How to Disable the Internet Explorer Work Offline Message

By Garrett Genet

Internet Explorer (IE) can be infuriating when it continuously spams error messages that aren't even applicable, seemingly without cause or remedy. The "Work Offline" message gained such a reputation from a Windows 98 bug that caused IE to remain in a perpetual "offline" state. The only remedy was to edit the Windows registry manually, the thought of which alienated most users. Luckily, such bugs are things of the past. If you're encountering similar symptoms on a modern version of Windows, it's just a matter of changing a few settings to ensure you're never prompted about being offline (unless actually warranted).

Step 1

Open Internet Explorer and click "Tools," then click "Internet Options."

Step 2

Click the "Connections" tab at the top.

Step 3

Click "Never dial a connection," then click "Apply."

Step 4

Click the "LAN Settings" button at the bottom.

Step 5

Click "Automatically detect settings" and then click "OK."

Step 6

Click "OK" again to save your new settings, and then close Internet Explorer.

Step 7

Open Internet Explorer and click "File." Look for "Work Offline"; if it has a check next to it, click it. Otherwise, just click "File" again to close the menu. You should no longer be prompted with messages stating that you're offline.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you're running Windows XP, you can try this additional step: click the "Advanced" tab in "Internet Options" and make sure the "Enable offline items to be synchronized on a schedule" item is unchecked; it's under a sub-heading labeled "Browsing." Click "OK" once you're finished to save your settings.