How to Speed Up an Internet Browser

By Jennifer Claerr

Internet browsers can slow down for many different reasons. If you're using dial-up, you're likely to experience significant frustrations. However, even DSL and cable can be subject to slowdowns. Many of the causes of slow browsing, such as Internet congestion, are beyond your control. Still, there are several things you can to speed up your browsing. Making minor changes will solve many Internet speed problems. If these changes don't work, you can implement more drastic measures.

Step 1

Click Start > Control Panel > Network and Internet Connections. Select "Internet Options." Under Check for newer versions of stored pages, click "Automatically." Under browsing history, click "Settings." If you're using dial-up, set the number under Disk Space to Use to between 250 and 1024 megabytes (MB). If you're using a DSL or cable connection, set it between 50 and 75 MB. Click "OK."

Step 2

Select "Delete" under Browsing history.Click "Delete files..." under Temporary Internet Files to clear your browser cache. Click "Delete cookies..." to remove all cookies from your hard drive.

Step 3

Disable any browser add-ons you don't need. In Internet Options, click "Programs." Click "Add-ons currently loaded in Internet Explorer." Select the name of the add-on you don't want to load, and select "Disable" under Settings at the bottom of the dialogue box. Avoid deleting ActiveX controls as this will most likely cause the browser to prompt you each time you encounter content on the web, such as Flash animations, that use that control.

Step 4

Switch to a faster browser. While Internet Explorer is the most popular browser, it often causes pages to load slowly. Download a free browser such as Firefox, Opera or Chrome to get a quick speed boost to your browsing.

Step 5

Disable images in your browser. To disable images in Internet Explorer, open Internet Options and click the "Advanced" tab. Scroll down to "Multimedia" and uncheck "Show Pictures." To disable them in Firefox, click Tools > Options in your browser window and select "Content." Uncheck the box beside "Load images automatically." To disable images in Opera, open the arrow beside the camera icon at the bottom of your browser, and select "No Images." To browse with Google Chrome without images, right click on the Chrome shortcut and place the switch "-disable-images" without quotes after the last quotation mark in the path of the file.

Step 6

Disable active content if you're still experiencing a problem with your browsing speed. Return to the "Advanced" tab in Internet Options. Uncheck the boxes beside "Play animations in webpages" and "Play sounds in webpages."

Tips & Warnings

  • If you wish to view the content you've disabled, temporarily change your browser settings while you're viewing that page.

References & Resources