Fixing the Dreaded "Internet Explorer has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close"
written by: Tricia Goss•edited by: Bill Fulks•updated: 12/9/2009
You are in the midst of writing an email, playing a game or browsing a website when a message pops up telling you - albeit apologetically - that Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close. It may restart, but whatever you were doing is lost. Troubleshooting may fix this problem.
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Reset IE Settings
Damaged or missing Internet Explorer files may be the cause of the "Internet Explorer Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close" error message. If you are using IE version 7 or 8, these files can easily be repaired or replaced. If you are uncertain what version of Internet Explorer you are using, open a new browser window. Click Help in the toolbar and then click About Internet Explorer. A window will open, displaying what version is in use.
Once you have determined what version of Internet Explorer you are running, you can begin fixing it. In an open Internet Explorer window, go to the Tools menu and select Internet Options. Go to the Advanced tab and click the Reset button. You will be prompted to close other open windows, if there are any. The tool will ask if you are sure you want to reset Internet Explorer. Click Yes.
Internet Explorer will need to be closed and started again for the changes to apply.
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Check for Updates
Sometimes, when the "Internet Explorer Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close" error message is displayed, Microsoft has created a fix for the problem. Check for any Windows or Internet Explorer updates by visiting the Windows Update website if you are using Windows XP or earlier. Search for any available updates and download them.
If you are using Windows Vista, any available updates will be found in the Windows Update folder on the system. To access Windows Update, go to the Start menu and type Windows Update in the Start Search box. Click Windows Update from the Programs list and the window will open. Click View Available Updates and download any pertinent ones.
After installing updates, restart Internet Explorer to see if the "Internet Explorer Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close" issue has been resolved.
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If you are working in Windows XP, you can download Guided Help. This tool will disable script debugging automatically, which may resolve the issue of the "Internet Explorer Has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close" error message. Download Guided Help at the Microsoft Help and Support website. After accepting the terms and conditions, click Run to install the program and follow any prompts.
If Guided Help does not work, or you are running an operating system other than Windows XP, you can manually disable script debugging. To do so, open an Internet Explorer browser window and go to the Tools option. Select Internet Options and go to the Advanced tab. Scroll down to the Browsing section of the Settings box and select both the Disable script debugging (Internet Explorer) check box and the Disable script debugging (Other) check box.
Click Apply to save these changes. Restart the computer.