Checking for Incompatible Add-ons With RC1


Internet Explorer Team Blog

Checking for Incompatible Add-ons With RC1

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Hi there, it’s Max again, and with the availability of our first release candidate (RC1) build of IE7, I wanted to explain a new feature some of you might have seen when installing and running RC1.   As an overall goal for IE we want to build the most stable and reliable browser that we can.  We know that we sometimes make mistakes that cause crashes or hangs, but we actively try to find and fix the cause for as many as possible.  Tools such as Windows Error Reporting help us a lot here, and we encourage everybody to hit “Send Error Report” whenever you encounter a problem.

Through the help of Windows Error Reporting, as well as other feedback we’ve heard here on the blog as well as on Channel 9, we’ve discovered a few add-ons that can cause problems for ie7.  We investigate all that we find and for those issues that we can’t fix ourselves we attempt to contact the provider of the add-on and alert them to the issue as well.  Unfortunately, there are some issues that neither the provider of the add-on nor us can easily fix, and for those issues that cause IE7 to crash or hang we felt we needed to provide some mechanism to help you, the user, keep browsing.  With RC1, we’ve introduced a new feature that proactively looks for any installed add-ons that cause issues and warns the user on startup.

For example, we know that version 1.2 of the MSN Toolbar causes IE7 to crash in certain circumstances.  With RC1, if you have this version installed, you will see this when you start IE:

Add-on Compatibility Warning

The buttons allow you to:

· Check to see if a new version of the add-on that potentially addresses the problem is available

· Start IE with the add-on enabled

· Disable the add-on and start IE

For add-ons that both Microsoft and the add-on provider agree cause particularly serious issues (an example might be preventing IE from even starting), we don’t provide the ability to run with the add-on enabled.  An example here is version 1.0.1507 of the IE developer toolbar.  This old version caused hangs and crashes in IE7.  If a user has this old version of the toolbar installed when upgrading to RC1, this is what they will see:

Add-on Blocked Dialog

Of course there are lots of extensions out there for IE with more being written all the time (check out some that we’ve written about before) and we don’t have the resources to be able to test all of them on all versions of IE (both 7 and beyond), so we know our list of extensions that we watch for won’t be complete.  If you’re having problems with IE7 running reliably on your machine, check out this previous post on Troubleshooting and Internet Explorer’s (No Add-ons) Mode.


Max Stevens
Lead Program Manager

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