A lot of you may have seen Internet Explorer crash "Internet Explorer has stopped working" when closing the browser in Windows Vista. It happens all too often and while it no longer takes the operating system out with it, it is still annoying.
There are a lot of reasons why Internet Explorer will do this, but one we have found that really stands out is Adobe's Flash Player plug-in and ActiveX [COM Client] control. Seven (7) of ten (10) IE 7 crashes I have personally seen, are related to the Flash Player plug-in.
A lot of users may see messages advising them to re-install the Flash player and many take this advice - but they don't see any relief and the plug-in continues to un-plug IE.
Fortunately, Adobe has published a less well known Flash Player removal tool and procedure that users should use and follow BEFORE they re-install the plug-in.
Please reference Adobe's Support Site, which states: (be sure to follow all instructions and take note of the files Adobe's uninstaller cannot remove)
"How to uninstall the Adobe Flash Player plug-in and ActiveX control"
Due to recent enhancements to the Adobe Flash Player installers, you can now remove the player only by using the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller. To remove Flash Player, simply download and run the appropriate uninstaller for your system using the steps below.
- Download the Adobe Flash Player uninstaller:
- Save the file to your system, choosing a location where you can find it (for example, your desktop). Macintosh users may need to open or unstuff the .hqx file.
- Quit ALL running applications, including all Internet Explorer or other browser windows, AOL Instant Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, or other Messengers. Check the Windows system tray carefully to make certain no applications which might possibly use Flash Player are still in memory.
- Run the uninstaller. This will remove Adobe Flash Player from all browsers on the system.
Note: The uninstaller cannot remove files currently in use.
If you have any instances of the player open in your web browsers, instant messaging clients, stand-alone SWFs, or projectors, then the uninstaller will complete but some files may not be deleted. If this occurs, then close all of your applications and run the uninstaller again to ensure that all files are removed.
Note: Internet Explorer users may have to reboot to clear all uninstalled Flash Player ActiveX control files. If you're not certain, select the "Show Details" button in the Flash Player uninstaller. If there are any log lines that begin with "Delete on Reboot..." then you'll need to reboot BEFORE running the Flash Player installer again.
After running Adobe's tool and following their procedure for removing left over files, we restart the computer and reinstall the Adobe Flash Player plug-in and IE 7 on Vista runs much more reliably. Of course many other plug-ins can cause IE to crash, but since Flash is so common on so many websites, it is much more likely to be encountered.