Why does Internet Explorer Freeze on me?

"I cannot access the internet using internet explorer. Every time I try it freezes. I am using mozilla firefox at the moment without any problems. Why is this?"

Internet explorer does not always play niceThe sad fact about Windows based computers is that sometimes applications just go pear shaped, for, from the user's point of view, no discernible reason.  It might be some form of infection through a security loophole, or it might be an unforseen condition which eluded the programmers which has caused the application's logic to collapse.  Whatever the cause, usually these things can be rectified.

The fact that Firefox works suggests that the problem is Internet Explorer specific, rather than a more insidious problem with Windows.  The suggestions below are a combination of a process of elimination and good practice, any of which may sort out the problem.  So, first we check for viruses, next we attempt to make sure Windows is healthy, then we attempt to massage Internet Explorer, and lastly we look at the video adapter on the machine. 


1) Update your anti-virus software and run a full system scan.  This will ensure your Internet Explorer is malware free.

2) Ensure Windows is patched and up to date.  Internet Explorer is an integral part of Windows, and is often updated through Windows update.  To turn on Automatic Updates:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Depending on which Control Panel view you use, Classic or Category, do one of the following:
  3. Click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.  OR Click Performance and Maintenance, click System, and then click the Automatic Updates tab.
  4. Click the option that you want. Make sure Automatic Updates is not turned off.
  5. Allow automatic updates to check if anything is missing and download and install any patches it deems necessary.

3) Clear your browser's cache.  Find the Internet Explorer icon on the desktop. 

  1. Right click on it and choose properties.  This brings up the Interet Properties window. 
  2. Find the section called "Temporary Internet Files" and
  3. choose "Delete Files" to clear the browser's cache.  Often a corrupt or simply huge cache will break a browser. 
  4. When prompted, choose "delete all offline content".

4) If none of the above fix the problem, it could be related to video settings.  Here's a suggestion from the Microsoft site:

"Internet Explorer freezes, shuts down without warning, or the computer reboots.
This problem is often caused by out-of-date video drivers. Go to the Web site run by the manufacturer of your video card and download, then install, the latest (non-beta) drivers for your video card.

Alternatively, you can try the following:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Display (in classic view of Windows XP), click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
  3. Click the Performance or Troubleshooting tab (depending on your operating system), and then reduce hardware acceleration a notch at a time until your system stabilizes."