Just wondering why do you have IE7 open? You can access settings via Internet Options in Control Panel. I know with IE8 you can access and manage Add-ons through Programs tab in Internet Properties even after changing Set Program Access and Defaults. I'm assuming it should be the same for IE7, but not completely sure. Internet Explorer also gets removed from your Start Menu. Are you sure you didn't see any changes in the Internet Properties box when you unchecked the IE box? [Enable access to this program] As far as Windows XP updates that continue. Malicious Software Removal Tool (MRT.exe) will update until 7/1/2015 and Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE-prior install) updates until 7/14/2015 from what I've read. Any newer versions of MS Office should continue to receive updates to. NOTE: Would not recommend to open and use Internet Explorer on XP.