Basic Microsoft Internet Explorer troubleshooting

Updated: 06/05/2017 by Computer Hope

Internet Explorer 8.0 users

If you're running Internet Explorer 8.0 or later, and see the Compatibility View icon, which looks like a broken page next to the URL bar as indicated in the image below, click this icon. Some pages may not work properly unless the compatibility mode is enabled.

Internet Explorer Compatibility

All Internet Explorer users

Tip: Users running Internet Explorer 7.0 and later press the Alt key to access the file menu and get access to options such as File, Tools, etc.

  1. Try pressing F5 key to refresh the problem page.
  2. Close all but one Internet Explorer window.
  3. Clear your Internet browser history.
  4. Clear any "Unknown" or "Damaged" downloaded programs by clicking the Tools menu, select Internet Options, click the Settings button, click the View Objects... button, select each of the programs that are damaged or unknown, and press the Delete key. If you're unable to delete an object, it may be part of an add-on. Step 6 gives additional information about disabling and deleting add-ons.
  5. Verify that your Security settings under Tools menu, Internet Options are set to medium at the most. Some web pages may not function properly if the security settings are set too high.
  6. Restore defaults for advanced Internet options by opening the Tools menu, Internet Options, click the Advanced tab, and clicking the Restore Defaults button.
  7. Disable or uninstall all Internet Explorer Add-ons. To do this, click Tools, select Internet Options, click on the Programs tab, and then click the Manage add-ons button. In the Manage add-ons window, highlight each of the add-ons and then select Disable. Or if this is something you want to delete, click the Delete button. Not all programs have the option to delete. If the add-on is a toolbar, these and other add-ons are usually deleted through Add/Remove programs utility.
  8. Close Internet Explorer.
  9. Open one Internet Explorer window and try again.
  10. If the issue persists make sure your Internet Explorer has not been hi-jacked.
  11. Make sure you have all the latest updates from Microsoft's Windows update page.
  12. If you have any third-party popup blockers installed on the computer, try disabling the popup blocker or uninstalling the popup blocker. Some popup blocker programs can cause additional issues with the browser.
  13. Make sure you have all the latest versions of plug-ins installed in Internet Explorer.
  14. If the above recommendations do not resolve your issue, but this issue has recently started occurring, you can also recover Windows back to an earlier date.
  15. Finally, if you continue to have issues, consider trying an alternate browser to make sure the issue is not with the web page. Our suggestion would be to try Firefox or Google Chrome.

Additional information

  • See our Internet Explorer definition for further information on this term and related links.