My Only Browser Is Internet Explorer & It Won't Let Me Online

By James Rutter

Microsoft has designed and released its Internet Explorer Web browser since 1995. The company has bundled it with Windows software since the release of Windows 98, making it a very popular browser, and the only one installed on many home computers. Like any browser, Internet Explorer (IE) suffers from security vulnerabilities, and Microsoft has provided a number of fixes and patches to protect users from hacks and viruses. If your version of IE displays a message "Internet Explorer cannot display the web page," and you lack any other means to connect to the Internet, you can still repair IE's problem at home without logging on to the net.

Reset the Modem or Router

Step 1

Disconnect your computer from the Internet by unplugging any cables or Ethernet wires attaching your computer to a modem or by switching off your computer's wireless adapter card.

Step 2

Unplug the modem and/or router, or power down both.

Step 3

Reboot your computer by clicking "Start" and then highlighting and clicking "Restart." Enter your user name and password when prompted, and allow the computer to completely load.

Step 4

Turn the modem and/or router back on, reattach any cables from the computer to the modem or router or turn back on the wireless network card. Power on the modem and/or router.

Step 5

Launch Internet Explorer by clicking "Start" and then highlighting and clicking "Internet Explorer" in your programs list. Proceed to the next section if you still cannot connect to the Internet.

Remove Faulty Add-ons

Step 1

Open the "System Tools" application in "Accessories" by clicking "Start," then "All Programs," then "Accessories" and then double-clicking "System Tools" folder.

Step 2

Launch IE in "No Add-ons" mode by clicking "Internet Explorer (No Add-ons)." Open the "Internet Options" application window by clicking "Tools" (the icon of a gear in the top menu bar) and then highlighting and clicking "Internet Options."

Step 3

Open the "Manage add-ons" feature by clicking the "Programs" tab in the top menu bar of the "Internet Options" application window and then clicking the "Manage add-ons" button in the middle of the panel.

Step 4

Disable any add-on in the list by highlighting it and then clicking the "Disable" box in the bottom panel of "Manage add-ons." Attempt to load a page in Internet Explorer by clicking the "Home" button or by entering a URL in the navigation bar.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4 for the entire list of "add-ons," if necessary. Stop disabling "add-ons" when you can load pages in Internet Explorer. Turn back on disabled add-ons that weren't causing the problem.

Remove Third Party Applications

Step 1

Restart your computer into "Safe Mode" by clicking "Start" and highlighting and clicking "Restart." Tap the F8 key while Windows reboots to enter "Safe Mode."

Step 2

Open the "System Configuration Utility" by clicking "Start," highlighting and clicking "Run" and then typing "msconfig" (without the quotes) into the "Run" text box and then pressing "OK" or "Enter."

Step 3

Disable all non-Windows or non-Microsoft programs by clicking the "Services" tab in the top bar of the "System Configuration Utility" and then clicking the check box next to any program that does not list "Microsoft" in the "manufacturer" column. Reboot your computer in "Normal mode," launch Internet Explorer and attempt to load a website.

Step 4

Enable one of the non-Microsoft programs in the "System Configuration Utility" by reopening that application, clicking the "Services" tab and then checking the box next to any non-Microsoft program in the list. Reload any page in Internet Explorer.

Step 5

Repeat Step 4 until you discover which third-party application or software prevented Internet Explorer from connecting to the Internet. Disable that program in "System Configuration Utility."

Tips & Warnings

  • Microsoft has released a software patch that fixes this problem. Once you have resolved your current issue and can log on to the Internet, consider downloading Microsoft's "fix" from the company's website.