Internet Explorer can be difficult to troubleshoot, partly because of the many settings and modifications that can be made to IE. Also, if Internet Explorer gets infested with malware (perhaps I should say when instead of if,) it's good to have a way to undo as many changes to IE as possible and roll it back to a "factory-fresh" configuration.

As it turns out, one of the less-documented features of IE7 is a function that allows you to do exactly that: reset Internet Explorer to the state you'd have on a clean install. Microsoft calls it Reset Internet Explorer Settings (RIES).

To access RIES:

  • In IE, select Tools | Internet Options.

  • Under the Advanced tab, click Reset.

  • After you click OK to close everything out, close IE; the settings will be restored the next time you launch IE. You can also do this from the Internet Options portion of the control panel.

Note: While most of

    Requires Free Membership to View

IE's settings are affected by RIES, some are not. RIES will disable all third-party toolbars and add-ons and will remove all temporary files, browser history entries, cookies, Web form data, passwords, proxy information, search providers and homepage entries. However, it does not affect one's favorites (i.e., bookmarks), Internet connection settings, Content Advisor settings or Group Policy entries.

For instance, if you have a problem that might be traced to a Content Advisor level being set too high for a given site (e.g., disabling JavaScript), RIES won't help. But RIES should be able to deal with any problems that arose due to malware or page-hijack exploits, and it's a good first step when debugging a chronic IE problem.

Note: Since the settings are applied on a per-user basis, you don't need to be logged in as an admin to run RIES. It only resets the settings that apply to the current user.

Also, I should point out that there are enough possible problems with the Content Advisor component of IE to merit a separate article. In fact, I'll cover them in a future tip.

About the author: Serdar Yegulalp is editor of the Windows Insight, (formerly the Windows Power Users Newsletter), a blog site devoted to hints, tips, tricks and news for users and administrators of Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Vista. He has more than 12 years of Windows experience under his belt, and contributes regularly to SearchWinComputing.com and SearchSQLServer.com.

More information on this topic:

This was first published in May 2007

There are Comments. Add yours.

 
TIP: Want to include a code block in your comment? Use <pre> or <code> tags around the desired text. Ex: <code>insert code</code>

REGISTER or login:

Forgot Password?
By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy
Sort by: OldestNewest

Forgot Password?

No problem! Submit your e-mail address below. We'll send you an email containing your password.

Your password has been sent to:

Disclaimer: Our Tips Exchange is a forum for you to share technical advice and expertise with your peers and to learn from other enterprise IT professionals. TechTarget provides the infrastructure to facilitate this sharing of information. However, we cannot guarantee the accuracy or validity of the material submitted. You agree that your use of the Ask The Expert services and your reliance on any questions, answers, information or other materials received through this Web site is at your own risk.