Restore MS Office Help Functionality

Recently, I permitted Microsoft to perform an upgrade for my copy of Internet Explorer 9 to Internet Explorer 10 as part of an automatic update to my Windows 7 OS. I didn't notice any problems right away, but over the next few weeks, I began to notice different programs, including IE10, no longer worked properly. A coupon printer provided by The Coupon Network via which I'd used frequently to print grocery coupons mysteriously stopped working. I chalked it up to a compatibility issue and tried switching to Firefox 21 and Chrome 27, but even after they downloaded and installed the same printer applet, they still wouldn't print the coupons. Furthermore, I noticed IE10 (which now resembles Firefox in several ways) wouldn't complete a download of anything! Then, when I wanted to read MS Office's Help files to learn how to do a certain task, none of the hyperlinks on the Help Table of Contents (TOC) page would display!

This rocked on for a few weeks before I finally contacted The Coupon Network for help and to ask about compatibility issues. They were less than helpful (telling me their printer doesn't yet work with the newer browsers), so I decided I would try to revert to using IE9, which I knew had worked fine before the upgrade. However, there was no obvious way either to uninstall IE10 (neither in the Internet Explorer Start menu folder or in the Control Panel), and when I tried to reinstall IE9, it reminded me that I already had IE10 installed. It was a vicious circle!

My next step was to check with the Microsoft Office and Internet Explorer Community forums for suggestions. Gratefully, a community member explained that I needed to take the following steps to downgrade back to IE9. Now, here are the steps:

  1. Open the Windows Control Panel -- for speedy access, you can type "programs and features" without the quotes in the Search box on the Start menu and press ENTER
  2. Next, click on the "View installed updates" link on the menu at the upper left side of the Control Panel once it loads
  3. Now, scroll down the list of updates in the "Uninstall an update" pane and click ONCE on the item named "Windows Internet Explorer 10" on the list to select it
  4. Click on the "Uninstall" button that appears next to the drop-down menu labeled "Organize"
  5. After the uninstallation process completes, restart your computer to finish the downgrade process
  6. Now, after your computer reboots -- in order to prevent Windows Updates from automatically upgrading to IE10 again (AT LEAST until Microsoft has worked out the major bugs in IE10) -- type "check for updates" without the quotes in the Search box on the Start menu and then press ENTER
  7. Next, click on the available updates link in the rectangle
  8. When the list of updates appears on the next screen, right-click your mouse pointer on the "Internet Explorer 10 for Windows 7..." item on the list and choose "Hide update" from the pop-up menu
  9. Finally, click the OK button at the bottom right corner of your screen to return to the updates screen; if you have any other available updates which you wish to install, you may do so at that point

Once I completed the downgrade back to IE9, all of the abovementioned problems quietly went away. I regained not only the ability to browse and read the MS Office Help files, but I am able once again to print coupons and download files onto my computer. Oh, Happy Day!

As happy as I am to reveal this little-known process to you, I feel compelled to give credit where credit is due. Thanks to the Microsoft Community Forum for Internet Explorer for the solution to this puzzle. As Gomer Pyle might say, "THANKYA! THANKYA! THANKYA!"