The long awaited IE9 Beta is here. Has it lived up to it’s promises? We wait and see. But for me, my very first experience was very disappointing. First though, as I was reminded by a Twitter friend, it is a beta version, so expect the odd crash and weirdness.

IE9 Beta crash on start-up

My first experience with IE9 Beta, is that it went into a crash on start-up. This ended up in a loop. I would get an error message box, click ok to close the app, and it would loop again, crash, give me the error dialog. So on and so on. Very frustrating. What on earth could this have been?

IE Toolbars

The first suspect was that it could be some of the installed toolbars I had previously on IE8. There is a very neat little trick to run IE9 without any toolbars or added extensions. From the rn box type in “iexplore.exe -extoff”. What this does is launch Internet Explorer in an almost safe mode. This runs IE without any plug-ins, add-ons or extensions. You can also find a shortcut to this. Click all programs in the start menu and then–> accessories–>system tools–>internet explorer (no addons).

Disable add-ons

If Internet Explorer opens correctly in No add-ons mode, you just have to identify which add-on was causing the crashes. This can be done by following these steps:

  1. Click Start
    2. Click All Programs
    3. Click Accessories
    4. Click System Tools
    5. Click Internet Explorer (No add-ons)
    6. Click Tools
    7. Click Manage Add-ons
    8. Click Toolbars and Extensions
    9. Under Show: click All add-ons
    10. Click any add-on
    11. Press CTRL + A on your keyboard (this should select all add-ons)
    12. Click Disable all
    13. Click Close
    14. Close Internet Explorer (No add-ons)
    15. Open Internet Explorer

Now all add-ons are disabled in Internet Explorer, test to see if the same problem occurs without add-ons. If the problem is fixed then the next step is to enable the add-ons one by one to find which is causing the problem.

  1. Click Tools
    2. Click Manage Add-ons
    3. Click the first disabled add-on
    4. Click Enable
    5. Click Close
    6. Surf a few pages
    7. Close Internet Explorer
    8. Open Internet Explorer

If Internet Explorer still opens/works correctly then the add-on you enabled is good to stay. Repeat the enabling process for the next disabled add-on and continue this process until the problem returns. Once the problem returns the last add-on enabled will need to be disabled/uninstalled/updated to avoid further problems.

Uninstalling the Add-on

Most of the time you can uninstall the add-on by going to your control panel. Then under Programs and Features look for the installed Toolbar or add-on and Uninstall. Sometimes the Add-on or toolbar might create a menu item under All programs. Just go to there and uninstall.

Software Rendering instead of GPU rendering

One of the advancements in IE9 is it’s speed. Part of the speed enhancements is using the graphics accelerator of your graphics card. But this could be the cause of your problems. The graphics drivers might not yet be compatible with this version of IE9. Remember it is in Beta.

So open your control panel. Click on Internet Options. Then select the advanced tab. Right on the top you will see an Item “Accelerated Graphics”, underneath the option to use Software rendering instead of GPU rendering. Select and check Software rendering. Click OK or Apply and test again. This is what worked for me ultimately.

Windows safe mode

Sometimes that might not work. It is also possible that some background service or application is interfering with IE9. Program like Anti-Virus and Anti-spyware programs are the biggest culprits. Run Windows in safe mode. Then test to see if IE9 Still crashes. If it does not, then most likely it is a background process, service or application that is causing the problems.

To isolate the problematic process, run msconfig from the run box. Then go through the painful process of isolating the problematic process. Under the Services and Startup tabs, you would uncheck each process, one at a time. Restart windows and check. If IE9 crashes, then it was not that start-up app or process. If it does not, you have found the problematic application.

What you do now is entirely up to you. You can carry on working wth the process not running, or do not use IE9 and reinstate the offending process. Word of caution: This is a dangerous process if you do not know what you are doing. Disabling the wrong process could put your PC into a unworkable state.

If all else fails – Uninstall IE9

If all else fails the only option you have is to uninstall IE9 beta. There is probably some other issue with your pc that would take a bit longer to analyse.

You can always take your PC to a professional and let them isolate the issues. That might cost money, and is hardly worth paying for when you are testing beta software. The best option is then to uninstall IE9 and go to your previous working version of Internet Explorer. You can remove IE9 Beta using the following steps:

  1. Close all programs.
    2. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    3. Click Uninstall a Program under the Programs category
    4. In the Tasks pane, click View installed updates.
    5. In the list of installed updates, double-click Windows Internet Explorer 9.
    6. In the Uninstall an update dialog box, click Yes. Note If you are prompted for an administrator password or for confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.
    7. Follow the instructions to uninstall Internet Explorer 9.
    8. When the uninstall program is finished, restart your computer.
    9. After you restart your computer, open Internet Explorer.
    10. Click About Internet Explorer on the Help menu. If Internet Explorer 7 or 8 appears in the About Internet Explorer dialog box, then you have successfully completed the uninstall.


Remember, IE9 is still in Beta. Don’t expect it to run absolutley smoothly. If you do find problems, then your duty is to report it to Microsoft. Complaining is not going to help. Reporting to Microsoft will help fix these problems that you and many others might be experiencing.