Windows Server

Disable IE ESC for Windows Server 2003

Removing or Disabling Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration (IE ESC) for Windows Server 2003 is a simple process, however, today when I showed someone how to do this at work, I realized I’d not documented the process yet here on so…  Let’s get to it!


Note – This How-To Tutorial is for Server 2003, I’ve previously documented the in case you were looking for that.  


 1.   Click Start, Control Panel, Add or Remove Programs

Warning – Use caution if disabling IE ESC on a production server.  There have been some reports that IIS and other applications can have issues after disabling IE ESC on Server 2003.

 Open Add or Remove Programs for Windows Server 2003 ::


2.   Click Add/Remove Windows Components

Add or Remove Programs, Add/Remove Windows Components ::


3.   Scroll Down and Uncheck Box for Internet Explorer Enhanced Security ConfigurationClick Next, and Finish on next page

Uncheck Box and Disable Internet Explorer Enhanced Security Configuration for Windows Server 2003


Very simple and “moderately” groovy ;)


Feedback? Comments? Questions?  Would love to hear from you!


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  1. biju

    February 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm

    Doing this caused – IIS to become corrupted. Anyone have any bad experiences with IIS accidental corruption when trying to disable/uninstall this idiotic IE ESC (enhanced security configuration). In the end had to reinstall IIS from scratch. And IE ESC only disappeared after a couple of reboots.

    • MrGroove

      February 27, 2010 at 8:12 pm

      @Biju – That’s bizarre… Sorry to hear it corrupted your IIS install. Never seen that the countless time I ran through this. What Service pack did you have on your Server 2003 install?

      • biju

        March 15, 2010 at 9:23 am

        I believe this disaster can be replicated and have done this a couple of times now thankfully not on production but in test box. And it doesn’t matter if enhanced security configuration box in the window above is checked or unchecked – both could lead to the same disaster of IIS becoming uninstalled!! (I made sure take the check mark off of the application server checkbox as well)

        The sad part is in test enhanced security configuration stayed put to add salt to the wound. in production a few reboots got rid of ehnahced secuiryt configuration, but not in test. my view, untested still, is that the best way to get rid of the horror ESC thing is via the server wizard. or just let it alone.

        I am running a really basic build – Windows 2003 server SP2 – no patches beyond SP2.

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