I have IE 6 on my family PC. Since I'm using Firefox, I don't intend to upgrade to IE 7. I'd like to block anyone using IE 6 as it is not secure. How to do this. I have seen my cousins typing iexplore and opening IE though I have told them to use Firefox!

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    Why do you have IE6 on your family PC? Why don't you just upgrade it so that your cousins can use iexplore more securely? – Nathan Fellman Aug 3 '09 at 8:26

Change the proxy information for IExplorer so that it cannot connect to the Internet.

  • Tools -> Internet Options -> LAN Settings -> Proxy Server

Set the proxy server to and leave the Bypass check box empty.

Doing this means that even if something else spans IE it will still not be able to connect to the Internet.

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    Also watch out for unrelated applications that use IE proxy settings, like iTunes, which when using will fail with vague error messages of doom. support.apple.com/kb/TS1490 – Kevin L. Aug 1 '09 at 1:32
  • I would go for this. Works well! – darthvader Aug 3 '09 at 7:14
  • Chrome Browser is one of those applications as well. Just an FYI – Kelbizzle Feb 26 '10 at 17:30

Not upgrading to IE7 (or IE8 for that matter) still leaves you insecure even if you never use it. There are many portions of windows that still use the IE rendering engine and system files that will remain vulnerable unless you upgrade. There's also 3rd party software that uses the IE rendering engine.

Johannes's answer about adding the Deny flag to iexplore.exe might work for preventing people from running the full browser. But don't delude yourself into thinking that makes you safe while you've still got the vulnerable IE6 core on the machine.

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    +1. Good point. Better even upgrade to IE 8. – Joey Aug 1 '09 at 0:05
  • Really, he should do both. Keep the engine patched and up to date and prevent other users from using the browser. – Ryan Bolger Aug 1 '09 at 0:08
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    Well, I'm a happy IE8 user here. Personally I don't see much of a point in actively trying to stand in other people's habits way. – Joey Aug 1 '09 at 0:13
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    If he's in charge of support, I think it's ok for him to shape the environment. – hyperslug Aug 1 '09 at 0:45
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    Come on now. This is a bit extreme. IE6 had security issues, but you are acting like your computer is going to go up in flames if someone even opens it. I used it for years until IE7 came out and never ONCE had a security breach. Just lock down the browser settings by putting it in high security mode and you will be fine. – JohnFx Aug 1 '09 at 2:21

You can change the permissions on iexplore.exe and remove the execute permission:

Illustration for setting the appropriate permissions

This can be found1 in the file's properties > Security > Advanced > Change permissions. There you have to uncheck "Include inheritable permissions from this object's parent" and then you can edit the permissions for the appropriate user.

The user will then get the following message box when attempting to run the program:

Message box detailing that one cannot execute the given program

Ryan is correct, though. You really should upgrade the browser since it is a core component of Windows and can be exploited (or used in other applications) without explicitly running the browser. You may prevent this by keeping mshtml.dll from running, but I suspect this will cause much more harm than good.

1 The screenshots and instructions here work on Windows 7, however this should look nearly identical on XP or other legacy Windows versions.

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    +1 thorough, accurate, pictures. Wish I could give you +1 for correct footnote styling. – hyperslug Aug 1 '09 at 0:47
  • +1 for detailed explanation. Would be helpful after migrating to Vista or 7 – darthvader Aug 3 '09 at 7:17
  • Works the same in XP, hence the footnote. – Joey Aug 3 '09 at 7:57

You should probably upgrade IE6 to IE8 anyway as the rendering engine is a standard Windows component and can't really be removed so there is still a possible security risk in having it around. Also, if they manually run IE8 it's not such a big deal as running IE6.

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