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Keeping Internet Explorer Updated

After you deploy Windows® Internet Explorer® 8 in your corporate network, you can use the following tools to distribute updated versions of Internet Explorer 8 to your users' computers:

  • Automatic version synchronization. Obtain an updated version of Internet Explorer 8 that you can deploy as part of your custom browser packages.

  • Update notification page. Set the update notification page to notify users automatically about new versions of Internet Explorer. You can customize or disable this update capability.

  • Software distribution tools. Use system update management tools such as System Center Configuration Manager, Systems Management Server, Windows Server Update Services, or the software distribution capabilities in Group Policy to update Internet Explorer 8 on users' computers.

  • Automatic updates to Internet Explorer and the Blocker Toolkit. Deliver Internet Explorer 8 as a high-priority update in Automatic Updates. Internet Explorer 8 is also available through Windows Update and Microsoft Update to computers where users have local administrative credentials. To disable automatic updates of Internet Explorer 8, install the Blocker Toolkit.

Automatic version synchronization

When you build your custom Internet Explorer 8 packages by using the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, you can use the wizard's automatic version synchronization (AVS) feature to obtain an updated version of Internet Explorer 8 from the Internet Explorer 8 Downloads Web site (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=67690).

This feature is useful if a new version of Internet Explorer becomes available after you build your custom package. You can download and install the new version as part of any browser package that you later build and deploy.

If you need to maintain more than one version of Internet Explorer to build your custom packages, you can keep the versions in separate component download folders. Then, when you run the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, in the File Locations page, you specify the component download folder for a specific package.

For more information about using the AVS feature, see Customizing Internet Explorer 8 using IEAK.

Update notification page

You can configure Internet Explorer 8 to notify your users automatically when a new version of the browser is available. At a specified interval, the version of the browser that is installed on your users' computers compares itself to the most current browser version that is available for download from Microsoft. If the current browser version on the Web site is newer than the version on users' computers, their Internet Explorer 8 home pages are temporarily replaced by an update notification page the next time they open their browsers.

The default update notification page is the Windows Update page (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=284). From this page, users can download the new version of Internet Explorer, add the update notification page to their Favorites list, or cancel the browser update.

noteNote
Your users must have local administrative privileges on their computers to install an updated version of Internet Explorer 8 from Windows Update.

You can use the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, the IEAK Profile Manager, or the Internet Explorer Maintenance (IEM) extension Group Policy settings to replace the URL of the default update notification page with a URL of your custom Web page or another Web site. You can also change the update interval, which specifies how often the update notification page is displayed.

To change update notification settings

  • In the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8 or IEAK Profile Manager:

    On the Additional Settings screen, double-click Internet Settings, and then click Component Updates.

    For more information about Additional Settings, see Customizing Internet Explorer 8 using IEAK.

  • In IEM:

    In the left pane, click Advanced, and in the right pane, double-click Internet Settings, and then click Component Updates.

    IEM Advanced settings are available only in Preference mode.

    For more information about using IEM, see Managing Browser Settings Through IEAK 8 Profile Manager.

If you choose to manage the distribution of updated versions of Internet Explorer 8 to your users, you can disable update notification completely by using IEAK 8 tools or IEM settings. In Internet Settings, in the left pane, click Advanced settings. Then, in the right pane, under Browsing, clear the Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates check box.

By using the Administrative Templates policy setting Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates, you can disable automatic checks for Internet Explorer 8 updates on computers running Windows 2003 Server with SP1.

noteNote
The Administrative Templates policy setting Automatically check for Internet Explorer updates is not supported on Windows Vista.

Software distribution tools

If you already manage software distribution and updates on your network by using Systems Center Configuration Manager (SCCM), Systems Management Server (SMS), Microsoft Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) with Service Pack 1 (SP1), or Group Policy Software Installation, you can use these tools for ongoing deployments of Internet Explorer 8.

Systems Center Configuration Manager

SCCM is a dedicated, flexible system to use for updates and software deployment. It provides robust features to facilitate scheduling, managing, and reporting for your Internet Explorer 8 distributions in large-scale corporate environments.

For more information about using SMS for the distribution of Internet Explorer 8, see Using Software Distribution Tools to Install Internet Explorer 8 in this deployment guide.

Windows Server Update Services with Service Pack 1

If you use WSUS with SP1, you can centrally manage the distribution of Internet Explorer 8 updates that are released through Microsoft Update to computers on your corporate network that are running:

  • Windows Vista® with SP1

  • Windows Vista x64 with SP1

  • Windows Server 2003 with SP1

  • Windows XP with SP2

  • Windows XP x64 Edition

For more information about using WSUS with SP1, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=45140.

ImportantImportant
WSUS provides Internet Explorer 8 as an update rollup. Under default WSUS settings, you must explicitly approve the distribution of Internet Explorer 8 updates.

Group Policy Software Installation

The Group Policy Software Installation extension takes advantage of the Windows Installer service that is part of the Windows operating system. Based on your instructions, Windows Installer installs, repairs, and removes software in .msi files. Whether you download an Internet Explorer 8 installation package from the Web or create a custom browser package by using the Internet Explorer Customization Wizard 8, your Internet Explorer 8 Setup file is an executable (.exe) file. Therefore, you must use an .msi packaging tool to package Internet Explorer 8 for Group Policy deployment.

noteNote
You can obtain .msi packaging utilities from many non-Microsoft providers.

For more information about the Software Installation extension of Group Policy, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=83294.

Automatic updates to Internet Explorer 8 and the Blocker Toolkit

noteNote
The Internet Explorer 8 Blocker Toolkit is available from the Update Management TechCenter: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=160120.

If you configure your users' computers to receive security and other important Windows updates through Automatic Updates, they will also receive high-priority Internet Explorer 8 updates automatically.

Alternatively, users can download and install Internet Explorer 8 updates from either of the following sites:

noteNote
Automatic Updates offers Internet Explorer 8 only to users with local administrator accounts.

If you want to disable the automatic delivery of Internet Explorer 8 to your users' computers, as an administrator, you can use the Internet Explorer 8 Blocker Toolkit. The Blocker Toolkit also prevents automatic upgrades from earlier versions of Internet Explorer to Internet Explorer 8. The Internet Explorer 8 Blocker Toolkit is available from the Microsoft Download Center at: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=160121.

For more information about Windows Update, Microsoft Update, and Automatic Updates for IT professionals, see: http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=65776.

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