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Internet Explorer Batch-mode Setup Switches

You might want to control the way that Windows Update Setup runs for your users. You can use command-line switches to choose the installation mode, specify a quiet mode (which removes or reduces the prompts the user receives), or control whether the computer is restarted after installation.

You can have users include these switches when they run Windows Update Setup, but a more typical scenario is packaging Internet Explorer using another program, such as IExpress, for a batch installation.

Internet Explorer Switches

You can use the following switches to control Internet Explorer Setup:




Specifies a quiet "hands-free" mode. The user is prompted for information that is not specified.


Specifies a quiet mode with no user prompts.


Specifies a quiet mode with the Cancel button not displayed, so the user cannot cancel Setup. The Internet Explorer 6 Customization Wizard uses this switch if you select the Install package silently option when you are installing as a corporate administrator.


Specifies the batch script file to use.


Specifies the installation mode. For customized IEAK packages, 0 refers to the first installation choice, 1 refers to the second choice, and so on (for example, 0=minimal, 1=typical, 2=full). You can specify up to 10 installation modes in the IEAK.

If the /M switch is used without a number, Setup assumes no mode and installs only the specified components. If this switch is not used, Setup uses the default mode specified in the .inf file.

/E:ComponentID[, ...]

Specifies extra components to be installed regardless of the installation mode. Use this switch to specify components that are not a part of the installation type you specified in the Customization Wizard. This switch also overrides settings in the batch text file, if used. The ComponentID is a string that uniquely identifies a component; you can find the corresponding string in the component sections of the Iesetup.cif file.


Designates the source path of Ie5setup.exe. The ""#e"" refers to the full path and name of the .exe file.

Note Note The path must be surrounded by two pairs of double quotation marks.


Suppresses restarting the computer after installation. If you suppress restarting after the conclusion of Windows Update Setup, the installation of your custom component must restart the computer. Internet Explorer is not configured correctly until the computer is restarted.


Specifies that you want to download only the files for the current operating system.


Specifies that you want to download files for Microsoft Windows and Windows NT operating systems.

/G:section[, ...]

Runs specified installation sections in Iesetup.inf. Separate sections with commas.


Installs Internet Explorer without the shell, icons, or links. This option is useful for hosting browser controls in your own application.


Installs Internet Explorer with the shell, icons, or links, but does not take over default browser or http protocol associations.


Reports the required component and disk space cost for an installation. This option enables you to see how much disk space is used based on the installation options selected. See the Assessing the Installed Size of Internet Explorer section on this page for more information.

Internet Explorer command-line switches used with IExpress

The IExpress Wizard helps you pass setup switches from one program to another. When using IExpress with Internet Explorer switches, the Internet Explorer switches are placed inside the IExpress expression as follows:

Ie5setup <IExpress switches> /c:" ie6wzd <Internet Explorer switches> "

For a complete list of IExpress setup switches, see IExpress Batch-mode Setup Switches.


Here are some example commands used to install Internet Explorer.

  • The following expression performs a quiet installation. It does not prompt the user, and the computer is not restarted after installation:

    ie5setup.exe /C:"ie6wzd /S:""#e"" /Q /R:N"

  • The following expression overrides the Ie5sites.dat site list and installs Internet Explorer from the specified location. It is a single expression, displayed using multiple lines of text to improve readability.


    This expreyoursession would be used to point users to another download location (for example, in another country or region) without rebuilding your IEAK package.

Assessing the Installed Size of Internet Explorer

You can use Internet Explorere batch-mode switches to pass information about Internet Explorer installation to your custom IEAK package. There are two key reasons to do this. One is to display the amount of disk space needed for installing Internet Explorer (dynamically, based on the options the user chooses), and the second is to provide progress information during installation.

When you use the /P switch, this information is stored in the registry during installation. Based on this information, Windows Update Setup returns the following additional information to the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\InstallInfo registry branch:


Data Type




Number of KB (The actual size of the installation.)



1 or 0



Number of KB

This value is usually larger than InstallSize, because more size is needed for the installation process. Use as an estimate of how the progress information would appear in a "gas-gauge" style estimate.

Windows Update Setup Return Codes and Status

After an application is installed or its installation fails, Setup needs to report the outcome. Because IE6wzd.exe is packaged inside Ie5setup.exe, return codes cannot be passed back directly. Instead, after installation, Setup returns the information in the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Active Setup\InstallInfo registry branch. Any Failed HResult in this branch means some sort of failure.


Data Type





DWORD reflecting the HRESULT from setup, as follows:









Files are missing for the requested installation.




Setup succeeded partially. One or more components are not downloaded/installed. Check the FailedComponents subkey for the list of components.




Setup succeeded partially, but the user canceled Setup. One or more components are not downloaded/installed.

For items that were not successfully installed, Setup also returns the following information:


Data Type





<Name of Components from CIFID>null<Name of Component...>





Install completed successfully.




Suspend Setup. The user canceled Setup and is asked to verify whether to cancel.




No, do not Cancel, resume Setup.




Yes, Cancel confirmed, quit Setup as soon as possible. In some cases, a task in progress, such as copying or extracting files, may need to be completed.

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