To keep up with the growing and evolving Web, browsers regularly receive updates and new versions designed to work better with newer standards of Web programming. Using an old, outdated Web browser like Internet Explorer 7 is sure to present some compatibility issues that may render websites impossible to view. Aside from age, there are a couple of other issues that may be causing problems viewing sites in IE7.
As of March 2013, many websites are written in HTML5, an updated version of the language commonly used to write websites. This newer version of HTML isn’t compatible with older Web browsers, which were designed for older versions of the language. In an HTML5 compatibility test from the HTML5Test website, Internet Explorer 7 scored a meager 27 points out of 500. To put that into context, Google Chrome 25 scored 463, while Internet Explorer 10 scored 320. If a website was created using HTML5 or other languages newer than the Web browser the site is displayed on, the site may encounter errors or not work at all.
The problem could be as simple as an error on the website’s part. While there’s nothing you can do if this turns out to be the case, at least you’ll know your computer or browser aren’t causing the issue. Figure out if the website is the problem by trying to visit it using other Web browsers. If the alternatives load the site properly, IE7 may be the problem, if the other browsers produce the same errors, the site is the likely culprit.
Your IE7 add-ons and extensions may be preventing some websites from loading properly. Extensions often come from third-parties and there usually isn’t a way of telling whether an extension will cause problems before using it. Open Internet Explorer 7 in No Add-Ons mode to see if an add-on is to blame. First, click the Windows “Start” button and type “Internet Explorer (No Add-Ons)” into the search bar, and then select the corresponding result.
If the site works, open the browser as you normally would and visit the Manage Add-Ons section of the Tools menu. Disable each add-on one by one and try loading a problematic website to figure out which add-on is the problem.
Internet Explorer 7 is outdated by many versions. The best way to access a website is to upgrade to a newer Web browser. Visit Microsoft’s Windows download site to get an updated version. Older versions of Windows like XP and Vista may not be able to download the newest versions of Internet Explorer, but they can still upgrade above IE7.
With Windows XP you can upgrade to IE8, while on Vista you can use IE9. Also consider using another Web browser, one with better HTML5 support, like Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome, Opera