List of Web Sites That are Inaccessible in Internet Explorer 8
Internet Explorer 8 (IE), which is the default browser in Windows 7, has been reported by the general public as one of the most problematic versions of browser in years. People are reporting that there are numerous Web sites that are not accessible in IE8. When they are able to access the sites, the content is not displayed right. Sometimes only part of the page is displayed. People who have multiple computers have success accessing the troubled sites in older versions on other operating systems (e.g. IE 7 on Vista or IE 6 on Windows XP).
Unfortunately, Windows 7 users are reporting that they are spending too much time troubleshooting the problem before they finally give up. Some get lucky and find a solution. Others, who must use IE8 for whatever reason, have no choice but to continue looking for solutions.
What’s the under lying cause of all this mayhem? Well, there are thousands of Web sites that are displayed improperly, or not displayed at all, when you use IE8 engine to surf the Web. In February 2009, Mary Jo Foley posted this article: Microsoft’s IE 8 Incompatibility List: 2,400 major sites (and counting). In her article she lists the incompatible Web sites, which include major Web sites such as:
A Compatibility View List is essentially a list of Web sites that are broken in IE8. In other words they are incompatible with IE8. Obviously, calling it an Incompatibility List won’t sound too good. Compatibility View List puts a very positive spin on a painful experience and makes it sound as if it were a preplanned “feature” of IE8.
Let’s take a closer look at the actual issue behind the scenes. Unlike previous versions, IE8 renders content in a standards-compliant way. That’s a good thing. Because the previous versions of IE were so messed up (for lack of a better word) and Microsoft has decided to offer a browser that is “standards-compliant”, now all these Web sites are inaccessible in IE8. It’s going to take a while before the Web designers fix all the mess because they wanted their Web sites to appear properly in previous versions of IE and as a result intentionally created sites that won’t follow the standards just so they would run properly using IE engine. To help the public, Microsoft now puts out a Compatibility View List which may make these Web sites accessible. However, I can tell you from personal experience that the Compatibility View will not fix the problem in all cases. Some times it works, some times it doesn’t.
Possible Solutions & Workarounds
There are several solutions and workarounds that work for some individuals. Here are a few examples. Keep in mind this is not a complete list by any means. Also, don’t be surprised if you still have problems accessing the inaccessible Web sites after you have tried all the tips that I’ve listed below because there are too many possibilities and I can’t possibly cover them all.
NOTE: You may have to first install another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox, before you try these solutions because if you use IE8 you may not be able to go to Microsoft’s Web site and access the KB articles that I have listed below. Microsoft’s Web site is one of the thousands of Web sites that are reported as inaccessible in IE8.
1. Go to Tools, Internet Options, Advanced tab and click Restore advanced settings. I know, you are going to tell me that this means that you can’t configure IE8, but you want to surf the Internet don’t you?
2. Run the command prompt as an administrator and type “netsh winsock reset” without the quotes. Reboot the computer. This KB article 811259 has more details.
3. Try Resetting TCP/IP.
4. Uninstall all IE8 updates. Yes, it may make your computer less secure.
5. Disable all IE8 plug-ins and add them back one-by-one.
6. Your computer may be infected with a virus so go to Safe Mode and run a program that will clean the virus. I prefer AVG, which is free and includes anti-virus and anti-spyware components. You may not be able to access AVG’s Web site in IE8 that’s why I mentioned earlier that you may have to install another browser, such as Mozilla Firefox first so you can download the AVG software.
7. Disable Windows firewall. Yes, it may make your computer less secure.
8. Turn on Compatibility View, either for individual Web sites (Tools, Compatibility View) or for all sites (Tools, Compatibility View Settings, Display all websites in Compatibility View). To view the content of your active list you can type the following in the IE8 address bar:
9. If you are running more than one browser, make IE8 your default browser. For example, if you run Firefox as your default browser you need to make IE8 happy by making it your default browser. Just do that temporarily so the sites start to work. Then switch back to Firefox as your default browser. You’ll have to remember to keep doing this whenever IE8 starts to give you problems.
10. Use Mozilla Firefox. All the 2,400+ sites that are incompatible with IE8 are likely to work in Firefox.