Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Multiple instances of IE showing in the task manager could simply be multiple tabs open in the browser. This sounds more like a memory problem.
I run Windows 7 Home Premium and IE 9. Lately, when I open additional links on my homepage, iGoogle, I've been having IE 9 slow down to the point that it ignores my mouse clicks to either open up to an additional page or refuses to close the one I'm currently on. I have to open the task manager to stop the process and sometimes there are four or five instances of IE open and running. It's like they don't close when I hit the close X for those pages, and they just keep running in the background until they can't find anymore process space to run with, and I have to manually close them down because they won't close down on their own. I haven't changed any settings in my internet options and I use Microsoft Security Essentials and CCleaner religiously so I'm dumbfounded as to what is causing such a thing and what setting may remedy this multiple instance problem.
In this excerpt from Answercast #76, I look at a machine that is slowing dramatically when running several instances of Internet Explorer.
Well, for one thing, I think we need to clarify that this might not be a multiple instance problem.
When Internet Explorer was either version 8 or version 9 (I'm not sure), it actually began to run multiple instances even if you're only looking at a single page. So, the fact that there may be multiple instances of Internet Explorer in task manager doesn't really directly implicate that it's not closing down when you're hitting the X; when you're trying to close a specific page.
I'm going to assume by "page," you actually mean tab - so that you're opening new tabs within Internet Explorer.
The only thing that really comes to mind, specific to the situation, might be that it's simply running out of memory.
The thing to look at is how much else is running on your machine at the time. How much memory is Internet Explorer using? How does that compare to the amount of RAM that's installed on your machine and the amount of RAM that's being used by all of the other programs running on your machine at that same time?
It is possible that this is simply caused by Internet Explorer not having enough memory to do the job that you're asking it to do; to open up all the different tabs that you're asking it to open up.
If that's the case, the solution is: a) stop running as much software at the same time. Or, if your machine supports it, consider upgrading your RAM. Upgrading your RAM is almost always a good thing any way. It's the one thing that, right now, is relatively inexpensive and almost all versions of Windows respond to it really, really well. They use additional RAM very efficiently.
If your machine is struggling because of RAM, adding additional RAM can make a dramatic impact on overall performance - not just the performance of a single program.
The only other thing that comes to mind (and that's one of the more generic answers that I use for Internet Explorer problems in general) is add-ons.
The one thing that I would have you do is to disable all of the add-ons in Internet Explorer. There's an article on how to do that. Then see if the problem recurs.
It is possible that it's not necessarily Internet Explorer's fault. It could be that it's one of the add-ons that you have running in Internet Explorer. It could be a toolbar, it could be a search engine. I don't know; there's so many different things that can be added in the form of add-ons to Internet Explorer.
All of the problems get reported as if they're Internet Explorer because that's what shows up in task manager. That's what shows up in error reports and so forth. But in fact, it's possible that it could be due to an add-on.
So disable all the add-ons. See if that doesn't improve the experience.
If it does, then carefully start re-enabling add-ons one at a time. Let it run for a while and see if, in fact, you can identify which specific add-on is causing the problem.
If disabling the add-ons doesn't solve the problem, then my gut tells me it's a RAM problem. Take a look at the running processes on your system. Grab a copy of Process Explorer. I've got an article on that on the site as well.
Process Explorer will probably give you a bit more detailed information than
Task Manager would about exactly what all the different programs are doing, how
much memory they're using, and perhaps that's what you're running
(Transcript lightly edited for readability.)
Next from Answercast 76 - How long after an email account is abandoned is its email address available for a new account?
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