How To Reset Internet Explorer (IE) To Default Settings?

Internet Explorer, a widely-used web browser, comes with a variety of adjustable settings and features that cater to different user preferences. Discerning how these elements work and what impact they bear will prepare you for a smoother user experience. Therefore, gaining an understanding of these settings – including security measures, stored browsing history, saved passwords and autofill capabilities – is crucial. Nevertheless, there might come a time where resetting these settings to their factory defaults becomes necessary; this could happen for reasons ranging from troubleshooting to privacy cleanup. This essay aims to guide you methodically through the process, detailing each step, implications of the act, and checking for a successful reset. Additionally, potential post-reset complications are acknowledged and solutions are set forth to assure you remain at ease when utilizing this important tool for internet navigation.

Understanding Internet Explorer Settings

Diving Into Internet Explorer Settings

Internet Explorer’s settings comprise several aspects that you interact with on a daily basis. They include security settings, browsing history, saved passwords, and autofill information.

  • Security Settings: Security settings form a crucial component of your browser’s configuration. It includes various settings that protect you, such as enabling or disabling the pop-up blocker and deciding whether a website can automatically download files to your computer. This section also controls your privacy settings, which instruct Internet Explorer on how to handle cookies and your personal information.
  • Browsing History: Internet Explorer keeps track of the pages you have visited in its browsing history. This feature allows you to revisit a previously accessed webpage without typing its entire URL. Resetting Internet Explorer to its factory defaults erases all the browsing data and starts the collection of this data over again.
  • Saved Passwords: Saved passwords are part of Internet Explorer’s functionality that allows you to log in to your favorite sites quickly. When you enter a password on a website, the browser asks if you wish to remember the password. Choosing to do so makes subsequent logins easier as you don’t need to remember the password. However, resetting Internet Explorer deletes all these saved passwords.
  • Autofill Information: Autofill information is another helpful feature offered by Internet Explorer. It remembers data you type into forms on websites, such as your name, address, or credit card information. Next time you go to fill out a form, Internet Explorer will suggest matching entries from your past typing. Resetting Internet Explorer wipes this autofill information, requiring you to input these details manually.

How to Reset Internet Explorer to Factory Defaults

  • Open Internet Explorer.
  • Click on the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the browser to open the settings menu.
  • Select ‘Internet Options’ from the dropdown menu.
  • In the Internet Options window, click on the ‘Advanced’ tab.
  • At the bottom of the ‘Advanced’ tab, you will find the ‘Reset’ button. Click on it.
  • A confirmation window will pop up, warning you that resetting will delete personal settings like homepages, search providers, accelerators, and more. If you are sure you would like to reset all of these settings, click ‘Reset’.
  • Close and restart Internet Explorer for the changes to take effect.
Tip: Resetting Internet Explorer to its factory defaults will delete your browser history, saved passwords, and autofill information. Moreover, it will reset security and privacy settings to original factory levels. Be sure to remember your pertinent passwords or have a backup plan before you reset.

Detailed Process to Reset Internet Explorer

Access Internet Explorer Settings

Click on Internet Explorer to open the application on your computer. After opening Internet Explorer, locate the “Tools” icon. This icon typically looks like a small gear in the upper-right corner of the Internet Explorer window. Once you’ve clicked on this, a dropdown menu will appear. From this menu, select “Internet Options.”

Understand the Implications of Resetting

Before resetting, understand what it means to reset Internet Explorer to factory defaults. By doing so, you’re erasing any personal settings, extensions, or cookies you’ve set up since you’ve installed the software. This includes deleting your browsing history, disabling toolbars and add-ons, and resetting all custom settings to default. If you have any important bookmarks or saved passwords, make sure to back them up first.

Navigate to the Reset Option

In the “Internet Options” window, click on the “Advanced” tab. At the bottom of this tab, you should see a “Reset…” button. Click on this to open up the “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” window.

Execute the Reset

After the “Reset Internet Explorer Settings” window opens, you’ll see a box that you can check to “Delete personal settings.” If you want to erase all personal data saved in Internet Explorer, including saved passwords, form data, and browsing history, check this box. If you’d rather keep your personal data and only reset the browser settings to default, leave this box unchecked. Once you’ve decided what you want to do, click the “Reset” button at the bottom. A confirmation window will appear to assure you that the reset was successful.

Verify the Successful Reset

After you click “Reset”, Internet Explorer will apply the changes and ask you to restart the software. Close Internet Explorer and open it again. The changes have now taken effect and your software has been reset to factory settings. To confirm the reset, navigate back to the “Tools” menu, select “Internet Options”, and click on the “Advanced” tab. At the bottom of this window, you should see that your personal settings have either been erased or reset, depending on your previous selection. If executed correctly, Internet Explorer should now operate just as it did when you originally installed it.

Troubleshooting Post-Reset Issues

Resetting Internet Explorer: Common Issues and Solutions

After restoring Internet Explorer to its factory default settings, you might face several issues such as the browser not opening, crashing, or certain websites not opening. Here are some troubleshooting techniques to resolve these issues:

Browser Not Opening

If Internet Explorer isn’t opening after a reset, it may be due to damages or corruption in system files. To troubleshoot, try opening Internet Explorer in ‘No Add-ons’ mode by searching for it in the Start menu. If it opens without any glitches, the issue is likely due to an add-on. Start Internet Explorer normally and disable all add-ons, slowly re-enabling them one by one to isolate the problematic one.


Random crashing can be attributed to a multitude of factors such as inadequate system resources, browser add-ons or issues with Internet Explorer itself. To resolve this issue, try opening Internet Explorer in ‘No add-ons’ mode. If it doesn’t crash, the issue might be an add-on. Next, try resetting the browser again. If the problem persists, contact the Microsoft support team.

Certain Websites Not Working

If certain websites don’t load properly, it might be due to problematic add-ons, cache, or incorrect internet settings. Try accessing the site in ‘No Add-ons’ mode. If the site loads, one or more add-ons are the issue. Next, clear your cache and cookies to eliminate any stored information that might be interfering with website loading. Also, check that your internet and security settings are at their default levels. If the problems persist, try launching the site in InPrivate Browsing mode, and if successful, it likely indicates that saved data in the cache is causing the issue.

Tip: It's recommended you always have the latest updates for Internet Explorer to ensure the best security and performance. It's also essential to keep the computer's operating system and antivirus software updated.

Final Thoughts

Armed with knowledge about Internet Explorer’s varied settings and features, a firm grasp on the indicated steps to reset it to its basic defaults, as well as afforded clarifications on the implications of such a step, you should now feel confident in successfully executing the reset process. But quite importantly, understanding how to effectively tackle possible issues that might surface post-reset ensures seamless browser utilization. Navigating through the internet becomes not just a task, but an effortless interaction, as you now know how to keep your browser functioning optimally. Stay informed, secure, and enjoy your browsing experience. If you notice something wrong in the steps or article, Click here to suggest