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Windows 7: Solution: IE processes not closing down

17 Mar 2009   #1

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Solution: IE processes not closing down

Are you finding processes left behind by IE8? Sometimes when you close a tab or IE itself it doesnt always shut down the corresponding process.

The IE8 Team have issued a fix:

1. Open regedit
2. navigate to HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
3. Either create a dword entry called TabShutdownDelay or if its already there edit it (wasnt there on mine)
4. Enter the value (in seconds) you want for how long it takes to shut down the process (0 will force the process to close immediately)

Note: If all IE windows are closed then all processes will be shut down.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Mar 2009   #2

XP/win7 x86 build 7127

handy info swarf, thanks :)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Mar 2012   #3

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1u OEM Dell & OEM Asus

well sorry to return to this old days MS crap... but IE8 is yet in use by me and therefore its problems remain same.

z above advice is nice but doesn't work 4 me in full, so here is small update to this remedy in meaning of its applicability to Win7sp1x64 Ultimate laptop.

pls do same to 2 more registry keys as below:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
HKLM\Software\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main


UPDATE: well.. unfortunately this also didn't solve a problem completely in my case but another advice from here: IE8 (Win7) not closing all processes

** Solution 2 **
In addition to the above, you can try disabling IE8's memory protection and
see if it helps. Start > Control Panel > Internet Options > Advanced > under
'Security', uncheck 'Enable memory protection to help mitigate online
attacks' > OK

maybe looks working much better for me. at least duing last couple of hours

while z total 3 registry settings as above remain same with new dword key TabShutdownDelay = 0 added.

c ya


there is one more seems-to-be-helpful advice regarding z same issue of IE10&11 here:

windows 7 - iexplore.exe stays open after closing Internet Explorer - Super User

"Have you turned off Feeds and Web Slices in Explorer Options under the Content Tab ? This might be keeping your IE open even when you close it."


another seems-to-be-PERFECT-in-my-particular-case solution for IE11 has been found here: Post#6

Posted 07 October 2014 - 12:55 AM
Hi Guys,

A customer found a solution this issue - so I am posting it on his behalf hoping it might help. This issue reported a while ago for IE8 has re-surfaced in Server 2012 R2 with IE11 -

He found that by setting the following key, they were able to resolve the issue:

HKCU\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main\TabProcGrowth (dword= 0)



P.S. If such DWORD registry key doesn't exist - just create it.

P.P.S. A background of my particular case of Win7sp1u X64 Ultimate with almost all offered updates installed & IE11 (v11.0.27) and a problem of the irregular alive processes (one of iexplorer.exe & variable number of iexplorer.exe *32) of IE visible in Windows Task Manager after all active IE11 windows have been closed:

An every launch of IE11 was causing a launch of two IE processes iexplorer.exe & iexplorer.exe *32. All further IE windows and/or tabs opened resulted in extra iexplorer.exe *32 processes launched. And I guess it's a default behavior of IE11 but there was some unspecified issue with normal closing of all IE processes. It's likely due to some of my IE third-party plugins installed behavior.

However after adding to Win7 registry z above dword key - this problem is gone, when now a launch of IE11 results in start of single process of iexplorer.exe, and all further IE windows and/or tabs opened are launching neither new iexplorer.exe *32 nor extra iexplorer.exe processes.

A reference info & WARNING(!) concerning this registry key & IE is here:
In short, some IE 32-bit plugins may not work properly if zero value of this registry key is applied!


Oops, after a bit of testing of z above config with TabProcGrowth (dword= 0) key created I found that at least one of my IE third-party plugins installed doesn't work properly, so I've changed z value of this key to 1 TabProcGrowth (dword= 1).

This final config gives me always only two active processes of IE upon IE launch (one of iexplorer.exe & one of iexplorer.exe *32), whether one or numerous IE windows and/or tabs are opened, and both these processes are closing well upon IE exit even when all of my IE11 third-party plugins are active now.


It was also briefly tested and now seems safe to use z first pre-final config of TabProcGrowth (dword= 0) for IE11 of Win7sp1u X86!


Oops, it's a pity to report that it was later found that the added registry key TabProcGrowth (dword= 1) causing some slow web contents loading on one of my Win7sp1u X64 laptops but only in case when numerous IE11 windows opened. However if this registry key is deleted once again, the initial issue of left behind IE11 iexplorer.exe & iexplorer.exe *32 processes, when all IE11 windows are closed, comes back.

Thus finally this registry DWORD key has been set to TabProcGrowth (dword= 2) on Win7sp1u X64 laptop with all these fuzzy IE11 malfunctions - where 2 is a number chosen as the max number of iexplorer.exe *32 processes can be started and seems working quite quick & nice with at least 8 active IE11 windows (w/o any extra Tab ones) opened, and also tested good for all IE11 processes closing normally - but deleted on all other systems both as TabProcGrowth (dword= 1) on Win7sp1u X64 and as TabProcGrowth (dword= 0) on Win7sp1u X86.


oops, I was lucky to occasionally find a culprit of that IE11 odd behavior on one of my win7sp1x64 machines - it was one of the likely set wrong advanced settings of the K-Lite Mega Codec Pack v11.9.6 installed.

I guess it was an Advanced Install option - [Streaming] Use LAV Splitter as source filter for HTTP - that is OFF by default but was set ON by me manually by mistake, although it maybe was some another wrongly set filter.

Anyhow, that K-Lite was completely uninstalled, all manually created extra registry keys TabProcGrowth were deleted, and then a clean install of the latest v12.0.1 Mega Pack performed again in Advanced mode but with a min of manual changes.

So in general case it seems safer to install any K-Lite in Min or Normal installation mode as also offered, or in case of install in Advanced mode first to refer to some install guide - for example like a quite helpful one found here:

Plus, it's also seems helpful to reset Security settings of IE11 of all zones to default level. Here I'm talking about the Security setting only (!) - not about a reset of Advanced settings, which is also possible separately, or a full IE11 settings reset, which is the most risky and could be a big headache option!


P.S. Also it seems always worth to check and try to update or reinstall Adobe Flash active-x when its latest beta versions if installed can be a cause this IE issue.

My System SpecsSystem Spec


 Solution: IE processes not closing down

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