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How to improve your internet browser speed and performance when using Internet Explorer

Author: Sebastian Ion



If your browser is slow, don't necessarily blame it on your connection. Third party toolbars, certain extensions, cookies or settings may also impede on your browser's performance.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to optimize your Internet Explorer browser:

  • Uninstall toolbars
  • Disable toolbars and extensions directly from your browser
  • Clear browsing cache and cookies
  • Reset your browser settings

Other ideas that might help:

  • Install the latest version of Internet Explorer
  • Try another browser

Uninstall Toolbars

Many toolbars can integrate and load into your browser affecting not only its appearance, but also slowing down your internet traffic.

A browser toolbar is an extension added to the browser’s interface. While some browser add-ons can enhance your online experience and might prove to be very helpful, others have a negative effect on browsing experience. They can easily install themselves by default along with common free applications and they occasionally interfere or conflict with other software on your computer.

Each toolbar will come with its own specific features, like search engines, emoticons, music players, etc., so they will require additional resources to load up.

To uninstall some of the toolbars, bring up the list of installed programs (on Windows 7, go to Start > Control Panel, and from the Programs category click on “Uninstall a program”)

Right-click on each toolbar you would like to remove and choose Uninstall. After you complete this process, the toolbars will be completely uninstalled.

Disable toolbars and extensions directly from your browser

  1. Open Internet Explorer
  2. Click on the Tools button (Cogwheel) from the upper right side of the window, and then click on Manage add-ons.
  3. Under Show, choose “All add-ons” from the dropdown menu. A list of all the add-ons will be displayed in the right side of the window.
  4. Select each add-on that you wish to remove and click on Disable.
  5. Once you have finished, close the window and restart your browser.

Clear browsing cache and cookies

Few people remember to do this and, eventually, the hard drive ends up loaded with large amounts of data stored by your browser over the years.

To clean up the browsing cache:

  1. Open Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on the Tools button , point to “Safety” and choose “Delete browsing history”. If you don't want to delete cookies and files associated with websites in your favorites list, check the “Preserve Favorites website data” box.
  3. Select the check box next to each category of information you want to delete.
  4. Click Delete.

Reset your browser settings

Sometimes when you install a program it can change the browser’s settings without your knowledge. You may notice that your browser behaves differently than what you are used to.

If Internet Explorer stops responding or working altogether, if you encounter errors indicating that Internet Explorer needs to close, or if browsing feels slow, you might want to reset the Internet Explorer settings. To do so, please follow the steps below.

  1. Start Internet Explorer.
  2. Click on the Tools button , then select Internet Options.
  3. In the Internet Options window, click on the Advanced tab.
  4. Click Reset.
  5. In the Reset Internet Explorer Settings dialog box, choose Reset.
    Check the “Delete personal settings" box only if you also want to remove browsing history, search providers, Accelerators, home pages, Tracking Protection, and ActiveX Filtering data.
    By checking this box you basically start with a fresh version of Internet Explorer.
  6. When Internet Explorer finishes applying default settings, click Close, and then click OK.
  7. Exit and then restart Internet Explorer.

Install the latest version of Internet Explorer

Using the latest Internet Explorer version will help you access the Internet faster. Also, your computer will be safer, and the issues you are experiencing with your old browser will most likely disappear.

You can use the table below to find out which is the latest version of Internet Explorer you can use depending on your Operating System:

Your Windows operating system Latest version of Internet Explorer
Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 Internet Explorer 11
Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows 7 Internet Explorer 10
Windows Vista Windows Internet Explorer 9
Windows XP Windows Internet Explorer 8

Check out this Microsoft Article to get the latest Internet Explorer version.

Try another browser

There are numerous internet browsers, each one looking slightly different from the other. Some browsers come with more features, others keep it simple. Some operate a little better than others. But all internet browsers basically do the same thing: allow you to browse the web.

The most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. There are also other, less popular browsers like RockMelt, Avant Browser, Maxthon, Deepnet Explorer, Flock, SeaMonkey, AOL Explorer etc.

Switching from one browser to another is in most cases the fastest and easiest way to fix a lot of the issues you encounter. If the browser is packed with toolbars and plug-ins, won’t open some websites or takes a long time to load, you can try to install another one and see if it works better.

To install a new internet browser you will have to use the one you already have in order to search and download another. Simply use a search engine like Google or Bing to search for the browser you wish to install, and click on the download link.

Here are the home pages for the most popular browsers in case you would like to switch from Internet Explorer:

Mozilla Firefox: http://www.mozilla.org/en-US/

Google Chrome : https://www.google.com/intl/en/chrome/

Safari: http://www.apple.com/safari/download/

Opera: http://www.opera.com/

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