Monday, September 17, 2012

Try Everything Before You Quit - How to Reset Internet Explorer

No, this isn't a good philosophy for life, but it is a good philosophy for technology repair.

A client told me she was bringing in her mother's PC for me to fix. Her mom has as her homepage in Internet Explorer 8. Apparently, ATT at Yahoo! has changed the look and feel of their homepage (new code and stuff). Since that change, my client's mom can't access the page. She has the site set as her homepage in IE 8. When she starts IE 8, the infinity circle runs for 5+ minutes (she let it run without closing it out and she said only a tiny picture had loaded after 15 minutes). Well, my client brought in the PC for me to check out. I asked her if she had opened a new tab in IE 8 to try and access another site. She said, "No, I didn't try that." So, that was the first thing I did after booting into Windows.

I was able to open google and do a google search (I searched pizza if you're wondering). I was also able to open Yahoo!. From that, I knew IE 8 wasn't hijacked by a browser hijacker or something else. During the opening of other sites, was still trying to load. I closed the tab, then I installed Firefox, ran it, and was able to access just fine in Firefox. My assumption that IE 8 was "just old" and that's new homepage was too "advanced" for IE 8 was beginning to be a reality for me.

I told my client that Firefox loaded site just fine and that IE 9 probably would too. I asked her if she wanted me to update IE 8 to 9. She gave me the green light because she thought IE 9 would at least be more familiar to her mom than Firefox and I thought that was probably true. So, I installed IE 9. Guess what? IE 9 had trouble loading the new homepage too. What? Honestly, I was stumped. Another thought came to mind though. Perhaps IE was broken in some way? Maybe a reset would fix this issue? So that's what I did. I ran the IE reset. Guess what? loaded just fine, even the same speed as Firefox. I don't know what specifically the problem was between IE and's new homepage, but I do know running the IE reset fixed the issue. I wonder if the IE reset in IE 8 would have fixed the issue for 8? That question ties in the title post that you should try everything before you quit on the technology you're working on. I should have tried the IE reset before upgrading to IE 9.

Want to know how to run the IE reset? These steps work for IE 7, 8, and 9.

In IE, go to Tools > Options

The Options windows opens. Click on Advanced. You should see a Reset button in the lower right portion of the window under a heading that reads, "Reset Internet Explorer Settings." Click on the Reset button.

In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings Dialog box, click on the Reset button.

After a little bit, IE will be return to the default state. 

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