Internet Explorer is the default web browser software included in all versions of the Microsoft Windows operating system. Internet Explorer is a common source of difficulty for users when its performance is affected by malware. The most common types of malware that affect Internet Explorer include spyware and adware toolbars. Besides being a security risk, malware can slow down the Internet Explorer browser and reduce the speed at which you surf the web. Learn how to fix Internet Explorer malware problems to secure your computer and get back to web browsing.
- Practice good web surfing hygiene. Most Internet Explorer malware problems can be stopped by following certain policies when surfing the Internet. Only download programs from reputable software developers, and never click on pop-ups or open any downloaded files from strangers.
- Understand the definition of malware. The two most common types of malware are spyware and adware. These programs track your computer usage and report it to an ad company to serve you advertisements. Another major type of Internet Explorer malware are hijacker programs. These programs control what sites you can visit by hijacking the browser.
- Open Internet Explorer. Click “Tools” in the top menu bar, and select “Options.” Clear all cookies and temporary Internet Files.
- Click “View” and select “Toolbars.” Deselect all toolbars except for the default explorer bar.
- Download and install the free versions of Spybot Search and Destroy (link in the Resources section) and Ad-Aware (link in the Resources section). These two programs will scan your computer against a database of known malware. If any such files are found, the programs will ask you if you would like to quarantine the programs or delete the offending files.
- Run both “Spybot Search and Destroy” and “Ad-Aware.” Depending on the size of your hard drive, the entire scanning process may take up to an hour each.
- Review the report that Spybot Search and Destroy and Ad-Aware gives you. Any suspected malware programs will be listed. Some of these may be false positives. For example, certain toolbars, such as the Google Toolbar, are legitimate programs and you may not wish to remove them. However, if you do not recognize any of the files listed, tell each respective program to remove the suspect software.
- Restart your computer. Open “Internet Explorer” and commence browsing.
- Many pop-up windows that promise to fix your Internet Explorer malware problems by offering a free software download are actually installing more harmful programs.
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