Internet Explorer is an essential part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. It usually is the first browser there is and even if users switch to third party browsers it remains installed on the computer system. Several third party applications use Internet Explorer's rendering engine to display web contents in their interfaces which means that it is important to keep Internet Explorer up to date to avoid security and performance issues.
PC users who work with Internet Explorer might experience a situation where they need to repair Internet Explorer. The browser might feel sluggish, display error messages, crash outright or may not start at all.
The following tips may help users who want to repair Internet Explorer. The article concentrates on Internet Explorer 8 but most tips are also valid for previous versions of the web browser.
The first thing you want to do is to take note of the problem. Is the browser starting up? Is it crashing? Does it display an error message? Is it slow?
Make sure you perform a full system scan and clean any viruses, trojans and other malicious software from the system. Improperly configured security programs may slow down Internet Explorer, block it from accessing web contents or may be the cause for error messages that are displayed to the user. You may want to do something that is usually not suggested: Turn off the security software and test Internet Explorer afterwards. If the problems go away it is the software that is the culprit. You then need to configure the software to make it compatible with IE.
Internet Explorer toolbars and add-ons.
If you can open Internet Explorer you might want to check the installed add-ons and toolbars. Microsoft found out that Internet Explorer users run five to six add-ons on average. This can be attributed to software installations who often offer to install toolbars and browser plugins.
To manage the Internet Explorer add-ons open Tools > Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer. This displays a new program window that lists all the installed add-ons in the browser.
The add-ons are categorized by type in the left sidebar. Toolbars and extensions is the category that is displayed by default. Take a look at the add-ons in the list. You can disable add-ons by right-clicking on them and selecting disable from the context menu or selecting them and clicking on the Disable button in the lower right corner of the screen.
You may want to start to disable add-ons that you do not recognize. A direct approach would be to disable all add-ons and see if that helped solve the problem. If it did you may return to that window and gradually activate add-ons again one by one until you find out which add-ons have been responsible for the issues.
You can also start Internet Explorer with all add-ons disabled:
Click the Start button Picture of the Start button, click All Programs, click Accessories, click System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).
Update Internet Explorer
Chance is you may be running an old version of Internet Explorer. If you are running Internet Explorer 6 or Internet Explorer 7 you may consider upgrading to Internet Explorer 8 to see if this resolves the issues. Internet Explorer 8 can be downloaded directly from Microsoft.
Reset Internet Explorer settings
Resetting Internet Explorer's settings may work to fix the issue as well. You do not need IE open for this. In Windows 7 open the Control Panel by clicking on the start orb in the lower left corner and selecting Control Panel in the start menu. Now click on Network and Internet and then Internet Options to open them. This menu can also be used to manage the browser add-ons of Internet Explorer.
Clicking on Internet Options opens a new window. Switch to the Advanced tab and press the Reset button at the bottom of the screen to reset all Internet Explorer settings to their default condition.
Microsoft Support Links
If the tips above did not solve the issue you are having with Internet Explorer you may want to follow the links below to Microsoft support pages that contain further information on how to repair Internet Explorer to resolve issues one has with the web browser.
- You receive a "Microsoft Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close (Pdm.dll)" error message [link]
- Fix Runtime Errors in Internet Explorer [link]
- You receive an error message in Internet Explorer: "Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage" [link]
- Why is my Internet connection so slow? [link]
- Internet Explorer stops responding, stops working, or restarts [link]
- You cannot view, access, or load some Web pages when you use Internet Explorer 8 [link]
- You cannot view a secure Web site in Internet Explorer 8 [link]
- When you use Internet Explorer 8, you cannot access your Webmail [link]
- Video freezes or crashes in Internet Explorer or Windows programs [link]
- Internet Explorer freezes or crashes [link]
Are you currently experiencing problems when working with Microsoft's Internet Explorer? Or have you experienced problems in the past and managed to resolve them? Let us know in the comments.