is accepted by the EU:

EU Vista, XP users will also get to vote IE off the island


And it won't be limited to Windows 7 users; the ballot screen will be pushed as an update to current Windows XP and Windows Vista users.

I see some duplicates showing here in the near future then...

enter image description here

Update 2009-12-06: apparently, the order in which the browsers will appear will be random, and might no longer show within an Internet Explorer screen. The final version might get EU approval on December 15th.

Update 2010-02-23: Microsoft has announced that Windows Update will present the choice as of March 1st. An example can be seen at, but the announcement shows an additional introduction to that, and explains that even existing "pinned" Internet Explorer shortcuts will be removed (which luckely implies the browser itself won't be uninstalled)... Many more duplicates to expect here!

(I wonder how those who cannot install a browser themselves are now expected to select the best choice given the advertising slogans. And what if your second choice will actually make itself the default browser? I don't really like this push towards existing users: why confuse them, and what if a Super User already installed another browser at someone else's computer?I also wonder if all browsers are actually available in localised versions; changing "_en" in the URL into something like "_fr", "_de" or "_nl" will give the same list, partly translated, while "more information" then still links to an English page. But: this might not be the final version. Even more: maybe it's just a demo, and not the real thing. I'm quite curious if one could really skip this step during first installation.)

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.