Jeff Thomas Technology

Tech for Educators

Top 3 Fixes For Common Internet Explorer Problems

Posted by Jeffrey Thomas on January 21, 2010

via makeuseof.com

Even though I don’t advocate using Internet Explorer, sometimes you just have to! Therefore, it’s always good to keep on top of anything that can keep IE running smoothly!

Most Internet Explorer problems are caused by malware, drive-by installers and even the occasional virus. Make sure you have either Internet Explorer 7 or 8 installed. Older versions like Internet Explorer 6 are HIGHLY susceptible to attacks. You can download the latest and greatest version from here.

These evil applications want to mess with your browser for a bunch of reasons. If they modify your main home page or search page they can start making money off your surfing and if you multiply this by millions they are getting rich off your misery! Some attacks will re-register your OCX and DLL files associated with IE.

I will walk you through how to change your homepage back to what you want to have it as, how to modify your search provider and how to re-register OCX and DLL files with Internet Explorer.
OK so something switched your home page. If you are using Internet Explorer 5,6,7 or 8 the setting is pretty much in the same place. You will need to go to your menu and then hit Tools – Internet Options.

ie1

Once you are at the internet options page you will see a screen similar to the one below. I am using Internet Explorer 8 so yours may be a little different. Just enter the site you want it to go to when you open your browser or click the use current or use blank buttons.

ie2

Click OK and hit the home button. Watch the browser work its magic. If your browser’s homepage gets hijacked, fix it immediately – that could be just the first step in the attack against you!

Next up is search providers. A malicious script or webpage can change your search provider. Now you wouldn’t want any profits from your searching to go to terrorists or child pornographers now would you? So if you don’t recognize your search results page it is time to switch it back. You can see the search box in the upper right hand corner on Internet Explorer 7 or better.

ie4

To modify who you are using for the search box click the arrow next to the magnifying glass.

IE5

You will see options there for default (or ones someone has installed) search engines. Click Find More Providers to grab the search engine’s code from the Microsoft website. They also allow you to create your own. Choosing from the predefined options is your safest bet though.

ie6

And last but certainly not least after a virus attack or when you are recovering from a spyware incident you need to fix all your issues. One of them can be Internet Explorer failing or not working properly. Who knows what the hackers are making your browser do! So let’s re-register all the DLL and OCX files associated with Internet Explorer to be safe.

There is a free little application that does this. It is called The Fix IE Utility located here. No credit for the awesome name of the application but it works wonderfully. Simply download and run the application.

The utility’s download link is right below the adsense under the article. Grab it, open the zip file and run it. It is truly portable.

ie7

Click the Run Utility button and let it do its magic!

Do you have other issues with your IE? Hit us up in the comments and let us know.

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