Internet Explorer 8 Won’t Install

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Installing Internet Explorer 8If you’re having trouble getting Internet Explorer 8 (IE 8) to install, join the club. There’s a number of error messages you might be running into. Read the solution below corresponding to the error message you’re seeing to find out how to get Internet Explorer 8 to install smoothly. If your error message or problem is not listed, feel free to comment below and one of our community members can help you find a solution. And if nothing works and you’re getting frustrated, we recommend trying Firefox as an alternative browser.

Internet Explorer 8 Could Not Be Installed Error

If you’re seeing the error message “Internet Explorer 8 could not be installed. You must restart your system to confirm that any changes to your system are undone“, you will need to first reboot your system so that Internet Explorer 7 can be restored. Once you’ve done that you’ll want to log in to Windows Update to make sure that you installed all the latest updates and service packs (Internet Explorer 8 requires Windows Vista or Windows XP SP2 or SP3 (SP = Service Pack)).

How to Run Windows Update

There are two ways to run Windows update. The first is via Windows Explorer:

  • In the lower left corner of your screen, click on the Start button.
  • Select “All Programs” followed by “Windows Update.”

The second way to install Windows updates is by browsing to, and selecting the Express Update option. The Windows Update service will scan your computer and find the updates you need. Once your system is up to date, try reinstalling Internet Explorer 8 (incidentally, you should also be able to install IE 8 via Windows Update).

A Temp File Could Not Be Created Error

If Internet Explorer 8 appears to install successfully until you reboot, at which point the error message “A temp file needed for initialization could not be created or could not be written to. Make sure that the directory path exists, and disk space is available.” appears, you’ll need to make sure that antivirus or anti-spyware software is not blocking access to this director.

For example, if you’re using OnlineArmor (anti-virus, firewall, and anti-spyware software), you want to bring up the Programs dialog, unchecked “Hide Trusted”, sort by program name, select the entry “IE8-WindowsXP-x86-ENU.exe,” and click Allow. You may also right-click the entry and select Advanced Options to grant specific access permissions. Another program entry you’ll want to allow is reg.exe (found in the path \WINDOWS\system32\reg.exe). Once you’ve allowed this program entry is in your antivirus software, reinstall Internet Explorer 8. This time, after rebooting Windows, Internet Explorer 8 should install and run successfully.

If Internet Explorer 8 Won’t InStall (All Else Fails)

There is one nearly fail-safe method of getting Internet Explorer 8 to install on your machine, regardless of the version of Internet Explorer (6, 7, etc.) you’re currently running. The solution depends on the existing version of your Windows O/S:

  • Browse to Start > Run > type “cmd” > hit Enter
    • Windows XP: Type the following command: secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\repair\secsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose
    • Windows Vista: Type the following: secedit /configure /cfg %windir%\inf\defltbase.inf /db defltbase.sdb /verbose
  • Make sure you leave whitespace exactly as indicated, and double-check spelling. Note that running these commands will take a while, and you may get an error message at the end – you can safely ignore it.

What these commands essentially do is restore the default security settings in Windows. Try re-installing Internet Explorer 8 now. The installation should proceed successfully. If it doesn’t, comment below

Troubleshooting – Lost User Accounts?

As a result of the default security restoration, you may lose control over user account selection (ie. if you log off or switch user accounts you won’t see a selection). If this happens, simply restore user account access as follows:

  • Browse to Start > All Programs > Accessories > Command Prompt (if you’re running Vista, right-click Command Prompt and select “Run as Administrator”)
  • In the command prompt window, type “net users”
  • You’ll see a list of user account names. For each one that’s missing in the Windows log on-screen, type the following: net localgroup users username /add, filling in your user name where indicated.

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Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.

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Hannah Dekal
I downloaded Internet Explorer 8 for Windows XP (sp3) and I thought it installed but I cannot find it in add/remove programs to use it. The setup went through everything (it removed a previous version which I didn’t have but it also installed updates and removed anything malicious etc.) as far as I know I thought it installed and even restarted the computer. No errors appeared. But it is not listed in my programs when the computer restarted.

I do have Mozilla Firefox installed but I can’t access Microsoft online templates with it. It wants you to access the templates using Internet Explorer 5 or later version hence my trying to download Internet Explorer 8.

I tried your “Internet Explorer 8 won’t install” suggestion by doing the Run cmd etc. but when I typed in your command “secedit /configure /cfg %windir%repairsecsetup.inf /db secsetup.sdb /verbose” it came back with the following “secedit is not an internal or external command, operable program or batch file” .

Any further suggestions?

Dave M
I believe Microsoft is not allowing the updates to IE8. Is there anyway around this because a number of programs I use will not function without IE8 installed.
David Mayer
I did the “When all else fails” and IE8 still does not install. Here is what I get:

Internet Explorer installation did not complete. Please restart your computer so that setup can undo any changes that were made. After restarting your computer, please visit http//

Need to install IE8 on Windows7 pro need a little help
I am trying to update my Internet Explorer to 8 but it keeps telling me that it is not supported on my operating system. When I try to open one of the windows help pages online, it tells me that I have to update my browser. I have Windows Vista.
If Internet Explorer 8 won’t install to your computer, do yourself a favor and count your lucky stars. I used to be an IE fan, but I got tired of not being able to get or find my destination. Yes, I loved some of the features, but I spent more time trying to work around the glitches than I did using any of the features. For me, it just wasn’t worth it.

And what’s up with IE8 having so many problems loading pictures? Every now and then I think I’ll take a look and see if Internet Explorer has improved at all, and every single time, it reminds me why I left it like a nose picking date.

It always seems that it can’t load the site I’m trying to get to or if it does, I can’t see half of what’s going on on the site anyhow. It seems to have a special issue with pictures. Do the makers of IE 8 realize how vital pictures are to the Internet? They are the first thing that determines whether or not your audience stays on the site.

Nope, I’ll just stick with FF and Chrome. Of course, they have their issue too, but nothing like Internet Explorer. I’ve lost so much work because of that browser that I don’t even like to think about it.

Try compatibility view man. It’s in internet tools settings etc etc. Many ways to get to it, some versions of IE. It’s actually in the address bar. It looks like a piece of paper ripped in half from one side to the other next to the home button link click the arrows>> Go to page then compatibility view settings to add or remove sites from this list I hope this works for you.

It shouldn’t be that hard to install a browser. My thought is that if it’s that hard to install the browser in the first place, how good is it going to be to work with after you actually get it installed? To me that’s a sure sign you need to look for another browser. Of course, I have limited patience and I don’t have the time to deal with future issues with a browser.

I just had my whole system redone and the guy who did it swears by IE, so that’s what he installed in my system. He did a great job, was affordable, and he did it in a timely manner. I was totally impressed right up until he started raving about IE. Seriously, Internet Explorer makes me want to rip my hair out. I can’t get through a solid day o it loading with no problem. Half the sites I use don’t play well with it either. I bit my tongue when the guy was going on about how awesome IE is, but he lost some credentials with me on that one. I’ll take Firefox or Chrome any day over Internet Explorer. In my opinion, if Internet Explorer won’t install for you, count your lucky stars. Just move on to a browser that actually works .

Hello all. I keep getting an error message saying I need update for Windows XP (KB932823). When I try to install the update it says I don’t need it. A continuous problem from Microsoft. I don’t understand why we cant just find this file and add it or why the computer does not override this so IE8 downloads.

There have been no error messages — IE just didn’t install. I tried command line, secedit, etc., but got a message saying “secedit isn’t recognized as an internal or external command on this computer.”

Of course Firefox is better, and that’s what I’ve been using. Just wanted a backup browser. I’ll try Chrome instead, though there are several things I don’t like about it.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Foolmutt, if it continues not to work with Chrome please let us know. We want to find a solution that works for you! Thanks for reading! 🙂


When I try to install IE8 it says that my operating system doesn’t support it. Any ideas on what I can try?

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hello Jesus, what operating system are you using?


Kevin P
It is really pathetic. Microsoft…the largest and most elderly of all computer companies is unable to provide a browser that actually provides the ease and functionality of use like


2-Mozilla, Firefox (which used to be Netscape)

3-Google Chrome

I have been on computers for over 30 years and every single piece of junk internet explorer I have used has had problems in a number of ways.

I tried IE8, boy that was fun experience, NOT!

I have IE7 on Vista with all the darn security updates, patches, tweeks, and any other BS Microsoft has to offer. I tried to install IE7 from internet in all modes, system not compatible,(with internet install program). However, I have the downloaded version of IE8 that will install but is nothing but a big pain in the butt with glitches, hangs too long, loads page slow or not at all, or partial pages, just worthless, for time, money and hassle. I will stay with the 3 above. Forget Microsoft browser. Sorry for those that have to use it. Microsoft should explore the Opera GUI as a guide since it is open source. HaHaHa

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Kevin, thanks for reading and commenting, but sorry to hear you’ve had such struggles. I’m glad you’ve found a browser that works for you though!


I did this “all else fails fix” but it still is not supported on Vista. I could just use Google Chrome but I do not like that very much.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Hi Terry, what is the error message that is appearing for you? This can help me determine how to fix your problem. Thanks for reading and commenting!


I did all these steps but it does not work for me. However finally I got the solution for that and I got rid of this problem.

Thanks for this post, I will try that.

a web rocker
When I try to install IE8 on my Dell Inspiron 9400, Pentium T2250 @ 1.7 GHz 3.24 GB RAM running Win XP Pro SP3, I get a message that an update is necessary before the installation can proceed. I am directed to and begin to download an update, but then get the message that a current update is newer than the update being installed and it stops. But if I then try to install IE8, I get the message that I need an update before installing IE8. Help, I’m getting dizzy, lol. Is there some way around this? Has anyone run into this same problem? Thanks all.
I have the same problem trying to install IE8. It’s because I installed Windows Service Pack 3 before IE8. The face that Windows SP3 doesn’t help because I still get warning messages that my IE7 browser isn’t secure and up-to-date. I read a technical article called “Why Microosft Ditched XP for IE9” which explains the improvements in IE8 and IE9. Problem is – you can’t run IE9 on Windows XP.

I’ve read that the solution to this problem is to uninstall Windows SP3, upgrade to IE8, and then re-install Windows SP3. Everytime, I uninstall a Windows Service Pack, things get all whacked out, so I’m hesitant to try this solution.

I want to get on the Target website and it tells me I need to install the latest version of Internet Explorer. I clicked on Install and after 15 min and running through various steps it said it was successfully installed and my computer was rebooted. However, I still can not reach the Target site.

When I try to install Internet Explorer 8, this message comes up: ‘The file name, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect‘. Kindly help me. My OS is Windows XP.

When I try to Install Internet Explorer 8 this message comes up: The file name, directory name, or volume Label syntax is not correct. Please help me. My OS is Windows XP.

Hi everyone who really is compassionate and being kind to help me on how to install explorer 8. Unfortunately, I lost because virus was attacked on my explorer8.

I will more than appreciate your time

Kind regards, Rebin

I recently had IE9 installed during an auto-update, not by my choice, I was happy with IE8. Now I have issues with sites such as GoogleMaps “Street View” not working. This had worked up until the day IE9 installed. And FF and Chrome work fine.

I am running W7 Pro with all current updates, Dell XPS laptop, etc.

I would like to re-install IE8, but now I get an error that says “Internet Explorer 8 is not supported by this operating system” – although this is what was running until recently. How could it now not be compatible? Is MS preventing us from reverting to previous versions? Is there a workaround for this?

Thank you.


I had the same problem as you. So,I uninstalled Internet Explorer 9, and then I restarted my computer. I noticed that the previous version I had (IE 8) was back again. Hope this helps 🙂

After reading all these posts, I feel quite lucky. I really am a novice when it comes to anything related to computers, but some time age I installed IE8 from a previous version without any problem (touch wood).

The problem I am having is there’s no service pack on this computer, and when I attempt to install updated versions of certain things I am told that I need to update IE8 to IE9, but when I follow the instructions, I can’t update IE8 because I don’t have the correct service pack (SP).

So I follow instructions to see which version is on my PC, but their is no SP at all. The recommended way to install SP1 is via Windows update, but all it says is that “there is no updates to be installed,” and I clicked on every link, one at a time of course, and their was nothing about service packs.

Just before xmas I tried to install SP1 via the Windows instructions(I’m pretty sure it was windows), I followed the instructions EXACTLY as per instructions and my PC was almost totally inoperable, it crashed when I tried to boot it. As soon as I tried to connect to the internet(3 connect) mobile broadband, everything closed down and my PC switched itself off. I didn’t cure the problem because I wouldn’t know where to start. So I did what I always do when I have created a real problem which is way beyond my ‘novice’ knowledge, I did a system restore.

When I tried to install sp1, it took more than 3 hours the actual downloading (with the sheets of paper going from left to right, and the little icon of earth) I’m not good at explaining, but I’m sure you know what I mean.

Because it went on for so long, I assumed that something big must have downloaded. Unfortunately, the only difference (apart from the crashing) was that many things stopped working properly. It was a real mess.

Short of putting my PC into PC world, or the equivalent, I don’t know what else to do. As I’m only a beginner, I’m afraid of making matters worse.

Hi, thanks for all your advice. Unfortunately I still can’t restore IE8. While I really appreciate the tips you’ve already given none of them seem to work for me. Do you have anything else that might fix Internet Explorer 8 for me and bring it back so I don’t have to use the super-lame IE 6?

Thanks a lot. Yours sincerely,


It seems like any time Microsoft comes out with a new product there are a bunch of bugs. This is equally true for hardware and software alike. The problem is that it often seems like we are the ones left holding the bag and trying to figure out how to fix things. We are not tech support people! I doubt many people would know what to do if the latest version of internet explorer would not install.

Personally, if I was using internet explorer and it would not install, I would not even bother fixing it or trying to figure out what was wrong. Why waste my time? It is just fighting a losing battle. After all, even if I can get it to work, in another year or two, they will make another version and I will likely run into the same (or something even more insidious) problem. I guess the bright side is that if it is the same thing I might actually remember how to fix it! Nah, probably not. After all, it was a whole year ago (or two or three).

I have the perfect solution for fixing a non loading or non installing internet explorer. I simply delete it and remove it from my computer. Then I use another browser. I believe that everyone should have at least two different browsers downloaded onto their computers and be ready to go. Seriously. There are a number of other browsers out there that are easier to use, more secure and even work better! There are a number of additional (and really cool) plug ins available for many of these.

Thanks for staying with me after my little Microsoft rant. Having said all of that, I am going to assume that you actually want to use the silly IE 8 (or whatever the newest version happens to be by the time you read this). Still with me? Great. The first option is assuming that you still have the previous version (or at least a prior version of some type) loaded onto your computer.

Start by removing all trace of the new version that you just tried to install. This means going to your control panel and use the add and remove programs options. Remove it and uninstall it completely. Then turn off the computer and wait a few minutes. Then turn it back on. Now make sure that it is all gone. Once this has been confirmed, you can use the old version. In fact, I would recommend doing so, just to make sure that everything else is ok.

Assuming the older version is working properly; try to re download the new internet explorer. Hopefully it was just a little technical hiccup and this solved the problem. I have had things like this happen to me many times. Usually just by cleaning the old file off of your disk drive and then attempting a re-installation, everything will work just fine. It is weird, but it works at least 75 percent of the time.

Having your internet explorer not install properly is a very frustrating experience. Personally I have had this happen to me several times with several different computers. The only thing more frustrating than it not loading or installing properly the first times, is having it happen again on a second (or fourth) computer! Because at least the first time you do not know (yet) what you are in for!

There still may be an easy solution to the problem of IE not installing properly. The first thing to try is making sure that you have downloaded all of the proper service packs. So, reboot your system and make sure that the prior version of IE has been restored and is working properly. Next, go to the windows update and see if there is anything you need to download. Chances are good that this is where the problem lies.

You know all those times when you are working on the computer and see a prompt telling you that there are things to download or that a new update is available? This is the reason you want to stay up to date on these! So maybe take a few minutes every couple of weeks and take care of this chore. Otherwise, you may be stuck like now, needing to wait a whole 30 or 40 minutes while the 372,001 updates download, process and install! Seriously, you should just look upon this as basic and required maintenance.

On another side note, I did a little bit of research and it seems that Microsoft is quite disappointed with this new release themselves. I think they want to try and bring this new browser in order to retake some of the market that has already switched to other browsers. Unfortunately, Microsoft is too late to come to this realization. They have already been passed up by several other browsers. Mozilla Firefox is growing fast in popularity, and Google Chrome is also a bit better than anything Microsoft has now.

These will be big hurdles to overcome. Additionally, taking a look at their feedback page, one can see a large (and growing) number of somber responses. Many messages report that this new browser is causing their systems to crash. Others are saying the browser will not display web pages properly. There are even some users who are not able to even get the thing installed onto their computer in the first place! The traffic stats for this new browser are also very poor. The last I checked, IE 8 was responsible for handling a little under 2 percent of all web traffic. That is miniscule and something which the folks at Microsoft cannot be very pleased about.

To me (and probably a lot of other people as well) it just seems like this company is more concerned about themselves than their customers. They do not really care about even providing a quality experience. Sadly, I do not even think this is ultimately about money. I think they have lost their edge in terms of innovation. So, now they rush everything to market too fast and they have lots of problems.

It really comes as no big surprise that IE 8 is giving people problems with installing it and upgrading from a previous version of Windows. I have been a PC user all my life and although I know how to use a Macintosh, I cannot say that I will ever be driven to buy one and learn the intricacies of an entirely new operating system. That being said, I recognize that PCs and the Windows operating system are a lot more problematic than their Apple counterparts and Windows has been especially troublesome over the last half decade or so.

Everyone remembers the Windows Vista fiasco from about five years ago. It was designed to revolutionize the windows experience and enhance the user’s ability to more easily connect with networks and other equipment. In concept, it was a great movement to make life easier for the PC user, but in practice, it was a huge embarrassing failure. The operating system used up so much of a computer’s resources that it slowed down every single process that was running in the Windows interface and just had major issues with shutting down and freezing up. The previous version of Windows, Windows XP, was largely viewed as a superior product than Windows Vista and many people who had upgraded or bought computers with it preinstalled actually “downgraded” to Windows XP in order to avoid the many problems Windows Vista was giving them.

Microsoft quickly went back to the drawing board and released what is now called “Windows 7” which essentially was the same concept as Windows Vista, but much more streamlined and functionally stable. Windows 7 was released amidst little fanfare but was welcomed with open arms by the folks who struggled with Windows Vista for as long as they did.

Now, we have “Windows 8” and to the surprise of absolutely no one, it is having problems loading. Microsoft clearly does not have a great track record when it comes to releasing software that does not make people immediately angry and requires substantial customer support. If they could simply iron out all these details before they release this stuff, maybe they would get better publicity concerning their reliability.

It just seems very irresponsible to me that they can continue to release products that do not work properly across all the platforms that use it. Updating is clearly an important part of the process and for them to have problems in getting it to load properly is just silly. It is the first experience that the user is going to have with your product; you manufactured the previous software, why can you not just get it right?

Microsoft, as usual is just greedily getting their product to market and letting people slog through the update process and wasting their time. I am more than a little sick of the Microsoft process that has become a semi-annual event and semi-annual pain in the you-know-what.

I am actually really excited about the new version of Windows coming out. I currently have Windows 7 on my Samsung laptop and I have found it to be very easy to use and this has been one of the most problem-free computers I have ever owned. I had been suffering with a Dell laptop that came with Windows Vista Basic on it for a few years and that thing was just so picky when it came to starting up and running different processes that it would frequently freeze in the middle of simple programs if I was running anything else, like iTunes or something. I managed along with that thing until it finally gave up the ghost in a freak getting-set-in-a-puddle-of-beer accident.

That was when I got the Samsung which had been pre-loaded with Windows 7 and the experience was great. So with Windows 8 coming out now, I am excited to see what improvements they have made. I am a little apprehensive about a couple of things though which could prevent me from making the switch with my current laptop and upgrading to Windows 8 instead of continuing on with Windows 7.

The first thing I am frankly a little nervous about is that Microsoft has laid eggs in the past with releasing new software. Windows Vista was supposed to be revolutionary for its time also, but that was so rife with problems that it now lingers like a bad smell on Bill Gates’ sweater. If they are pushing Windows 8 out into the marketplace before it is truly ready or without knowing what problems may come up, then it could be a repeat performance of that embarrassing fumble from several years ago.

The second thing that has me potentially staying with my current Windows 7 operating system is that this software has been with this computer since day 1 and as silly as it may sound, I think that messing with a good thing just is not worth it. Any manual upgrades I have done to computers over the years have never been as beneficial as I had hoped and really not worth the risk you run of damaging something beyond repair. Wiping out the operating system that this computer was built and designed for and replacing it with another may not work out as perfectly as I would hope.

On the other hand, if it truly is a step up in terms of the overall quality of the Windows experience and it makes my computer safer and more stable, then I would strongly consider making the software purchase and giving it a try. I suppose what I will do is just wait a little while and see what kind of reviews come in about the overall experience and make my decision based on that. Actually, there should be some data out there already. Maybe I will search for it and see what comes up.


I can download IE8 but I can’t install it. How can I get Internet Explorer to install?