I still use IE for a lot of sites I've bookmarked. After it's been running a while, I'm unable to open links in a new tab. Also, my IE toolbar shows less options. Once that happens, I'm usually unable to copy text by right click > copy or paste, and have to CTRL C and V. It also limits my options in window explorer. Right clicking no longer shows an option to create a new text document, for example, and the other day, I was unable to open any folders on my desktop (even "my computer"), although I could still navigate within the already open folders. I couldn't even open task manager!
I started noticing this problem about a year ago after having one too many tabs open, and sometimes, just closing out a few tabs helps, but the problem seems to be getting worse. Clearing out my cookies and history doesn't seem to make a difference.
Closing out IE always solves my problem. It's almost like it needs to reboot or something in order to open new tabs and free up windows explorer.
I don't think it's malware, since I've had my system cleaned a few times here, and the problem has been there afterward. I just checked it for BHO's with Trend Micro CWshredder, and it didn't find anything.
The system in question is old (p3, 930 Mhz, 512 RAM, XP Pro service pack 3)
No problems with firefox.