IE7 Standalone (Updated for IE7 Release)

Update 10/23/06 for the IE7 Release version


IE6 and IE7 Side By Side I just released a new version of the IE7 Standalone Launcher. Due to changes in this beta release of IE7, a simple batch file alone won't cut it. You can grab a zip package (two batch files, two reg files) on the new site.


Well, it took me long enough. I've been fighting with the IE7 Beta 3 since it was released - FileMon, RegMon, Dependency Walker, and process debugging. This release requires over 1500 interfaces to be added to the registry.

What's New

The previous versions of this standalone launcher were just simple DOS batch scripts that made a couple of registry settings, launched IE7 and waited for it to close, then removed the registry settings. That's no longer practical with the amount of registry entries that are now required, so I've broken it out into a launch script and two reg files.

In the past, setting up a directory to run IE7 required a few too many manual steps. I've simplified that with a setup script (also a batch file) which extracts the IE installation and gets things set up for you. Setting up IE7 standalone is really simple now - download and extract my IE7 Standalone package, download the IE7 installation from Microsoft and copy to the same directory, and run the setup batch file. After that, you can pop up IE7 whenever you want by double clicking the IE7.bat file.


Another change - this time the launcher just waits 15 seconds and closes itself rather than hanging around until you close IE7. IE only reads the keys on startup, so we can clean them up once it's running.

DOS batch scripts? REG files? Is there a simpler way?

Well, yes. Yousif released an IE7 Beta 3 Standalone Installer (IE7s.exe) that downloads the IE7 installer file, does some magic stuff, and up pops IE7 in standalone mode. I tested it out and it worked well for me. I prefer the batch / reg file approach, though, for several reasons:

  • I'd like to make it as easy as possible for expert users to make recommendations and corrections. For instance, Dr. Thomas Meinike previously made a recommendation to update the IE Version Vector to allow testing of conditional comments (like <!--[if lt IE 7.0]-->). Version 1.4 of this script included his recommendation. I'd love to hear suggestions on how to improve these scripts - leave comments on this post or on the download page.
  • DOS batch files and REG files are easy to customize. They're just text files, so you can edit them in notepad. If 15 seconds is too long or short a wait for you, you can change it. If you want to experiment with other settings to enable enhanced IE7 features like RSS Feed support, have at it (and please let me know so I can update the scripts).
  • I try to avoid programs that make bulk changes to my registry but don't tell me what they're doing. It's like a random stranger offering a pill but refusing to say what it is. Random programs could be malicious (malware, spyware, etc.) or just incorrect (bad installers have caused me more headaches than malware over the past few years). In my testing, IE7s worked great, but I'd prefer to know what's going on with my computer when I can, especially when I'm running IE in an unsupported configuration. The one loophole for this rule is .NET EXE's, since I can open them in Reflector to see what they're doing; IE7s is a native EXE, though. I want to be clear that I'm not implying IE7s is doing anything wrong or sneaky - it seems to be a very clean, well written utility, and it's a lot easier to use than what I'm offering.

The usual disclaimers apply:


  • > I've been fighting with the IE7 Beta 3 since it was released


    I have a minimal clean Windows XP Virtual PC image with IE7 beta 3 installed. It's ~800 megabytes.

    It also runs with 128mb memory allocated, no problem (assuming all you want to do is surf the web). People tend to forget that the original system requirements for XP were, believe it or not, 64mb minimum -- 128mb recommended.

    Computers age in dog years, and 2001 was a long, long time ago.

  • @Jeff, I've got IE7 on a VPC too. You don't think I did all this registry hacking on a live computer, do you? I'm not doing this just for my own personal use, although of course I do use it. My previous post with instructions on IE7 standalone had 70K hits; this new version hasn't been out for a day and already has almost 100 downloads. Obviously there are people who find it useful.

    You're gonna make me post my rant on why VPC is a dumb solution for IE, aren't you?

  • Hi,
    Thanks for updating this script, that's great! I've noticed a layout issue that I thought I'd have to fix went away with Beta 3.

    Here's something though: It doesn't let me use select boxes in forms - it tells me that a popup has been blocked when I try to use them. Do you know if this is a symptom of running IE7b3 as a standalone or if it's Microsoft being way too strict with their popup blocker?


  • @Jeff - Okay, will do. Here's one advantage right off the bat: you can download and run IE7 Standalone in under 5 minutes. Your "Tiny XP VM" approach looks like it would take a good hour and requires several other downloads and tools. Who's pushing the crazy hack?

  • @ Jeff

    My number one reason: a hell of a lot faster.

  • Does anyone else have problems with drop downs using the standalone IE7 B3? When ever i click a drop down the IE7 popup blocker stops the drop down showing.


  • A note to other developers: I found that I had to disable the Microsoft Developer Toolbar or IE7 Beta 3 hangs.

    In ie6: Tools | Internet Options | Programs | Manage Addons

    Developer Toolbar
    IE DOM Explorer

  • @Rob - I'm having the same problems with my jump menus. I'm guessing since they're using javascript to change location onClick IE7 is preventing that in their popup blocker for some reason.

    It also blocks my normal non-javascript drop down menus in forms...hmmm something weird is going on

  • Hi,

    I have other problem.
    When i try to start the IE7.bat the window appears for a second and dies. I don't know what's the reason. any ideas?


  • The error that i have is
    Could Not Find E:\My Programs\Browsers\IE7Beta3\IEXPLORE.exe.local
    Complete, closing...
    which is normal as this file is in the "Installation" directory. Do you have any ideas about this?

  • Thanks Jon for taking it upon yourself for doing this work! And if people out there don't understand why it's easier to run each browser version side-by-side for testing, well that's their loss.

    Some feedback for you. The new b3 version worked once for me and then trying to get it to run again fails with the "application failed to initialize" pop-up error.

    Meanwhile Yousif's IE7s.exe still does work. I have tried removing the installation directory and running your set-up file again to no avail.

    Keep up the good work, and thanks!

  • Ah, never mind. The problem was that I needed to run xmllitesetup.exe in the update folder of the standalone ie7 install. I think the first time I ran the bat file I was prompted to do this, but since it wasn't mentioned in your instructions I got scared and canceled the install.

    It might be helpful to mention in the instructions that we should allow a hotfix install.

    Otherwise, this works very well, thanks!

  • Just found a bug... well, in my network, is a working IP address :-)
    So I had to change that to non working IP address

  • Hi,

    Well it seem that i have the same probelm as Simone because when i changed the IP it worked Thanks a bunch for the fix Simone

  • IE7 RC1 has been released. I tested the launch script against it and it's not working, so I'll need to release a new version.

  • How about (the dreaded) zoom-feature in IE7. I can't see it in my standalone-installation.

  • Oh, just found it, click ctrl+

  • I just noticed that the IE7.bat file doesn't appear to be finishing it's clean-up duties:

    C:\IE7>ECHO Removing IE7 standalone files...
    Removing IE7 standalone files...


    C:\IE7>DEL IEXPLORE.exe.local


    C:\IE7>ECHO Complete, closing...
    Complete, closing...

    When it tries to rename SHLWAPI and then delete IEXPLORE.exe.local, those commands fail because those file exist in the installation folder.

  • Just downloaded the latest version for RC1 today. Perhaps I'm missing something, but why is the cleanup.reg script identical to the standalone.reg script, except for the last two entries. These two entries (in cleanup.reg) are actually preceeded by the "-" to remove them--shouldn't the others be the same way? Just curious.

  • @Paul - Thanks. The cleanup should no longer be renaming shlwapi.dll.bak or removing iexplore.exe.local, so it's actually good that it wasn't working. I removed those lines from IE7.bat.

    @Joe - Good catch. Those last two entries are the important ones that have been known to cause problems. You're right about the others, though. Stupid error on my part. I've released version 1.7 which fixes the registry cleanup.

  • New version isn't cleaning up after itself.

    keys are being left behind; if I manually run the cleanup reg file all is well.

    any ideas?

  • interesting; if I change the command to include the full path it works:

    REGEDIT /S F:\IE7RC1\ie7rc1_cleanup.reg

  • About IE 6 and IE7(rc1) on the same windows. well, both work. but, IE6 to work is necessary run first "ie7rc1_cleanup.reg" if don't run before IE6 eat mmy machine.

    So, any other automatic fix to run IE6 after run IE7?

  • FYI to all,

    The setup and installer work fine with the new full release of IE7.

    You just need to change the setup BAT file so that it extracts the correct EXE.

  • when i go to run ie6 after running ie7.bat, it tried to open URLS in a new window, and cascades out of control.

    If i manually run the clean up registry file after closing ie7, and then run ie6 it runs fine.

    Is manually running this nessecary? or is ie7.bat not cleaning up correctly, with the release version of ie7 (which is what i am using)?


  • last installer "works" with IE7 final, but leaves a few reg entries (classes/root) behind every time IE7 is run.

  • Version 1.8 (just released) works with IE7 Release. I believe I've fixed the problem with the registry cleanup problem, so if you're having to manually run the cleanup reg file this version should fix that for you. The time delay (15 seconds) shouldn't have anything to do with it, it was just a batch file error on my part. I tested this one out quite a bit and I'm pretty sure I got it this time.

    As for testing printing, I think it may be technically possible, but I'm not planning to do it. The reason a lot of the functionality in IE7 is broken is that more registry entries need to be made, and it's pretty time consuming to figure out what they are. I'm planning to upgrade to IE7 and run IE6 in standalone in the very near future.

  • Thanks (again) Jon.

    Works like a charm.

  • Sweet! Thanks a lot... 'tis a huge help.

  • I've decided to now use IE7 as my default browser. To uninstall my standalone version, do I just delete the folder I created?

  • Great work btw - was awesome to to some testing on curent websites without having to setup VPC.

  • @Mark - That's it, you just delete the folder and it's gone. Glad it helped you.

  • any input on why popup blocker whines about dropdown menus on combo boxes? (they just don't show up)

  • I've got the same problem with combo boxes - adding sites to the allowed list and turning it off doesn't work. Any ideas?

  • Same issue with dropdowns/popups here. Doesn't seem to be an issue in machines with "pure" IE7 on it. Any thoughts as to why running IE7 Standalone would cause this? Very odd.

  • Also having issues with dropdown menus being thought of as pop-ups. I am using your standalone release 1.8 and IE7 RC1. Any Ideas on how to fix?

  • Having an issue accessing a vpn address of mid load of the page it will route me to a dns error i am using netscreen to connect to my vpn any ideas? Ialso tried to put the vpn ip in the host and assign a name to it no go :(

  • i need this installment into my computer so i can let the listeners here what i have to say and display as far as music is concerned thank you

  • is there going to be a release enabling dropdown boxes at all? or is it not even possible?

  • Hi, pullDown box is not working @ IE7 standalone, popup blocker see it as JS probably.

  • Is it possible you could update this to work with IE8 beta? I would really like to test it without needing to install it plus this would be great for comparing the differences between the two. Thanks.

  • @Leland Instructions on running IE8 alongside IE6 and IE7:

  • This facility appears to work well. A major problem appears to be that the popup blocker is activated for dropdowns. I can't seem to find a way of stopping this from happning. Has anyone managed to find a way around this yet?

  • Well product. But the uncontrolable blocking of dropdown and select component due to bad IE popup blocking obliged me to remove IE7 Stand Alone and prefer the use of Virtual PC with XP-IE7 virtual disk image.

  • - site is dead

  • waaaaaa.

    all links broken, and I need to test a site using IE7 - but everyone in the office is using Vista or Win 7 with IE 8+, Chrome, Safari, or FireFox.

  • Howdy! I'm at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

Comments have been disabled for this content.