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Cleaning up Internet Explorer


If your browser is infected with Malware or just simply crashing, there are steps that you can take to clean it up and give it a good chance of working. If it still does not work, then you can repair or reinstall it.


Before you start down this path, make sure you have run a Malware detector like Spybot, scanned for viruses with something like Housecall and have completed a log file from Hijackthis.


First, lets clear all the "Temporary Internet Files" and any other temporary files.


Lets look at the Internet Explorer way, in Internet Explorer, Tools - Internet Options - General - Delete Files (IE6) or simply Delete and select items (IE7).


There is a tool called ATF cleaner that works well and deletes more that just the Internet Explorer items. You can get it from my "Tools in review" page. If this does not work or you suspect the temporary files are not clearing, try this script (Run the batch file first and then the script).



If you are technical and know a bit about computers, you can drop to a command prompt and type in


subst x: "%userprofile%l\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files"


Where x is a free drive letter on your system. Now open this drive letter up in my computer and delete any remaining temporary data. Quite often Outlook and other tools dump other files here temporarily (like email attachments) and they might not get cleaned up. This is a great way to make space and also a great way to remove any Malware (or at least fine it). If you find Malware this way and can not delete it, you might need to used Process explorer (from my tools page) to terminate the process and then delete it. If that does not work, boot into safe mode to kill it. If that does not work, try using Bartpe.


Wind back time


If things are still not working, you should try setting Internet Explorer back to defaults.

This discussion is for IE6. The same things can be done in IE7 but the buttons and sections are worded slightly different.

Please note that these instructions will not attempt to reset the colors, fonts, languages, Accessibility and Temporary Internet Files location options found in the General Tab and the dial-up connection settings found in the Connections Tab or any other setting normally unrelated to Malware.

If the default button as described for any or all of the options is grayed out, it just means that the particular option is already set to its default state.

Open Internet Explorer. Click Tools in the menu and then Options to enter the Internet Options window.

In the General Tab, in the Home page section, click Use Default to change the home page to its default, MSN home. In the Temporary Internet Files section click Delete Cookies and Delete Files -confirm Delete all offline content in the popup-. In the History section the default number of days to keep pages in history is 20 and click Clear History.

Still in the General tab, click Settings in the Temporary Internet Files section. Checkmark Automatically in the Check for newer versions of stored pages. Click OK to apply the changes.

The default Temporary Internet Folder folder is located in "C:\Documents and Settings\user name\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files" and the default Amount of disk space to use is 10% of your hard disk space.

Select the Security Tab and click the Internet zone icon. On the Security level for this zone section, click on the Default Level button. Follow this procedure for all the other zones, normally there are Local Internet, Trusted Sites and Restricted Sites.

Now click the Privacy tab and then click the Default tab.

The Pop-up Blocker is enabled by default and set to Medium, which blocks most automatic pop-ups. It can be confirmed by clicking on the Settings tab.

Custom privacy settings file and restoring default privacy settings.

Take a look at this procedure, How to Restore Default Settings After Importing Custom Privacy Preferences. If you do not want to meddle with the registry manually, use a registry file as outlined here to restore default privacy settings.

Now select the Content tab and then click the AutoComplete button in the Personal information section then click Clear Forms and Clear Passwords. Click OK to exit.

Next select the Programs tab and then click Reset Web settings. You can also opt to select Also reset my home page in the popup, if you have not reset the home page in the General tab. Click Yes to apply the changes.

Now select the Advanced Tab and click Restore Defaults button. Finally click the Apply button to save all the settings and OK to exit.

Some of the changes will need a restart to be applied.


Your IE6 installation has been restored to how Microsoft intended.


Removing addins (IE7)


Sometimes addin's, toolbars and other nifty tools download onto your system and make IE unstable. You can remove these and test your system without them to see if you can recover system stability.


Click Start -> All Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).

If your browser appears to be working properly in Internet Explorer (No Add-ons) mode, continue with the following steps to help identify which add-on may be causing the problems. 

To isolate the specific browser add-on that is contributing to the issue, you can use IE’s Manage Add-ons feature to pick specific add-ons to disable:
Click Tools -> Internet Options.
Click the Programs tab, then Manage add-ons.

Note: The Manage Add-ons option under Tools is disabled in No Add-ons mode so you must go to Internet Options, Programs, Manage add-ons to manually enable/disable add-ons.

Select an add-on in the Name list, and then click Disable.
Click OK, OK again, OK again and then close IE.

Restart IE normally and see
if your problem is resolved.
If it is, you should uninstall the specific add-on via Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs or the applications own uninstaller.
If the problem persists, you will need to repeat steps 1-3 until you have identified the specific add-on causing the problem.
Tip: Disable several add-on’s at once to speed up your process of elimination.

In general, updating to the latest version of a toolbar or extension can resolve most issues.

Here are a few known problematic addins.

Google Desktop: Google has fixed an issue that was known to cause IE7 to crash when opening new tabs. The latest version is available without this issue.
MSN 1.02 Toolbar: The MSN 1.02 toolbar crashes Internet Explorer 7. The workaround is to disable the toolbar, using manage add-ons or, uninstall it. Now download the latest version.
Microsoft Developer Toolbar: Older versions of the Microsoft Developer Toolbar does not display correctly on systems running Internet Explorer 7, and can cause hangs. Download the latest version.

The following is a list of known incompatible toolbars that can cause crashes or hangs in IE.


  • RoboForm Toolbar

  • Cooxie Toolbar

  • Diodia Download Toolbar 2.4.01

  • AskJeeves Toolbar

  • CitiBank’s Virtual Card Number Generator

  • Mojicon Dispenser 1.05

  • Logos Toolbar


What to do it things still don't work


How to perform a repair installation of Windows XP if Internet Explorer 7 is installed

How to uninstall Internet Explorer 7

How to reinstall or repair Internet Explorer in Windows XP (IE6 and IE7)








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                                                             This page was written and designed by Michael Jenkin 2011 © (Best viewed at 1024 x 768)