“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 add-ons.
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.