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

Get your web browser working again

Computer systems error message on screen, digital composite.

Lucas Racasse / Getty Images 

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 the web browser back up and running.

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

Internet Explorer is no longer being updated or supported by Microsoft. Consider updating to Microsoft Edge or another current web browser instead.

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.

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

How to Fix 'Internet Explorer has Stopped Working' Errors

This common error can be found across Windows 10, Windows 8, and Windows 7 PCs due to a number of different possible system glitches. Troubleshooting the most likely culprits could fix the issue and get back to your favorite online content.

  1. 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 installed on your PC.

    Screenshot of Windows Update
    Updating Windows might be the simple fix to your problem.
  2. Reset your personal settings. Resetting Internet Explorer to its default settings could remove modifications that are causing the browser to slow down or stop working altogether.

    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.
  3. 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.
  4. Reset 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Run a Windows troubleshooter. Using a troubleshooting tool built-in to Windows could find and fix the issue causing Internet Explorer to stop working.

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.

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.