IE 7 - Can't manage add-ons


I have a problem concerning IE 7 add-ons. I can't open the tab that customize the IE add-ons, neither through IE -> Tools, or Control Panel -> Internet Options -> Programs. I just doesn't open up when I click it (no error message, nothing).

My internet browsing works fine, with all add-ons activated, the problem is just I can't see the tab to see what's installed and change their status. I'm on a Win XP SP3, Mcafee AV since a year ago (previously norton AV). I don't know exactly when the problem started, but when I installed IE 7 i remember clearly it was ok. I remember my laptop became infected with a pendrive virus, which was solved time ago. Could that have affected this feature?. Thank you.

Question Info

Last updated May 16, 2018 Views 1,172 Applies to:

[Yes, web-access to the newsgroups does appear to be down yet again. <sigh>]

System Restore cannot and will not resolve such infections so I suspect the computer's still infected. And I also suspect the McAfee application never installed properly and hasn't been working properly either (especially since, I assume, you did not download/run the Norton Removal Tool before installing it).


Microsoft PCSafety provides home users (only) with no-charge support in dealing with malware infections such as viruses, spyware (including unwanted software), and adware.

Also available via the Consumer Security Support home page:


1. See if you can download/run the MSRT manually:

NB: Run the FULL scan, not the QUICK scan!  You may need to download the MSRT on a non-infected machine, then transfer MRT.EXE to the infected machine and rename it to SCAN.EXE before running it.

2a. WinXP => Run the Windows Live Safety Center's 'Protection' scan (only!) in Safe Mode with Networking, if need be:

2b. Vista or Win7=> Run this scan instead:

3. Now run a thorough check for hijackware, including posting requested logs in an appropriate forum, not here. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP!!

Checking for/Help with Hijackware:

**Chances are you will need to seek expert assistance in,,,, or other appropriate forums.**

OPTION #2 (recommended resolution)

Back-up any personal data (none of which should be considered 100% trustworthy at this point) then format the HDD & do a clean install of Windows.  Please note that a Repair Install (AKA in-place upgrade) will NOT fix this!

HOW TO do a clean install of WinXP: See and/or Method 1 in

After the clean install, you will have the equivalent of a "new computer" so take care of everything on the following page before otherwise connecting the machine to the internet or a local network (i.e., other computers) and before using a flash drive or SDCard that isn't brand-new or hasn't been freshly formatted:

     4 steps to help protect your new computer before you go online

Other helpful references include:

HOW TO get a computer running WinXP Gold (no Service Packs) fully patched (after a clean install)

HOW TO get a computer running WinXP SP1(a) or SP2 fully patched (after a clean install)

Tip: After getting the computer fully-patched, download/install KB971029 manually:

NB: Any Norton or McAfee free-trial that came preinstalled on the computer when you bought it will be reinstalled (but invalid) when Windows is reinstalled. You MUST uninstall the free-trial and download/run the appropriate removal tool before installing any updates, Windows Service Packs or IE upgrades and before installing your new anti-virus application (which will require WinXP SP3 to be installed).

     Norton Removal Tool

     McAfee Consumer Products Removal Tool

Also see:

Risks & Benefits of P2P file sharing

Steps To Help Prevent Spyware 

Steps to Help Prevent Computer Worms

Avoid Rogue Security Software!


If these procedures look too complex - and there is no shame in admitting this isn't your cup of tea - take the machine to a local, reputable and independent (i.e., not BigBoxStoreUSA or Geek Squad) computer repair shop.

Good luck!

~Robear Dyer (PA Bear) ~ MS MVP (IE, Mail, Security, Windows & Update Services) since 2002 ~ Disclaimer: MS MVPs neither represent nor work for Microsoft
~Robear Dyer (PA Bear)
Microsoft MVP (Windows Client) since October 2002

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