Is your browser struggling to load new pages? Is it chugging along at speeds reminiscent of the ’90s? Is the waiting more painful than watching paint dry?
The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. In fact, you probably only need to make a quick fix to get back to the blazing-fast performance you expect. Check out these five eye-opening tips to help you optimize your browser speed, regardless of which one you use.
1. Close Unnecessary Tabs
This might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s the perfect place to start. It’s easy to lose track of how many browser tabs you have open. This is especially true if you are researching a topic or multitasking for work.
The solution? Start closing tabs. You may find one culprit among them that is hogging your speed, likely due to too many ads or embedded videos on the webpage.
If you don’t want to lose certain tabs, make a folder and bookmark them for later. Reel in the habit of opening a million tabs at once, and you’ll be well on your way to faster browser speeds.
2. Update Your Browser And Restart It
Everyone’s been guilty of pushing off updates. It’s so tempting to click “update tomorrow” or “update later,” but before you know it, it’s been weeks since your last update. Every tech geek knows that the key to a smooth-running machine is to keep it fine-tuned with the latest updates.
Some browsers allow you to set updates automatically, but they may still need to be restarted to complete the update. If you’re the type of person who leaves the browser open and puts your device to sleep, then those updates might never get installed. If you are starting to notice a slow-down, check the browser settings, install the latest update, and restart your browser.
Beyond boosting performance, updates are vital for security. If you skip an update, you’re leaving your browser at risk of malware. Keep your cyber defenses strong by installing updates on a regular basis.
3. Clear Your Cache
If you’ve ever interacted with a technology support or IT person, you’ve likely gotten this advice. And there’s a reason: clearing your cache is often the most effective way to improve browser performance.
Why is this the case? Your cache folders store data while you surf the internet. For example, it will remember your browsing history, like the webpages you’ve visited. It will also store downloads and small pieces of information known as cookies.
Cookies are bits of text that store data like user IDs and session IDs. If you visit a website, cookies allow the page to remember your settings the next time you visit. But cookies stock up fast, and they can take up a lot of space.
The good thing is none of the data in your cache is necessary.
The data stored there simply helps you have a smoother online experience. When it starts hogging too much space, you’ll want to wipe it clean. If you’re wondering how to clear cookies on Mac, it’s easier than you might think. Most browsers work in a similar way.
Navigate to the browser settings and look for something like, “Clear cookies,” or “Delete browser history.”Once you’ve found that section of the settings, you can specify how much you want to delete. You can wipe your cache and leave nothing left. Or, if you want the browser to remember certain passwords or webpages, you can save them for later.
Typically, the less in your cache, the better your browser speed.
4. Disable Extensions, Plugins, And Add-Ons
At this stage, it is possible something else is interfering with your browser’s performance. While browser extensions can improve your online experience, they may cause slowdowns.
If you’re running into trouble using a specific webpage, check your extension activity. Try turning off each active extension temporarily. For example, you should have the option to disable the extension on that page.
This is a painstaking process, but it may help you identify interference caused by a random extension. Go through each one you have installed until things improve. Browser-based tools and software are particularly susceptible to disruption caused by extensions.
Even though it may feel tempting to customize your browser by adding a bunch of extensions, it can hinder performance. You should take a look at reviews of extensions before installing them to see if other users have reported issues.
This applies to all types of add-ons and plugins. Make sure you vet each before downloading, and only use the ones you absolutely need. In the long run, it will help your browser’s performance by limiting the number of apps running in the background while you surf online.
5. Restore To Default Settings
If the previous tips haven’t helped you optimize browser settings, you may want to try a browser speed test. Some browsers come with tools to measure speed, and it may help you troubleshoot. For example, you may discover your internet connection is at fault, not your browser.
If you have nowhere else to turn, you should restore your browser to its default settings. This will completely wipe your customized settings, including bookmarks and logged-in user data. It will also delete your extensions, plugins, apps, and all other add-ons.
This is a drastic step, but it should solve any problems with performance. Your restored browser should work like it is brand new. But if you want to avoid doing a complete reboot in the future, it’s worth following the above tips to maintain your browser.
Clear your cache every now and then, keep it updated, and only install extensions you trust.
Browser Speed Still Slow? Try Cleaning Up Your Device
If you try all the above tips and your browser speed is still sluggish, you might need to try something else. Whether you’re on a phone, tablet, or computer, search for and close other apps running in the background. These apps may be siphoning the power you need for faster browser performance.
Don’t stop there. You should keep your device in tip-top shape by searching for other ways to improve performance. If you are looking for more tips, feel free to browse the technology category on our site.