Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode

In our previous post about IE’s Reset Internet Explorer Settings feature, we’ve discussed how incompatible browser extensions, add-ons, spyware or malware can cause compatibility issues such as application hangs in IE7.

In this post, we wanted to go into more detail about how to troubleshoot with Internet Explorer 7. So, how does one go about identifying the cause for toolbar or add-on program problems?

To identify if an incompatible browser add-on or extension is at the root of your troubles, we recommend taking advantage of Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) mode. The following are steps to do this:

  1. 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. If you’ve usedInternet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) mode and are still experiencing issues, try our KB Article, How to perform common troubleshooting steps for Internet Explorer 7 Beta. Information found here can help you further troubleshoot problems that may be connectivity and network-related or caused by a third party application or by a specific website’s code.

  2. To isolate the specific browser add-on that is contributing to the issue, you can use IE’s Manage Add-onsfeature to pick specific add-ons to disable:

    1. Click Tools -> Internet Options.

    2. Click the Programs tab, then Manage add-ons (see figure below):

      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.
      Manage add-ons

    3. Select an add-on in the Namelist, and then click Disable(see figures below):

      Manage Add-on - Select an add-on to be disabled

      Disable add-on

    4. Click OK, OK again, OK again and then close IE.

  3. Restart IE normally and see if your problem is resolved.

    1. If it is, you should uninstall the specific add-on via Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs or the applications own uninstaller.
    2. 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. Below we’ve included a few commonly known problems and where to get the latest updates:

  • Google Desktop: Google has fixed an issue that was known to cause IE7 to crash when opening new tabs. The latest version is now available here.
  • 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. You can download the latest version here.
  • Microsoft Developer Toolbar: Older versions of the Microsoft Developer Toolbar does not display correctly on systems running Internet Explorer 7 Beta, and can cause hangs. You can download the latest version here.

The following is a list of known incompatible toolbars that can cause crashes or hangs in IE. We’re actively working with application owners to provide newer, compatible versions so please expect to see updated versions soon of your favorite toolbars. The current workaround is to disable or uninstall these when running IE7:

  • RoboForm Toolbar
  • Cooxie Toolbar
  • Diodia Download Toolbar 2.4.01
  • AskJeeves Toolbar
  • CitiBank’s Virtual Card Number Generator
  • Mojicon Dispenser 1.05    
  • Logos Toolbar

Check the Release Notes for Internet Explorer 7 Beta for the latest list of incompatible toolbars and where to find updated versions that work with IE7. The release notes also discusses some known incompatible programs and extensions as well as workarounds for common issues.

If you want to give us feedback or submit a bug on an incompatible application or extension, visit the Microsoft Connect site and sign up for our Internet Explorer Feedback program in order to access the IE pages.

As always thank you for using IE7!

Keryn Mark
Program Manager