How to Selectively Disable Internet Explorer Add-ons

Disable Specific Add-ons in Internet Explorer 11, 10, 9, 8, & 7

Internet Explorer, along with most browsers, works with other software programs that provide features in the browser like video viewing, photo editing, etc. These programs, called add-ons, are very small and work very closely with IE. Sometimes add-ons can cause problems that prevent Internet Explorer from displaying web pages properly and may even prevent it from starting up correctly.

Microsoft no longer supports Internet Explorer and recommends that you update to the newer Edge browser. Head to their site to download the newest version.

Sometimes an add-on is the cause of a browser error, usually one in the 400-range, like a 404, 403, or 400.

Since it's often difficult to tell which add-on is causing a problem, you need to disable each add-on, one by one, until the problem goes away. This is a very useful troubleshooting step when solving a wide variety of browser issues.

Time Required: Disabling IE add-ons as a troubleshooting step is easy and usually takes less than 5 minutes per add-on

See What Version of Internet Explorer Do I Have? if you're not sure which set of directions to follow.

Disable Internet Explorer 11, 10, 9, and 8 Add-ons

  1. Open Internet Explorer.

  2. Choose the Tools icon at the top right of Internet Explorer, near the close button.

    IE8 shows the Tools menu all the time at the top of the screen. For the newer versions of Internet Explorer, you can instead hit the Alt key to bring up the traditional menu, and then choose Tools.

  3. Select Manage add-ons from the Tools menu.

    Manage add-ons menu item in Internet Explorer
  4. In the Manage Add-ons window, on the left side next to the Show: drop-down menu, choose All add-ons.

    All add-ons menu option in Internet Explorer

    This option will show you all the add-ons that are installed to Internet Explorer. You could instead choose Currently loaded add-ons but if the problem add-on isn't currently loaded, you won't see it in that list.

  5. Left-click the add-on you want to disable, and then choose Disable at the bottom right of the Manage Add-ons window. If you right-click the add-on, you can disable it that way, too.

    Disable option for Internet Explorer add-on

    If you're troubleshooting a problem where you don't know which add-on is the culprit, just start at the top of the list by disabling the first one you can.

    Some add-ons are related to other add-ons, and therefore should be disabled at the same time. In those instances, you'll be prompted with a confirmation to disable all the related add-ons at once.

    If you see the Enable button instead of Disable, it means the add-on is already disabled.

  6. Close and then reopen Internet Explorer.

You can now test whatever activities in Internet Explorer were causing the problem you're troubleshooting here. If the problem isn't resolved, repeat these steps, disabling one more add-on at a time until your problem is resolved.

Disable Internet Explorer 7 Add-ons

  1. Open Internet Explorer 7.

  2. Choose Tools from the menu.

  3. From the resulting drop-down menu, choose Manage Add-ons, followed by Enable or Disable Add-ons...

  4. In the Manage Add-ons window, choose Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer from the Show: drop-down box.

    The resulting list will show every add-on that Internet Explorer 7 has ever used. If an add-on is causing the problem you're troubleshooting, it will be one of the add-ons listed here.

  5. Select the first add-on listed, then select the Disable radio button in the Settings area at the bottom of the window, and click OK.

  6. Click OK if prompted with a "For changes to take effect, you might need to restart Internet Explorer" message.

  7. Close and then reopen Internet Explorer 7.

If you've disabled all Internet Explorer add-ons and your problem continues, you may need to Delete Internet Explorer ActiveX Controls as an additional troubleshooting step.

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