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The improvements made to Internet Explorer 8 doesn’t mean however that it is immune to occasionally going boom. While most IE8 users will happily use it without any problem, the fact that you’re reading this article probably means you’re not one of those happy campers. You’re one of the unfortunate souls who need to repair your broken Internet Explorer.
But I have some good news – learning to repair Internet Explorer 8 isn’t hard to do. In this guide I’ll lay out the steps necessary to fix Internet Explorer, starting with the easiest repair and ending with a complete reinstall of the program.
Step 1 – Check Your Antivirus & Firewall
You’d think that since Internet Explorer 8 is a standard Windows 7 program there would be no reason for antivirus programs to conflict with it. In theory this is true, but anti-virus programs are complex and conflicts do happen. The same is true when dealing with firewalls. Both antivirus and firewall programs will interrupt the functions of a web browser if they believe the web browser is a threat.
Determining if this is the problem is very simple – just turn off your antivirus or firewall program for a moment and reload Internet Explorer 8. If it still doesn’t work you can write off this possibility and go to the next step. If Internet Explorer 8 does work you need to find out what is causing the conflict.
Diagnosing each individual antivirus and firewall program is simply outside of the scope of this article, but most such programs do have the ability to exclude a program from being blocked, and adding Internet Explorer 8 to the exclusion list will solve your problem – although this could cause a security problem if malware ever hijacked Internet Explorer 8.
Alternatively, you can try re-installing your antivirus or firewall software.
Step 2 – Check Your Add-Ons
Internet Explorer 8, like all modern web browsers, offers the ability to install extensions called add-ons. Add-on software theoretically improves Internet Explorer 8 by adding functionality which is not standard. However, if an add-on is poorly programmed or for some reason does not install correctly it can cause serious problems.
To see if this is what needs to be repaired you’ll need to press the Windows key and R at the same time. This opens the Run window. Enter the text iexplore -extoff into the text box and click Run.
If Internet Explorer 8 now runs without issue you know that one of your add-ons needs to be repaired or uninstalled. Enable your add-ons one by one to see if one of the add-ons causes the problems to reoccur.
Click on Tools and then Manage Add-ons. Make sure all add-ons are disabled and then close Internet Explorer 8. Re-open Internet Explorer 8 using your normal shortcut and enable the add-ons one by one. Once you’ve found the add-on which reproduces the problems you can try reinstalling it or simply delete it.
Step 3 – Return To Defaults, Captain!
If the previous two steps do not repair Internet Explorer 8 for you, you’ll need to try resetting Internet Explorer to its default state. This returns the settings to a like-new condition.
You can achieve this by opening your Control Panel and then opening the Network and Internet menu. Click on Internet Options and then click on the Advanced tab (the furthest tab to the left). At the bottom of the window you’ll see the Reset button. Click on it and all should be well.
If you’re still having problems however, you’ll have to resort to a re-installation. This is a complex, multi-step process, but don’t worry – MakeUseOf already has a detailed guide covering how to reinstall Internet Explorer 8.