Disable the Internet Explorer 9 Tour

Updating the image is always great. You get to learn all the new annoying things Microsoft added to the latest flavor of Internet Explorer. In this case, I was updating our Windows 7 “Academic” image with IE9. Aside from having to fix problems with video rendering that caused IE to continually crash, the most annoying “feature” was the “IE 9 Tour.” This is the screen that opens and informs you of all the new features in IE9 (http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/internet-explorer/products/ie-9/welcome-upgrade2). Group Policy was already suppressing the RunOnce wizard, but the tour kept appearing for all new users. Generally speaking, this is not a problem. It should not appear the second time the user launches IE (though there were apparently instances mentioned online where the tour’s URL had been added to the user’s home page list). However, in a student lab environment where profiles get wiped out with each reboot, the tour becomes an annoying recurrence. Not to mention, having it only run once when you log into 60 different computers is still annoying.

I scoured the web and Technet and found very little. Solutions I found were either unrelated or incomplete. So, I turned to the time-honored tradition of clicking through the Registry. Following Microsoft’s logic, I drilled down to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\Main and found four settings related to the tour and RunOnce:

  • IE9RunOnceLastShown
  • IE9RunOnceLastShown_TIMESTAMP
  • IE9TourShown
  • IE9TourShownTime

(Michael from the comments also points out the following. Thanks!)

I found that we also needed this to be already set in the same key


I played around with setting IE9TourShown to “1” and “0”. As you might expect, “0” means the tour has not been shown and forces it to run when IE is launched. “1” means the tour has already run and will prevent it from running again… sort of. As I played with applying various settings to the Default User hive, I found that simply changing IE9TourShown was not enough. After exporting some registry settings and running a diff, I found two new values that appeared after a new user had opened IE for the first time:

  • IE9RunOnceCompletionTime
  • IE9RunOncePerInstallCompleted

Once I exported these two values and dropped them into the Default User hive, the IE9 tour no longer appeared for new users. So, if you have been in search of this like me, here are two ways to deploy the change…

Local Deployment

  • Log into the computer as a new user and launch Internet Explorer for the first time
  • Run “regedit” and navigate to “HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\Main”
  • With the “Main” key selected, click File -> Export and save the registry values somewhere you can get to later
  • Open the .reg file you just exported with Notepad and trim it down to just the IE9 settings
  • Change the key location to “HKEY_USERS\Default User\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main” so you have a file that looks like this:

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00
[HKEY_USERS\Default User\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main]

  • Close the .reg file and log in to the computer as a local admin
  • Run regedit again and select the HKEY_USERS hive
  • From the File menu select Load Hive
  • Type “C:\Users\Default User\ntuser.dat” into the “File Name” field and click Open
  • For Key Name, type “Default User” (make sure your typing matches exactly the key location we changed earlier)
  • Note that if you expand HKEY_USERS you should see a node labeled “Default User”
  • Without any particular node selected, click File -> Import
  • Navigate to and double-click the exported .reg file you modified earlier
  • This will copy the registry settings into the expanded Default User key, which will later be applied to all new users who log into the computer
  • IMPORTANT! With the Default User key selected, click File -> Unload Hive. If you do not do this, new profiles will not be created properly.
  • Close regedit and test your settings by logging in with a new user/profile

Domain Group Policy Deployment

Now for my prefered way of doing things to multiple computers. It is important to note that I needed to make changes to user settings on computers that are in a specific OU. This means loopback processing is required and the settings I adjusted were under the User Configuration section.

  • As with the steps above, log in with a new user account (It will make it easier if this computer has GPME enabled and the user has permissions to change domain GP)
  • Open Group Policy Management from Administrative Tools
  • Create a new GPO in the computer OU of your choosing
  • Under Computer Configuration\Policies\Administrative Templates\System\Group Policy, open “User Group Policy Loopback Processing Mode” and set it to Enabled (“Replace” mode should be fine)
  • Expand User Configuration\Preferences\Windows Settings\Registry
  • Right-click in the blank Registry pane and choose New -> Registry Wizard (you could obviously create individual items, but this seemed easier with 6 values)
  • With Local Computer selected, click Next
  • Expand HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\InternetExplorer\Main
  • Put a check next to the 6 IE9 values listed above and click Finish
  • Close the GPO
  • Restart or boot a test computer and login with a new user/profile to test

4 thoughts on “Disable the Internet Explorer 9 Tour

  1. Dennis Person says:

    Thank you for providing the proper place to put the registry values for managing the IE9 Tour; using NTUSER.DAT for the default user.

    I am slipstreaming IE9 into a Windows 7 SP1 DVD and want to include IE9 Update Versions 9.0.10 (KB2744842); which is the latest as of 09/20/2012. I also am including 82 post-SP1 Updates/Hotfixes, verified by doing a new install and doing a Windows Update check. There are 5 updates that are not slipstreamed, KB2533552, KB971033 (WAT), KB947821-v24 (SURT), KB890830 (MSRT), and KB915597 (Windows Defender Definition Update).

    I do have a problem with IE9. When a new user starts IE9 for the first time, the “Set up Internet Explorer 9” screen and the Tour are not shown. However, they are shown the second time IE9 is started. Sometimes, the tour also would be shown after the second time IE9 is started.

    I created a new user account and then did a [Reset] from the Advanced tab under Internet Options. When I checked the registry key HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main, I found two new values that were not mentioned above; IE9RecommendedSettingsNo and IE9TourNoShow. Both are REG_DWORD with value 0. So, the better way to disable the IE9 Tour is to set the IE9TourNoShow value to 1. However, I would still like to have the “Set up Internet Explorer 9” screen and have it show the first time a new user starts IE9. Any sugesstions?

  2. Michael says:

    Thanks for the information. I found that we also needed this to be already set in the same key


    Just in case it helps others.

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