Saturday, 13 March 2010

Microsoft Browser Choice update, Prevent Browser Choice running on startup and WSUS

Microsoft Browser Choice update KB976002

Have just noticed "Browser Choice update" appear on some client pc's.  Very nice of Microsoft to give us the choice! I could not see an easy way of removing it, it didn't disappear on its own, in the end I had to edit the registry to remove the RUN entry at startup.

KB976002 – Browser Choice, This KB976002 is classified by Microsoft as: High Priority, Non-Security

I think this is in rsponse to EU regulations.

BBC News "Browser Choice"

Microsoft on The Issues Blog

what-is-the-browser-choice-update (Microsoft explanation)

What does the browser Choice screen look like? It is a web based process, which displays the following screen.
(link to browser Choice Screen)

How to prevent the Browser Choice window opening on startup,

If you have a different browser set as default (not Internet explorer) the choice window should not open.

I ran "Msconfig" to see where the correct key was in the registry (under Run) and then used "regedit" to remove it.
HCU\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\run and remove the key for  BrowserChoice, "C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\browserchoice.exe" /run

(editing the registry is dangerous please only do it if you understand the risks)

Like many I thought it was a potential malware attack! It is nearly has hard to get rid of as some fake AV products.

I would have thought Microsoft would have had more press releases prior to release. Unfortunately like many business we are stuck with Microsoft.

A removal option and a large legal page to accept would have been a good option. To actually install this update in a way it can’t be removed is an abuse of their position, I am sure there will be some fall out.

The IT dept in the European courts are having an interesting time.

I would hate to have go around and disable this on a lot of pc’s, thank fully we use WSUS.

How to Remove Browser Choice Update KB 976002

The Browser Choice update can not be removed by using add remove programs. You can only stop it starting at startup see above.
WSUS deployment of the Browser Update KB 976002
Have been looking at how to avoid WSUS deployment of Browser Update, have set it to manually authorize updates, and now will need to keep checking until it arrives. We can then disallow the update

Microsoft Resource Centre Article on saying that the Browser Choice Update KB 976002 will be available to WSUS in April 2010! (took some finding)

A good idea From Alex, to stop WSUS installing Browser Choice Update KB 976002.

Related articles on the Browser Choice
The fall out of the browser update goes on, the Makers of the Smaller browser want to get noticed. It is not to obvious that there are more choices than visible in the main Choice Window.

Ther are bowsers listed that I have never heard of, but I am sure fill there own need. I prefer not to use Internet Explorer, but have no choice really in the corporate setting.


  1. "I would have thought Microsoft would have had more press releases prior to release. Unfortunately like many business we are stuck with Microsoft."

    I think the sinister one here is the EU, by putting THEIR icon our desktops they are joining in the same type of activity they are complaining about in the first place?

    really they should leave IT to the people who understand it.

  2. The only ie option available in browserchoice is ie8. If you have already be trying to prevent deployment of ie8 for compatibility reasons (some feat in itself), browserchoice gives another backdoor for it to get through.

    The menu should give an option for the user to say "I am happy with my browser setup exactly as it is". That would also suit web developers who usually have a carefully chosen mix of browsers installed for testing purposes.