Internet Explorer works fine most of the time, but there are times when it won’t open no matter what you try. There are a number of reasons this can happen, but if you’re working from the simplest to the most complex solution, you should get it working again in no time.
Internet Explorer became obsolete when Windows 10 was released and Microsoft no longer supports it. If you use IE on an older system, this article is for you. These tactics can also be applied to the Microsoft Edge browser or any browser you are having trouble with, even on the latest versions of Windows.
Possible causes of Internet Explorer not opening
Several problems can cause Internet Explorer not to open, including:
Changes to important Internet settings as programs are installed
Malicious software that changed or corrupted important IE registry keys
How to fix Internet Explorer opening failure
Sometimes getting Internet Explore to open normally is a simple solution, akin to a fresh start. Other times, the solution is more complicated. Try each of the steps below to pinpoint and fix the problem.
Force quit Internet Explorer. After it closes, reopen it. Internet Explorer often runs in the background after you close it. Forcing the process to close takes you out of this limbo, allowing you to restart the program again.
Restart the computer. This removes the electronic waste left by all the actions you take while using your computer, for example opening, closing, installing and removing programs.
Restart the computer in safe mode. This is a good way to see if malicious software has corrupted your system files. This prevents malware from starting. If Internet Explorer opens without problems, the problem is likely a malware infection.
If that’s the case, the next step is to reset your Internet Explorer security settings. If that doesn’t fix the problem, reinstall Internet Explorer completely.
Run Internet Explorer with add-ons disabled. Some add-ons interfere with the normal functioning of the web browser or corrupt system files. If Internet Explorer opens as it should with the add-ons disabled, use the Add-on Manager to activate the ones you need one by one, checking the browser’s functionality as you go.
Make sure you have version 11. Internet Explorer 11 is the latest (and final) version of the web browser. After installing the necessary updates, restart the computer. This should replace any Internet Explorer DLL files that have been corrupted by malicious software.
Even if resetting or updating Internet Explorer settings fixes the problem, you may still have malicious software on your computer. It is a good idea to run a full virus scan.
Reinstall Internet Explorer. If none of the above options work and you still cannot open Internet Explorer, reinstall it.
The web browser is included as a Windows feature, so you cannot uninstall and reinstall it like a normal application. Instead, you need to disable it and then re-enable it as a Windows feature.
How to fix Internet Explorer crash when opened when clicking on a link
Sometimes when you click a URL on a website, Internet Explorer won’t open the link, especially if the web browser is open. Whatever the reason, there are a few things you can do to fix it.
Make sure the default browser for opening web links is set to Internet Explorer.
Set web file associations in Internet Explorer. This makes IE your default application for opening links.
To prevent the problem from happening again, install good antivirus and antimalware scanning software. Also, make sure Internet Explorer continues to work after running Windows updates. If not, check the steps above to fix it again.