How to Disable Browser Plugins, Extensions and Add-Ons


If your Internet Explorer 11 Web browser crashes or freezes periodically for no apparent reason, one of its add-ons might be at fault. Although add-ons expand the functionality of the Web browser, they can sometimes malfunction and cause all sorts of problems. If you don't know which add-on is causing the crashes, disable them one by one and restart Internet Explorer until you find the culprit. Add-ons downloaded from the Internet Explorer Gallery (link in Resources) are generally tested and safe. Note that you can disable plugins and extensions from Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome as well.

  • Launch Internet Explorer and switch to Desktop view by clicking the wrench icon and selecting "View on the desktop" from the menu. If the address bar and wrench icon are not visible, press "Windows-Z" to display them.

  • Click the gear icon in the upper right corner of the Internet Explorer window and choose "Manage add-ons" from the menu; the "Manage Add-ons" window displays. By default, the "Toolbars and Extensions" option is selected from the Add-on Types list.

  • Select "All add-ons" from the "Show" drop-down box to display all add-ons installed in Internet Explorer. The add-ons are organized into groups.

  • Locate the add-on you wish to disable, select it and click the "Disable" button in the bottom right corner of the window. The status of the add-on changes to "Disabled" in the Status column. Click "Close" to close the Manage Add-ons window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Toolbars are also considered add-ons and are displayed in the "Toolbars and Extensions" list in Internet Explorer.
  • You can remove add-ons from Internet Explorer by selecting them, clicking the "More information" link in the bottom left corner and then clicking the "Remove" button.
  • You can re-enable any add-on by selecting it and clicking the "Enable" button. You must re-install removed add-ons if you want to use them again.
  • Some add-ons, such as Adobe Flash, QuickTime and Silverlight, must be enabled if you want to view multimedia content, such as YouTube videos.
  • To remove some add-ons, you must uninstall them from the Control Panel. Open the Control Panel, click "Uninstall a program" in the Programs section, select the add-on and then click the "Uninstall" button.
  • To disable a Mozilla Firefox extension, click the Firefox menu button, select "Add-ons" and then click the "Disable" button next to the extension that you want to turn off. To remove the add-on, click the "Remove" button.
  • To disable a Google Chrome extension, click the Chrome menu button, select "Settings," click "Extensions" and then click the "Enabled" button next to the extension that you want to turn off. To remove the extension completely, click the trashcan icon.
  • If Internet Explorer continues to freeze or crash periodically, consider resetting it. To reset the program to its default settings, click the gear icon in Desktop view, select "Internet Options," click the "Advanced" tab and then click "Reset;" click "Reset" to confirm.
  • Some add-ons might not be disabled or removed immediately. Restart Internet Explorer to disable or remove them.

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