Pin Me

What to Do When Internet Explorer Is Not Working Properly

written by: Regina Woodard•edited by: Brian Nelson•updated: 8/31/2010

Internet Explorer is a widely known and widely used browser that allows people to traverse expanse of the Internet. But sometimes problems may arise, causing the browser to not work the way a user expects.

  • slide 1 of 3

    Internet Explorer is a popular browser made by Microsoft for their Windows operating systems. Windows users usually use this browser to surf the Net, while many websites are catered to work more efficiently when viewed with IE. ie 

    Internet Explorer, while popular, is not immune to experiencing problems. Some of these can be common, such as not being connected to the Internet or needing to update to the current version. Other issues include certain add-ons not working or being unable to download certain applications.

  • slide 2 of 3

    Common Problems

    Unable to Load/Open/Freezes

    Sometimes after a Windows Update, IE may fail to open when the icon is clicked or it may not load completely. For Windows XP users, the update to Internet Explorer 8, the current version of IE, may encounter problems if updated with a large variety of updates. This occurs if you have just reformatted your computer or if you have not updated in quite some time.

    The solution is to either go to the Windows Update page or click on the Updates icon when it appears in your taskbar. Allow for Microsoft to scan your computer - if on the updates page - and then choose the button marked 'custom'. Here, you can choose which updates you would like to install. Scroll through the updates until you find the one for IE8 and uncheck it. Then go through the normal process of updating your computer. Continue this routine until only a few updates and IE8 remain.

    Be sure to restart your computer when asked to do so.

    In relation to the above, sometimes IE can freeze. This means that the browser can not respond to any given commands. Likely causes are an add-in, like Adobe Flash, has caused an issue with the browser. When this happens, it's usually a good idea to just close the browser and start it back up again. If that does not help the situation, you may want to disable the problem add-on or even disable all add-ons in order to discover which are causing problems.

    The way to do this is go to the Tools option and then select Manage Add-ons to view, enable, and disable the current installed add-ons.

  • slide 3 of 3

    Repairing IE

    Repairing IE is easy. In most cases, a simple closing and restarting of the browser will fix issues. In other extremes, a complete reinstallation of Internet Explorer may be warranted. To do this, you can go to the Control Panel and either select Internet Explorer and then remove it. Or you can use the Remove Windows Components and remove IE that way.

    After you have removed it, restart your computer - the end process will ask that you do so - and from there you have two ways to reinstall. You can download it from either or Microsoft's website or you can go through Windows Update, which will scan your computer and discover that it does not have the current version of IE.