Windows Internet Explorer 8 (IE8) is the next version of popular web browser from Microsoft. Although IE 8 is the new version of web browser, which replacing IE7, it appears that there may lots of compatibility issue with IE8. Among the main complaint about IE8 is frequent crash, freeze, hang, not responding, or has stopped working while browsing web pages, sometimes even when opening new tab.

Most of the cause of IE8 problem takes its root on new IE8 rendering engine, where its behavior differs significantly from that of IE7. IE8 standards mode is the default rendering engine to use on running the browser, thus may break compatibility of some websites, causing all the trouble when loading in IE8.

Microsoft provides a meta element that webmasters can opt in to put on web page in order to force the web pages to be handled in IE7 Standards Mode. And Microsoft periodically updates the list of websites that compatible or not compatible with IE8 in order to decide which mode to load the webpage in. However, not all websites implements such meta tag, and even some websites that are been developed to adhere to strictest IE8 standards may still cause IE to stop working correctly.

As such, it may be a good practice to configure IE8 so that all websites are loaded in IE7 Standards Mode. IE8 provides an easy way to let user decides if an individual website (or a domain) should be displayed in compatibility view, with a tiny “broken paper” icon at the end of the address bar. In order to minimize any risk of browser crashes, it’s best to force all websites and web pages to display in IE8 Compatibility View browser mode, which loads the pages in IE7 Standards document mode.

In order to enable and turn on Compatibility View mode for all web pages and websites, click on Tools menu, and select Compatibility View Settings. In the “Compatibility View Settings” dialog, tick the check box for Display all websites in Compatibility View option. Click on Close button when done.

The IE7 Standards document mode in IE8 Compatibility View mode is activated immediately, which makes IE8 behaves a little bit more like IE7.