Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Solutions: Limit Internet Explorer add-ons to keep it running smoothly

We are running Windows 7 and would like to know what are add-ons and how do you manage them?

Internet Explorer "add-ons" are programs that embed themselves within Internet Explorer, offering extra functionality to your browsing experience. Specialized toolbars (i.e. Google) are an example of an add-on. You can view and manage your add-ons from within Internet Explorer menu Tools, Manage Add-ons. You can add/disable any add-on from that screen; complete uninstallation is done through Control Panel/Programs. I usually recommend that you limit add-ons to only what is absolutely necessary. The browsing experience is volatile enough without adding additional potential failure points. Internet Explorer 10 provides access to HTML5 and many Adobe Flash Player videos without installing a separate add-on.

I run Windows 7 Home Premium on my two-year-old HP P6710F desktop, SP1 and have 8 GB RAM and 64-bit operating system. Internet Explorer has become useless to me. When I try to reload with a new version I get the message that I am already using the latest. When I use it, it locks up again and again. In addition, I can no longer create files. When I open the Windows Explorer and try to create "new," the only choice available is now "Briefcase" with the new "File" choice having disappeared. I have started using Chrome as my browser but cannot create any new files. About a week ago my Internet Explorer "exploded," opening windows faster than I can close them, with as many as 20 or more open at once. The only solution was to reboot, which seldom stopped the explosions. I did a detail scan on both Malwarebytes and MS Security Essentials, and neither indicated any problems.

Sounds like a mess. My suggestion would be to boot into Safe mode, backup your personal files to an external drive and then use the HP built-in tools to return the PC to factory condition. You currently have either a virus or system corruption. It doesn't matter which antivirus you use; if you override the system and install the wrong stuff, you can still shoot yourself in the foot. I'm not saying this is what happened to you, but as a general rule keep things as vanilla as possible and be judicious in what you install on your system.

I was reading one of your articles from a couple of weeks ago instructing how to run Internet Explorer in no add-on mode by clicking Start, Run, and typing "iexplore.exe -extoff" and then clicking OK. When I click "Start," there is nothing that says "Run." I am using Windows 7 Home Edition. What is going on?

Sorry, sometimes I forget that not all PCs have the Run command enabled. Here's how to do it for Windows 7: Right-click Start and select Properties. Click the Start Menu tab, click Customize and check the Run command (scroll down to see it), then click OK and Apply. The Run command will now be displayed in the right-side of the Start menu. You can also run Internet Explorer in no add-on mode from the Programs menu by clicking Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, Internet Explorer (No Add-ons).

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

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