Vista To Windows 7 Upgrade Downgrades IE9 To IE8

Martin Brinkmann
Nov 16, 2010
Updated • Jun 12, 2014
Internet Explorer, Windows Vista

Windows Vista users who have been testing the beta of Microsoft's latest web browser Internet Explorer 9 may be in for a surprise if they upgrade their Vista installation to Windows 7.

What happens is that these users will notice that Internet Explorer 9 is no longer installed on their computer system. Instead, Internet Explorer 8 is once again on the system. In short, the upgrade from Vista to Windows 7 will downgrade Internet Explorer 9 to Internet Explorer 8 if present on the system.

Microsoft explains the issue the following way:

When you upgrade from Windows Vista to Windows 7, the upgrade process does not check the current version of Internet Explorer. Windows then installs Internet Explorer 8 from the Windows 7 installation source.

As you may know, Windows 7 ships with Internet Explorer 8 by default and while Internet Explorer 9 is also available for the operating system, it is only available as an upgrade as well.

Microsoft acknowledges the issue in a Knowledge Base article on but does not offer a solution for the problem. The resolution they do offer in the support article is to install Internet Explorer 9 Beta after the upgrade to Windows 7.

It is not likely that many Windows users are affected by the issue considering that Internet Explorer 9 is only compatible with Windows Vista SP2 and Windows 7. And those that are affected by the issue do not lose any data in the process. Favorites and settings should still be there and the re-installation of Internet Explorer 9 should fix the problem once and for all.

Still, if you are running Windows Vista Service Pack 2 and plan to test Internet Explorer 9 and upgrade to Windows 7 you should start with the upgrade of the operating system first before installing Internet Explorer 9.

Update: You can install Internet Explorer 11, the latest version available for Windows 7, instead now right away after you have upgraded the operating system.


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  1. SCBright said on November 17, 2010 at 12:04 am

    It makes sense, since IE8 is the Win7 default browser. I don’t think it is a bug.

  2. Cassandra_IE_Team said on November 16, 2010 at 10:34 pm

    Thanks for sharing this information. Yes, when upgrading from Vista to Windows 7, users will notice that IE8 is installed on their computer (and IE9 beta is not).

    To get back to IE9 beta, simply reinstall IE9 beta from here – (it should only take a few minutes).

    IE Outreach Team

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