Fix: Internet Explorer is Missing from Windows Features

Internet Explorer is a legacy component in Windows that can be installed or uninstalled via Windows Features (Optional Features) dialog box. On some systems, Internet Explorer may be completely missing in the Windows Features classic dialog as well as the “Manage Optional Features” modern Settings page on your Windows 10 or 11 device.

internet explorer missing in optional windows features

internet explorer missing in optional windows features

As a result, you’re unable to install Internet Explorer on your Windows 10/11 computer. Although officially retired by Microsoft, Internet Explorer is still needed by users who have installed legacy software (e.g., security camera app) that needs IE to work.

Also, when this happens, none of the following DISM commands may help restore IE:

dism /online /Add-Capability /CapabilityName:Browser.InternetExplorer~~~~0.0.11.0
dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64

The DISM commands may throw the following error(s):

Error: 0x800f080c

Feature name Internet-Explorer-Optional-amd64 is unknown.
A Windows feature name was not recognized.
Use the /Get-Features option to find the name of the feature in the image and try the command again.
Error 1168

Element not found

As Internet Explorer is missing, attempting to load a web page in IE Mode in Microsoft Edge causes the following error:

Internet Explorer can't be found. You need to re-install or re-enable Internet Explorer

Microsoft Edge’s IE mode requires Internet Explorer to be installed.



Let’s see how to add Internet Explorer to the Windows Features dialog and install it.

Fix: Internet Explorer is Missing from Windows Features

The Windows 10/11 ISO contains the package .cab file needed to activate Internet Explorer. You can use DISM to install the package.

  1. Download the Windows 10/11 ISO to your computer.
  2. Double-click the ISO file to mount it to a drive-letter — e.g., J:\
  3. In the “J:\sources\sxs\” folder, you’ll find the two Internet Explorer-related CAB files (along with the .NET packages).
    internet explorer missing in optional windows features

    • microsoft-windows-internetexplorer-optional-package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~.cab
    • Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-Optional-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~en-US~.cab
  4. Copy the file path for “microsoft-windows-internetexplorer-optional-package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~.cab
  5. Open an Admin Command Prompt window.
  6. Make sure you’re connected to the internet, as DISM may download dependencies/packages from the Microsoft servers if some servicing files are missing on your computer.
  7. First, install the parent package. To do so, type the following command and press Enter:
    dism /online /add-package /packagepath:"J:\sources\sxs\microsoft-windows-internetexplorer-optional-package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~.cab"

    internet explorer missing in optional windows features

  8. When you’re asked to restart Windows, click “N”.
  9. After installing the parent package, install the other package using the following command:
     dism /online /add-package /packagepath:"J:\sources\sxs\Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-Optional-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~en-US~.cab"

    Editor’s note: During my testing on a 21H2 computer, I didn’t have to install the second CAB file (Microsoft-Windows-InternetExplorer-Optional-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~en-US~.cab), as Internet Explorer showed up correctly in the Windows Features dialog. But, to avoid errors in the CBS.log, also install the 2nd package.

  10. Restart Windows.
  11. After restarting Windows, open Windows Features (optionalfeatures.exe). Internet Explorer should now be listed!
  12. Enable Internet Explorer if it’s not already enabled, and click OK.
    internet explorer missing in optional windows features
RELATED: Fix DISM and .NET Framework 3.5 Errors 0x800F081F, 0x800f0950, and 0x800F0954 by installing the package from the “Sources” folder in Windows ISO.

Microsoft says that the IE11 desktop application will be disabled through a future cumulative monthly update and will redirect to Microsoft Edge if a user tries to access it. The IE11 desktop application will not be completely removed from devices, as the IE11 engine is required for IE mode to function.


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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded Winhelponline.com in 2005.

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