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IE9 A problem displaying <website> caused Internet Explorer to refresh the webpage using compatibility View

This is where I am going to document the issue I am having with IE9. “IE9 A problem displaying <website> caused Internet Explorer to refresh the webpage using compatibility View”


This issue is driving me nuts. To give you an idea on my configuration I have:

  • Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit
  • i7 processor
  • eVGA x58 Motherboard (Latest BIOS and drivers)
  • 6GB of 1600Mhz Ram
  • MSI 460 GTX Hawk.

These are the things I have tried fix the issue. All previous versions of Internet Explorer displayed the same pages without issues. Firefox, Chrome and Safari aren’t having any issues.

  • I installed the demo of IE and removed
  • Installed IE9 Beta and Removed
  • Installed IE9 RC and Removed
  • Fully Patched/Up to Date. Removed IE9 again and re-installed.
  • Updated BIOS
  • Updated Nvidia driver
  • Tried disabling all 3rd party add-on running IE9.
  • Tried running without any add-ons and this did nothing.
  • Turned off using GPU in IE9 by going to Tools-Options-Advanced and turned off option.
  • Made sure there was no spyware/Adware/Virus

Just some of the sites that are causing me the issues:

I originally hypothesized that the issue was caused by code on the websites I was visiting were improperly targeting Internet Explorer. I found it weird at least 50% of the site were having issues.

I no longer think that is the correct. I did a test on a client’s dell. There is no issues what so ever with the same sites. The machine was a Dell that uses an Intel Onboard video card.

The other thing that I was thinking that could be causing the issues:

  1. Knowing that IE9 uses the video card so much more makes me think that maybe it could be the driver/video card
  2. IE Add-on that is causing the issues.

Anyone else getting this error? Have you tried something else? Leave a comment.

32 Responses

  1. Hallo my friend,
    yes IE 9 has problems with graphic cards … Nvidia also.
    You can try to adjust to integrated graphics … then you can see the contents of the web site

  2. John Bernard Stoneway on March 26th, 2011 at 11:33 am
  3. I don’t have integrated graphics on my Desktop. I’ve done a few more things since I last updated this post. Still no dice. I’m quite amazed how well IE9 works when it works. From this experience when it doesn’t work it REALLY doesn’t work!

  4. Jared Heinrichs on March 26th, 2011 at 12:49 pm
  5. Have the same problem, i’m trying to get it fix but i couldn’t find anything :S My website isn’t displaying, i can only see my black background, it’s “cut-off” but it appears to be into the code.. just not displaying.. ! what a mess, ie ! If i find something, be sure i’ll get back to tell you how 😉

    Love your chrome pub at the bottom of your article :)

  6. Pierre-Luc on April 4th, 2011 at 11:34 am
  7. I have got this exact problem, and it only occurs with ie9. I am dual booting it with both vista and windows 7 and both have the same problem. However in windows 7 it has suddenly developed the fault, as it did used to work fine. Therefore I think it is a piece of software that I have installed, such as adobe cs3. Really I don’t know a solution, but it is definitely a bug in IE9

  8. Rob on April 19th, 2011 at 5:34 am
  9. Rob on April 19th, 2011 at 5:35 am
  10. I’ve run into the same problem too. I’ll look into the graphics card issue on my dell laptop.

  11. Scott on May 27th, 2011 at 1:04 pm
  12. I started getting this problem today, after several weeks of using IE9 quite happily without issue. I installed a video editing package this morning, which I believe has caused the problems. Of course, there’s no way to uninstall and re-install IE9, so no hope of a solution that way.
    One of the sites I was getting this with was one I was developing locally, so thought it worth isolating the problems. Unbelievably, I have fixed the issue by removing “font-family: helvetica, arial;” from a <span> tag on the stylesheet. Works fine with ANY alternative, just won’t have ‘helvetica, arial’ which has always been okay previously.
    And of course there’s no way to implement that on other people’s websites …

  13. Rob on June 2nd, 2011 at 7:43 am
  14. This issue is driving me nuts too — on three separate machines. Two desktops, one notebook. All running Windows 7 Enterprise with nVidia GPUs (all different types from the last two generations) and with a similar suite of software.

    Certain websites only partially render and kick off the “a problem displaying this website caused Internet Explorer to refresh the webpage using compatibility view” message. Other sites, like, simply freeze up as soon as you arrive — sometimes without rendering anything — and display the spinning “busy” cursor endlessly until you browse elsewhere.

    This sounds like a graphics hardware issue, but switching to software rendering in IE9’s options doesn’t solve it. Nor did disabling all of IE’s add-ons.

    I’m thinking that it may be some software that I have installed on all three boxes that is causing this. In his comment above, Rob mentioned this idea too and specifically used Adobe CS3 as an example. I have CS3 installed on all three machines myself. Uninstalling it just to test would be a serious hassle, so I’ll attack it from the opposite direction: Setup a fresh install of Windows 7 on a spare machine, install IE9 straight away and see what I can add before it breaks.

    If I learn anything, I’ll post back.

  15. Chief Oddball on June 18th, 2011 at 7:38 pm
  16. A friend just told me he couldn’t see my research site ( with IE9. It loads fine on my machine using IE9, Chrome and Firefox. This site is built with WordPress software and is regularly updated.

    I found this MS site that may help, but I can’t tell because it works on my machine.

  17. Kent Davis on June 28th, 2011 at 1:36 pm
  18. Do you have the font Helvetica installed? I had this exact same problem, and removing Helvetica from my system solved it. It seems that IE9 has an issue with Helvetica, and the websites it wants to reload in compatibility view are thoese that have any text where Helvetica is specified as the preferred font.

  19. Gary on August 7th, 2011 at 5:39 am
  20. Wow. I think I do have it installed on the machines that are having the issues! I will try it and let you know. Thanks!

  21. Jared Heinrichs on August 7th, 2011 at 7:54 pm
  22. Wow! Deactivating Helvetica in my Suitcase Fusion totally fixed this problem! Thanks so much!

  23. Adam Lein on August 15th, 2011 at 2:21 pm
  24. Hi,I use windows 7 and have ie9 how do i disable Helvetica font? this problem is killing me. My computer is samsung qx410 so2us. thanks

  25. seanw on September 1st, 2011 at 7:26 am
  26. Go to C:\Windows\Fonts hit delete 😉

  27. Jared Heinrichs on September 4th, 2011 at 9:50 am
  28. Deleting Helvetica font fixed it for me. How odd. Is there a font on the site that is triggering this problem (my own site was crashing).

  29. Eric on September 8th, 2011 at 7:03 pm
  30. Worked for me too! I noticed that my Helvetica font was an old Adobe Postscript font from 1995.

  31. George on September 15th, 2011 at 10:19 pm
  32. The helvetica fix worked for me as well. Brilliant fix.

  33. Scott on October 11th, 2011 at 7:30 pm
  34. Wow, weirdest bug ever. Deleting Helvetica worked for me, many thanks.

  35. Jerry on November 17th, 2011 at 7:42 am
  36. Hi – you have described exactly as issue that we have been trying to solve. As soon as Helvetica appears the site breaks. However, it only does this in a a very few machines (currently 2 HP laptops win 7)and woks fine on many, many more running IE9. (some running exactly same version of IE9)

    How come it works on most, and just breasks on a few?

    Would value anyones thoughts on this!

  37. Edward on November 23rd, 2011 at 7:30 am
  38. I have this same problem several times a day. Thought I’d try the “delete Helvetica” fix, but alas, I don’t have Helvetica on my machine. Any other ideas?

  39. Sarah on January 5th, 2012 at 12:35 pm
  40. Disabling Helvetica font has just eliminated the “IE9 A problem displaying caused Internet Explorer to refresh the webpage using compatibility View” error message I kept getting on numerous websites in ie9 (including twitter). Thank you!

  41. Marie on January 24th, 2012 at 12:38 pm
  42. I solved that problem too (at least, for major sites I had problem) by deleting various Helvetica variations!

  43. carlo on January 25th, 2012 at 6:08 pm
  44. The problem is not Helvetica itself, but the Helvetica Type 1 font format. They have 2 parts, a .pfb and a .pfm
    ie9 doesn’t like this.

    You may also find the date of the type 1 fonts are quite old. mine was 2002.

    Install a open type font or .otf version of helvetica and you’re good to go.

  45. scottg on February 12th, 2012 at 4:54 pm
  46. Im having the same problem. I went to delete Helvetica but it’s not listed as one of the fonts. Any other ideas to help? This too is driving me crazy. Thank u

  47. Mg on February 15th, 2012 at 2:23 pm
  48. I know this is an old thread but just wanted to say thanks for helping me sort out this issue which has been driving me insane for the past couple of weeks. Removed a type 1 version of Helvetica and PING! All sites work in IE9 again. Good times :)

  49. Andy Lea on February 20th, 2012 at 8:37 am
  50. Thank you thank you. Helvetica fix is perfect. (But why??)
    In common with posters above I have IE9 on Windows 7 and got the ‘compatibility mode’ message on many major sites including (only video windows) and Twitter home page. Helvetica moved out of fonts folder – problem gone. (It’s a Type 1 font – ie not a TrueType but an Adobe font).

  51. Johnl on February 21st, 2012 at 8:01 am
  52. I was having the same issue with a WordPress site I was developing. Once I removed the Helvetica references from the CSS everything viewed on the page as it should. Not much of a fix for anyone having trouble viewing sites that they didn’t create, but helpful for web developers at least!

  53. Stacy on February 23rd, 2012 at 9:27 am
  54. We encountered a similar problem. Helvetica was causing web pages to fail in IE 9. In our case the Helvetica font was corrupted. Removing the font and reinstalling it resolved the issue. We did not have to remove the font from our CSS, although this would have fixed the problem too.

  55. ISA IT on March 8th, 2012 at 8:49 am
  56. I don’t have the Helvetica font on my computer and even after resetting the advanced settings, which works for a while, the issue comes back within a few hours. Chrome seems to be the answer. Microsoft needs to address this before everyone moves on to other browsers.

  57. Greg S on March 18th, 2012 at 7:47 pm
  58. O M G

    this has been driving me nuts for a couple months now… and yep, i had installed helvetica in a group of fonts to do publishing work…

    wow, frick’n amazing and how stupid is that!

    whomever figured that one out.. KUDOS!

  59. troy on April 11th, 2012 at 9:42 pm
  60. i dont have helvetica in my computer. i still have the problem . what to do .? pls help!!!!

  61. lakshmi on May 3rd, 2012 at 5:31 am
  62. Deleted Helvetica 4 different fonts and worked great thanks for the help I had tried everything prior to reading your post, feel like a new man. Can now see my mail online again.

  63. Ken Hislop on March 26th, 2013 at 12:57 pm

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