QUESTION My Windows XP PC is experiencing problems with Internet Explorer 8.0 add-ons. Microsoft’s Mats Run program shows that the browser is running 36 add-ons. I don’t recognise most of these items and would like to remove them, but they aren’t listed in Manage add-ons. Can you help? Mervyn Fletcher

HELPROOM ASNWER The Mats Run program is a Microsoft automated troubleshooting tool. It shows what it thinks are add-ons to Internet Explorer, but some are idle components of other installed software. Examples include BitDefender and PDF Creator.

Many add-ons in the list you attached to your query are browser toolbars, not add-ons. These can be easily disabled: right-click Internet Explorer’s toolbar and deselect any you don’t use. In some cases, you’ll need to look in Manage add-ons or Add/Remove Programs to disable them.

Finally, run a full antivirus and spyware scan to ensure that none of the entries detected by Microsoft is malicious.

See also: How to fix everything: the ultimate guide to fixing technology

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