Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Sometimes "drive-by toolbar downloads" can interfere with the way that your browser handles search and/or the page. We'll look for a fix.

IE9 on stopped working. When I enter keywords and hit Enter, nothing happens. But if I use Google Chrome, then Google searches work. I've always thought IE9 was my default browser, but I keep getting messages at the bottom of my screen asking if I want to make IE my default browser. I have this problem on two computers. One has Windows XP, SP3 and the other Windows 7.

In this excerpt from Answercast #54, I look at a machine that is not able to perform Google searches using Internet Explorer.

Google search failure

So, this kind of sounds like there's a couple of different things that could be going on. The first thing I'm going to do is have you clear your browser cache.

It's odd that it's happening on both machines simultaneously. But clearing the browser cache (I've got an article on how to do that) will clear some things up that (to put it bluntly) can just cause weird stuff to happen.

Sometimes, the browser's cache gets corrupt or full or just confused and as a result, the browser doesn't handle "random things" very well. So that's an easy place to start.


The other concern I have is that maybe you're experiencing some form of malware.

There are malware in the form of "drive-by toolbar downloads" (or other kinds of things) that can interfere with the way your browser handles search or the way your browser handles the page.

It's possible that something is trying to do that. So, I strongly recommend that you also run up-to-date anti-virus scan and an up-to-date anti-spyware scan

While you're at it, consider a run of the free tool from That also happens to catch a lot of different things that cause these kinds of problems.

Set IE as default browser

And finally, I'm going to assume (well, I shouldn't assume so I'm just going to say it) if you want IE to be your default browser and it's asking you if you want it to be your default browser, it is not your default browser!

So tell it yes. Tell it yes that you would like it to become your default browser. If that doesn't stick, then I'd definitely start to be very concerned about malware interfering with what's going on on the machine.

So, clear the cache, scan for malware, and hopefully that will clear things up.

Article C5825 - September 19, 2012 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

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1 Comment
RJ Patel
September 21, 2012 8:57 AM

I've had the problem before in chrome, and I think I contacted you about it. I found out what was causing it, the cookies and cache were full, I cleared the browsing data, and it started working. I also ran my antivirus software and it found no malware or spyware.

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