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Speed Up Internet Explorer by Reducing Memory Requirements

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 7/31/2010

The latest version of Internet Explorer is #8. Microsoft tried to make it the best browser possible and filled in all kind of features that regular users seldom use. There are several other factors that make you feel Internet Explorer is slow. Let us see how to speed up Internet Explorer.

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    Internet Explorer is Slow and Needs More Resources – Why?

    To check the amount of RAM used by your Internet Explorer, open the Task Manager, switch to the Processes tab, and select the iexplore process. You can see how the memory consumption differs based on the number of tabs you open and the type of site you are browsing. Close all open windows of Internet Explorer and you see that not only the iexplore process disappears but several other processes also vanish. These are the processes that start as soon as you open any window of Internet Explorer.

    If you do not know what they are, think about your download managers, Adobe IE helpers, Java, and other Internet Explorer add-ons. Other than these, people also tend to use Google toolbar with Internet Explorer. The Google toolbar has four (Google Toolbar Notifier is optional) different processes – eating up precious memory. Others have more than one toolbar installed – Yahoo, Ask, and Comodo – being the common ones.

    Once you upgrade to Internet Explorer 8, you get a stable browser with several features – accessible at one point. There are plenty of add-ons, accelerators, and other features that aim to offer you single click access to your email, blog, or to discuss your papers and much more. However, in the attempt to be all-encompassing, Microsoft made Internet Explorer 8 consume most of your system resources. To check out the accelerators in Internet Explorer 8, select Manage Add-ons from Tools menu. You can understand what all comes into the picture when you open Internet Explorer.

    In short, you are not running simply a browser, you are also running several other processes when you open a single instance of Internet Explorer – irrespective of its version.

    Note: To check out what all Internet Explorer Add-ons and Internet Explorer Helpers are installed in your computer, I recommend you download Winpatrol. It is free and lets you monitor and disable/remove unwanted features from any version of Internet Explorer while also keeping a watch on installed programs for changes.

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    Tips to Speed Up Internet Explorer

    Now that you have a clear understanding of what all is associated with your Internet Explorer, you can customize it to speed up Internet browsing. I am listing three important points here.

    1 Get rid of unwanted Add-ons. For Internet Explorer versions above 6, you can use the Manage Add-ons option in the Tools menu. You will be presented with a list of accelerators, search providers, and other add-ons. Normally, no one will need more than two search providers. For example, I keep Bing as default and use Google as backup. Yahoo, Ask, and others are not as effective and can be disabled or removed. You do not even need accelerators for emails, blog, and for discussion and research. You can always use your email client to mail WebPages or portions thereof. If you are using MS OFFICE 2007, it has great features to upload your documents for discussing and sharing. To remove unwanted Internet Explorer features not available through the Manage Add-ons menu, use WinPatrol (useful if you are using IE6 or lower).

    2. Keep Toolbars to a Minimum: While installing programs, go through the custom installations. Many of the products, including Adobe, add their own toolbars to Internet Explorer if you choose default installation. As said earlier, the Google toolbar initiates four processes. Each toolbar has several buttons that initiate further processes. Try and keep your toolbars as well as the buttons on the toolbars to a minimum. Imagine the number of extra processes when you have a Yahoo and an Ask toolbar installed in addition to Google!

    3 Turn OFF Web Slices and Feeds. You can always bookmark RSS URLs separately for use. Using Web Slices slows down your browser. You can turn off the Web Slices and Suggested Sites from the Content tab in the Internet Options dialog (not applicable to IE6 or below).

    These are some of the main tips that will help you speed up Internet Explorer. The way you maintain your computer also affects the speed of your browser. Using an auto-defragmenter and a regular disk cleanup can further enhance Internet speed for your browser.

    Further Readings:

    How to Speed up Internet Explorer 8

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