“Not Responding” happens when programs that are supposed to “check in” with
Windows periodically or allow Windows to check in with them don’t either
because they’re too busy and not written to allow that to happen or they’ve
crashed and/or are hung.
In this video segment from an Ask Leo! webinar, I
discuss what “Not Responding” means and the most common cause when it happens
in Internet Explorer.
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I get ‘not responding’ a lot; particularly in IE and QuickBooks. Is
there any way to tell what’s going on or should I just keep shrugging my
shoulders and closing the program?
I don’t really have a good answer for QuickBooks because I have some
experience with QuickBooks; it’s not my favorite program in the world, but
that’s not related to anything like ‘not responding’. I’m just not a big fan of
its user interface.
Internet Explorer, on the other hand, I do have some ideas that I would
point you to. What I would do is in Tools, go to Manage Add-ons and I would
take a look at some of the add-ons that you happen to have installed; you can
see that I don’t happen to have many here: SnagIt, LastPass, and this Windows
Live ID Sign-in Helper, whatever that is.
But I would look for suspicious add-ons; suspicious meaning anything that
you don’t necessarily recognize. And I would just right-click on it and disable
anything that you don’t recognize or potentially disable them all and see if
that makes the problem any better. Nine times out of 10, problems with Internet
Explorer are in fact, not problems with Internet Explorer. They are problems
with software that has been added to Internet Explorer in the form of
So, I also want to point you at this article here ‘How do I
disable Internet Explorer add-ons?‘ because it’s a place that I commonly
point people to that are having problems with Internet Explorer.
For those that aren’t aware, what ‘not responding’ means is when a program
is running in Windows, it basically has to every so often tell Windows, ‘OK,
you can do something now.’ It actually goes back to the very, very earliest
days of Windows. when the way that more than one program was run on the same
machine was done very, very differently. Today, it’s one of the ways that
Windows detects whether a program is actually ‘hung.” Not responding means that
Windows has attempted to communicate with the program in some way and the
program hasn’t responded.
Nine times out of 10, it means there’s something wrong with the program. That one
time of 10, it simply means that the program is simply taking too long to do
something and isn’t written in such a way that it can do that and still be able
to respond to Windows.
So with respect to IE, look at the Add-ons; with respect to QuickBooks, I
haven’t a clue. I would probably point you at Intuit and see if they have any
recommendations. If I had to make a guess on QuickBooks, it’s they are at the
10%; they are that one in 10 that simply have their software written in such a
away that doing something that’s calculation intensive and it’s not opening
itself up to be able to respond to Windows in a timely manner.