Hi M.---Not sure but it sounds like your pop up blocker. I have microsoft vista, I think. My computer is not quite 2 yrs old.
My husband makes a point of befriending the tech support/computer guys at work. One of his suggestions to me as I try to (learn to) trouble on my own...RIGHT CLICK ON THE ICON. When you right click, it gives you options to choose from, if options exist. So...
Try this. With internet explorer open you should see a series of symbols at the top right of the page...that's where they are on mine. I have a house, a square with curved lines on it. There's an envelope, a printer icon, then the words page, safey and tools.
Left click on tools. A box will open. Scroll down and you will see the pop-up blocker section. Click on that. Another box will open, mine is to the left. See what that says. If the pop up blocker is on, try turning it off to see if that allows you to go where you want to go.
Another place to check, within that tools box, all the way to the bottom of the first box is an option called internet options. Click on that and you can check on security settings.
I always keep a list of where I am making changes in case I have to go back and redo what I've undone. Good luck. Let us know if that works. Take care, D.