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Solutions: Internet Explorer add-on could be causing e-mail error message

Every time I close an e-mail, I get the following message: "Internet Explorer has stopped working. Checked online for a solution (which does nothing). Close the program (which I do)." What's going on?

Assuming that everything (Windows updates, Internet Explorer) are up to date, I suspect an Internet Explorer add-on. This can easily be tested by starting Internet Explorer in No-add on mode as follows: Click Start, Run and type C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe-extoff and click OK.

If you are able to now close an e-mail successfully at this point, then you need to go through your browser Add-ons (Tools, Manage Add-ons) and disable them one by one until you find the culprit.

My computer apparently called ShelllconHiddenWindow. It keeps appearing very briefly when I shut down my PC, but it hasn't received an answer. You recently advised someone to go to and run the free scan to detect and remove the problems it finds. I just did that, and at the end was told I have 12 problems, ranging from low risk to high. When I tried to get it to fix them, it appears I have to spend $39.95 to download Spyware Doctor before it will do so. Did I do something wrong, or is this not a free thing as your column seemed to indicate?

No, it's totally free. Unfortunately, the sites that host the file also run ads that can be confusing, and it is easy to click on the wrong link. You always need to proceed very slowly and read everything completely before clicking. After clicking on the "Download Free Version" at, you are directed to a different website that hosts the download (CNet). You then want to then click on the large button that says "Download Now Malware Anti-Malware." Nothing else.

Send questions to or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: Internet Explorer add-on could be causing e-mail error message 09/26/10 [Last modified: Sunday, September 26, 2010 6:13pm]
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