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How To Fix: “Internet Explorer Has Stopped Working”

Though there are a plethora of web browsers available for people to use, each of them certainly comes with its own baggage. Those who’ve been using Internet Explorer for the years are probably way too familiar with the message, “Internet Explorer has stopped working,” but we’re going to show you how to fix that in the article below. It’s frequently a problem that puts an abrupt end to your browsing, and thus it’s something that we want to happen as infrequently as possible.

Thankfully, it’s not too difficult to solve! Keep reading, to find out how.

If you’ve been a dedicated Windows user, then you’re already familiar with Internet Explorer. Even though Microsoft has been touting its recently-released Edge browser more frequently in Windows 10, every single installation of the Windows operating system comes with a baked-in copy of Internet Explorer. It might not be the default, but we can promise you it’s there. And it’s intricately tied to a lot of Windows’ connectivity features.

It’s also fairly lightweight and hasn’t changed a great deal over the years. That makes it one of the more accessible browsers on the market since it doesn’t require a bunch of tertiary extensions or extraneous login info to get its full functionality (looking at you, Google Chrome.) Perhaps most importantly, you never have to install anything “extra” to use Internet Explorer. Even if you’re just cracking open a brand new computer for the first time, this application is ready to go.

That accessibility is, in part, also its downfall. I’m not sure why Internet Explorer is so prone to errors. Perhaps because of its ties to the Windows operating system itself, or because it’s not necessarily the primary browser that Microsoft is focusing on, any longer. Quite a few will argue that Edge is far and away the better product, and I would agree with them. If you’ve never given Edge a try, do so! But where that’s not an option — older computers, and work or school machines — you might very well be stuck using Internet Explorer for most of your online activity. And when this particular error crops up, it means that your browser is shutting down. Sometimes, it isn’t even able to restore your previously open tabs, when you open it again.

Internet Explorer Errors

The fact that Internet Explorer is particularly error prone is one of the primary factors working against it. That, and also how limiting it can be for users that want the expanded functionality of plug-ins and extensions. Google Chrome, especially, has become the master of incorporating third-party solutions to shape users’ browsing experiences into whatever they want it to be. Mozilla Firefox isn’t far behind, and even Microsoft Edge is kicking butt when it comes to extensions and flexibility.

“The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.” – Andrew Brown

To many, Internet Explorer is comparatively ancient. But it still works and should work when you need it to, without the sorts of disruptive problems that cause it to flat out shut down.

“Internet Explorer Has Stopped Working”

There are several different things that can prompt this error. Occasionally, that makes it difficult to diagnose and fix. But we have tried-and-true steps that will almost certainly fix it. Keep in mind that there are still some outlying circumstances that might keep Internet Explorer from working, which require more extensive fixes. Some of them might even involve resetting Windows entirely if the .dll files that Internet Explorer depends on have been in any way corrupted.

When this error occurs, it usually comes out of nowhere. Your work freezes, your tabs are locked down, and a popup notification appears telling you that “Internet Explorer has stopped working” and needs to close. It’s up in the air whether your work is actually going to be preserved, next time you open the browser.

Ironically, this sort of problem becomes more prevalent as you add more third-party options to Internet Explorer, and make more changes in the application’s base settings.


The vast majority of users don’t exactly have to jump through hoops to resolve this problem. It can usually be fixed by one of a handful of simple methods, all of which we’re going to describe below. But since Internet Explorer is somewhat intricately tied into Windows’ larger internet properties, rare circumstances occur when more drastic actions are necessary. This usually consists of resetting Windows itself.

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If you have to do that, in the end, rest assured that both Windows 8 and 10 give you the utilities necessary to reset the operating system without losing your personal data — documents, pictures, and the like. However, it can still be immensely useful to make sure that this kind of data is backed up, either on the cloud or off of your computer.

Reset Internet Explorer

There are two different ways that you can go about resetting Internet Explorer — one within the application itself, and another within the internet settings of the Windows operating system. We’ll walk you through both methods, even though they’re almost entirely identical.

You won’t need any particularly deep knowledge of Internet protocols in order to do this, so don’t worry! It just requires a minuscule amount of menu-delving.

Using Internet Explorer

This method works as long as you’re able to boot up Internet Explorer without it crashing.

  • Open Internet Explorer, and on the menu bar, click Tools.
  • Next, select Internet Options.
  • In the subsequent window, click on the Advanced tab.
  • Click on Reset…
  • Check the Delete Personal Settings box, and then click Reset.

This will effectively roll Internet Explorer back to its default settings. You’ll lose many of your personal adjustments to the browser, but should be able to avoid future crashes from this particular error.

Using Internet Properties

If you’re currently unable to open Internet Explorer, use this method to reset it, instead. Occasionally, when the application has to force close due to an error, it won’t open again until you’ve either reset it or reset your computer — one of which is less time-consuming than the other, depending on the machine that you’re using.

  • Navigate to your Windows Control Panel by way of the Start Menu.
  • Find and select the Network and Internet option.
  • Next, select Internet Options.
  • In the subsequent window, click on the Advanced tab.
  • Click on Reset…
  • Check the Delete Personal Settings box, and then click Reset.

You’ll likely have noticed that the final few steps of this reset method are identical to the one mentioned above, and that isn’t accidental. You’re resetting the exact same thing, between the two, and are only choosing to go about it a different way. This goes to show just how intricately tied to the Windows Internet properties Internet Explorer happens to be.

Disable Add-ons

Occasionally, the various add-ons that you’ve attached to Internet Explorer can be the reason for its crashing over and over. Thankfully, these are easy to disable once you have Internet Explorer booted up, and you can do it right from the browser’s menu system.

  • Navigate to Tools in the Internet Explorer menu bar.
  • Select Manage Add-ons.
  • Click on Show.
  • Once you have a visible list of all of Internet Explorer’s add-ons, you can click off any of them that you want to disable.
  • After you’ve finished, select Disable followed by Close.

It’s ultimately up to you, to decide which add-ons to disable and which to leave active. If you’re receiving the “Internet Explorer has stopped working” message repeatedly, we’d recommend turning them all off, in an effort to debug this particular problem. If disabling the add-ons doesn’t outright resolve it, however, you can proceed to other diagnostic steps.

Reset Windows

If none of the above steps have helped to resolve the issue, and the error is still force closing your browser whenever you try to use it, this is probably indicative of a deeper problem in the Windows .dll files. In these cases, it can be helpful to reset the Windows operating system entirely.

However, we have a brief disclaimer to offer, beforehand. When you reset your operating system, it rolls your installation back to default settings. This means that any changes you’ve made or programs that you’ve installed will be rolled back as well. Effectively, this means some programs are going to have to be reinstalled, which you should prepare for. And though Windows offers methods to ensure the safe-keeping of your personal data and files, we recommend backing those up as well, just to be safe.

Simply type in Reset This PC in the Windows search bar. You’ll be given the option of doing either a soft or hard reset, with the latter being a more thorough reset of Windows than we require. Follow the on-screen prompts to get the Windows operating system reset back to its factory default settings.

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Hopefully, you won’t have to perform such drastic action as this final step, but in the case that you do, it should guarantee a fix for the Internet Explorer crashes. If you still encounter the same problem, after, consider seeking the help of a computer repair professional. Meanwhile, we hope that this article has shown you how to fix the “Internet Explorer has stopped working” error, so that it won’t plague your browsing any further. Any remaining questions? Let’s hear ’em in the comments below!

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