Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

IE error messages and more questions answered

Recent questions from readers, and clients alike, have spurred me to write a bit more on Internet Explorer. I apologize to my loyal regular readers who may be asking themselves, “what, IE 7 again?” However, I promise: this will be new material, and may just solve your problem.

Tip(s) of the day: Several people have reported to me an intermittent error message (when launching IE) that includes the words “…runtime error…”. These kinds of errors, since they’re not easily repeatable, are the toughest to troubleshoot, but I have found a common thread. All of these (that I dealt with) were resolved by uninstalling (removing) and re-installing the Google toolbar. This resolved the issue even though in each case, Google toolbar had been installed and working fine for a very long time.

If you are (recently) getting occasional IE launch failures, go to Add/Remove Programs in your Control Panel — in XP: Start >Control Panel (or Start >Settings >Control Panel) and double click on Add/Remove Programs. Once the list of installed programs fills in, locate your toolbar(s) and click on it and then click the Remove button. Rebooting after the uninstall is not required, but I recommend and advise it. Then download and install a new instance of your desired toolbar and install it again.

The other topic of recent questions I want to discuss is ActiveX controls. I have discussed my general advice for dealing with ActiveX warnings before (to view article, click here), and my advice still goes. But if you have clicked on the yellow warning bar and downloaded an ActiveX control to do something on a particular website and do not want or need the control any longer (or, it has caused some troubles) and you want to remove it, how do you do it?

The list of installed ActiveX controls is found in Internet Options. Click on the gray gear icon labeled “Tools” and select (click) Internet Options. Click on the Programs tab, as shown below.


ActiveX controls, and other enhancements to IE, are called “Add ons”, and so we want to click the “Manage add ons” button.


Use the down-arrow next to “Show” to narrow the list down to ActiveX controls only. Now you will see all the controls you’ve installed over time. As this is a relatively new instance of IE, my list is only two controls long — yours will likely contain a dozen, or more.

To remove an ActiveX control, click on it (select) and the buttons toward the bottom of the window will become active — you can temporarily disable the control on the left, and see if this stops the odd behavior (in a troubleshooting scenario), or simply delete it with the button on the right. If you aren’t sure which ActiveX control to delete, delete them all. The next time they are needed, you will be prompted by the yellow warning bar to download them.

Today’s free link:(I did not post yesterday’s free link until quite late, and so you may have missed it: I am reposting it today, as it is one of the more useful free utilities out there.) Hide and encrypt the folder(s) you want to keep private. True Crypt is the free solution I recommend.

Copyright 2007 © Tech Paul, All Rights Reserved.

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September 5, 2007 Posted by | advice, computers, how to, IE 7, PC, tech, Vista, Windows, XP | Leave a comment