Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate available via Automatic Update

February 15th, 2011

Starting today, Monday, February 14, 2011, the Automatic Update (AU) feature of Windows Update (WU) will offer users of Internet Explorer 9 Beta an upgrade to the Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate. This rollout will start with a narrow audience and expand over the next few days to cover all Internet Explorer 9 Beta users. This post provides information on how the Automatic Update delivery will work and announces the release of Internet Explorer 9 Automatic Update Blocker Toolkit.

How IE9 RC Automatic Update Delivery Works

AU will notify you when Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate is ready to install. You can click on the bubble to launch Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate installation. You can also install Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate from Windows Update manually by launching Windows Update from the Start Menu and checking for updates.

When Windows Update starts installing Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate, you will see the IE9 installation screen:

To install Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate, click Install. If you choose Ask me later, WU will re-offer Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate to you during the next update scan. If you choose Don’t Install, WU will not offer Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate via AU to you again, and Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate will appear as an optional item on Windows Update. Users who decline the update can download Internet Explorer 9 Release Candidate from We strongly encourage all IE9 Beta users to upgrade to the IE9 RC.

IE9 Automatic Update Blocker Toolkit

With IE9 RC released via Automatic Update, now is good time to prepare for the final IE9 release (the Release-to-Web, RTW, build). To help our users be more secure and up-to-date, we will eventually distribute the IE9 RTW build via AU and WU to all users. We know that in a corporate environment, the IT organization often wants to delay the introduction of a new browser until they have fully tested its compatibility with internal applications and sites. We’ve done a lot of work in IE9 to maintain compatibility with sites designed for Internet Explorer 8 and Internet Explorer 7 and intranet sites continue to run in Compatibility View (IE7 mode) by default. Regardless, we know many IT organizations will want to test IE9 before it is widely deployed.

To help prevent users from installing IE9 RTW through Automatic Update, we are providing the IE9 AU Blocker Toolkit which, when deployed, prevents IE9 RTW offered as an important update via AU. This Toolkit has no expiration date and can be configured either by running the registry file on the client machines or via Group Policy in domain joined environments. The Toolkit also provides an unblock procedure which can revert the block. We believe this approach strikes a good balance by helping customers become more secure and letting organizations control when they are ready to deploy IE9 to their users.

The Toolkit to Disable Automatic Delivery of Internet Explorer 9 is now available from the Microsoft Download Center.

The IE9 Blocker Toolkit has no impact on the IE9 RC AU deployment to IE9 Beta customers and, further, will not block the final version of IE9 offered to users who already have pre-release versions of IE9 installed on their machine. This is to ensure that we provide the latest security fixes to users running older pre-release versions of IE9. The toolkit, also, does not prevent users from manually installing IE9 from the Microsoft Download Center.

There are different registry keys used to block or unblock automatic delivery of IE9 and IE8. If you previously used the IE8 Blocker Toolkit to block IE8 from being offered as an important update, you will need to run the IE9 version of the Blocker Toolkit to block IE9 from being offered via AU.

Organizations that use an update management solution such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) do not need to deploy the Blocker Toolkit. WSUS and SCCM allow organizations to fully manage deployment of updates released through WU, including IE9.

We encourage the timely deployment of IE9 while at the same time respecting your desire to deploy it on your schedule.

—Vishwac Sena Kannan and Jatinder Mann, IE Program Managers