Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

My browser disappears while typing an email. How do I fix that?

I’m using a four-year old Dell computer with Windows Vista. Lately, almost
every time, while I’m typing an email with Windstream.net, my typing disappears
and my monitor takes me back to my desktop and I have to start all over again.
I’m hope you’re not as puzzled as I am.

In this excerpt from
Answercast #70
, I look at a case where someone is typing and suddenly they
see their desktop. The browser has probably crashed.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

Disappearing browser

Well, I am kind of. So the issue is, I mean… I understand what you are
saying “the typing disappears,” but there are so many different ways that
“typing” can disappear.

Now, you said that, “It takes you back to your desktop.” What I infer from
that is – it’s not just your typing that is disappearing. It’s that your
browser (the window in which you are doing this typing) is closing.

Your browser is “closing” unexpectedly and apparently without any error
message. Error messages would be present in many cases. If there were, I’m
assuming you would have told me. So, basically what’s happening here is, as you
are typing along, your browser’s disappearing.

Troubleshoot the browser

The thing that I would recommend you do immediately is disable add-ons in
your browser.

You haven’t indicated what browser you’re using, but I have different
approaches:

  • For Internet Explorer, I’ve got an
    article on that
    ;

  • In Chrome, it’s fairly simple.

  • In Firefox, it’s fairly simple (there are menu items for it).

I would disable add-ons in your browser to make sure that they aren’t
interfering with the browser trying to do the work. In many cases, that
actually can be the cause of a problem like this.

Reinstall or switch browsers

If you’re using a browser like Firefox or Chrome, I would suggest
reinstalling the browser. In fact, I would actually go so far as to suggest
uninstalling the browser and then reinstalling it – because this does sound
like a browser-specific problem.

Finally, if none of that actually resolves the issue, I would try another
browser, in other words, if you’re using Internet Explorer, download and run
Chrome. See if you experience the same issue in Chrome.

If you do, then it’s some kind of system issue and to be honest, I’d be
somewhat baffled at that point. I’m not exactly sure where I’d take you
next.

My belief is that this is a browser issue. It’s not just “typing”
disappearing, it’s your browser disappearing – and that’s something that would
be addressed by turning off add-ons, fixing the browser, or switching to a
different browser completely.

Do this:

Subscribe to Confident Computing! More confidence & less frustration -- solutions, answers, & tips -- in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

2 comments on “My browser disappears while typing an email. How do I fix that?”

  1. My mother-in-law had a different problem when typing e-mails. The majority of the content of her e-mails disappeared when she was typing them (leaving an almost blank e-mail). It transpired that she was accidentally catching / pressing the CTRL key, and having ‘typed’ the letter a (CTRL+a = select all), then a space following that deleted her typing so far. She used to be a touch typist, so didn’t notice what went wrong as it all happened too quickly.

    So possibly you are accidentally closing the window using a key combination?

    One option might be to type your e-mails in another package (Word / notepad / ??) and then copy and paste the text into your e-mail at the end. If you have the same problem with this, then it’s likely that this is the problem (and the key sequence to close it is the same!!).

    I hope this helps.

    Reply

Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.