|From what I've seen IE Reset is one cure for this (assuming you are using IE):|
Tools > Internet Options > Advanced tab > Reset button.
You will lose most add-ons and a few of your personal settings but most can be sorted out or will come back eventually with use.
As for an alternative browser, both my wife and I find it very useful to have one about anyway, and now rather favor Firefox. It means you can nip off and check something while maintaining an initial search In IE (or vice versa). Google Chrome is good and fast but I happen to regard that outfit as a bit too snoopy.
Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks