Windows 7 - Browser Choice

Asked By barrowhill on 23-Feb-10 04:13 PM
Today, an update was applied that on opening IE onstartup gives me the option
to install numerous other browsers.  I do not want to as already installed
those I want and I cannot find anyway to stop this page opening again.
Help.....I'd like to remove this update or switch off browser choice screen
but suspect that EU forced this issue on all of us.  What can I do  ???????

Michael replied to barrowhill on 23-Feb-10 04:23 PM
Exactly what update are you talking about?  Sounds to me like you have been


If he is too old to fight, he will just kill you."
barrowhill replied to Michael on 23-Feb-10 04:33 PM

KB976002 - Microsoft Browser Choice Screen Update for EEA Usesr of Windows XP

I do not wish this screen to appear but I can find no way to prevent it
Harry Johnston [MVP] replied to barrowhill on 23-Feb-10 04:44 PM
Looks like this is legit:

(Gee, thanks for the heads up, MS!)

Barrowhill: could you post a screenshot of the web page you are being shown?

barrowhill replied to Harry Johnston [MVP] on 23-Feb-10 05:29 PM

Just type "browser choice" into google and there you will find post showing
screen shot
barrowhill replied to Harry Johnston [MVP] on 23-Feb-10 05:41 PM
I have restored system to yesterday and performed all installs except KB976002.
This was indicated as High Priority and though now hidden is eeident that t
has been hidden.  Why or Why!!.  This should be optional.  Just because EU
won it is case Microsoft should not go belly up in a fit of pique .  The'venow
provided the wherewithall as demanded by EU; it users choice to perform.
I have installed firefox and an alternative to IE - I use both.  I do not need
dictating to or being forced to do something.  Lets make it optonal.
Ǝиçεl replied to Harry Johnston [MVP] on 23-Feb-10 06:49 PM
Hello Harry,

I am not Barrowhill, but a final screen shot and description of the Internet
Explorer ???ballot screen??? that will roll out across Europe shortly.
MowGreen replied to barrowhill on 23-Feb-10 07:43 PM
The EU *forced* MS to do this. The High Priority given to this "update"
was dictated by the EU. You need to direct your complaint towards them,
not MS.

*-343-* FDNY
Never Forgotten
Harry Johnston [MVP] replied to barrowhill on 23-Feb-10 08:49 PM
No such luck, but Engel's URL gave me something to look at.

I very much doubt that there is not a way to bypass the selection process.  What
happens if you choose "Select Later"?  Or just close the window?


Harry Johnston
FrankV replied to barrowhill on 24-Feb-10 09:31 AM
You are correct about the EU forcing Microsoft to do this. Try to argue with
the EU to get rid of this (joke).

barrowhill replied to MowGreen on 24-Feb-10 10:03 AM

The EU required MS to unbundle IE from the OS.  MS chose to provide a
browser choice update so you can pick your own - one or more.  Providing it
as high priority update ? yes ?, as without a browser you going nowhere;
optional ?  why not? most people will already have a browser downloaded and
installed other than IE.  But notwithstanding either, MS should have offered
an additional choice button of, for example "choice already installed" and
thus disabled the choice window from appearing again. You need a browser to
get the update!
barrowhill replied to Harry Johnston [MVP] on 24-Feb-10 10:04 AM

Selecting later only ensures choice screen opens next boot/open IE, as does
just closing it down.   Irrespective of any of these choices.  Next time you
restart PC and open IU up pos the choice window.  If you close IE then open
in current PC session then no choice window appear.  Seem only happens on
Rob replied to barrowhill on 24-Feb-10 12:51 PM
Yes I agree. It should be seen that Microsoft have abided by the EU ruling
by notifying us about the choice of browser we use, but then it should be up
to the end user to say, ok I have made my choice, now stop pestering me. I
do not know why Microsoft did not think of that one.
Harry Johnston [MVP] replied to barrowhill on 24-Feb-10 02:25 PM

Next guess: choose IE, as this is already installed, nothing will happen.  Probably.


Harry Johnston
Ash replied to barrowhill on 24-Feb-10 04:28 PM
If you are running windows vista, check your start-up programmes. To check this,
Start -> All Programs -> Startup

If that programme is in startup folder, delete it.


ybS2okj replied to barrowhill on 24-Feb-10 09:18 PM

There is no point in explaining anything to that plonker because he/she is
now a transsexual and so has lost all his mental faculties.

Can't you the sort of statement he made?

was dictated by the EU. You need to direct your complaint towards them, "

Now these nutters have not got a clue how EU operates.

As far as the solution is concerned, I have setup my system in such a way
that I do not receive any updates post SP3 and so I am not affected by this.
Microsoft patches are completely waste of time because they are doing more
harm than any security they are supposed to provide.

This patch does not remove reliance on IE to get updates and so there is
still some more fight in the EU about this.  IE should never be part of the
OS but Microsoft in their wise wisdom decided to do to beat all the browser

Smirnoff replied to barrowhill on 25-Feb-10 03:18 AM
Sorry, do not understand the second sentence of your post. "This was
indicated as High Priority and though now hidden is eeident that t has been

Are you saying that reverting to a prior restore point successfully removed
the "Browser Choice" update and that you have now selected "Don't show this
update again" in Windows/MS Update?

MS states that "Once installed this update cannot be removed". I assume this
means that it does not appear in Add/Remove programmes even with "show
updates" ticked and that there is no uninstall option. However, if you were
successful, I can see many people using "System Restore".
Keith Robinson replied to barrowhill on 25-Feb-10 05:22 AM
You can hack it out of the registry. Go to HCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\run and remove BrowserChoice Key, "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\browserchoice.exe" /run

Dont forget to back up first....

Why is there no "dont show this again option"?
MowGreen replied to ybS2okj on 25-Feb-10 04:06 PM
This the same troll who use to use the date/year as a User Name, now
changes it to gibberish, does not comprehend grammar, and now recommends
that no updates be installed after SP3 is applied.

This delusional advice is from an anti-social, foul-mouthed psychopath
whose ISP is DSL-TISCALI-UK. it is about as sound as listening to the
inmates of a loony bin.


*-343-* FDNY
Never Forgotten
Luke replied to Smirnoff on 25-Feb-10 06:56 PM
Try start, run, msconfig

go to startup and deselect C:\System32\browserchoice.exe

I am about to do this now, so I am hoping it works for me too!

Best of luck,

bigbo replied to barrowhill on 25-Feb-10 08:27 PM
Hi Barrowhill

I have just received the same update and have to say that I strongly object
to new software being installed on my machines in this manner. I too have the
browsers I want, already installed.
I cannot find it in Add/Remove programs, rolling back to a checkpoint before
the update does not work.
To my mind this is akin to my machine being hacked and therefore must be
Anyone else feel the same?
Anyone from Microsoft willing to comment?
ybS2okj replied to bigbo on 25-Feb-10 10:13 PM
You are the only one to blame yourself.  Microsoft patches are a complete
and utter waste of time and you can stop them by going to Security Centre
and turning off Automatic Updates.  I do not get any updates and so my system
is as secure as possible.

There is no evidence that Microsoft updates are making computers any safer.
If at all, people's machines are becoming less safer because of these
patches.  For example only a few days ago "Gordon" complained that his
system is ridden with viruses and he was blaming me for not patching my
system.  Apparently, if I do not patch my system, he is the one who gets
viruses!!.  Now this is bizarre!!.

I have therefore, concluded that it is the M$ patches making his system

Ottmar Freudenberger replied to ybS2okj on 26-Feb-10 12:25 AM
That's plain BS and you are aware of that. Do you really think, that running
your avast! toy does resolve the security issues which are *needed* to be
fixed with updates?


Have you ever heard about Bot nets? Obviously not.

I have the strong impression that "not only" your unpatched Windows XP SP3
is weak.

PA Bear [MS MVP] replied to bigbo on 26-Feb-10 02:00 AM
Do you think MS chose to do this?  Do you ever read a newspaper or listen to
the news?
PA Bear [MS MVP] replied to Harry Johnston [MVP] on 26-Feb-10 02:09 PM
The Browser Choice Screen for Europe: What to Expect, When to Expect It (19
February 2010)
Bee Anon replied to bigbo on 27-Feb-10 06:55 PM
Assuming that Vista allows the same Windows Update configurations as XP, I suggest users change their settings to receive notifications only, rather than all updates automatically. You can then log on to Windows Update, choose Custom & read about each update before deciding whether or not to install it. When I read that KB 976002 could not be uninstalled via Add/remove Programs, I chose not to install it. It's too late now for people who are stuck with it, but worth knowing for future reference?!
Joan Archer replied to barrowhill on 28-Feb-10 07:03 AM
I do not see what the problem is I installed it when I saw the page for the
other browsers I just clicked on IE, as that is my browser of choice, after
taking me to the Microsoft IE Home page it told me I already had it set as
the default and all I had to do was click the icon to put it back on my
taskbar as the install had removed it from there.

No problems after that I just put the shortcut on my desktop into the
recycle bin, job done, this is a Windows 7 desktop machine.

Joan Archer
PA Bear [MS MVP] replied to Joan Archer on 28-Feb-10 11:57 AM
+1  You go, girl!
Catbiter replied to barrowhill on 01-Mar-10 06:13 AM
I have never come across anything so pattently obvious or stupid in my 36
years in IT.

To conform with EU regulations Microsoft has injected this annoying code
into an update basically to "piss users off" but to point the figer at the EU
and say "Sorry guys but they made us do it!!"

Microsofts aim is not to give people "choice", people ALWAYS have had the
choice of which browser to use simply by installing them.. I run Firefox and
Safari at home , just to keep an eye on what is available so I have aleady
exercised my right to chose. The EU obviously have not got a clue about the
dissruption and anoyance these daily messages are going to cause Millions of

We are also , and I do not need a crystal ball to predict this, going to be
inumdated with fake update messages from every hacker, attacker and cracker
laka who will see this as a Golden opportunity to try and dupe gullible users
into clicking on links to infected websites and download. Microsoft will then
happily blame the EU for all the problems..

EU should stick to doing what they do best. Fraud and fiddles.

PA Bear [MS MVP] replied to Catbiter on 01-Mar-10 12:51 PM
Bitch to your MP or EU representatives, not us.
MowGreen replied to Catbiter on 01-Mar-10 03:09 PM
As usual, it is the End User who is left holding the proverbial stick.
Or rather, getting hit in the head with it due to a bureaucracy tussling
with a corporation.

I have no idea how MS and the EU came to a resolution on this absurd
browser issue but the Opera folks definitely deserve some of the blame,
too. They're the ones who first initiated the legal action and balked at
some of the proposed resolutions.
Folks still will not be installing Opera and it is not because they are
unaware of it is existence ... they just DON'T LIKE IT !

*-343-* FDNY
Never Forgotten
JTC replied to Smirnoff on 01-Mar-10 04:19 PM
I saw that update today, Fortunately I have automatic updates turned off and
always do a Custom update and declined it.

Maybe this is the way to go ?
Rob replied to MowGreen on 01-Mar-10 05:20 PM
What makes me laugh about this, is the comment made by Mozilla Foundation
chair Mitchell Baker. He described the news as "an important milestone
towards helping people take control of their online lives." Just how exactly
is being annoyed by a pop up screen every time I start a new browsing
session, helping me take control of my online life!? If there was an option
to turn it off then maybe.

I do not suppose for one minute Mr Baker is thinking about all the free
advertising he is now getting. Microsoft should never of been forced to
advertise it is competitors products, let alone for free. I am sorry, but if
people in this day and age do not know there is alternatives to IE, then more
fool them. There is no excuse for not shopping around or feigning ignorance.
Christ, we all know how to use Google do not we? What's next, that is all I
can say. Oh and thanks EU but I happen to like bendy bananas too ;o)
Opinicus replied to JTC on 02-Mar-10 12:24 AM
off and=20

That's the way I went. Followed up by "Hide this update" from the WUP
screen of courese.

The problem seems to be what people who have not done this can do to
get rid of the nag screen at startup.

Smirnoff replied to Opinicus on 02-Mar-10 03:36 AM

I avoided it by doing what you did.

Problem is there are conflicting reports about whether System Restore works
or not. Some say it does work, others say it does not. I have not seen a
definitive answer to this.

If it does work, fair enough. Those that say it does not work may not have
altered their Automatic Update settings, so the update is reinstalled again.
Whatever the case, the longer it goes on, SR will cease to be an option.

Others are adamant that the update cannot be removed by SR and that the only
option is to delete the registry key:

HCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\run and remove BrowserChoice
Key, "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\browserchoice.exe" /run

Don't forget to back up first...." (Keith Robinson)"

Does the method used depend on your OS? This could be the reason for
conflicting reports.

I would like to be able to advise my friends of the correct (only?) way to
remove the update.
berger15 replied to Smirnoff on 05-Mar-10 01:16 PM
If you go Start -> Run -> type " msconfig " hit enter, then select tab "
Starup" and uncheck the "browserchoice" box, then click "apply" at the bottom
and close the window. When you reboot you will get a warning, check the box
regarding future warnings and close it. This should stop this bloody annoying
message EVERY time you start the pc up.
It is not listed under the updates under the "add/remove programs" applet,
so you cannot remove it once installed.

Hope this helps a few people!
Dadu Iippanen replied to barrowhill on 05-Mar-10 03:08 PM

I'm not a developer, but in my 5 pc's (XP, sp3) Automatic Updates are set to: "Notify me, but don't automatically download or install them." Notification then appears in the task bar and when I open the Choose...dl - window I can check which updates I want. If I uncheck some update and close the window I'll be informed that I haven't choose the update to download. In that window I can also check: "Don't notify me about these updates again". Then that update won't bother me anymore. Well, if I later, for some reason, want that update anyway I go to the MS Windows update site, where I can see all my updates, also the ones I haven't yet.

I don't want to turn all updates off, since it could cause problems - there are some important ones. Sometimes I don't know how to react. Then I just Google it and get advice, in matter of fact that's the way I found this place. And after reading many comments in this site and MS own info I have decided that I don't dl "Choice Screen".

Well, I know this won't help them with the program already installed. I've been there too and learned the hard way! So for the future...

Thanks a lot and I hope you won't find me me silly , simple etc when I'm not specialist nor native English speaker/writer. (There's some very rude talk in this forum;).

PA Bear [MS MVP] replied to Dadu Iippanen on 05-Mar-10 03:39 PM
You may be accessing this thread in a trash-talking forum but the discussion
is taking place in a MS newsgroup which you can access independent of
coppernanotube replied to barrowhill on 07-Mar-10 04:23 AM
Don't know if this is still relevant, I suffered the "enhancement" as well
and I use Firefox. However was able to avoid a reinstall by tweaking the

- From a command prompt run regedit
- In path HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE...SOFTWARE...BrowserChoice double click on
Shortcut and change the value to 0 (Zero). Thus far it seems to work i.e. the
panel is installed and deactivated w/out a need to download another browser