Disable IE8 “Set up Windows Internet Explorer 8” Wizard

So nothing bothers me more than every time I open a new server or desktop on my network then seeing the “Welcome to Internet Explorer8” setup screen.

It was a good idea but not executed well.

The main problem I have with it is users have zero idea what to do or click. Users are very much like sheep and don’t want to think or read anything unexpected for fear they might damage the computer.

However using ether registry setting or GPO you can disable this unwelcomed screen and save yourself some helpdesk calls.

DWORD : “DisableFirstRunCustomize” set to 1 under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main

Use any tool you have to push this to your desktops. I personally use ScriptLogic Software’s Desktop Authority to do this.

Go to a GPO then pick computer or user then Policies (in Vista / 2008 and Windows 7) -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Internet Explorer

Select “Prevent performance of First Run Customize settings”

Then select Enabled, and “Go Directly to home page”

Thanks to Axel S. for providing the GPO method that I and my team had overlooked!


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About Eric

My name is Eric Weintraub. I am an IT Professional with over 12 years of real world experience. I currently work as a Senior IT Manager for a large software company that develops products for Information Technology workers. Professionally, I love what I do and it shows in my work. Personally, I enjoy technology as a whole. Enterprise Technology, Social Media, and Mobile technologies are all things I follow. I also love to play golf, go snowboarding, cook, love to eat, and read. Also big on photography, check out my recent photography at http://www.ericweintraubphotography.com and also Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericweintraub/. As much as I don’t have a lot of free time, I always come across things that I believe could help others. I just wanted to be able to share what I find with others. Thanks for reading the blog, please setup a RSS feed and keep in touch! Eric Weintraub

15 responses to “Disable IE8 “Set up Windows Internet Explorer 8” Wizard”

  1. Jack says :

    That Desktop Authority is awesome. Been using it forever.

    One thing of interest, though.. my users have never been scared of messing anything up. They’ll click on anything.

  2. Axel S. says :

    An easier way to do this would be to use a group policy setting, assuming you’ve got an AD domain. The setting is at Computer Configuration (or User Configuration, same place in both) -> Administrative Templates -> Internet Explorer -> “Prevent performance of First Run Customize settings.” You get the option of forcing the user to go to the Welcome to IE page, or to their configured home page (which is what I always use). Also, as a bonus, I think this works for both IE7 as well as IE8.

    • Eric says :

      You are absolutely right, thanks! I will update the post to have this method as well. We had looked at GPO settings for IE and passed right over this one.

  3. Celina Coutinho says :

    Perfect!! Thanks for your help

  4. hardy says :

    Hi U all
    now I need exact the opposite …
    Since I find the wizard good for making changes to the IE8, now I have the problem after the first run to start the wizard again. Does anyone know how I could start the wizard again, I run XP-home.

    Thanks in advance


  5. Heinrich says :

    thanks alot, i was looking for a GPO setting to get this done. And it worked exactly as you described it.
    you spared me some hours looking and testing…


  6. fritz says :

    Thanks for sharing the tip.

    For the benefits of those of us who are Windows illiterate – I know how to edit a registry key by typing RegEdit in the ‘Run’ box in the ‘Start’ command.
    But then you say ‘Use any tool you have to push this to your desktops’
    what does that mean? Aren’t changes to the registry picked up next time you launch the app (or at least log off and on)?
    And what other tools are available, and which one would you recommend to someone who just wants to do this change and nothing more?


  7. Eric says :

    Sorry for the confusion. That comment is more for admins who have to push this setting out to many desktops. If you are just doing this for your computer then you can make the change in regedit and logoff and back on to get the setting.

  8. joe ferrante says :

    What the hell do I do? I have windows vista home premium and it doesnt have and group policy on it?

    • Eric says :

      With Vista or Windows 7 Home versions you shouldn’t need to do any more than go through the wizard once to complete it.

  9. Stephanie says :

    I usually use Firefox, but I’ve been borrowing a laptop lately and using IE. Every damn time I use IE this window comes up so I decided to finish it just to shut it up. It’s like 10 steps! I finished the nonsense, usually selecting the option closest in meaning to “leave me alone”, and thought this nightmare was over.


    As per the norm when a Microsoft developer is involved (I swear they must be unionized) the very next time I opened IE I was greeted with that same damn setup screen. And the next time, and the time after that.

    Hopefully this registry setting will finally stop IE from doing this to me. If not, Chrome will be installed.

  10. photogregor says :

    Thanks a lot Eric, that’s what I was looking for. Just for clarification: if I deploy IE8 with WSUS with your GPO settings done before(!), the users then will definitely not see the setup wizzard?

    Thanks again.

    • Eric says :

      Over the years I have learned nothing is definite anymore but I believe this should work even if you push out with WSUS. I would highly recommend you test it first using some VM’s to make sure though.

  11. Lee Henry says :

    I am an old codger useing Windows XP and I get this stupid Explorer 8 every time I open Internet Explorer. I am in no way interested in this and I want it to go away permanently! How do I get this accomplished??

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