Russ Harvey Consulting - Computer and Internet Services

Browser Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting | Internet Explorer | Help Resources

Help and troubleshooting tips for web browsers.

Troubleshooting

If you're having trouble viewing content properly or if your browser stops working, these resources can help you to recover.

If you can't see any content, check to see if the issue is with a specific website or if your connection to the Internet is broken.

Can't See New Content?

Sometimes you'll have problems viewing what you expect on a webpage. Either updated content isn't showing or something is displaying incorrectly.

This is usually because the browser is displaying cached (locally-stored) content rather than refreshing the content from the website. Browsers use caches to avoid having to repeatedly download similar content from the Web such as style sheets, graphics, etc.

If reloading the page doesn't work try clearing the cache or a hard reset (forced refresh).

Disable Annoying Video Autoplay

You land on a site and all of a sudden a video is playing. You're annoyed for many reasons including

  • clicking on the pause button distracts you from the reason you went to the site in the first place;
  • these unwanted videos waste your bandwidth (especially when using expensive cellular data); and
  • videos can be disruptive late at night or in your work environment if your sound isn't turned down or off.

Stop HTML5 Autoplay

HTML5-based video initially lacked the capability to control HTML5 video (Firefox was the first to block video autoplay in 2015). Older versions required you to go into the advanced settings (e.g. entering “about:config” into Firefox's address bar) — not recommended for most users.

Most browsers other than Chrome now have built-in settings.

  • Firefox: click on Options ⇒ Privacy & Security ⇒ Autoplay.
  • Microsoft Edge: click on Settings ⇒ Cookies & site permissions ⇒ Media autoplay.
  • Safari: click on Safari ⇒ Preferences ⇒ Websites (tab).
    • A set of sites allowed to autoplay are listed along with the current site.
    • Select the option to “Stop Media with Sound.”
    • Look at the bottom for “When visiting other websites” to set autoplay for all sites.

Chrome has added and removed autoplay setting over the years. Chrome currently only allows you to control sound:

  • Settings ⇒ Privacy and Security ⇒ Site Settings ⇒ Additional Content Settings ⇒ Sound.

I recommend using Disable HTML5 Autoplay for Chrome (it should work in all Chromium-based browsers).

More on HTML5 Autoplay

Most sites have obsolete information about HTML5 autoplay (generally using advanced settings that no longer work).

Stop Flash Autoplay

Flash is no longer supported by Adobe or most modern browsers, so this should not be an issue.

If you're using an older browser, upgrade to something current. Using unsupported software is dangerous.

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Internet Explorer

Do NOT use Internet Explorer, especially as your primary browser.

I strongly recommend moving to Firefox or another modern browser.

Microsoft Internet Explorer 11 is available only for Windows 8.1 or 10:

Internet Explorer is a component of the Windows operating system and the most current version will continue to follow the specific lifecycle policy for the operating system for which it is installed.
IE Lifecycle FAQ

A Compatibility Solution

Windows 10 includes IE as a compatibility solution which is not intended to be used as your primary browser. IE's behaviour can be controlled by group policy (which is why it is common in corporate environments).

You see, Internet Explorer is a compatibility solution. We're not supporting new web standards for it and, while many sites work fine, developers by and large just aren't testing for Internet Explorer these days. They're testing on modern browsers. — Chris Jackson, Microsoft

IE Vulnerable

While the latest version of Internet Explorer provides the best security and features, it is no longer being developed, making it obsolete.

Internet Explorer vulnerabilities allow “remote code executions” which can allow an external user to take control of your computer, especially because of the tight integration with Windows.

ANY Internet Explorer vulnerability is a Windows vulnerability.

Internet Explorer has been long known to be vulnerable to the covert downloading of software from malicious Web sites…Merely visiting the corrupted site is all it takes. — BusinessWeek

 

Browser Help Resources

These resources will help you if something goes wrong during the install or operation of your web browser.

Firefox Help

Disable .NET Framework Assistant

This issue should not affect current versions of Firefox.

Microsoft surreptitiously installed the .NET Framework Assistant add-in to earlier versions of Mozilla Firefox using Windows Update.

Websites can take advantage of .NET Framework Assistant to quietly install software without the user's knowledge, making your computer more vulnerable to malware.

If .NET Framework Assistant is present and the Uninstall button is grayed out or unavailable, follow these instructions to remove it.

Google Chrome Help

Google Chrome is now the world's dominant browser. Many other formerly-independent browsers including Microsoft Edge and Opera have been rebuilt using Chromium.

Microsoft Edge

Microsoft Edge is the default browser for Windows 10 but the new Chromium-based Edge is also available for Windows 7 and newer, macOS, iOS and Android.

Safari

Safari is the default browser on macOS and iOS.

The Windows version is no longer developed and is unsafe to use.

Opera

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Related Resources

Related resources on this site:

or check the resources index.


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RussHarvey.bc.ca/resources/browser-troubleshooting.html
Updated: March 23, 2021