What to do if Internet Explorer stops responding

This information applies to Windows Internet Explorer 7 and Windows Internet Explorer 8.

Here are solutions to some common problems with Internet Explorer.

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Internet Explorer stopped responding. This is the first time this has happened.

If this is the first time you've noticed that Internet Explorer has stopped responding, the problem might be temporary. Try restarting Internet Explorer.

Internet Explorer stopped responding. This is happening regularly.

If Internet Explorer stops responding on a regular basis, common causes include the presence of spyware, an add-on, a computer virus, or a corrupted file that Internet Explorer is trying to access. Take the following actions to help ensure that it is not one of these problems:

  • Install the latest updates. Windows Update provides free updates for Windows operating system software and hardware, including updates for Internet Explorer. To ensure you're getting all updates for Internet Explorer that might address the problem, make sure your Windows Update settings include recommended as well as important updates. For more information, see Install Windows updates.

  • Check for solutions to the problem. Problem Reports and Solutions lets you report problems to Microsoft and check for solutions. Windows will notify you if there are steps you can take to solve problems. If a solution for Internet Explorer is not available yet, the information you choose to send to Microsoft can help create a new solution.

    To check for solutions

    1. Open Problem Reports and Solutions by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, and then clicking Problem Reports and Solutions.

    2. Click Check for new solutions.

    Note

    • Some problems and solutions can only be viewed and fixed by an administrator. Log on using an administrator account to view these problems.

  • Run antispyware programs on a regular basis. You can scan your computer for spyware with Windows Defender, or you can use a different antispyware program. For more information, see Scan for spyware and other potentially unwanted software.

    If you are unfamiliar with spyware removal and would like to learn more, see Turn Windows Defender on or off and Remove spyware from your computer.

  • Update your antivirus software. Installing an antivirus program and keeping it up to date can help defend your computer against viruses. Antivirus programs scan for viruses trying to get into your e‑mail, operating system, or files. New viruses appear daily, so check the antivirus manufacturer's website frequently for updates. Most antivirus programs are sold with annual subscriptions, which can be renewed as needed. To see a list of antivirus software manufacturers, go to the Microsoft Antivirus Partners webpage.

  • Check for suspicious Internet Explorer add-ons. Add-ons, also known as ActiveX controls, browser extensions, browser helper objects, or toolbars, can improve your experience on a website by providing multimedia or interactive content, such as high-quality animations. However, some add-ons can cause your computer to stop responding or display content that you don't want, such as pop-up ads. When you visit a website, an add-on might be downloaded without your knowledge, or you might be prompted to download an add-on. For more information, see Internet Explorer add-ons: frequently asked questions. If you disable an add-on, you can always turn it back on again.

  • Delete temporary Internet files. Internet Explorer might stop responding because it's trying to access a corrupted file stored in the temporary storage location. The types of files that can cause problems include temporary Internet files, cookies, and history files. Because it's difficult to tell which file is causing the problem, you will need to delete all files from your temporary storage location. For more information, see Delete temporary Internet files.

    Note

    • Deleting all cookies might cause some webpages to work incorrectly. Any personalization you have set up on websites that use cookies might not work after you delete the cookies.