How to Fix the 'Internet Explorer Has Stopped Working' Error

Man frustrated with his computer.
Don't let Internet Explorer issues stop you from using your PC. Let us help.

Getty Images/Charnsit Ramyarupa/EyeEm

If you’ve found yourself frustrated by an error message proclaiming ‘Internet Explorer has stopped working,’ you’ve come to the right place to get back up and running. This common error can be found across Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10, and Windows Vista PCs due to a number of different possible system glitches.

Note: If you're using the Microsoft Edge web browser, these solutions will not apply to your system.

Here is how you fix the issue and get back to your favorite online content.

Causes of 'Internet Explorer has Stopped Working'

As with most issues facing Windows users, the problem typically comes down to programs being unable to access specific library files known as DLLs; these dynamic-link libraries allow programs to communicate, share data, and function appropriately, but when they're damaged or misplaced, applications cease to function.

Women frustrated with her PC.
Don't keep an Internet Explorer error from allowing you to browse the web. Getty Images/JGI/Tom Grill

Other reasons for receiving the Internet Explorer error can stem from damaged cache files or incompatible plugins.

Don’t Want to Fix it Yourself?

Fixing this particular error can be quite easy when following a guide. However, if you don’t feel like diving into computer repair, there are other support options available to get your computer fixed by a reputable repair service.

How to Fix 'Internet Explorer has Stopped Working' Errors

Update Windows and Internet Explorer

The issues you're facing could have been already addressed and fixed in a previous update. As a result, it is critical to ensure you have the latest version of Windows and Internet Explorer installed on your PC.

Screenshot of Windows Update
Updating Windows might be the simple fix to your problem.

Reset Your Personal Settings

Resetting your personal settings is the simplest method to getting Internet Explorer back up and running.

Important: Resetting your personal settings will disable any added toolbars, reset your homepage, delete all web history, clear all saved passwords, and require you to log back into all of your websites.

Screenshot showing Reset Internet Explorer Settings
Reset your personal settings to clear any corrupted data.
  1. Begin by launching Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Tools option in the upper right-hand corner of the application; it is pictured as a small gear icon.
  3. Select Internet Options from the menu that appears.
  4. In the window that appears, select the Advanced tab.
  5. At the bottom of the window, select Reset.
  6. Ensure that Delete Personal Settings is checked and select Reset.
  7. Check to see if your issue has been resolved.

Disable Add-ons

You might find that add-ons are causing issues. As such, it's recommended you open Internet Explorer and manually disable all add-ons. If this solution fixes your problem, then you know one of the third-party add-ons is affecting your browsing experience.

Screenshot of Manage Add-ons
Disable any installed add-ons that your machine might have for Internet Explorer.
  1. Begin by launching Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Tools option in the upper right-hand corner of the application; it is pictured as a small gear icon.
  3. Select Manage add-ons from the menu that appears.
  4. In the window that appears, select All add-ons to see everything currently installed.
  5. Right-click each add-on and select Disable until all current add-ons have been disabled.
  6. Reset Internet Explorer by closing all of its windows.
  7. Check to see if your issue has been resolved.

Reset Your Security Zones

Microsoft’s Internet Explorer follows a strict set of security rules when accessing the web. At times, these rules begin to break down, thereby causing issues with the software.

Screenshot of Security Zones settings
Reset your Security Zones to ensure all is correctly aligned.
  1. Begin by launching Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Tools option in the upper right-hand corner of the application; it is pictured as a small gear icon.
  3. Select Internet Options from the menu that appears.
  4. In the window that appears, select the Security tab.
  5. At the bottom of the window, select Reset all zones to default level.
  6. Check to see if your issue has been resolved.

Disable Software Acceleration

Internet Explorer can take advantage of software rendering to improve your browsing experience. However, if your system isn’t correctly configured, or is having graphical issues, this setting could exacerbate the problem.

Screenshot of Software Rendering settings.
Disable Software Rendering as a possible solution to your problems.
  1. Begin by launching Internet Explorer.
  2. Select the Tools option in the upper right-hand corner of the application; it is pictured as a small gear icon.
  3. Select Internet Options from the menu that appears.
  4. In the window that appears, select the Advanced tab.
  5. In the given list under Accelerated Graphics, ensure the Use software rendering instead of GPU rendering option is unchecked.
  6. Select Apply, then select Okay to confirm your settings.
  7. Check to see if your issue has been resolved.

Run Microsoft’s Fix it Solution

If none of the solutions above worked for your Internet Explorer issue, you could attempt to utilize Microsoft’s purpose-built Fix it tools to patch possible bugs or software glitches on your system. Head to the following website to download two possible patches:

  • Find and fix problems with Internet Explorer performance
  • Find and fix problems with security and privacy features in Internet Explorer
Screenshot of Fix It tool being launched.
Microsoft's Fix It tool can be a great option for fixing problems.

Merely download these two applications to your PC and run them to attempt to solve your issue. Once each is installed, be sure to restart your machine, then check to see if your problem has been resolved.

Still Facing Problems?

If you are still facing issues with Internet Explorer not working properly, one solution is to try utilizing a different web browser. Users of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system can rely on the newly redesigned Edge browser or other alternatives such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.