If you are a user of Internet Explorer, one day it can surprise you and stop working. A friend of mine called me today and complained that his Internet Explorer browser was not opening in Windows 8.1 from the taskbar as well as the Start Screen. Thankfully, we were able to resolve the issue. Here is what we did.
First, I suggested him to run the Internet Explorer troubleshooter. The main benefit from this solution is that it diagnoses and fixes all issues automatically. Since I prefer the command line, I run the IE troubleshooter with the following command:
msdt.exe -id IEBrowseWebDiagnostic
My friend is a casual PC user so there is no chance of him using the command line. The IE troubleshooter can be launched from the Control Panel as well.
Open the Control Panel (see all the possible ways to open Control Panel in Windows 8.1) and go to Control Panel\System and Security\Action Center. Click the Troubleshooting link there at the bottom.
If this starts IE successfully, then it means some addon is causing the issue and we need to determine which one it is. Disable all the addons and enable them one by one. This will help you find which exactly add-on is preventing IE from starting.
In my friend's case, it turned out to be some toolbar which was installed accidentally with a third party app.
If none of the above solutions work for you, then you can try resetting Internet Explorer settings. Click here to download the automatic wizard provided officially by Microsoft. Run it and follow the steps in the wizard. It will reset all your preferences and settings in Internet Explorer, but it might get IE working again.