Browser Choice FAQ
What is the Browser Choice Update?
The Browser Choice update is a software update for Windows that Microsoft is required to distribute in Europe as part of legal Commitments to the European Commission. The Browser Choice update is designed to inform customers who currently have Internet Explorer set as the default browser on their computers of the other web browsers available to them. The Browser Choice Screen provides consumers with an easy way to see what other web browsers are available, to learn about those browsers and to install them if they choose to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q: Who will get the Browser Choice Update?
A: Users who have their regional settings set to one of the following countries or regions will get the Browser Choice update:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
After downloading the update and restarting your computer, the update will check to see if Internet Explorer is your default web browser. If it is, the following will happen:
- A shortcut for the Browser Choice update will be put on your desktop.
- On a computer running Windows 7, the Internet Explorer shortcut will be unpinned from the taskbar.
- The Browser Choice information screen will open. Click OK to continue.
- The Browser Choice screen will open for you to install or learn more about other browsers.
The Browser Choice desktop icon
Q: What does the Browser Choice Update do?
After downloading the update and restarting your computer, if you have Internet Explorer set as your default browser, you'll automatically be shown the Browser Choice screen, and you can then select and install the browsers you want to use. You can also double-click the Browser Choice shortcut on the desktop to select and install the web browser you want to use.
It is important to note that The Browser Choice update doesn't remove any programs from your computer.
Q: ow do I select and install web browsers using the Browser Choice update?
Follow these steps to use the Browser Choice update to install one or more browsers to your computer:
- Double-click the Browser Choice shortcut on the desktop.
- In the Welcome screen, click OK.
- In the Select your web browser(s) screen, for each browser you want to install, click Install. Click Tell me more for information about any of the browsers.
- Follow any on-screen instructions to install the browser you chose.
The Browser Choice screen
Q: Why am I being prompted to choose a browser now?
In December, the European Commission and Microsoft arrived at a resolution of a number of long-standing competition law issues. Microsoft made a legally binding commitment as part of this resolution to distribute the Browser Choice update in Europe.
Q: Why is the Browser Choice Screen only showing 12 browser installation options?
As part of the resolution agreement between the European Commission and Microsoft, it was agreed that the Browser Choice Screen would include the top 12 browsers, based on market share. The list will be re-evaluated every six months.
Q: How did the Browser Choice Update get on my machine?
As part of the Commitments to the European Commission, Microsoft is required to use Windows Update to provide the browser choice screen to Windows users in Europe who are running Internet Explorer as their default browser. This update will be marked as an Important/High Priority Update.
The update is also available to corporate customers via Windows Server Update Services. In particular, the Browser Choice update will be available via WSUS by the end of April 2010. The Browser Choice update will behave like any updates released to WSUS, with IT administrators having the ability to block or allow the specific update. If a customer wants to deploy the browser choice update within their environment before it’s availability on WSUS, the browser choice update has been available for deployment in the Microsoft Update catalog since March 9, 2010.
Q: After being installed, will the Browser Choice Screen launch if I change my non-Microsoft browser to Internet Explorer?
No, the update runs once after installation and the user has logged off and back on to the machine, to determine whether the default browser is Internet Explorer.
Q: Why isn't all of the text on the Browser Choice webpage and other browsers' websites shown in my native language?
The text that's displayed on the Browser Choice screen is written by the web browser provider and is displayed in English if localized text or links haven't been created by the provider. The websites linked to from the Browser Choice screen aren't under the control of Microsoft and Microsoft isn't responsible for the links or contents of these providers' websites.
Q: If I choose to install a different web browser, will my Internet Explorer favorites be transferred to my new web browser?
Transferring favorites to your new web browser isn't part of the Browser Choice update. During setup, some web browsers will prompt you to transfer your Internet Explorer favorites to your new web browser. If the option to transfer your Internet Explorer favorites to your new browser isn't offered, contact the browser provider for assistance.
Q: What if my default browser is something besides Internet Explorer?
The Browser Choice update will install on your PC, but it will not run.
Q: Do I have to choose a browser right away?
No, you can click Select later to be prompted to choose a browser the next time you log on. You can open the Browser Choice screen anytime by double-clicking the shortcut on your desktop.
Q: What if I want to continue using the default browser I have now?
The Browser Choice update does not remove any software from your computer, so it does not impact your ability to use Internet Explorer even if you choose to install another browser or choose to close the update without installing any browser. You may also select the “Install” button for IE8.
Q: Is Internet Explorer removed by the Browser Choice update?
The Browser Choice update doesn't add or remove any programs from your computer. Internet Explorer will still be available from the Start menu.
Q: My “e” icon for the Internet is missing from my Task Bar. Where did it go?
As part of the Commitments to the European Commission, Internet Explorer is automatically un-pinned from the Task Bar in Windows 7 when the Browser Choice update runs. If you would like to re-pin the “e” icon to your Task Bar, go to the Start Menu, enter “Internet Explorer” – highlight it and right-click and select “Pin to Task Bar”. For more information about how to pin a program to your task bar, see
Pin a program to the taskbar.
Q: Does the Browser Choice update continue to launch automatically each time I log on to my PC?
No. The Browser Choice update will automatically launch the first time the user logs on to their PC after the initial download and installation has completed successfully. If the user chooses to install another web browser, or if the user closes the screen using the red “X” in the top right of the screen, the Browser Choice Update will not automatically launch again. However, the Browser Choice Update will automatically launch the next time the customer logs on if the user clicked the "Select Later" button from the Browser Choice screen. If the user does not want to be prompted with this screen again, they should close it out using the red “X” in the top right of the screen rather than clicking the "Select Later" button.
If a user has multiple PCs, will they need to make a choice on each computer? What about multiple user accounts on one PC
Will each user see the Browser Choice screen and will they each need to make a choice?
The Browser Choice update will be installed on any PC that receives updates from Windows Update running Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Users will need to make a choice for each computer they own that receives the Browser Choice update.
Q: Which Microsoft operating systems are affected by the Browser Choice Update?
The Browser Choice update will be offered to customers using Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Windows Server editions won't receive the update. However, the Browser Choice update will be distributed to virtual workstations running on Windows Server.
Q: How does the Browser Choice Screen update affect enterprise customers who have selected and deployed Internet Explorer as their standard browser?
Enterprise customers can decide whether they want to deploy the update or not. If they choose not to deploy the update, their employees and IT infrastructure will not be affected by the update. For volume licensing customers who receive updates from Windows Update, Microsoft has created a tool that they can use if they choose to prevent the update from running.
Q: Are enterprise customers required to deploy the Browser Choice Screen update?
No, enterprise customers are not required to deploy the Browser Choice Screen update if they are under volume licensing.
Q: How can enterprise customers in the EC obtain the Browser Choice Screen update?
Enterprise customers that receive updates from Windows Update will receive the update just like end-user customers. For those customers that use WSUS, the update is available in the Microsoft Update catalog to IT administrators as its own update classification. This update will be available via WSUS directly by the End of April 2010.
Q: How can I block the browser choice screen within a volume licensed environment?
Please use the details outlined with the following KB article:
Information about the Browser Choice update for system administrators who are in managed environments that are under a Volume Licensing program
It is important to note that there is no tool available for centralized management of the Browser Choice Update beyond management of the WSUS package. This registry key option is only available to volume licensing customers. The registry key option is designed solely to allow IT administrators to be able to control deployment to managed systems.
Q: What is the deadline for enterprises to make the registry change mentioned, before their users start seeing the browser choice?
Since the Browser Choice update will be distributed on a rolling basis, there are no specific deadlines we can provide. However, please note that the Browser Choice update is available for download on Windows Update and is being rolled out to users in Europe automatically throughout March, April, and May of 2010 and will be provided on an ongoing basis for new systems. As a reminder, the registry key opt-out is designed solely to allow IT administrators to be able to control deployment in managed environments (typically those that rely on WU for updates).
Q: Can the Browser Choice Update be uninstalled?
No uninstall method is available for end-user or Enterprise customers. However, end users may delete the Browser Choice desktop icon by right clicking on it and selecting “Delete” or by dragging it to the recycle bin.
Q: What other resources are available to me, as a customer, outside of this FAQ?
Several links are available today, including KB articles and blog posts:
Q: How do I obtain support regarding issues with the Browser Choice Screen?
It is important to note that customers requesting support for the Browser Choice Screen will not be charged. However, Microsoft does not provide support for third party software, including the browsers listed within the Browser Choice Screen. If you require technical support for a non-Microsoft browser, you will need to contact the third party directly for support.
Enterprise customers are encouraged to use their support channels for assistance. Non-enterprise customers can contact Microsoft directly using the online assisted support option outlined below.
Premier customers may use their normal escalation channels for support. Non-premier customers should use the online assisted support option outlined below.
Online Assisted Support Options
From here, you will need to choose the appropriate region, from the list available, and then click the arrow key. This will take you to the Microsoft Support Offerings page based on the region selected.
With respect to the browsers listed on the Browser Choice Screen, Microsoft only provides technical support to customers who need assistance with Internet Explorer 8. Try contacting the other browser providers for assistance.
Q: Where can I find the details of the legal commitments made to the EU Commission?
Details are available at this link:
Microsoft Statement on European Commission Decision
Q: Guidelines for IT Administrators around the Browser Choice Update Availability
The update is available now to download from the Microsoft Update catalog. This update is scheduled be distributed to WSUS servers automatically, starting in April 2010.
Q: Locating the update
The update will show up in the catalog as:
- Before the scheduled distribution to WSUS: Microsoft Browser Choice Screen Update for EEA Users of <operating system / architecture> (KB976002)
- After the Scheduled distribution to WSUS:
EU Browser Choice Update-For Europe Only when integrating this into your WSUS server, this will be classified as an Operating system update:
- Before the scheduled distribution to WSUS this product is classified as “Critical Updates”: After the scheduled distribution to WSUS this product is classified as “Update Rollup”
Critical Updates Screenshot
Q: Are there any special considerations in regard to the Browser Choice Update WSUS package?
This update will be treated no differently to any other WSUS update and so it will depend on how you have configured the Products and Classifications and Automatic Approvals. It is possible for your WSUS configuration to automatically deploy this update once it is in the products list as part of your Automatic Approvals. It’s worth noting that the automatic approvals only run automatically on an automatic sync and not when importing from the catalog.
You will need to make sure that machines are set to get “Critical Updates”(before the scheduled distribution to WSUS) classification or “Update Rollup” (after the scheduled distribution to WSUS) classification updates for the Operating System product. If you are selecting “All products” , “Microsoft” or the relevant operating system in the products list then this will include this update.
You can alternatively approve it manually if they are not automatically approved or to decline the update if you want to prevent it from being automatically approved also.
Approve Updates Dialog Box
Enterprise customers can decide whether they want to deploy the update or not. If they choose not to deploy the update, their employees and IT infrastructure will not be affected by the update. For volume licensing customers who receive updates from Windows Update, Microsoft has created a tool that they can use if they choose to prevent the update from running. Please use the details outlined with the following KB article:
Information about the Browser Choice update for system administrators who are in managed environments that are under a Volume Licensing program
Q: Can I deploy the update to machines based outside of the EU?
The Browser Choice update can be installed on any client machine but it will only run on machines with regional settings configured to the following countries:
Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland
Q: Can I find out through WSUS what browser(s) have been installed by users that have had the Browser Choice Update deployed through WSUS?
With WSUS, you can find out which machines that have had the Browser Choice update installed. You cannot find out what browser has been selected with WSUS.
Additional WSUS References