Browser speed problems can be caused by many factors, from the actual speed of your processor (which affects how instructions are handled on your machine) to, more simply, the actual speed of your Internet connection. It is a common problem that the browser slows down greatly, almost to a crawl. Assuming that most users have a large bandwidth and powerful machines nowadays, these problems can often be reduced to specific factors. The most common of these are: cache and history being full, some form of spyware or virus present on your computer, the strain put on the browser by too many add-ons or plug-ins. Spyware is possibly one of the common causes of browser slow-downs, along with other related problems such as automatic shut-downs, mouse-freezing etc…
In the following articles we will outline some common reasons as to why your browser could slow down, and provide possible solutions. We will also look at how to determine whether your machine is infected by spyware.
Slow-down reasons and solutions
Cache and history are overloaded – While cookies and history are designed to help your browsing by storing information on previously visited sites, they must be deleted every so often as they also occupy disk space. This is a burden on your resources and can cause slowdowns and unexpected behavior. To delete these is simple:
- Left-Click to the Start Menu, located in your taskbar
- Left-click on your ‘Control Panel’
- Left-click on ‘Internet Options’
- Under the ‘General Tab’, and under the ‘Browsing history’ heading, left-click on the ‘Delete’ button
- At the bottom, click on the ‘Delete All’ options
- Tick the ‘Also delete files and settings stored by add-ons, and click on yes
- Wait for it to finish, then click OK
Too many Add-ons – To delete ActiveX or manage add-ons go to ‘Tools’ on the top of the browser and then ‘Internet Options’. Click on the ‘Programs’ tabs. Go to ‘Manage Add-ons’. Here you can choose which add-on to disable, if any aren’t needed. You can delete ActiveX following the same steps as above but choosing ‘Downloaded ActiveX’ from the drop-down menu.
Use the security settings – Pop-ups and spyware can slow down your browser, together with unwanted downloads. You can make use of the ‘Security Zones’ settings and only allow websites which you trust or use daily whilst blocking unknown sites. To do this, go to the ‘Tools’ menu again, select ‘Internet Options’ and this time select the ‘Security’ tab.
In the next part of the guide we’ll look at how to detect spyware, which can also affect browser speed.
This post is part of the series: Microsoft Internet Explorer is slow!
An overview on what to do if your browser slows down.