What Does It Mean When Internet Explorer Keeps Closing & Won't Stay Open?

by Jane Williams

You're all set to settle in and search the Internet for entertainment, do a little socializing or even get some work done. But Internet Explorer keeps closing soon after opening, sometimes offering an unhelpful “Internet Explorer has encountered a problem and needs to close” error message. This frustrating situation can occur due to various issues, including problems with IE itself or another problem elsewhere in your computer.

Low Memory

Computers use installed RAM to store temporary files as you run programs and surf the Web. If you've used memory-intensive programs before attempting to open IE, the RAM may be full and need cleared to focus on your Internet browser. Empty your RAM -- and correct other minor underlying issues -- by restarting your computer. A reboot helps clear out temporary files and reset system files to proper functionality.

Bad Browser Files

As you work with your computer, any number of conflicts and problems can occur to the files that control your programs. System files can become corrupted, including those for your browser. Corrupted or damaged files can prevent IE from working properly, causing frequent crashes. Download the latest version of IE from Microsoft's website and install (see Resources for link.) Run Windows Update to fix any problems or vulnerabilities in IE. Windows typically turns Update on automatically, but you can manually check the settings and run it yourself by looking under Control Panel and selecting “System and Security.” Click “Windows Update,” and then select “Check for Updates” to manually start the procedure.

Add-On Issues

Add-ons and toolbars are programs that offer additional enjoyment and functionality during your time online. These programs may not integrate well with IE, and they may even conflict with other programs installed on your computer. As a result, the faulty add-on causes IE to crash. If your IE problems began shortly after installing a new add-on, remove the newcomer and see if the issue persists. You may need to reboot before the changes take effect.


Malicious software -- including viruses, spyware and trojans -- causes all sorts of havoc when they infiltrate your computer. One side effect from these nasty invaders can include problems with your Internet browser. Always have up-to-date malware protection installed on your computer, and run a scan regularly to seek and destroy these uninvited programs. Run a deep scan when you encounter unusual behavior from your computer or programs.

About the Author

Jane Williams began her writing career in 2000 as the writer and editor of a nationwide marketing company. Her articles have appeared on various websites. Williams briefly attended college for a degree in administration before embarking on her writing career.