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5 ways to speed up your web browser

BY READERS DIGEST

1st Jan 2015 Technology

5 ways to speed up your web browser

If your browser seems sluggish, there are some things you can do to get it working faster:

1. Time for a spring clean

Clear your browsing history by deleting your browser’s history files. Internet browsers store information about each website you visit.

After a while, that data can begin to slow down the speed at which pages load.

 

2. Clean out your cache

Empty your browser’s cache of temporary internet files—this is a folder on your hard drive where websites you have visited are stored by your browser to help speed up the time it takes to load the pages if you go back to them. There’s no need to clear them out regularly (unless you want to for privacy reasons).

But it’s worth doing this from time to time because if it is full to bursting it will have the opposite to its intended effect and will slow your browser down. To do this in Chrome, click on the three-lines icon, and then Tools, Clear browsing data, select Empty the cache and choose the time period, then click on Clear browsing data.

In Firefox, click on Firefox, Advanced then Network.

Here you’ll see exactly how large your cache is and have the opportunity to delete it. In Internet Explorer click on the gear icon, then Safety, then Delete browsing history and tick the option marked Temporary Internet files and website files, then click Delete (do make sure nothing else on that list is ticked, or you’ll delete that as well). Safari users should click Safari, then Empty cache.

 

3. Close the tabs 

Tabs are a great feature as you can keep several web pages open at once and flick between them. If you find that your browser is slow and you have rather a lot of tabs open, close some of them and see if the speed improves (save them as bookmarks if needed). Each tab takes up memory on your computer and is therefore slowing you down.

 

4. Rationalise your add-ons

Each add-on takes up space on your computer, so don’t keep them unless they are useful. To view your add-ons and delete any you don’t need, in Chrome go to Tools then Extensions, in Internet Explorer go to Tools then Manage add-ons, in Firefox click Firefox then Add-ons and in Safari go to Help then Installed Plug-ins.

 

5. If all else fails

If you’ve tried all these fixes and your browser is still slow, consider switching to a different browser. Safari and Chrome are said to be fast browsers, possibly because they have fewer added extras than some other browsers. And consider upgrading your internet speed with your ISP, as this may help enormously.

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