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How to optimize your internet browsing speed and performance when using Chrome or Mozilla Firefox

Author: Sebastian Ion



Most browser are packed with many plugins, extensions, toolbars that you don`t really need. Often times, they slow down your internet browsing speed and performance.

Let me present you great useful tips to keep your Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers up to speed.

Disable plugins and extensions directly from your browser

Let’s start by pointing out the main differences between plugins and extensions.


What is a Plugin?

A plugin is a third party library that attaches itself to the browser. It can be embedded inside a web page, in which case it will work only in that specific web page.

Examples of common plugins: Flash, Java, Microsoft Silverlight, Apple Quicktime, Adobe Reader.


What is an Extension?

Extensions, or “add-ons,” can add onto the browser user interface and process pages that the browser loads. Although you might think they are similar, in fact extensions are not the same as plugins; they affect the web browser itself, as well as the page. Some examples of important or necessary add-ons include: Adblock Plus, Firebug, Microsoft .NET Framework Assistant.

Below you will find instructions on how to remove or disable unnecessary plugins and extensions for Google Chrome and, Mozilla Firefox.

For Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome and click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Click Tools.
  3. Select Extensions.
  4. Click the trash can icon by the extension you'd like to completely remove.
  5. When the confirmation dialog appears, click Remove.
    You can also temporarily turn off an extension by disabling it on the Extensions page.

For Mozilla Firefox:

  1. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button, and then click on Add-ons. The Add-ons Manager tab will open.
  2. In the Add-ons Manager tab, select the Extensions or Appearance panel.
  3. Select the add-on you wish to disable.
  4. Click its Disable button.
  5. Click Restart now if prompted. Your tabs will be saved and restored after the restart.
  6. Return to the Add-ons menu and select the Plugins panel.
  7. Select the plugin you wish to disable.
  8. Select Never Activate in its drop-down menu.

Clear browsing cache and cookies

This process is necessary because of the amount of data stored by your browser, which is pretty much unnecessary used up space.

Your browser has a folder in which certain items that have been downloaded are stored for future access. Graphic images (buttons, banners, icons or graphs), photographs, and even entire web pages are examples of cache items. When going to a page on a website, your computer will check its cache folder first to see if it already has those images stored, and, if so, it won't need to download them again. This makes for faster loading.

Cache folders can get quite large and can occupy over 100 MB of hard drive space, storing graphics for sites you may never visit again. In case you are concerned with your privacy or storage capacity, it may be wise to empty the cache periodically. That will also enable the browser to access updated web pages without the older cache item interfering.

To empty the cache of your internet browsers, follow the next steps:

For Google Chrome:

  1. Open Google Chrome
  2. Click on the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  3. Select Tools.
  4. Select Clear browsing data.
  5. In the dialog check the boxes for the types of information that you want to remove (Clear browsing history, Clear download history, Delete cookies and other site and plug-in data, Empty the cache – these are checked by default, and it is recommended to keep them checked)
  6. Use the dropdown menu at the top of the window to select the amount of data that you want to delete. Select the beginning of time to delete everything.
  7. Click Clear browsing data.

For Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. At the top of the Firefox window, click on the Firefox button and then select Options
  3. Select the Advanced panel.
  4. Click on the Network tab.
  5. In the Cached Web Content section, click Clear Now.
  6. Click OK to close the Options window.

Reset your browser settings

Sometimes when you install a program it can change the browser’s settings without your knowledge and you might later notice that your browser behaves abnormally. Programs can add different extensions or set a different search engine, and may also can cause various problems when surfing the web.

In this case a simple browser reset to its default settings is recommended. To do this, follow these instructions:

For Google Chrome:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Settings.
  3. Click Show advanced settings and find the "Reset browser settings” section.
  4. Click Reset browser settings.
  5. In the dialog window, click Reset.
    Note: when you check "Help make Google Chrome better by reporting the current settings" you are anonymously sending Google your Chrome settings.

For Mozilla Firefox:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. At the top of the Firefox window, click the Firefox button, go over to the Help sub-menu and select Troubleshooting Information.
  3. Click the Reset Firefox… button in the upper-right corner of the Troubleshooting Information page.
  4. To continue, click Reset Firefox in the confirmation window that opens.
  5. Firefox will close and reset. Upon completion,, the newly imported information will be listed in a window.. Click Finish and Firefox will open.

Install a new internet browser

You can find our tips for switching to another browser here. To install a new browser, you have to do is search for the browser that you wish to install and find its home page. Here are the home pages for some of the most commonly used browsers:

Changing your browser doesn’t mean you will lose your bookmarks. They can be easily imported, and your new browser will be free of y our old browser’s additional, sometimes unnecessary, features.

Below you will find instructions on how to import/export bookmarks to Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox.

For Google Chrome:

Import bookmarks from another browser:

  1. Close any other browsers that are open.
  2. Open Google Chrome.
  3. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  4. Select Bookmarks.
  5. Click Import bookmarks and settings.
  6. In the "Import bookmarks and settings" dialog windows, select the application that contains the settings you'd like to import.
  7. Click Import.

Export bookmarks:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Click the Organize menu in the manager.
  5. Select Export bookmarks.

For Mozilla Firefox:

Import bookmarks from another browser:

  1. Open Mozilla Firefox
  2. Click the Bookmarks button on the right side of the navigation toolbar and select Show All Bookmarks to open the Library window.
  3. From the toolbar in the Library window, click Import and Backup and choose Import Bookmarks from HTML....
  4. In the Import Bookmarks File window, navigate to the bookmarks HTML file you are importing and select the file.
  5. Click the Open button. The Import Bookmarks File window will close.
  6. Close the Library window.

If you like this post, you might also like our tutorial on how to optimize your browsing speed and performance when using Internet Explorer.

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