Internet Explorer 7
Initial releaseOctober 18, 2006; 17 years ago (2006-10-18)
Stable release
Service Pack 2 (7.00.6002.18005) / May 26, 2009; 14 years ago (2009-05-26)
Operating systemWindows XP SP2 or later
Windows Server 2003 SP1 or later
PlatformIA-32, x64 (and previously Itanium)
Included withWindows Vista, Windows Server 2008, Windows Embedded POSReady 2009, Windows Embedded Compact 7, Windows Embedded Compact 2013
PredecessorInternet Explorer 6 (2001)
SuccessorInternet Explorer 8 (2009)
TypeWeb browser
Feed reader
FTP client
LicenseProprietary, requires Windows license Edit this on Wikidata

Windows Internet Explorer 7 (IE7) (codenamed Rincon)[1] is a web browser for Windows. It was released by Microsoft on October 18, 2006, as the seventh version of Internet Explorer and the successor to Internet Explorer 6. Internet Explorer 7 is part of a long line of versions of Internet Explorer and was the first major update to the browser since 2001. It was the default browser in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (later default was Internet Explorer 9), as well as Windows Embedded POSReady 2009 (later default was Internet Explorer 8), and can replace Internet Explorer 6 on Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, but unlike version 6, this version does not support Windows 2000, Windows ME, or earlier versions of Windows. It also does not support Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 or later Windows Versions.

Internet Explorer 7 requires Windows XP SP2 or Windows Server 2003 SP1 at the minimum. It is the last version of Internet Explorer that supports Windows XP x64 Edition RTM and Windows Server 2003 SP1; as the following version, Internet Explorer 8, only supports Windows XP x64 Edition SP2 and Windows Server 2003 SP2. Some portions of the underlying architecture, including the rendering engine and security framework, have been improved. New features include tabbed browsing, page zooming, an integrated search box, a feed reader, better internationalization, and improved support for web standards, although it does not pass the Acid2 or Acid3 tests. Security enhancements include a phishing filter, stronger encryption on Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 (256-bit from 128-bit in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003), and a "Delete browsing history" button to easily clear private data. It is also the first version of Internet Explorer which is branded and marketed under the name 'Windows', instead of 'Microsoft'. IE7 shipped as the default browser in Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008 and was offered as a replacement for Internet Explorer 6 for Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP. IE7 was superseded by Internet Explorer 8 in March 2009.

Support for Internet Explorer 7 ended on October 10, 2023 alongside the end of support for Windows Embedded Compact 2013.[2] Support for Internet Explorer 7 on other Windows versions ended on January 12, 2016 when Microsoft began requiring customers to use the latest version of Internet Explorer available for each Windows version.


In August 2001, Microsoft released Internet Explorer 6 as an update to Windows NT 4.0 with Service Pack 6a, Windows 98, Windows 2000 and Windows ME from previous Internet Explorer versions, such as Internet Explorer 5 and included it by default in Windows XP and Windows Server 2003. With the release of IE6 Service Pack 1 in 2002, Microsoft announced that future upgrades to Internet Explorer would come only through future upgrades to Windows, stating that "further improvements to IE will require enhancements to the underlying OS."[3]

On February 15, 2005 at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced that Microsoft was planning a new version of Internet Explorer that would run on Windows XP.[4] Both he and Dean Hachamovitch, General Manager of the Internet Explorer team, cited needed security improvements as the primary reason for the new version.[5]

The first beta of IE7 was released on July 27, 2005 for technical testing, and a first public preview version of Internet Explorer 7 (Beta 2 preview: Pre-Beta 2 version) was released on January 31, 2006.[6]

The final public version was released on October 18, 2006.[7] On the same day, Yahoo! provided a post-beta version of Internet Explorer 7 bundled with Yahoo! Toolbar and other Yahoo!-specific customizations.

In late 2007 Microsoft announced that IE7 would not be included as part of Windows XP SP3, with both Internet Explorer 6 and 7 receiving updates.[8] Most PC manufacturers, however, have pre-installed Internet Explorer 7 (as well as 8) on new XP PC's, especially netbooks.

On October 8, 2007, Microsoft removed the Windows Genuine Advantage component of IE7, allowing it to be downloaded and installed by those without a genuine copy of Windows.[9]

Within a year after IE7's release (end of 2006 to end of 2007) support calls to Microsoft had decreased 10-20%.[10]

On December 16, 2008, a security flaw was found in Internet Explorer 7 which can be exploited so that crackers can steal users' passwords.[11] The following day, a patch was issued to fix the flaw, estimated to have affected around 10,000 websites.[12]

As of May 2012, estimates of IE7's global market share were 1.5-5%.[13][14][15]

Release history

Internet Explorer
Desktop Market Share
— October 2023[16] via Net Applications[note 1][note 2]
Internet Explorer 80.01%
Internet Explorer 90.01%
Internet Explorer 110.06%
All variants0.08%
  1. ^ Includes Maxthon, Tencent Traveler, and other Internet Explorer shells
  2. ^ This is the last update from NetMarketShare, as it will be retired in its current form.

Microsoft Edge excluded from the list.

Other sources show lower numbers.[17]
Version Release date Significant changes Shipped with
7.0 Beta 1 July 27, 2005 Support of PNG alpha channel. CSS bug fixes. Tabbed browsing. Windows Vista Beta 1
7.0 Beta 2 Preview January 31, 2006 More CSS fixes. RSS platform integration. New UI. Quick Tabs.
7.0 Beta 2 April 24, 2006 Feature complete. More CSS fixes. Application compatibility fixes.
7.0 Beta 3 June 29, 2006 Fixes most rendering issues for CSS.
7.0 RC 1 August 24, 2006 Improvements in performance, stability, security, application compatibility and final CSS adjustments.
7.0 October 18, 2006 Final release. Windows Vista
7.0 SP1 February 4, 2008 Vulnerability patch. Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008
7.0 SP2 May 26, 2009 Latest updates included with Vista SP2 and Server 2008 SP2. Windows Vista SP2 and Windows Server 2008 SP2


IE7 Nears its Peak Market Share in 2008
—, September 2008[23]
Internet Explorer 4 0.01%
Internet Explorer 5 0.06%
Internet Explorer 5.5 0.06%
Internet Explorer 6 24.67%
Internet Explorer 7 46.35%
Internet Explorer 8 0.37%
All versions[24] 71.52%

With this version, Internet Explorer was renamed from Microsoft Internet Explorer to Windows Internet Explorer as part of Microsoft's rebranding of components that are included with Windows.

Internet Explorer 7 introduces the Windows RSS Platform with which it is tightly integrated and can subscribe to RSS and Atom feeds, synchronize and update them on a schedule and display them with its built-in style sheet.

Version 7 is intended to defend users from phishing as well as deceptive or malicious software, and it also features full user control of ActiveX and better security framework, including not being integrated as much with Windows[25] as previous versions, thereby increasing security. Unlike previous versions, the Internet Explorer ActiveX control is not hosted in the Windows Explorer process, but rather it runs in its own process. It also includes bug fixes, enhancements to its support for web standards, tabbed browsing with tab preview and management, a multiple-engine search box, a web feeds reader, Internationalized Domain Name support (IDN), and antiphishing filter. On October 5, 2007, Microsoft removed the 'genuine software' validation before install, which means that all versions of Windows, whether able to pass validation or not, are able to install the browser. The integrated search box supports OpenSearch.

On Windows Vista, Internet Explorer operates in a special "Protected Mode", that runs the browser in a security sandbox that has no WRITE access to the rest of the operating system or file system. When running in Protected Mode, IE7 is a low integrity process; it cannot gain write access to files and registry keys outside of the low-integrity portions of a user's profile. This feature aims to mitigate problems whereby newly discovered flaws in the browser (or in Add-Ons hosted inside it) allowed crackers to subversively install software on the user's computer (typically spyware).[26][27]

Usability and accessibility

Quick Tabs
Favorites Center in Favorites view, Feeds view and History view
Browsing to a site which IE deems to be a phishing site is blocked by default. The user has to make an explicit choice before continuing.

Privacy and security

Sites presenting EV Certificates are trusted

Microsoft has addressed security issues in two distinct ways within Windows Vista: User Account Control, which forces a user to confirm any action that could affect the stability or security of the system even when logged in as an administrator, and "Protected-mode IE", which runs the web browser process with much lower permissions than the user.[31]

The first vulnerability exclusive to Internet Explorer 7 was posted after 6 days.[32]

Internet Explorer 7 is a component of Windows Embedded Compact 7 and Windows Embedded Compact 2013 and follows the same lifecycle, thus it will continue to be supported until October 10, 2023.[33]

Phishing filter

Some users have criticised the phishing filter for being too easy to circumvent. One successful method of bypassing Internet Explorer's Phishing Filter has been reported by redirecting a blacklisted web page to another, non-blacklisted page, using a server-side redirect. Until the new page is blocked as well, the attack can remain active.

This flaw means that phishers can keep links from previous emails functioning by simply moving to a new server when their original web page is blacklisted and adding a redirect.

This has been criticised as doubly serious as the presence of a phishing filter may lull users into a false sense of security when the filter can be bypassed.[34]

Phishing filter went on to be developed into and renamed Safety Filter and then SmartScreen by Microsoft, during the development of Internet Explorer 8.[35]

Standards support

Acid2 output in Internet Explorer 7
Acid2 reference output

Internet Explorer 7 adds support for per-pixel alpha transparency in PNG,[36] as well as minor improvements to HTML, CSS and DOM support. Microsoft's stated goal with version 7 was to fix the most significant bugs and areas which caused the most trouble for developers, however full compatibility with standards was postponed.

Internet Explorer 7 additionally features an update to the WinInet API. The new version has better support for IPv6, and handles hexadecimal literals in the IPv6 address. It also includes better support for Gzip and deflate compression, so that communication with a web server can be compressed and thus will require less data to be transferred.[37][38] Internet Explorer Protected Mode support in WinInet is exclusive to Windows Vista.

Although Internet Explorer 7 is more compliant than previous versions, according to all figures it remains the least standards-compliant compared to other major browsers of the period.[39] It does not pass the Acid2 or the Acid3 tests, two test cases designed by the Web Standards Project to verify CSS compliance.

In a 2008 MSNBC article, Tim Berners-Lee said that lack of support in Internet Explorer was responsible for holding back the widespread adoption by webmasters of several new open technology standards, specifically scalable vector graphics (SVG), supported elsewhere since 2001,[40] but only available in Internet Explorer using a 3rd party plugin (until the release of Internet Explorer 9).[41]

System requirements

IE7 requires at least:[42]


  1. ^ Lyndersay, Sean (February 9, 2007). "On names and codenames..." Bit-cycling. Microsoft.
  2. ^ "Product Lifecycle - Internet Explorer 7". Microsoft. Retrieved February 13, 2022.
  3. ^ Hansen, Evan. "Microsoft to abandon standalone IE". CNET. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  4. ^ "Gates Highlights Progress on Security, Outlines Next Steps for Continued Innovation" (Press release). Microsoft. May 12, 2005. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  5. ^ Hachamovitch, Dean (February 15, 2005). "IE7". IEBlog. Microsoft. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  6. ^ Hachamovitch, Dean (July 27, 2005). "Windows Vista & IE7 Beta 1 Available". IEBlog at Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  7. ^ Graff, Scott (October 6, 2006). "IE7 Is Coming This Month...Are you Ready?". IEBlog at Microsoft Developer Network. Microsoft. Retrieved February 10, 2011.
  8. ^ "No, Internet Explorer 7 Will Not(!) Be a Part of Windows XP SP3". December 14, 2007. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  9. ^ CDRInfo.COM Team (October 8, 2007). "IE7 opens to pirated Windows". Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  10. ^ Chor, Tony (November 30, 2007). "The First Year of IE7". IEBlog. Microsoft. Retrieved August 28, 2008.
  11. ^ "Serious security flaw found in IE". BBC News. December 16, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  12. ^ "Microsoft releases fix for IE". BBC News. December 17, 2008. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  13. ^ "Global Web Stats". W3Counter. May 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  14. ^ "StatCounter Global Stats". StatCounter. May 2012. Retrieved June 5, 2012.
  15. ^ "Browser Version Market Share". Net Applications. January 2011. Retrieved January 18, 2011.
  16. ^ "Browser Version Market Share". Net Applications. October 2023. Retrieved December 2, 2017.
  17. ^
  18. ^ "Internet Explorer 7 downloads". Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  19. ^ "Gates looks to expand view beyond Windows - CNET News". March 20, 2006. Archived from the original on December 26, 2013. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  20. ^ "Anti-Phishing Accuracy Study". IEBlog. Microsoft. September 28, 2006. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  21. ^ Robichaux, Paul (September 28, 2006). "3Sharp Study finds Internet Explorer 7 Edges Out Netcraft As Most Accurate for Anti-Phishing Protection". Business Wire. 3Sharp LLC. Retrieved October 20, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Microsoft Knowledge Base with version listing, January 19, 2007
  23. ^ "Browser Version Market Share". September 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
  24. ^ "Top Browser Share Trend". September 2008. Retrieved October 5, 2008.
  25. ^ Article regarding Internet Explorer 7's integration into windows Archived June 11, 2008, at the Wayback Machine, March 24, 2006
  26. ^ "Understanding and Working in Protected Mode Internet Explorer". MSDN – Internet Explorer Development Technical Articles. Microsoft. January 2006. Retrieved April 13, 2006.
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  29. ^ New enhancements to Phishing Filter protection for IE, IEBlog
  30. ^ B. Ashok (June 27, 2006). "A Note about the DHTML Editing Control in IE7 for Windows Vista". IEBlog. MSDN Blogs. Retrieved June 27, 2006.
  31. ^ "Protected Mode in Vista IE7". Internet Explorer team blog. Microsoft. February 9, 2006. Retrieved April 7, 2006.
  32. ^ "Internet Explorer 7 Window Injection Vulnerability". Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  33. ^ "Internet Explorer 7 Lifecycle Policy". Microsoft Lifecycle Support Website. Retrieved January 27, 2020.
  34. ^ "Universal Phishing Filter Bypass". Alex's Corner blog. Individual entity. February 14, 2008. Retrieved February 14, 2008.
  35. ^ Nick Mediati. "Internet Explorer 8 Beta 2: Can It Outfox Firefox?".
  36. ^ IE7 Transparent PNG Implementation, IEBlog
  37. ^ "IE's Gzip and deflate support". October 31, 2005. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  38. ^ "IE already supports Gzip and deflate". June 6, 2005. Retrieved December 25, 2011.
  39. ^ Web browser standards support summary. Web Devout.
  40. ^ Svensson, Peter (September 10, 2008). "Creator of Web spots a flaw in Internet Explorer". NBC News. Retrieved November 16, 2008.
  41. ^ "SVG in IE9 Roadmap - IEBlog".
  42. ^ "Internet Explorer: System Requirements". Microsoft. Retrieved October 12, 2009.
Preceded byInternet Explorer 6 Internet Explorer 7 2006 Succeeded byInternet Explorer 8