If there is one thing I would like to see become a standard feature in Internet Explorer it would be the ability to prevent installation of damn toolbars and for those preventative measures to be enforced by default. It would then be an option (a hard-to-find one, preferably) to enable installation. Disallowing toolbars in IE would make Windows suck so much less for the average user, and it wouldn't be a problem for the advanced users, because we tend to use alternative browsers anyway.

IE toolbars really are the scourge of the default Windows experience.

I can't count the times I've been tending to someone's broken computer and they have a mass of stinking toolbars populating half of the whole damn IE window:

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However given disallowing toolbar installation isn't the default behaviour of IE: is it possible to disable installation of toolbars in IE through a setting somewhere? When I am setting up a new comptuer for someone, I'd love to be able to set something like this.

Update: has anyone got a way of disabling toolbar installation without access to Group Policy Editor?

  • I would suspect that there is a registry setting somewhere. Jul 20, 2009 at 17:51

3 Answers 3


There is this setting in IE8 and IE9 Beta (which works perfectly for me).

IE9 Advanced Settings

I cannot tell if it is in earlier versions as well, as I have only got my laptop here with me.

It does not stop Flash player from working, so should work fine for you.

  • 1
    At last, an answer to this question (for IE9 at least)! Thanks Jason. Oct 2, 2010 at 19:41

Using the Group Policy Editor Click Start, Run and type GPEDIT.MSC Navigate to this path:

 Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer

There are a lot of settings in there to change the behavior of Internet Explorer, including the ability to enable or disable add-ons.

  • On my Vista Home Premium system, GPEDIT.MSC cannot be found. Is it only found in "pro" versions of Windows? Jul 21, 2009 at 6:45
  • @Charles, yeah its was excluded from the Home version, just ran into this problem a few days ago, will post the link if i can find it
    – Petey B
    Jul 29, 2009 at 18:20
  • Any luck with that link Petey B? Oct 25, 2009 at 20:38

My first suggestion to avoid having this sort of problem is to install and use Firefox instead. Second I would watch every new app you install like a hawk. I have noticed some very inconspicuous ways software providers are able to get you to accept the installation of one toolbar or another.

  • 6
    Unfortunately, many users I come across don't particularly like to use a browser they're not familiar with. One user said they hated Firefox, thought it was 'dodgy', and asked for IE (or 'the E' as they put it) to be reinstated. Furthermore, sadly, they barely understand what 'installing software' is, let alone how to watch out for sneaky toolbars piggy-backing on the installations. Jul 20, 2009 at 18:05
  • I personally do not like the look and feel of firefox (or at least when i first tried it a few years ago), and switched to Opera, then after a few weeks back to IE. Absolutly love Chrome however, and have been using that since it was released.
    – Petey B
    Jul 29, 2009 at 18:24
  • Also, i find it extremely funny when i go on a non techy's computer and always see at least 2 different IE toolbars installed.
    – Petey B
    Jul 29, 2009 at 18:25
  • There are skins/themes you can use which will make FF look and act for all intents and purposes, EXACTLY like IE... with the only difference being it actually renders according to the standards. ;)
    – eidylon
    Aug 25, 2009 at 15:44

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