How To Selectively Disable Internet Explorer Add-Ons

Add-ons are a software module that is added to a web browser or any related application. These are software modules that provide some extra features to a program, by way of either adding or extending a particular function, or to add new items in the program’s interface, etc. 

An add-on can be either an extension, or a theme, or even a plug-in. Although very useful, sometimes an add-on can cause problems with the functionality of your web browser. 

You might efficiently utilize the functions of an add-on but many times any unwanted add-on, such as those that attach themselves to your browser especially when you load a piece of shareware or accidentally visit a wrong web site, is designed in such a way to keep tabs on you or more specifically your browsing history. These unwanted add-ons then report all the information gathered from your browser to their parent program.  

Not all add-ons are that harmful. Instead, many of them work very closely with Internet Explorer to provide enhanced features like photo editing, video viewing, etc. But if you are experiencing problems to load some webpages or your internet explorer is not starting up correctly, you might have to check on the add-ons at once. 

It is difficult to find out the corrupt add-on, but you can easily disable the ones causing problems, one by one until the problem is resolved. 

Disable Add-ons From Internet Explorer

  1. Launch internet explorer

  2. Go to Tools, an icon present at the top right corner of the window

  3. Select Manage Add-ons, from the Tools menu

  4. The Manage Add-ons window will pop up in your screen, in this window, towards the left side, right next to Show, from the drop-down menu, choose All Add-ons

  1. A list will come in front of you, which will display all the add-ons that are currently installed in your browser. You can also choose currently loaded add-ons, from the same menu, but it is recommended that you go through the entire list, as it is possible that the problematic add-on is not present in the currently loaded add-ons list. 

  2. Simply left-click on the add-on you wish to disable, after which choose Disable (button), present at the bottom right of the Manage Add-ons window. 

Some add-ons are related to other installed add-ons, hence when attempting to disable any one of them, you might receive a confirmation, if you wish to disable all related add-ons at once. 

  1. Close the internet explorer and reopen it

  2. Take a test and see if the problem persists, and if the problem is not resolved, repeat all the above-mentioned steps, until solved. 

Disable Extensions From Internet Explorer

From the Internet Explorer

  1. Launch internet explorer

  2. Go to Settings, a gear icon present in the upper right corner of the internet explorer window, choose Internet Options

  3. Go to the Advanced tab 

  4. Scroll down to Browsing

  5. Uncheck or de-select the Enable third-party browser extension

From the Group Policy Editor

  1. You can also disable an extension from the Group Policy Editor. To do so, expand the following from the Group Policy Editor:


Computer configuration

  • Administrative templates

  • Windows components

  • Internet Explorer

  • Security features

  • Add-on management

  1. You will see “Deny all add-ons unless specifically allowed in the Add-on List” to Enable. This will not allow add-ons at all unless they are listed on the Add-on List policy setting. 

  2. Open the Add-on List policy setting and specify the CLSID for all the add-ons you wish to have

From the Registry

  1. Close the internet explorer and then log in 

  2. Go to the Run dialogue box, or simply hold the Window Key and press R, it will bring the Run dialogue box

  3. Type regedit, press OK

  4. If prompted whether to allow access by User Account Control, select Yes

  5. Follow through the registry:


  • Software

  • Microsoft

  • Internet Explorer

  • Main

  1. Set a value for Enable browser extensions

If there is no value, then create one. Right-click Main, then go to New > String Value 

Set this to NO if you want extensions to be disabled or set it to YES if you want extensions to be enabled

  1. Close the registry editor and restart the computer. 

For those who are using an older version of the internet explorer, such as the IE7, here is how you can disable Add-ons:

  1. Launch internet explorer 7

  2. Go to Tools

  3. A drop-down menu will be displayed, choose Manage Add-ons from it and then go to Enable or Disable Add-ons

  1. In this Manage Add-ons Window, choose Add-ons that have been used by Internet Explorer, you will get a list of all the add-ons present in your browser 
  2. Select the first one, present on the list, Disable by using the radio button present in the Settings area at the bottom of this window and clock on OK

  3. Also, click OK when prompted “For changes to take effect, you might need to restart Internet Explorer” 

  4. Close the IE and reopen it to see if it is working as desired

Even after disabling all the internet explorer add-ons you are experiencing the same problems, then you might have to delete internet explorer ActiveX Controls, just to ensure this is not what is causing all the trouble.

Michael G

Michael is a self-taught writer, editor, and software developer who has a passion for content that is carefully tailored to add value to the lives of any who interact with it through any medium. He is a Nigerian from the oil-rich Delta State.

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