It's so frustrating when you are in the middle of a chat session, an interesting online game, or making an online shopping bid, and you suddenly realize that Internet Explorer has stopped working. After you've done with your brief but expressive flipping session, you try to relaunch your browser but to no avail.
You even go to such lengths as running a malware scan and restarting your computer in hopes that these should do the trick. You even check the setting of your wireless router and modem, thinking perhaps the hitch is with the Internet connection or signal strength, and not the browser. But the browser steadfastly refuses to respond.
Besides feeling peeved at your waste of time and effort, what else can you do to restore your browser's functionality? Well, you can try out the following procedures, if everything else failed.
How to Fix Internet Explorer?
If Internet Explorer has stopped working, the reason might not always be a malware attack. You'll know this is the case when you run a scan in an attempt to revive your browser, and the results shows no sign of malware. Here are a few tips and tricks to tackle this problem.
Sometimes, deleting the offline and temporary files, and emptying the cache solves all problems. To do this, go to the Tools menu on the Internet Explorer menu bar, and, once there, click on Internet Options. In the window that opens, click on the Delete Files button in the General tab.
A dialog box appears with a check box against Delete all offline content. Check the box and click on OK. In case there is a hidden file, index.dat, present in the cache folder that has gone corrupt, this procedure would not help in deleting it.
In such cases, you'll need to go delete the entire folder containing the cache file. For this you'll need to either log in as an Administrator, or reboot your system in the DOS mode, as Windows will block any attempts to delete the cache folder if you are actively logged in and Windows is running.
Reset Internet Explorer Settings to Default
This procedure will work only if your system runs Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. Assuming that your Internet Explorer version is either 7, 8 or 9, here's how you go about it.
Go to the Tools menu. Click on, and open, Internet Options. Go to the Advanced tab and click on the Reset button. Click OK. A dialog box asking for confirmation of reset will appear. Click Reset. This method restores the default settings of your browser.
Check for Add-ons
Go to the Internet Explorer setup folder and check for any add-ons. Sometimes, an incompatible add-on can cause the browser to crash or stop working. You'll find the browser setup files in System Tools under Accessories in Programs on the Start menu.
Fix Corrupt Winsock Error
Sometimes, the browser stops responding and Internet Explorer is unable to display the webpage when the network is unable to pick up your IP address. To check if this is the case, follow the path Start → Run. Type cmd and you will get the DOS prompt. Type in IPCONFIG where you see the cursor blinking.
Check for the IP address value in the resulting screen. If it starts with 169, that means you're just getting the computer IP and not the network address.
If this is the case, then you can try releasing and then renewing your IP address (type ipconfig/release, hit ENTER and then type ipconfig/renew and hit ENTER respectively by going back to the DOS prompt). If none of this works, then you may have to download and run a winsock fixing application.
There are a few things you can try if your browser gets stuck and ignores all your attempts to close it.
- Right click on the Task Bar on the bottom of your computer screen and click on Task Manager. Click on the Processes, select Internet Explorer in the list and click on End Process. Click on End Process/OK again when a dialog box asking for confirmation appears. You can also access Task Manager by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL.
- Delete the registry entry HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Browser Helper Objects and relaunch Internet Explorer.
- Go to Start → Control Panel → Add/ Remove Programs. Click on Internet Explorer and select Remove. You'll be offered a Repair option. Go ahead with the repair. Cross out the browser and end process by going into Task Manager as mentioned previously.
- Right click on the Internet Explorer window and click on Close at the end of the menu. One or more windows for End Program may or may not appear. If they do, click on the End Program button.
You can also go to Start → Control Panel → Network and Internet → Network and Sharing Center → Internet Options → Advanced. Once there, enable Use Software Rendering and disable GPU Rendering. This works for Internet Explorer 9.
Other than these methods, you can also try reinstalling Internet Explorer as the last resort if none of these tricks work. If it doesn't help either, it's time you rang the professional troubleshooting guys!