Tired of tapping your toes while you wait for a page to load? You’re not alone. Slow browsing speeds plague Internet users everywhere. Even if you’re using a super-fast Internet connection, there are dozens of factors that can impact how quickly your pages load. Fortunately, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to speed up browsing times.
- Use a fast browser. This may seem like a no-brainer, but many users are stuck with their traditional browser of choice and have never considered switching. Some browsers are faster than others. Google Chrome has set the bar when it comes to browsing speed, while Internet Explorer has been criticized for being bloated and buggy. Surprisingly, though, Google Chrome 23 and Internet Explorer 9 are currently neck-in-neck when it comes to speed.
- Disable those extensions and toolbars. If you’re not actively using a browser extension or toolbar, it’s doing nothing other than slowing down your browser. Disable any extensions you’re not using—and remove those you don’t use at all. Even disabled toolbars can clog up your browser in the background and contribute to slower load times.
- Use tabs, not windows. Tabbed browsing has evolved from the multiple-window sessions you might be accustomed to, but using tabs instead of windows will decrease the total load on your browser and help you surf faster.
- Minimize the number of tabs you have open. The very advantage of the tabbed browsing experience can lead to yet another problem—the temptation to keep two dozen tabs open at the same time. Sure, you might want to refer to some of those sites or networks later, but keeping your active tabs to a minimum will help boost your browsing speed. Instead of keeping tons of tabs open, use your bookmarks or an app such as Evernote to save pages for later.
- Disable Flash. This probably sounds contradictory, as disabling Flash means some of your content won’t load. But Flash is notoriously slow, so if you’re not planning on watching YouTube videos or similar content, ditch Flash. Most websites now don’t depend heavily on Flash content simply because it’s not compatible with most mobile browsers, so you shouldn’t encounter many issues.
- Clear your cache. Your cache, or the storage of Temporary Internet Files, can drastically slow browsing speeds when it’s nearly full. Your browser relies on the cache to pull up information from frequently visited sites faster, but if you do a lot of browsing you likely have a bunch of stuff stored that you’ll never use again. Clearing your cache periodically can give your browser a boost. You can also optimize your cache to specify which types of files are stored in your Temporary Internet Files, a step that can help protect your privacy as well.
- Keep your browser up to date. One of the most common causes of buggy and slow-loading browsers is simply that it’s out of date. Most modern browsers will prompt you to install updates, although some may not do so until you’ve closed it entirely. So if you’re the type that lets your browser open pretty much 24-7, you could be missing an important update that could enhance both speed and security. Always be sure you’re running the most up-to-date version of whatever browser you’re using.
Slow browsers can be the bane of your existence if you spend a lot of time surfing the ‘net. Using a few tips and techniques, you can ensure that your browser is running at optimal performance—getting you where you want to go in less time, while keeping you as safe and secure as possible.
About the author:
Katelyn is a freelance writer who frequently creates content on behalf of Guardi.us
, an Internet security blog with a particular focus on providing resources to help users learn how to remove toolbars
and other unwanted software and plugins