Disable Add-Ons when Internet Explorer Won’t Start

If you can’t start Internet Explorer, the problem is probably caused by an add-on. You can verify this by launching Internet Explorer with add-ons disabled:

  1. Click Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (No Add-Ons).

If Internet Explorer does start this way but doesn’t start using the standard shortcut, add-ons are definitely causing your problems. Close Internet Explorer, and then follow these steps to disable any add-ons that you have recently installed:

  1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Network and Internet.
  3. Under Internet Options, click Manage browser add-ons.
  4. Click Manage Add-Ons.
  5. At the Manage Add-Ons dialog, click the most recently installed add-on. Then, click Disable to prevent the add-on from automatically loading.

Now, start Internet Explorer using the normal shortcut. If it starts ok, then you successfully disabled the problematic add-on. If it still doesn’t start, disable the next most recently installed add on, and try opening it again.

18 Responses to “Disable Add-Ons when Internet Explorer Won’t Start”

  1. New vista user.... says:

    What to do if Internet Explorer won’t start without Add-Ons in Vista ??
    IE crashed once and after that it won’t start even if tried from Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and then click Internet Explorer (No Add-Ons).

  2. liz says:

    thank you! this fixed my problem (in XP actually) after a zillion other sites told me i had a spyware problem.

  3. Chuck Gregory says:


    For 2 or 3 months I have not been able to run IE on my VISTA Home Professional computer. Of course, as it happens, I really prefer Firefox anyway, so I didn’t spend a lot of time trying to fix it. But it irks me when things don’t work, especially when they are so much a part of the Operating System (even if they supposedly have been completely separated from it).

    So this morning I went looking for a solution, and ended up here. I ran into a couple of things you didn’t mention, so I opted for a modified procedure. Some notes:

    1. You can get to the add-on manager from within IE. Pick Tools, Internet Options, Programs, Add-On Manager
    2. In order to do much of anything on Vista, you need to be in administrator mode. In order to test whether you’ve fixed your IE problems, you need to run (No Add-Ons) quite often. Since I tend to try out a lot of stuff this will be a recurring problem for me. So I went to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, and right-clicked Internet Explorer (No Add-Ons), and placed a shortcut in my Quick Launch bar. Then I right-clicked the new shortcut and set it to run in Administrator mode, along with changing the Icon so I wouldn’t confuse it with regular IE.
    3. Now I went into an iterative procedure to find my problem. From my Administrator No Add-On Internet Explorer (ANAOIE) I disabled lots of add-ons, then exited and attempted regular IE. If it ran, I enabled one or more of the add-ons I just disabled; if not, I ran ANOIE again, and disabled some more. This procedure will identify a problem; it is always in one of the add-ons you just re-enabled. It’s entirely possible that more than one of your add-ons is giving trouble, especially if you’re like me and download stuff all the time to try it out. Use the same procedure to test any that you think you need.

    I eventually found that I was having a problem with Google Toolbar. I imagine that’s been fixed, ’cause it’s too useful and too common for it to be stopping lots of people from running IE. So I’m going to look for a new version and see what’s what. Then I’ll go back and see if there’s anythine elsg I disabled that I think I want back.

    Thanks again!


    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks! After reading your Google Toolbar was the issue, I disable our Yahoo Toolbar and that was the issue!

  4. Duke says:

    This was very helpful, thanks.

  5. jose says:

    i am trying to use internet explorer but it does not work, it just tell me to close all tabs that i was using . How do I close those tabs?

  6. jose says:

    I download internet explorer 8 ,but now i can not download videos on the real player , it tells me that my real player is no compatible with IE8. What can i do?

  7. Graeme S says:

    Get a mac!

    • Brandon Ray says:

      Mac’s are cute, but not for professionals L
      They are great for media, that’s really it. People who hate PC’s usually don’t know sh!t about basic PC do’s and don’t.

      Go ahead and buy a Mac, and have fun with the fact that you can NEVER upgrade them, and a lot of software won’t run on them. So what do you get for the money? Yeah, a trendy yuppie white case and no need to run an AVP, so you save $60 buying that $2,000 iTool…

  8. amani says:

    i tried your method, but it doesn’t work. What happens when the no add-on internet explorer does not open and i have already uninstalled all my toolbars?

  9. Bea says:

    Hi All,

    Internet Explorer (7 and 8) will open and close immediately under Vista Home Premium. I have tried the following:

    1) Run IE in no adds-on mode. Does the same thing.

    2) Reset all settings under the Internet Options Panel—when it gets to the third part ‘Applying Default Settings’ it fails.

    3) Run Malware Malabytes in Safe Mode—nothing detected.

    4) Install IE8 (wasn’t working back when it was IE7), still no luck. Uninstalled back to IE 7, no working, and then back to IE8.

    So, any ideas? I normally use Firefox and Opera, but there is one specific work-related website that requires some ASP scripting that neither Firefox or Opera can handle!



  10. Bryan says:


    simple sound advice. Solved my problem immediately.


  11. rborilla says:

    thank you, it so easy

  12. Mark says:

    Cheers mate you’re a champ!!

  13. jojo says:

    I used the method where you remove all add ons and them add them back one or two at a time to see what caused the problem. I found that the toolbar was my problem. Thanks for the help. I’m just glad I can get it to launch now!

  14. Lindsay says:

    Thank you so much! Step by step instructions that fixed the problem!!! Thanks!!!

  15. DALE says:

    I’ve got one better…not only does IE not open (Firefox works), sidebar is blank, I have a red X on my network icon and when I try to download from FF, it locks up. IE does work in Safe Mode and the network icon appears normal. I ran Maleware bytes w/no problems found.