Internet Explorer 7 freezing - use taskbar to unfreeze!

Discussion in 'Internet Explorer' started by deMeester, Jul 31, 2007.

  1. deMeester

    deMeester Guest

    I have a problem where IE 7 freezes every now and then, sometimes while
    loading a page, sometimes while using a page (eg a form, or an interactive
    page like web based puzzles).

    I used to just kill it with Task Manager. Then one day, after a freeze, I
    was sidetracked for a few minutes, and it had unfrozen. So, I started to
    play from that point on.

    I found, that if IE freezes, in full screen, I just have to resize my
    taskbar, and IE would come back!!! Mind you, minimizing and restoring, or
    resizing the window in itself, did not seem to help - just make the window
    full screen, resize the taskbar, and it comes back!!!!

    I have eliminated malware - I have a good firewall, and run trusted
    anti-malware and anti-virus, both which are up to date.

    This has only happened since installing IE 7. (7.0.5730.11, to be precise).
    Running XP Professional 5.1.2600 SP 2 build 2600
    Toshiba Satellite P100
    No outstanding updates.

    I can live with this, and kept thinking "surely I am not the only 1" and
    that it would be fixed with an update eventually - but it has gone on too
    long. My searches everywhere have not revealed any other reports where
    people have found that resizing their taskbar can unfreeze!!!

    (note, it froze twice while typing this message in!)
    deMeester, Jul 31, 2007
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  2. deMeester

    Rob ^_^ Guest

    Hi deMeester,

    The symptoms seem to indicate third-party software is listening for or
    sending desktop refresh messages to the windows os to redraw and update the
    There are two ways to do this in a program, a direct method and a timeout
    method which will timeout if an error occurs(this is why your problem
    corrected itself after leaving it idle for a few minutes). Each time IE7
    loads a new window/tab it has to redraw the toolbar and sends messages to
    tell the os to redraw the screen.
    Some Addon toolbars also send their own messages to redraw the toolbar and
    position their toolbar (toolbar layout hijacking). The Google toolbar is
    well known for doing this and I have seen the same for the Live toolbar on
    Vista/IE7. The symptoms of toolbar layout hijacking are that the toolbar
    layout (position and size of toolbars on the IE7 toolbar) does not stay when
    you choose "Lock the toolbars" from the toolbar context menu and restart the

    Does this occur when you run IE7 in no Addons mode?
    Start>Programs>Accesories>System Tools>Internet Explorer (no Addons)

    A registry fix for the Google toolbar layout hijack is available at

    Rob ^_^, Jul 31, 2007
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  3. deMeester

    deMeester Guest

    Thanks for that. I will give a day without addons, although, as stated by
    some others in this forum, the surfing experience is limited when you turn
    them off ;)

    By the way, you keep referring to toolbar re-drawig, I was actually
    referring to resizing the XP taskbar (taskbar is not locked, does not
    autohide, show taskbar on top of other windows, and group similar taskbar

    I found it very intriguing that minimizing and restoring the window did not
    unfreeze it in the same way, as I was thinking the forced redraw was somehow
    the trigger!

    I have not installed the Google toolbar, and on the whole, have a fairly
    clean system (relatively new laptop, and quite discerning with what I load
    deMeester, Aug 1, 2007
  4. deMeester

    deMeester Guest

    Without addons appears to make no difference.
    deMeester, Aug 1, 2007

  5. If that works then toggling Magnifier on and off
    or toggling High Contrast mode on and off
    might also work. E.g. press Win-U to start the Magnifier
    and press Left-Alt+Left-Shift+PrintScrn to change
    to or from High Contrast mode (assuming Accessibility defaults
    are in effect.)

    An in-between test would be using the Taskbar to resize the window.
    E.g. minimize all windows except the problem one and use either
    Cascade Windows or Tile... (Tiling a single window has the convenient
    property of maximizing it.)

    BTW It may help to make sure what you mean by "full screen".
    I suspect you mean "maximized" (e.g. Alt-Space,X)
    rather than in Fullscreen mode (e.g. F11 pressed)?

    You could also use Task Manager's Processes tab with all columns
    showing to see what all is going on, both in that iexplore.exe task and
    in any other tasks.

    Another thing that might help give more control to your Taskbar
    (and perhaps change your symptoms) is TweakUI's Focus control option.
    E.g. I find its "Flash taskbar button until I click on it" option useful for
    resolving various focus issues that I suspect this symptom of yours
    might be classified by.

    If these ideas don't give enough clues you may have to resort to some
    Clean-boot troubleshooting. I agree with Rob. I think you have something
    incompatible which is working at the same time as IE, interrupting and
    disrupting your active task (iexplore.exe) and somehow preventing control
    from being given back to it. You have proved that whatever it is is independent
    (conventionally) of IE by showing that No Add-ons mode doesn't change
    your symptom and that doing something which affects focus in a major way
    is the only way to give control back.


    Robert Aldwinckle
    Robert Aldwinckle, Aug 1, 2007
  6. deMeester

    deMeester Guest

    Thankyou for a comprehensive reply.

    I am still working through it all (I am fairly busy at work, atm).

    Yes, toggling Magnifier does work.
    Yes, you are correct, I meant maximized. Tiling windows from the taskbar
    did not work.
    This revealed nothing of interest that I could notice. System idle hovered
    at 95-96% and all other processes appeared to be behaving normally.
    Still working through the rest - but just wanting to let you know that your
    detailed response was greatly appreciated and was not being ignored.
    deMeester, Aug 3, 2007
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