Browsers, E-mail, & Web Apps forum

Resolved Question

Lost IE browser access?

by kiltyman62 / March 6, 2012 6:02 AM PST

I suddenly lost all use of my IE. Any time I try to open it the "unable to connect" appears. I have checked all settings and ran diagnostics but everything appears to be working fine. I can get online with Hotmail and navigate with "favorites". I have even gone back and done a system restore point with no success. Anyone able to help? Thanks

kiltyman62 has chosen the best answer to their question. View answer
Answer This Ask For Clarification
Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Lost IE browser access?
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Lost IE browser access?
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Best Answer chosen by kiltyman62

Collapse -
Does this happen
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 8, 2012 4:49 AM PST

with other browsers?

You say you can get online with Hotmail. Does that mean you use IE to visit the Hotmail web page and that works?

Tell us the details of your computer and the full text of the error messages.


Collapse -
Lost IE Access
by kiltyman62 / March 9, 2012 7:15 AM PST
In reply to: Does this happen

Thank you for your reply Mike. Any time I try to open IE it goes to the first page then shows the "unable to connect" window. When I follow the instruction and diagnose it states their is no connection problem. If I use my favorites drop down it will allow me to connect to any of them but if I try to use the IE browser it will go back to "unable to connect". MDG 3g tower dual core Pentium with Windows XP, SP2.

Collapse -
That sounds like
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 9, 2012 6:42 PM PST
In reply to: Lost IE Access

your Home Page. Why? because you say that when you open IE you get "unable to connect" and when IE is first opened it will immediately attempt to display your Home Page.

So, first steps then, what is your Home Page? If you change that to something else, eg then restart IE, does it connect to Google when IE opens?

I would recommend you download and install a couple of other browsers, eg Firefox, Safari, Chrome just to mention a few. If you ever do lose internet access IE for any reason, then you are stuck but another browser may still work and allow you to search for solutions.

Another question for you. Why only XP2? You are missing an awful lot of security and critical updates by not having SP3 and later updates.


Collapse -
Unable to Connect issue
by btljooz / March 9, 2012 11:10 AM PST

Hi Kittyman62,

Let's take this one step at a time.

First, make double sure that your firewall and/or anti-virus are not interfering with your connection to the internet. Do this more to rule it out than in. Now, make double sure that there is nothing wrong with your modem and if you have a router check it out, too. Check all connections between your modem and computer. Again, do these things more to rule then out than in as a culprit or culprits.

You say that you can navigate the internet from your Favorites but no other way. What other ways have you been trying to access your e-mail and the internet in general? If you're simply using a shortcut on your desktop ...OTHER THAN the main
IE shortcut... to get on the internet that particular shortcut may be corrupt and it's a
simple matter of replacing it with a new one. It's hard to say precisely what's going on here without more specific info.

You may want try installing Firefox on your computer so you can get around the internet without IE at all (at least until you get things figured out). Just don't allow anything but the Firefox Browser to install, not any toolbar or anything else. Once Firefox is installed definitely get to where you install Add-ons and get Navigational Sounds, PlainOldFavorites, and deskCut. You DO want them. A list of other useful Add-ons will follow getting to the bottom of your problem. But with just those three add-ons [at first] see how Firefox acts during your travels on the internet with it. If it does the same thing as IE then you need to look further to see what is wrong with your connection.

Next, see if XP TCP/IP Repair 2.1 can help you out. Sometimes that is all that's needed to get you going again. Get it from here. This little utility program has saved my day more than just one time! Once installed, open it up and use the Reset TCP/IP button ONLY. Do NOT fool with the other button.

At the very first glance of your problem it sounded to me like your installation of IE may possibly be corrupt. If you're using the main IE icon to get to the internet and that is what is giving you that error message this could very well be the case. I assume that since you're running XP SP2 that you're using either IE 6 or 7 since IE 8 can not be installed on XP with just SP2. Therefore, you may need to uninstall IE and reinstall it. If necessary you can download IE 6 from here. If you install SP 3 you can then get IE 8 from here. IE 7 has been reported by some to be rather unstable at times so you may not want it.

If after all of that, you still have problems. The next thing to do is to call your ISP and talk to them about checking things out from and on their end. They will give you specific instructions to further help you help them figure out and fix your problem.

Now, for those additional Firefox Add-ons that I promised that you'll find protective, handy and fun to have. Get them the same way you got the other three. You can use the URLs listed with each add-on to gather more info about them. Here's the list.

- BetterPrivacy "Super-Cookie Safeguard"
- ColorfulTabs Colorful Tabs colors every tab in a different color and makes them easy to distinguish while beautifying the overall appeal of the interface.
- DoNotTrackPlus Stops web tracking to protect your privacy- Extension List Dumper Dumps a list of the installed extensions. This list was generated with Extension List Dumper.
- Flagfox Displays a flag depicting the location of the current server- Forecastfox Get international weather forecasts with this highly customizable extension
- Ghostery Ghostery identifies and allows you to block the 3rd parties (web bugs) that are hidden on the current page you're visiting. Web bugs include ad networks, behavioral data collectors and web analytics providers.
- IE Tab Plus An enhanced version of IE Tab which enables you to use the embedded IE engine within Mozilla/Firefox.
- LightShot (screenshot tool) Easy and convenient screen capture tool. Allows you to make screenshot of any selected area (video and flash too), edit and upload it to server.
- NoScript Extra protection for your Firefox: NoScript allows JavaScript, Java (and other plugins) only for trusted domains of your choice (e.g. your home-banking web site). This whitelist based pre-emptive blocking approach prevents exploitation of security vulnerabilities (known and even unknown!) with no loss of functionality... Experts will agree: Firefox is really safer with NoScript Happy
- pdfit save web page as a pdf file with no clickable links.
- RefreshBlocker
- TooManyTabs TooManyTabs allows you to store as many tabs as you like by adding extra rows in the Firefox!
- Web2PDF converter Web page to pdf convertion utility
- WOT Web of trust.
If you use Yahoo, you may want the Yahoo Toolbar. This is the ONLY Toolbar I have installed on any of my myriad of browsers.

I hope this helps. Good Luck and Happy Computing! Happy

Collapse -
by btljooz / March 9, 2012 11:28 AM PST

My apologies. Uh, it's been so long since I've had anything to do with IE that I gave incorrect info. IE 6 - 8 are all compatible with XP SP 2. It's IE 9 that can not be installed on XP SP 2.

IE 7, 8 and 9 can all be downloaded from here.

Collapse -
Nearly the same problem
by myaccino / March 10, 2012 1:09 AM PST
In reply to: OOPS!

When I click IE nothing happens. Absolutely nothing. I have deleted and redownloaded IE9 at least 4 times. I am running Chrome as my Browser so it has not been a problem, but it would be nice to have it available.

Any thoughts?

Collapse -
How did you get on
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 10, 2012 4:15 AM PST

with my suggestions above?

Collapse -
Nearly the same problem
by myaccino / March 10, 2012 2:03 PM PST
In reply to: How did you get on

Luckily I did have chrome already downloaded when IE failed to work.

Collapse -
Erase Your Cookies
by alborgg / March 10, 2012 8:19 PM PST

If you don't have an antivirus software blocking your access, do this:

In IE, do a Tools-> Internet Options-> go to "Browsing History"-> Delete Cookies. Get out of IE then retry to get an internet connection.

Collapse -
Not entirely sure
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 10, 2012 8:28 PM PST
In reply to: Erase Your Cookies

how removing cookies would help with connection issues.

Sure, clearing browser caches is a good idea every once in a while, but the issues here seem to be different.


Collapse -
by btljooz / March 11, 2012 3:45 AM PDT

Are you running XP or Vista or Win 7??? Confused If you're running XP you can't use IE9. That's your problem. IE9 is only for Vista and 7. In addition, you need to make double sure that you have every single file from IE deleted from your computer when you uninstall it. This means from the registry, too. Have you been doing that? If not then that is why you've had to re-install IE so many times. Leftover files can sometimes confuse a program when it's re-installed.

Do this:
1. Uninstall IE by the method you've previously used.
2. Use the Search feature of Windows to find and delete any leftover files that IE may have left.
3. Backup and then clean the registry of all entries there that IE has left. Make double sure that you do NOT delete any entry that you're not absolutely positive is something for IE. If you delete the wrong entry you will ruin whatever software that entry goes to. This includes your operating system.
4. From your previously saved IE .exe (installation) file re-install IE while booted into Safe Mode without Networking.
5. Once IE is installed, Defrag while still in Safe Mode without Networking.
6. Re-boot into Regular Mode.

This should do the trick for you.

Collapse -
Re: Your IE browser!
by stink_finger / March 12, 2012 6:40 PM PDT

I have both, IE9 and Google Chrome. I rarely ever use IE9 anymore because it's a lot slower than Chrome. Chrome works best for my gaming needs, but, I can switch back and forth between browsers when I choose to. Go into your control panel, click on Internet Options, click on programs, then click the box at the top asking you if you want Internet Explorer as you browser, then click yes, and that should take you back to IE9. I'm not a technical genious here, so I can't offer you more, than what I just told you. Hope it works for you.

Collapse -
IE Solution
by annaharris / March 12, 2012 4:33 PM PDT

Start Internet Explorer, click View and then point to Toolbars.
• If there is not a check mark next to Address Bar, click Address Bar to place the check mark. If there is a check mark next to Address Bar, click Address Bar to remove the check mark, and then click Address Bar to place the check mark.
• If the Address bar is in the upper right corner and not available, right-click Address, and then click Lock the Toolbar to remove the check mark.
• Click Address, and then drag the Address bar where you want it.

If it doesn't work, you can delete the Web Browser registry key.

Collapse -
How does that solve
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 13, 2012 5:59 AM PDT
In reply to: IE Solution

the "No connection" problem?

And by the way, delete a registry key? Ouch!


Popular Forums
Computer Help 49,613 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,349 discussions
Laptops 19,436 discussions
Security 30,426 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,308 discussions
Windows 10 360 discussions
Phones 15,802 discussions
Windows 7 7,351 discussions
Networking & Wireless 14,641 discussions


Free trip to the Grand Prix

Don't miss your chance to win a trip to the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Monaco for you and a plus-one.