May 2014 IT Business Consulting Newsletter

Internet Explorer 11 Issues

By Tom K

Internet Explorer 11 (IE 11) was pushed to most Windows 7 PCs earlier this month via Microsoft Update. While this version of IE is quite stable and has some nice improvements, there are some issues.

In this month’s newsletter I point out the two issues most often reported, and show you how to work around them.

Internet Explorer 11

IE 11 shipped with Windows 8.1 and was released for Windows 7 (SP1) in October 2013. It included many security and privacy improvements, as well as performance improvements, but it was a bit quirky. The November 2013 release was quite stable, and it began getting good reviews.

Microsoft pushed IE 11 down to Windows 7 (SP1) PCs via Windows Updates on 05/13/2014 (Patch Tuesday). Most Win 7 users, therefore, found IE 11 installed on their PCs the next day.

I’ve been using IE 11 since the end of January with generally good results. There are issues working within some web sites, however, usually due to those sites not updating to the latest Microsoft standards for developers. The following discusses the two most often experienced issues, Site Compatibility and Caching.

Site Compatibility

If you or your staff hit a site and it doesn't load properly, or some aspects of the site don't work, or if the site doesn't feel right, try the Compatibility View feature in IE 11. This will usually fix the issue.

You can get to the Compatibility View Settings via the Tools menu (if you've turned on the IE Menu bar), or left click on the IE Tools icon (looks like a gear), usually on the far right/top of the IE screen. Select “Compatibility View Settings” from the middle of the menu.

Ensure the “Use MS compatibility lists” box is checked.

Now, whenever you have an issue with a site, while on that site, open the Compatibility View Settings tool. The site you are on should be in the “Add this website:” field. Hit the “Add” button & the site will appear in the list. Reload the site from IE 11, and it should now be OK.


When a browser accesses a web page, it will often use info stored in its cache to load the page, which speeds up page loads. If the page is often receiving new info, however, the page may appear to be not loading properly, as the cached data being used/loaded is old data.

Even if you hit the reload button (or [F5] in IE 11), the page might still use cached info. To force a fresh reload, hold down the ctrl key when hitting the Reload button or hit [ctrl F5].

You can delete the IE 11 cache while in IE 11 by selecting “Delete Browsing History” directly in the Tools menu, or left click on the Tools icon, select “Safety” and select “Delete Browsing History”. Uncheck all boxes except “Temporary Internet Files and Website Files” and hit the “Delete” button.

You can edit the IE 11 configuration to stop IE from storing data in its cache (essentially disabling the cache). While in IE 11, select “Internet Options” from the Tools menu, or the Tools icon dropdown. Select the General tab if not already selected. Hit the “Settings” button in the “Browsing History” section. Select the “Every Time I Visit the Webpage” button and hit “OK”.

Try Another Browser

If you are still having issues with a webpage, try viewing it in another browser to determine if the issue is with IE 11 or the website. If the same issue occurs with other browsers, the issue is in the site. I use Firefox as my second/alternate browser. Firefox Download

Revert to an Earlier Version

If you find you need to revert to an earlier version of Internet Explorer, you can uninstall IE 11. The uninstall process should re-install the version of Internet Explorer that IE 11 replaced on your PC, but I always make sure I have a copy of the version I want, just in case, which can be downloaded here:

    IE 9 x32 bit     IE 9 x64 bit

    IE 10 x32 bit     IE 10 x64 bit

Once you have the install file downloaded, open Control Panel. Set “View BY” (top right) to Small Icons and open “Programs and Features” from the list. Select “View Installed Updates” on top left. Enter     Internet     in the “Search Installed Updates” box, top right. Right click “Internet Explorer 11” and select Uninstall. Click “Restart now” to finish uninstalling and restore the previously installed version of IE.

While you now have an earlier version of IE installed on your PC, Windows will re-install IE 11 the next time the PC runs Windows Update. What to do?!? Fortunately, you can block the IE 11 update with the IE 11 Blocker Toolkit, located here: IE 11 Blocker Toolkit

If you choose to use the IE 11 Blocker Toolkit, please read the installation instructions on the download page, as installing does require a little work.

If you have any questions about any of the info in this article, or you need help with other IE 11 issues, don’t hesitate to contact me at, or via my cell 443.310.5110.

Next month I’ll start a two part overview of the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). Every company that accepts or processes credit cards, or touches a credit card transaction in any manner, must comply with this standard. Pretty serious stuff…