Internet Explorer is not responding: try troubleshooting steps
Thank you for submitting an error report. This is the best way to let us know when Internet Explorer stops responding.
It's hard to determine exactly what causes Internet Explorer to stop responding (this is also called an application hang or, simply, a hang), but it's usually due to one of the following:
Spyware, adware, or other malicious software: If you have downloaded free software from the Internet, you might have inadvertently downloaded spyware with it. Spyware is software that can display advertisements (such as pop-up ads), collect information about you, or change settings on your computer, usually without your permission. Don't worry, you can usually remove spyware.
Internet Explorer add-ons: Add-ons are software "extras" that add features or tools (an Internet toolbar for example) to Internet Explorer.
Computer viruses: If your computer has a virus, the virus can cause Internet Explorer to stop responding.
We do not have a specific solution for you at this time, but here are a number of steps that you can take to try to fix the problem.
- Install the latest security update for Internet Explorer 6 for XP Service Pack 2.
This update addresses many issues that have caused Internet Explorer to stop responding. Note that installing this update is different than updating your Microsoft Windows software, which is described in step 2.
Install the update for Internet Explorer 6 for XP Service Pack 2
- Make sure your Windows software is up to date.
The Windows Update website provides free updates for the Windows operating system software and hardware. Updates fix issues in the software and help protect against known security threats. To check your computer for updates, see the Windows Update website.
- Install, run, and regularly update your anti-spyware and anti-adware.
To view a list of Microsoft and non-Microsoft anti-spyware and anti-adware software that you can download, see Security software: Downloads and trials.
If you are unfamiliar with spyware or adware and would like to learn more, see More Information about Spyware and Adware.
- Turn off unfamiliar Internet Explorer add-ons.
Add-ons are software "extras" that add features or tools (an Internet toolbar for example) to Internet Explorer. When you visit a website, an add-on might be downloaded without your knowledge, or you might be prompted to download an add-on. These add-ons can cause Internet Explorer to run slowly or hang.
To learn how to turn off Internet Explorer add-ons, see A Workaround is Available: Turn Off Internet Explorer Add-ons.
If you turn off an add-on, you can always turn it back on again.
- Update your antivirus software and perform a check on your computer.
If your antivirus software isn't up to date, it might miss new viruses that have come out since you last updated. To learn more about antivirus software, see Antivirus software: Frequently asked questions.
If you don't have antivirus software installed, see the Security software: Downloads and trials page. From this page, you can download tools to help you keep your computer secure.
- Visit a Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 newsgroup.
This is an open forum where you can read about other issues that people using Internet Explorer 6 are having. You can post your question, and another user in the group might be able to answer it. See Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Newsgroups.
- Check out the Microsoft Knowledge Base.
There are many Knowledge Base articles on the Microsoft Help and Support website that might also help you solve this problem. Knowledge Base articles are often written with the technical professional in mind. Depending on your level of familiarity with computers and technical terminology, you might not be comfortable performing the procedures described in Knowledge Base articles. If this is the case, you might want to seek assistance from the Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 Newsgroups. If you're interested in exploring these articles, please follow these steps:
Go to Microsoft Help and Support.
Click the Search (KB) tab.
In the Search Product field, select Internet Explorer 6.0.
In the For field, type Internet Explorer not responding.
In the Show results for field, select This product only.
From the Search Type box, select Full Text.
Under Categories, make sure the check boxes for How To Articles, Downloads, and Troubleshooting are selected.
Click the search arrow to begin the search.
Additional help and troubleshooting
To learn more about troubleshooting common errors, go to Microsoft Online Crash Analysis: Help, Support, and Tools.
More Information about Spyware and Adware
Spyware is software that can display advertisements (such as pop-up ads), collect information about you, or change settings on your computer, generally without appropriately obtaining your consent. The information spyware collects can range from all the websites you visit to sensitive information, including user names and passwords. You could become vulnerable to spyware if you download music from file-sharing programs, free games from sites you don't trust, or other software programs from unknown sources.
To learn more about spyware and how it affects your computer, read What is spyware?
Adware is advertising that is integrated into software. Adware is often combined with another application that is provided at no charge as long as the user agrees to accept the adware. Makers of adware, spyware, and other unwanted software might disguise their programs as anti-spyware tools. Consider using the software referred to on this page or ask someone you trust to recommend a tool.
To learn more about adware and how it affects your computer, read Adware and Bad Things it Does and How to Protect Your Computer from Spyware and Adware.