Reset Internet Explorer – A Step-by-Step Guide to Fix Issues

Internet Explorer has been the default web browser on Windows for over 20 years. Over time, changes to settings and configurations can cause the browser to run slowly or behave erratically. Resetting Internet Explorer restores the browser to its original factory settings, which can often solve performance issues and glitches.

Click on the Gear Icon then select Internet Options - Help Guide

Reasons to Reset Internet Explorer

There are a few common reasons why you may want to reset your Internet Explorer browser:

  • Browser is running slowly. Resetting clears the cache and resets all settings to default which can speed up browser performance.
  • Experiencing frequent crashes or error messages. Resetting eliminates any corrupted files or faulty configurations that could be causing crashes.
  • Suspicious new toolbars or addons. Malware and adware sometimes install unwanted addons. Resetting will disable all addons.
  • Browser has been hacked. Resetting eliminates any malicious changes made by hackers or malware.
  • You want to erase your browsing history and data. Resetting clears all browsing data including history, cookies, temporary files and stored passwords.

If you’re experiencing any of these issues, resetting Internet Explorer is one of the first troubleshooting steps you should take.

Things to Keep in Mind When Resetting Internet Explorer

Resetting Internet Explorer will fix many browser problems, but there are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Resetting will delete all browser data including history, downloads, cookies, passwords and web form auto-fill data. Make sure to backup or recover anything important first.
  • It will not affect your Favorites/Bookmarks, unless you choose to delete those too.
  • Addons and extensions will be disabled by a reset. You’ll have to reinstall and reconfigure any addons you use.
  • Resetting will not delete or uninstall Internet Explorer, just restore it to factory settings.
  • Any changes made to system settings like your default browser or file associations will remain unchanged.
  • A reset generally won’t delete any malware that may have infiltrated your system, only malware present in the browser itself.

So in summary, resetting Internet Explorer will restore browser settings and performance, but make sure to backup your data, bookmarks and reconfigure your extensions. It may not eliminate all malware problems.

When to Reset Internet Explorer

Resetting Internet Explorer is a handy troubleshooting step that can quickly solve many browser issues. Here are some common situations when you should consider resetting:

  • Internet Explorer is slow and unresponsive. Resetting improves performance.
  • You’re getting frequent error messages or crashes. A reset often fixes glitches.
  • Pop-ups, redirects or new toolbars have appeared. These are often symptoms of malware which can be removed by resetting.
  • Settings seem to randomly have changed on their own. This may indicate a security breach.
  • You don’t remember the current settings and want to start fresh. Resetting erases all customizations.
  • Privacy concerns over your browsing history. Resetting deletes all your browser data and history.

If Internet Explorer exhibits any odd behavior or symptoms, resetting should always be one of the first repairs attempted before more complex troubleshooting. In many cases it will solve the problem.

How to Reset Internet Explorer

Resetting is simple process that only takes a few minutes. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to reset Internet Explorer on both Windows 10 and earlier versions of Windows.

  1. Go to “Internet Options”.

    Open Internet Explorer, click on the gear icon in the upper-right part of your browser, then select “Internet Options“.

  2. Select the “Advanced” tab, then click “Reset”

    In the “Internet Options” dialog box, select the “Advanced” tab, then click on the “Reset” button.

  3. Click on “Reset”.

    In the “Reset Internet Explorer settings” section, select the “Delete personal settings” checkbox, then click on the “Reset” button.

  4. Click on “Close”.

    When Internet Explorer has completed its task, click on the “Close” button in the confirmation dialogue box.
    Close your browser and then you can open Internet Explorer again.

That’s it, Internet Explorer settings will be restored to their defaults. We strongly recommend that you install an ad blocker like AdGuard to block malicious ads.

While resetting Internet Explorer will restore the browser’s settings back to default, malicious extensions (that are installed with browser policies) or programs that are installed on your device can hijack the browser. If you are still having problems with your computer after completing these instructions, then please follow one of the steps: