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Things You Can Do When Windows Internet Explorer 7 Shuts Down Unexpectedly!

written by: Om Thoke•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 10/29/2009

On many occasions, you might have noticed that Windows Internet Explorer 7 shuts down without any apparent reason, and even after re-launching it, the problem persists. It could be quite annoying, and you may fail to figure out what's wrong. Here’s an insight to this issue and its possible remedies.

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    There are several reasons that may cause IE to shut down. Let us take a look at these issues, one by one. It has been observed that Windows Internet Explorer 7 shuts down because of many different problems ranging from opening new tabs, conflicts with add-ons, third party software, certain applications in particular, and even anti-virus software. All of these are discussed below separately.

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    The New Tab Problem

    It has been observed that IE7 works fine until you try to open a new tab. Once you open a new tab, there are several possibilities that may cause IE to shut down.

    First up, you may notice that whenever you try to open a new tab, the memory consumption increases drastically, and once you open several tabs, the count keeps going up. Finally, it consumes 100% CPU resources, freezes and finally shuts down.

    Note: IE excessive memory usage problem has been covered in a separate article, and you may view it here.

    Alternatively, upon opening a new tab, you may observe that IE tries to connect to the Internet, but fails to do so. Even if you try to close the window, it shows the “not responding” status, and then you’ve no other option, except to kill the process via task manager, resulting in IE shutting down.

    On most occasions, tab issues can be fixed via the Advanced Settings tab of IE7.

    1. Go to Internet Options by clicking on Start--> Run--> type: INETCPL.CPL and then go to the Advanced tab.

    2. Disable the option that reads - "Enable third-party browser extensions”.

    3. Now, close the window and restart IE.

    Note: Explorer excessive memory problem is a totally different issue altogether and you may find its relevant fix here

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    Troubleshooting Add-Ons

    The very first that you should probably do is to disable add-ons, i.e. launch Internet Explorer in no add-on mode. However, it must be kept in mind that launching IE in no add-on mode doesn’t prevent those add-ons from loading, which were already active when IE was installed on the computer.

    If running IE in no add-on mode fixes the issue, you need to activate the add-ons one by one and figure out the one that’s causing IE to crash. Having done that, you may disable that particular add-on and resume normal operation.

    Tip: Under the Manage Add-ons list, you should first look for items listed as either “Unknown” or “Damaged”, because, on most occasions, these are the real source of all troubles.

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    Conflicts with Third Party Software

    MS has never made it clear that IE7 has any conflicts with specific software, but it is quite clear that IE7 has trouble with third party apps like ZoneAlarm 6.5.

    Consequently, if you have ZoneAlarm 6.5 installed and you launch IE7, use it for some time and try to open a new window, it is most likely to crash. Even in the release notes of IE7, MS has not mentioned anything about such conflicts, though they've surely mentioned enough ways of troubleshooting IE7.

    Fix: IE7 has conflicts with specific versions of certain third party software. So, you can try to upgrade them -- this may fix the problem. For instance, if you upgrade ZoneAlarm 6.5, it resolves the IE7 crashing problem.

    In reality, it is tough to code a browser like Internet Explorer to work well with literally every software and website. Even for IE6, web programmers have come out with several fixes, which were work-arounds to the breakages, and they're continuing to do the same for IE7.

    You can't really blame MS for this, but definitely they should address any such reported issues as bugs in IE7 (which unfortunately they aren't).

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    Issues with Firewalls and Anti-Virus Programs

    IE7 has also been reported to have issues with Norton's Anti Virus 2006. An easy work around is to either uninstall Norton, or to upgrade it to the latest version.

    Apart from Norton's Anti Virus 2006, IE7 has been discovered to have issues with several other firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-spyware and security programs. However, AVG 8.0 has been known to work best with IE7. Therefore, you may consider downloading a free copy of AVG 8.0 from

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    Advanced Steps to Troubleshoot IE7

    If the above-mentioned steps don't solve your issue, here are some advanced steps to troubleshoot IE7.

    1. Adjust the size of your cache.

    - Launch IE7 -> click on Tools -> Internet Options -> General Tab -> Settings

    - Next, set your IE cache to a higher value, maybe 50MB or 100MB

    2. Delete all temporary Internet files, and offline content.

    You may do so by clicking on IE tools -> Internet Options -> General tab -> Delete

    3. Clear all cookies and delete IE history.

    You may do so at the same screen where you delete temp Internet files.

    Now restart IE - it should launch faster and work smoothly!

    IE7 Pro can help you improve the efficiency of IE7, and you can also find some more ways to speed up IE here.