Fix Internet Explorer Crashes with SharePoint 2013 Online Presence Indicators

Until the other day when I figured this out, every time I hovered my mouse pointer over a presence indicator on SharePoint Online, my browser – which is Internet Explorer 10 at the moment – would crash.

SharePoint 2013 Presence Indicators

SharePoint 2013 Presence Indicators

It wasn’t some polite little crash, either. The window would freeze, the dreaded “Internet Explorer has stopped working” message would pop up, and I’d need to reload the page.

Internet Explorer has stopped working

Not the exact image I was getting, but very close.

Forget about the “Check online for a solution and close the program” option. I tried clicking on that many times, if only to send the telemetry to Microsoft, but nothing useful came of it. “Close the program” it was and the Internet Explorer window would open up again.

This isn’t some huge loss unless you were entering data. The fact that it happened regularly when I was just moving my mouse from one part of the screen to another but not really hovering was annoying, though.

I asked about this in the MVP forums I have access to and no one else seemed to recognize the exact issue. Other browser issues, sure, but not this one. I decided to do a more serious round of Bingling.

I found a useful article from Patrick Fegan called Internet Explorer Crashing with Lync Contact Card. It told me perhaps how to fix the issue, but not why it was happening.

The MSDN forum thread that Patrick referenced was a little more help. After a little more searching I found a post somewhere which made me look at the NameCtrl Class add-on in Internet Explorer. As you can see in the image below, the version was 14.0.6109.5000. Wait, 14??? I’m running Office 2013 on my laptop, so by all rights that version number ought to start with 15.

NameCtrl Class Add-In

Looking at the “More Information” link for the add-on, I could see that the date for the Name.DLL files was Tuesday, August 09, 2011, which also didn’t sound right.

NamCtrl Add-On More Infomation

Here’s all of the info in text, for better search engine indexing:

Patrick’s post recommended running repair on the Office installation, which certainly seemed like a good idea because I seemed to have some bits which were out of date somehow.

I haven’t needed to d a repair on Office 2013 before, and I couldn’t find it! More Bingling ensued, and I realized that it was available in the Windows 7 Control Panel under Programs and Features. (Yes, I’m still running Windows 7.)

Uninstall of change a program

Clicking on Change brought up the dialog where I could select Repair.

Change your installation of Microsoft Office Professional Plus 2013.

After some chugging and churning, the repair was done and I went back to Internet Explorer to look at the NameCtrl Class add-on.

NameCtrl Class Add-On

Et voila! The version was comfortably in the 15 range at 15.0.4420.1017 and the date was Monday, October 01, 2012.

Even better, the presence indicators work fine now!

31 Comments

  1. Microsoft does this kind of thing so often. It is unbelievable that after all these years of messing up deployment of client machine distribution that they haven’t improved their institutional learning.

    Since MS used to have a virtual monopoly they could do want they wanted, but they are in the process of losing that franchise.

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  2. I just had this experience today – and also determined it to be a problem with the NameCtrl addon. I couldn’t understand how this had happened as I’ve only ever installed Office 2013 on this machine. Looking back at the date stamps though I can see that its caused by patches installed during automatic updates that included SharePoint designer 2010.

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  3. Great job! I ran into this problem 3 months ago and did everything from re-installing IE to downgrading IE and eventually started avoiding sharepoint. With the constant crashing, I never noticed it was because I was moving the mouse over the presence indicators. I was running Office 2012 and Office 2013. I uninstalled 2010 and ran the repair on 2013. This is solved. What a relief! Thank you.

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