When Internet Explorer Clashes with 64-Bit Operating Systems

27 Oct, 2009 By: Robert Green

CAD Manager's Toolbox: Although it seems logical to use a 64-bit browser with a 64-bit operating system, that's not always the best answer.

As a follow-up to some e-mail I've received, I wanted to offer a suggestion for those CAD managers running 64-bit Microsoft Windows XP or Vista systems (or Windows 7, before long). These users may encounter some compatibility problems with Internet Explorer's 64-bit version. (The real culprit is usually a plugin for 64-bit Internet Explorer, but when you can't view training videos or share Flash media content, who cares who's at fault — you simply want a fix, right?)

The workaround is to simply not use the 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, but to use the supplied 32-bit version instead. This fix has worked perfectly for me so far. In fact, I probably won't mess with reactivating the 64-bit version.

Desktop Shortcut

If you currently launch Internet Explorer from shortcut on the desktop, or from one pinned to the Start bar, you simply need to replace your existing shortcuts with the 32-bit version instead. You can find the link to that version of Internet Explorer in your Start bar, as shown here (the one that does not say "64-bit" in the title):

Now simply create shortcuts on your desktop, or in your toolbars, using the 32-bit version. Now when your users start Internet Explorer, they'll run the 32-bit version like they always have.

Other Techniques

Alternate ways to work around the problem include:

  • Uninstall the full 64-bit version of Internet Explorer, and then download and reinstall the 32-bit version only.
  • Those who don't mind getting into registry settings can set the default program EXE for Internet Explorer to the 32-bit version (as shown in the image below), which is found in the Program Files (x86) folder of the 64-bit operating system. (Be careful, as registry editing can result in unusable programs if you don't know what you're doing).


About the Author: Robert Green

Robert Green

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