Full Reset for Internet Explorer 9 – Really


This tweet caused a lot of questions back about what I meant and how I did it. so a blog post.

I have been having a number of problems with IE9, the most annoying of which was that files I downloaded wouldn’t open or run once they were fully downloaded. The dialog at the bottom of the screen simply disappeared after the download with no joy.


For months now, I’ve been choosing Save As… and the clicking on the Open Folder button to run or view the downloaded file. Yeah, I usually live with these things for way too long. And it was really annoying, too.


LastPass keeps all my passwords for me (LastPass is awesome – check it out), so that wasn’t going to be a problem. What I would give up was a pretty significant list of stuff, but I figured it was worth it to get things working right again.

After the reset, somehow Ask.com became my default search engine, which I didn’t realize until I was looking for the original post which recommended that I reset IE9 to solve the problem. Because my history was blown away, I can’t find it again.  When I had looked a few times before, the suggestion had seemed Draconian, but I finally bit the bullet.

In the interest of education, I just did another reset and captured the steps.

Go to Tools / Internet Options / Advanced tab. At the bottom of that tab’s screen, you’ll see this section:


Do a few Hail Marys or whatever it is that you do in these cases, and then push the Reset button anyway. You’ll get this rather intimidating dialog:


Just to that no one can accuse me of trashing their machine (though *someone* probably will anyway), here’s the warning behind that “How does resetting affect my computer?” link:

Reset Internet Explorer 9 settings

You can reset Windows Internet Explorer 9 settings to return them to the state they were in when Internet Explorer was first installed on your computer.

  • Resetting Internet Explorer is not reversible. After a reset, all previous settings are lost and can’t be recovered. Rather than resetting everything, you might want to reset specific settings in the Internet Options dialog box or delete your webpage history.

I figured I was going to go “all in” and I checked the “Delete personal settings” box as well, then clicked Reset once more.

After I recovered from the loud boom and the smoke cleared, I was able to see that all of the steps had completed successfully.


Not only that, but I caught a whiff of that new software smell. IE9 was new again!

My original problem with downloads is fixed, and I swear that IE is running better now. Yes, I have some settings I’ll need to fix, but I’m thinking it was worth it.