back to article Microsoft's fix for web graphics going AWOL? Disable your antivirus

If Internet Explorer 11 users exist, they may have noticed missing graphics in web apps. Now Microsoft has some free, helpful advice that might restore them: disable your antivirus. Microsoft's Browser Support team noted today that there are three special scenarios where Internet Explorer 11 web graphics elements are missing …

  1. Chris G

    Good to know

    That such a world leading supplier of OS software hasn't become jaded after decades at the leading edge and are still providing well considered solutions for their users.

  2. MrKrotos

    Microsoft noted, "please make sure you disable your antivirus application that have also known to prevent the Fonts Icon from displaying in the IE11 browser."

    Yeah thats a great idea while surfing the web...

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      That MS quote/instruction also reads remarkably like it;s from a non-English speaking Phishing spam.

  3. Justin Case

    Who'd be a web designer?

    ...because though it might be MS's fault, it's our problem.

    1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

      Re: Who'd be a web designer?

      Well you could just stick to specifying font families and stop trying to use the web as some kind of DTP package.

      Earth calling web designers: nobody cares about your stupid font.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Who'd be a web designer?

        Or pictures, or style sheets, or those stupid transitions, or video, or sound, or colours, or type styles like bold or underline.

        Nope, web pages should be plain text with simple hypertext links, nobody is interested in a nice looking site.

        1. GBE

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          "Nope, web pages should be plain text with simple hypertext links, nobody is interested in a nice looking site."

          I think it's time we admitted that the 'web was a mistake. Let's just give up and switch back to gopher.

        2. Ken Hagan Gold badge

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          "Or pictures, or style sheets, or those stupid transitions, or video, or sound, or colours, or type styles like bold or underline."

          Well, you're entitled to your opinion, but I would disagree with you on most points there.

        3. Mage

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          Well, fonts and fonts. Using a font for icons (especially not even on your own server) is stupid. If it's for an Icon, then use png and/or SVG. A font used for icons has no fall back. It's a stupid idea copying "Wingdings" on Windows which were convenient but stupid (emailed or LAN doc to someone else without the font. When it's a text font missing, you do usually get text. Unless it's Chinese etc and you have NO Chinese fonts but then you if you can read Chinese, you'd have some Chinese fonts.).

          There are good web designs, and also rubbish ones with big animated images, gazillions of images/icons done by fonts, dark grey text on black or light grey on white, fixed layout (either to suit small phone or giant screen), totally flat with no hint as to links or menus etc. Or different versions for different clients (you can do ONE site that works on ANY size screen, the original reason that text flows and isn't like PDF. Imitating multiple sizes of PDF isn't smart. Or changing content according to OS detected (maybe I want to download MacOS or Windows program on my Android or Linux mint client).

          Putting an embedded "Google Maps" but no address or phone number for a web site for a "Bricks & Mortar" only business. Or Contact us via Twitter/Facebook (A bot and spammer unfriendly contact page is trivial), even on big companies.

          Most web sites seem to be badly designed.

          Yes, MS approach to this is idiotic. It doesn't mean many web designers aren't clueless.

        4. David Austin

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          I know you were being tongue in cheek, but I can think of a fair few websites I use where that setup would be a huge improvement for usability and/or performance...

          I'm not saying the look isn't important, but some web developers sometimes need a gentle reminder that it doesn't trump the other two...

        5. jelabarre59

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          Nope, web pages should be plain text with simple hypertext links, nobody is interested in a nice looking site.

          At least it would be readable & usable, not like some of the cruft being developed by the design-weenires.

      2. fruitoftheloon

        @Ken Hagan: Re: Who'd be a web designer?


        err wrong, I do.


        1. AMBxx Silver badge

          Re: @Ken Hagan: Who'd be a web designer?

          Too many of these fonts are free because they're just tracking users. Ghostery blocks a load.

          If only it also disabled this annoying fad of pale grey text on a white background.

        2. VinceH

          Re: @Ken Hagan: Who'd be a web designer?


          err wrong, I do.


          Earth calling web designers: nobody other than Jay cares about your stupid font.

          There. Fixed it for him/you.

      3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Who'd be a web designer?

        @Ken Hagan: If only this were about typefaces I'd ask you outside because the right typeface can be important. That said, I'm not a huge fan of web fonts because they do tend to be pretty big and block rendering.

        However, if it's about icon fonts then hahaha. Icon fonts were always a stupid idea because they break accessibility by repurposing code points to display graphics with no semantic equivalent. SVG icons are a much better fit for the requirement and are non-blocking. But I reckon it'll take a couple of years for the web monkeys to catch on, especially as none of them will bother testing for customers with IE.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          >because they break accessibility by repurposing code points to display graphics with no semantic equivalent.

          Not if used correctly:

          >SVG icons are a much better fit for the requirement and are non-blocking but I reckon it'll take a couple of years for the web monkeys to catch on

          fa uses SVG by default when supported in browser - that's actually why it's named awesome....

          1. Neil Stansbury

            Re: Who'd be a web designer?

            If I were you I'd be more concerned about their abject bastardisation of the < i > element before you get too worked up about accessibility semantics.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Who'd be a web designer?

              > about their abject bastardisation of the < i > element before you get too worked up about accessibility semantics.

              Asides like icons, emoji etc are exactly what it's for in html5 - also helps underline the proper use of em, cite, mark etc instead of just throwing italics everywhere without further qualification.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Who'd be a web designer?

            "fa uses SVG by default when supported in browser - that's actually why it's named awesome...."

            No, its named awesome because one or more of the designers or their manager scored 10 on the BS Hubris scale and didn't realise that calling a bloody font "awesome" is A) setting yourself up for a fall when it turns out to be just another yawn inducing design for letters and numbers, not a cure for cancer, and B) Sounds fucking stupid.

            But I suppose they're americam where awesome is now such an overused word now due to the childish arms race in hyperbole they have over there, that its virtually meaningless.

            "Have an awesome day!"

            Excuse me? Am I getting a seat on the first trip to Mars today or winning 100 million on the lottery and no one told me or something, or are you just some plastic smile phoney who's full of it? Hmm, let me think...

      4. a_yank_lurker

        Re: Who'd be a web designer?

        @Ken Hagan - The problem apparently only affects Imbecile Explorer 11 which would indicate that Slurp has screwed up again. Edge and earlier versions of Idiot Explorer apparently do not have this problem.

        The advice to turn off AV on Windows is horrifically stupid. The best advice is use a different browser.

        1. ridley

          Re: Who'd be a web designer?

          I cannot help wondering what my school's BOFH solution to this is (I Teach) as he insists that we use IE as it is "industry standard".

      5. Tim Seventh

        Re: Who'd be a web designer?

        <comic sans>"Earth calling web designers: nobody cares about your stupid font."</comic sans>


  4. Len Goddard

    Is IE still a thing?

    Does anyone actually use it?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is IE still a thing?

      I use it for my myspace and geocities accounts.

      1. David Austin

        Re: Is IE still a thing?

        It's useful to run Cookie Clicker in the background, so my other browsers can get on with real work.

    2. Tim 11

      Re: Is IE still a thing?

      more than use edge, I'd guess?

    3. Boris the Cockroach Silver badge

      Re: Is IE still a thing?

      Only for downloading better web browsers when using a windows PC for the first time

    4. Captain Scarlet Silver badge

      Re: Is IE still a thing?


      (At work where I have no control over the supported browser)

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is IE still a thing?

      Yes. Needed for our ye olde artisan enterprise websites, with added unsigned Java applets for extra fail.

      Don't blame me, I just stick to the Unix side. Which is also a car crash.

      1. LeoP

        Re: Is IE still a thing?

        It is, if you want to use the bloody remote management Java Applets for the hardware gadget of your choice. It ofcourse comes unsigned for better entertainment value.

        I have responsibility for an Intel-branded server, where the ILO functionality is completely inaccessible without IE and outdated Java. Same goes for a lot of Cisco FC switches (Yes, I know: My own fault to use Cisco, but they were cheap on eBay).

        Literally carrying around a WinXP VM with IE and old Java, just to access that sort of equipment, running from a snapshot and reverting after each use.

        1. hplasm

          Re: Is IE still a thing?

          Yes, I know: My own fault to use Cisco Web Config...


    6. Zippy's Sausage Factory

      Re: Is IE still a thing?

      I'm actually finding I'm using it more. It's still not as good for day to day use as Pale Moon, but in terms of development, I find stuff works in IE11, Firefox/Pale Moon and Edge or IE11, Firefox/Pale Moon and Chrome.

      I still despise it (the insistence on the horrendously misnamed crawling horror that is "ClearType", for a start, is a black mark) but at least it helps me work out whether Edge or Chrome is making my life a living hell right now.

    7. 404

      Re: Is IE still a thing?

      Yes, and there is nothing I can do about it. I have Chrome and Firefox available with applicable extensions installed (Ghostery, AdBlock Plus, Ublock Origin, and HTTPS Everywhere), yet they still use Internet Exploder 11 because they don't know/want to know how to use them properly .

      I do what I can.

      1. shawnfromnh

        Re: Is IE still a thing?

        Thanks, I never heard of https everywhere and now its installed thanks to you.

  5. N2

    Disable antivirus?

    That tells me a lot about the quality of their advice, summed up in one word: shite.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IE8 diehard

    Well, I need it to access my local council website, read the mail they send me. or access certain parts of the Chinese UK embassy website that wont work with anything newer.

    Seriously, my local council AND county council still send out emails and "M$Office" forms coded with dangerous activeX scripts everyone else banned 10 years ago. Some of it contains so many active scripts, you need M$Office 2008 (or earlier) just to read them - plain text readers cant make head nor tale of it.

    As for M$ saying disable AV, well, if you are using IE, you are probably also using M$ Defender - and we all know how effective THAT is - no one will be able to tell if it is running or not.

    1. Stevie

      Re: IE8 diehard

      I must know; do you use a keyboard macro to do inline replacement or do you compose in an editor and do something like :%s/MS/M$/g ?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Untrusted Font?

    What is so messed up with Internet Exploder that we need to be able to trust fonts?

    I'm assuming "Untrusted Fonts" used maliciously can brick your PC, run over your cat, and paralyse your mother-in-law? Seriously, why would you be able to execute code hidden in a font with root privilege?

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: Untrusted Font?

      Well, unless it's Windows 10, fonts are drawn by the GDI which runs with kernel privileges, so a malicious font can cause a privilege escalation...

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Untrusted Font?

        "a malicious font can cause a privilege escalation..."

        if the font is a windows 'OpenType' or 'TrueType' or 'Raster' font file (not sure if that's possible any more with web sites), then it's EXECUTABLE and I'm not sure what user context it would run in. Probably the kernel, yeah. DLLs have startup code that runs when you load them. This could easily be turned into a virus/trojan and attached to a downloadable font file.

        If it's a web font, there was a vulnerability back in 2006 that allowed remote code execution in IE. Who's to say they fixed ALL of the vulnerabilities [or didn't introduce NEW ones with the apparent re-re-writing for Edge].

        I wouldn't trust Win-10-nic to protect you, either.

      2. Mage

        Re: Untrusted Font?

        Yes, there are / have been vulnerabilities exploited. More recently in some Adobe format than TTF files.

        Also the issue of privacy. Fonts being used to track, because people are blocking the 3rd party cookies (browser setting), clear gifs, 3rd party scripts etc (NoScript). I only allow fonts from same domain as webpage. Also you can (on Linux anyway) download many of them so they don't need to be loaded from the 3rd party domains.

  8. Shadow Systems

    I have an easier solution.

    Since I'm totally blind & can't see those bits anyway, I've used the Accessibility menu of IE11 to Disable the Fonts & Colours so that it ignores the ones on a web page for the System's own. It doesn't matter what fancy font, horrid colours, font size, or whatever stupidity you've pulled in your rendering, my computer ignores it all & simply sticks with the default System ones. I can't see them in either case, so no matter that it doesn't download your dodgy font & execute your trojan code.

    Second, I've Disabled the downloading of images since I can't see them anyway. No waiting for some half-a-Gigabyte BMP file background, a couple zillion single pixel web beacons, or tracking elements in the image URL to finish scraping my traffic for the fact that I've seen the picture, because the image never loads, I don't see it, & I don't waste the bandwidth on them at all.

    Yes I still use IE11 with my copy of W7Pro64, but that's because my Screen Reader Environment (SRE) works under it. And because it works I'll stick with it until I can get my replacement machine fully configured to talk to me.^1. I don't dare "upgrade" to W10 because my SRE says it's not compatible with various parts of the new OS. Edge, the built in mail client, most of the store apps, all get flagged as incompatible & unAccessible to the SRE. The fix is to either use IE11 under W10 or try to get FF to work instead. Every time I try to use FF it causes the SRE to shit itself in one way or another, driving me to munch on headache pills like they were candy. =-( So even if I *did* move to W10 (not gonna happen) I'd still be stuck on IE11.

    ^1: I've got my new computer from System 76 on the desk beside my W7 machine. I keep switching back & forth as I try to learn the ins & outs of the Linux SRE. When I hit a snag (and there's been LOTS of them) I switch over to the Windows machine to Google for the answer on how to fix it, get the keyboard shortcuts I need to complete the task, or otherwise figure out WTF is happening. The Orca SRE is good as far as it goes, but there are still plenty of potholes that I fall into that I *need* the Windows system in order to get the solutions I need to Get Shit Done. It's incredibly difficult to find answers to a Linux issue on a Linux machine if the SRE can't parse the MAN pages to let you RTFM. *Sigh*

    1. AJ MacLeod

      Re: I have an easier solution.

      I sympathise. I have no accessibility problems but tend to use the keyboard a lot for navigation simply because it's fast. I've noticed that since Windows 8 a lot of MS software has become virtually impossible to use without a mouse and is laid out in such a way that it would seem difficult for accessibility software to deal with.

      I can imagine that using text mode / terminal based software could potentially be far easier for someone relying on a screen reader (if a decent screen reader were available.)

    2. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I have an easier solution.

      It's pretty bad that this far after launch, UWP apps and UWPified software like Edge and Mail aren't compatible with screen readers.

      Apparently Microsoft Narrator works the best, it doesn't seem they´re that bothered about helping third party screen readers to work. Link

      1. Shadow Systems

        Re: I have an easier solution.

        Yes WinNar works, but that's like saying a Yugo "works" for towing a freight train uphill in the snow with a headwind.

        WinNar is the absolute *worst* SRE that tries to claim it's a professional grade product. Nothing could be further from the truth.

        Crappy UI, keyboard shortcuts that don't always work, keyboard shortcuts that get reused for other commands (as in the same shortcut is listed for multiple functions), refusal of the SRE to do it's damned job & actually read the screen... The *only* reason to use WinNar is because you need a basic one in place so you can get to the net & download something, *ANYTHING* better.

        In the same way folks here have commented that the only reason to use IE is to go download something better, WinNar is only there so you can get something else.

        Me, bitter? Only because it took months of smashing my head into a virtual brick wall trying to figure out what "I" was doing wrong when WinNar wouldn't do what the manual said it should. Turns out it wasn't me, I was doing it right, it was just that WinNar is such a broken mess that it's a wonder the documentation applies at all.

        And people wonder why I hate MS so much?

    3. shawnfromnh

      Re: I have an easier solution.

      Good to have someone blind here that has the balls that people that can see don't. As in trying out Linux, good for you and keep up the higher learning because I just moved to Linux and it is a learning curve but Windows is boring as hell and they keep taking away functions in the name of usability and hamstringing their power users to make an OS only a moron could love. God I am starting to love Linux and its been years since I've had to actually learn something to run an OS since they keep dumbing down Windows or screwing it up as in Me, Vista, and 8 with the tiles so it would be usable on a phone, who the hell thought that PC owners actually gave a good shit about someones phone experience or that they wouldn't give a shit that their desktop space was overtaken by a bunch of huge tiles so they had less room to save a file or to have more programs by far with tiny icons. MS are becoming morons more and more since Gates has left, sure Gates was underhanded in his marketing of Windows but he sure knew what people needed and what they didn't for the average user and now it seems they have forgotten that simple concept and are working more to satisfy the DMCA lawyers than the users that are actually paying for and using their product. Big Rant but some things lately about tech companies have been pissing me off.

  9. Kurt Meyer

    Disable your antivirus, or stop using Internet Explorer 11

    That IS good advice.

    I'm glad I took it.

    1. Digitall

      Re: Disable your antivirus, or stop using Internet Explorer 11

      ...then disable Win 10..problem solved!

  10. Happy Ranter

    ohh poo, we might have to do some proper web design

    So basically, if I get this right....

    "Web Designers" are getting their nickers in a twist because the fancy fonts that nobody (except another web designer) can see are any different to the built in fonts don't play nice with IE 11.

    Well, that's pissed all over the web designers chips!

    Does this mean they will probably have to spend some time on the functionality of the website instead of trying to cram in every trick to clog up the browser that they learned in 3 years of media studies?

    Probably not, they will just cry from the tops of the tallest buildings "IE is crap, you should be using Safari/Chrome/Firefox instead" because they let us web designers get away with all the shite we cram in to every web page we touch.

    Sorry, just paid a visit to HP's support pages so feeling a bit jaded

  11. Mark Simon

    That sounds right …

    Our software is broken. Please fix your computer …

  12. Mystic Megabyte

    good old MS

    A few days ago I received a local newsletter in pdf format. I could read it (Evince) but wondered what daft font they had used. The pdf crashed Libre Office so I used some pdftools to get some info. It seemed to be created in Microsoft Publisher which I have not seen for years. pdffonts revealed that the 16 page newsletter contained 51 embedded fonts!

  13. Nimby

    Microsoft: Improving IT security since...


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who still uses Microsoft's crappy browsers in 2017? Including Edge.

    Brave, Vivaldi, Chrome (or a variant), Firefox (or a variant), Opera, Yandex, Safari.

    So many better options in 2017. Stop depriving yourself of a decent web browsing experience.

    1. Shadow Systems

      Re: Who still uses Microsoft's crappy browsers in 2017? Including Edge.

      Thank you for not bothering to read the comments of all those that came before you.

  15. Stevie


    This advice mirrors that I got from a GW drone when I called Glen Burnie to have another 200 Praetorian Guard cast up (there was a rumour in the commuunity some years ago that it was while casting one of my special orders that certain PG moulds were ruined, but I don't believe it).

    The GWD said they didn't do special orders any more. I was so taken aback by the news I was momentarily rendered stupid and I asked what was I supposed to do now. The GWD said "use eBay".

    The irony here is that for two decades and more, GW's official line was that all eBay sales were illegal recasts*.

    I told him that I was quite capable of manufacturing my own moulds and casting my own GW-revenue-free minis now I had official GW permission to do so and hung up.

    So "Always use anti-virus software except when you shouldn't" is the new Microsoft Law of Safe Downloading I guess.

    * I was once lucky enough to be lectured on the subject by a foetus in a GW shirt while attending a Grand Tournament in Baltimore, who supercilliously announced that you could tell counterfeits by the cast-in backpacks. "All official GW marine minis have separate backpacks" he proclaimed. I told him that before he said such things again he should check the catalog archives because GW had quite a few offerings from the time he was just a glint in the milkman's eye that contravened his Law of Minis, and collectors might take a dim view of his implied accusations of forgery and the subsequent devaluing of their collections.

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